The Coast to Coast cycle ride is one of the most scenic, varied and popular bike rides in Britain. The sense of achievement from cycling right across the country, passing through National Parks, remote valleys and lovely villages, is hard to beat.
• 100% road bike friendly, with alternate off-road gravel / MTB sections
• Dramatic Lake District and Pennine scenery
• Bag transfers so you can cycle light
• Logistics planned for you, so you can focus on the cycling
• Emergency mechanical breakdown support
Our C2C Credentials
CycleActive has been running C2C holidays since 2000 and with our office based almost exactly in the middle of the route we think we know it better than anyone else. Our strong connections with local guesthouses means you get the best places to stay, best service and great food throughout your holiday. Our experience as a tour operator means everything runs smoothly, from start to finish, so you can relax and enjoy the journey.
If you want to find out more about the cycling, the route or anything else about the C2C, then please contact us and one of our team will get back to you.
Your trip begins when you arrive at our chosen guesthouse in Penrith. Once you’ve checked in and received your rider welcome pack, you're free to try any of the numerous bars, cafes and restaurants in this bustling market town. With guesthouses just a few minutes walk from the centre of town and the mainline train station a 10-minute walk it’s an ideal start location. If you came by car then you can park it in the long stay car pack, as you won’t need it till your return.
The following morning after your freshly cooked Cumbrian produce breakfast, you and your bike will be transported out to the start point of the C2C in the harbour town of Whitehaven, on the Irish Sea Coast. With your detailed Sustrans map of the route, supplied GPX file and the benefit of good signing you should be fully equipped for the first leg of the journey.
Leaving the coast behind you, the Classic C2C takes you through the northern section of the Lake District National Park. This is Britain's largest park, and you'll be travelling past some of its most impressive peaks - Skiddaw, Blecathra and the northern reaches of the Helvellyn range. You'll also encounter a great number of traditional Lakeland villages, as well as the focal town for this area, Keswick, which has a great selection of cafes for refuelling. The silky-smooth disused railway out of Keswick, takes you towards Threkeld and after rejoining the minor country roads you pass through Greystoke and then back into Penrith.
The Eden valley with the river Eden at its core and rolling hills, gives a gentle warm up before getting stuck into the infamous Northern Pennine climbs. Hartside pass, often shrouded in cloud, gets the heart rate up, climbing steadily up to 500m above sea level. On a clear day the view back into the Lake District and up to the Scottish border, is one of the finest in the UK, with many a tourist and motorbike rider joining you in taking it in.
After the short recovery descent do to Garrigill the arguably trickier climb up and over into Nenthead awaits, but is rewarded by the great village café, serving fresh coffee and cakes to many a weary cyclist. With more bikes on the roads than cars, the Pennines is truly a cyclists dream. With the epic moorland views stretching in all directions, the grit and determination needed for the climbs is forgotten with each descent.
The villages of Eastgate and Stanhope are positioned perfectly to house tired riders, in need of a recharge before the final leg of this classic challenge ride. The summit of Crawely side bank signals the end of the Pennine hills and the start of the Waskerley Way, gravel track, down into the Derwnet valley. With road bike friendly options running parrel, this tracks drops you all the way into Consett and then onto further cycleways leading into Newcastle city centre.
The hustle and bustle of Newcastle’s north bank quayside, comes as a bit of a shock after the previous tranquil days, but its iconic architecture of the Millennium bridge and Sage Hall, linked by a cycle friendly route leading to the coast, only adds to the overall Classic C2C route. The last 20km of flat terrain fly by, with the impressive Castle and Prior in Tynemouth signalling the finish of your cycle ride and a celebratory ice cream or portion of chips very much in order.
If you are starting your onward journey from the finish, then you can collect your bags from the CycleActive van, otherwise we will start to load the bikes for the 2hr return transfer back to Penrith.
3 Day Itinerary
Arrival day into Penrith , park your car into the nearby long stay car park and relax.
Cycling: 0 miles, 0 km
After the mornings 1hr transfer out to Whitehaven, you then ride back to Penrith.
Cycling: 52 miles, 85 km
Ascent: 3889ft, 1185m
Cycle from the door into the Pennine villages of Eastgate or Stanhope
Cycling: 44 miles, 70 km
Ascent: 5251ft, 1600m
Finish the ride, passing through Newcastle onto Tynemouth
Cycling: 40 miles, 65 km
Ascent: 2063ft, 629m