Cycling South Lakes Walney Island to Wearmouth
Single / Double
February - November
A six centre self-guided cycling tour from Walney Island to Wearmouth across northern England. Includes; 6 nights bed and breakfast in en-suite (wherever possible) guesthouse accommodation, 5 days cycling with luggage transfers, emergency back-up, route guide and maps. Bike rental can be arranged but would be extra. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
This challenging 151 mile cycle route links Walney Island on the west coast near Barrow-in-Furness to Wearmouth in Sunderland on the east coast. Starting with a traverse through the low fells of the southern Lake District peninsula, the route then climbs over the North Pennines with spectacular views of these areas of ‘Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Then the route drops down into the Tees and Wear valleys passing through places of historic interest such as Barnard Castle, the ‘Land of the Prince Bishops’ and the cathedral city of Durham. This cyclist friendly route uses minor country roads and quiet back lanes with some fantastic traffic-free sections along disused railway lines providing an unforgettable cycling experience.
START of TOUR: Walney Island is on the North West coast of England.
FINISH of TOUR: Wearmouth on the North East Coast of England
ARRIVAL DAY: At Barrow-in-Furness. Your 1st night's accommodation will be in Barrow near the start of this tour. There are many places to eat in the town from fish and chip shops to traditional pubs. Overnight: Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
DAY ONE: Walney to Kendal. Distance approx. 41 miles (66 km). After breakfast you will begin the ride by first calling in at Walney Island for the traditional dipping of your rear wheel in the Irish Sea. Then the route heads inland along quiet country roads with fantastic views of the Lake District, passing Ulverston before returning to the coast at Grange-over-Sands, a good opportunity for lunch. Cycling through beautifully green Cumbrian countryside on the edge of England’s best national park you reach the busy market town of Kendal and your next overnight stop. There are lots of shops, restaurants and pubs in Kendal for an evening meal. Overnight: Kendal, Cumbria.
DAY TWO: Kendal to Kirkby Stephen. Distance approx. 34 miles (55 km). Leaving Kendal the route takes you out of the Lake District towards the Howgill Fells along the Lune valley on minor country roads. There are some hills to climb today as you pass Tebay to the town of Orton. This would be a good opportunity for lunch or to buy a sandwich. Riding on country roads lined by dry stone walls you will notice a change in the landscape as you cycle through the rolling hills of the North Pennine Hills (an area of outstanding natural beauty). Nestled in the upper Eden Vale is Kirkby Stephen, a busy market town that will provide your next accommodation and has a good variety of places for your evening meal. Overnight: Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria.
DAY THREE: Kirkby Stephen to Barnard Castle. Distance approx. 27 miles (43 km). Today starts with a steady climb back up onto the Pennine Hills, along a moorland road that is quite remote to the highest point of the route at 1732ft. Your efforts are rewarded by the breathtaking views back over to the Lakes and would you believe it, there is a pub here! The Tan Hill Inn is England’s highest pub, where you can enjoy a pint and lunch knowing that it is all downhill from here. A 10 mile descent takes you to your destination for today, Barnard Castle, famous for its museum and castle. There are many shops, restaurants and pubs to ensure an enjoyable night here. Overnight: Barnard Castle, Co Durham.
DAY FOUR: Barnard Castle to Durham. Distance approx. 32 miles (51 km). There is a choice of 2 routes today, both using minor country roads through lush green farmland. Route 1 is slightly longer with a few steep hills plus a forest trail through Hamsterly Forest, where there is a visitor’s centre and some optional off-road sections. Route 2 is easier following minor country roads and a traffic free trail through Bishop Auckland. Known as the ‘Land of the Prince Bishops’ the route passes Auckland castle, a good lunch stop. The final section of both rides is along a disused railway line, an enjoyable traffic-free ride right into Durham City. With many tourist attractions here including a castle and cathedral, Durham also has plenty of cafes, restaurants and pubs to obtain an evening meal. Overnight: Durham, Co Durham.
DAY FIVE: Durham to Sunderland. Distance approx. 18 miles (29 km). The shortest and flattest day of the tour, this allows you plenty of time to further explore Durham. There is a very nice circular riverside ride or walk around the city, providing fantastic views of one of our best preserved Norman cathedrals. You could spend the morning here and have lunch before leaving Durham on the final section of the tour. Minor roads and traffic free cycle ways take you right into the centre of Sunderland and over the river Wear to the marina for the traditional dipping of your front wheel into the North Sea to complete the W2W. Sunderland will provide your final overnight stop of this tour where you can purchase a meal to celebrate your accomplishment. Overnight: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.
DEPARTURE DAY: After breakfast you can continue your journey by train or arrangements can be made to transport you and your bikes back to Barrow.
ARRIVING and DEPARTING by EUROLINES or NATIONAL EXPRESS COACH: This is by far the cheapest option for long-distance travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are very convenient buses from each major airport. National Express carries over 16 million passengers to 1000 different places in the UK every year, and thousands more from destinations across Europe and Ireland. You can purchase an e-Ticket where you print your travel ticket online in a matter of minutes OR you can obtain an m-Ticket and have your travel ticket sent to your mobile phone - no paper ticket required. You then present this to the driver on arrival.
ARRIVING BY CAR: Please ask for details.
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GRADE C+ cycling: Between 18 – 41miles (29 - 66kms) a day. The route is principally a hilly ride. We recommend that clients bring their own bicycle and equipment, these can be hire but will be extra. You start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on the weather conditions and your fitness.