The c2c cycle tour across Northern England
Single / Double
Start any day February to November
A two centre self-guided c2c across Northern England with transport to start and pick-up at the end.
Includes 3 nights bed and breakfast in guesthouse/hotel accommodation, 3 days cycling with car parking, transport to the start and pick-up at the end of the tour. Also includes emergency back-up, luggage transfers, detailed notes and maps. PLEASE NOTE: The only meal included in the tour price is breakfast.
This tour is designed for people living in the UK as a way of completing the ultimate cycling tour across Northern England in one long weekend . You and your bike will be transported from Penrith (just off the M6) to the start of the route at Whitehaven or Workington. This predominately traffic-free route is Britain’s most popular long-distance cycle ride, crossing Northern England from Coast to Coast. Enjoy the (relatively!) gentle route through the Lake District before crossing the challenging Pennine Hills. Your efforts are rewarded with a nice easy finishing section to either Tynemouth or Wearmouth. You and your bikes will be picked-up from the finishing point to be transported back to Penrith, where you will retrieve your car and continue your journey home. An extra night stay can be arranged if required.
ARRIVAL DAY: You can arrive at the hotel near Penrith (easily reached from the M6) any time of the day. Your first 2 nights’ accommodation will be at this country hotel where you can leave your cars for the duration of the tour. In beautiful surroundings relax in the traditional bar or restaurants where meals and drinks are available all day. Overnight: Penrith, Cumbria.
DAY ONE: Whitehaven or Workington to Penrith. Distance approx. 51 miles (82 km). After breakfast you and your bikes will be transported to the beginning of the c2c ride. At either harbour you’ll do the traditional dipping of your rear wheel into the Irish Sea. Leaving the coast it is a traffic-free ride along disused railway lines, an ideal way to warm up. Then minor country roads with a few small hills take you into the Lake District National Park. The first big challenge is a climb over Whinlatter Pass to the busy tourist town of Keswick. Leaving Keswick is a very enjoyable section crisscrossing the river Greta on old metal railway bridges to Threlkeld. Cycling round the foot of spectacular Lakeland fells is a real joy as you approach the busy market town of Penrith where you will spend the rest of your day. Overnight: Penrith, Cumbria.
DAY TWO: Penrith to Stanhope. Distance approx. 43 miles (69 km). Rejoining the route on quiet country lanes you reach the foothills of the Pennines. Ahead is the big hill known as Hartside. This 3 mile climb has 3 things going for it; the fantastic views, a café at the top and 4 miles downhill on the other side. Descending down from Hartside can be tricky, so please make sure your brakes are in good order. You have a choice of 2 routes at the bottom, one less hilly than the other before reaching Nenthead where there is a café and a pub. Another climb takes you to the highest point of the c2c route at Black Hill. A steep downhill takes you into Allenheads where there is another pub and café for refreshments before tackling a climb onto a wild and remote moorland section. Then a long exhilarating downhill leads to your next overnight stop, Stanhope. Your evening meal can be obtained from various takeaways in the town or hire a taxi to take you to a nearby hotel or pub for a sit-down meal. Overnight: Stanhope, Co Durham.
DAY THREE: Stanhope to Tynemouth or Wearmouth. Distance approx. 46 miles (74 km). There is a steep awakening for today’s ride with a 2 mile climb up a hill aptly named Crawleyside. On a clear day the views from the top are breathtaking, making the climb honestly worthwhile. At the top there is (believe it or not) another café to have a cup of tea and celebrate no more hills to climb. From here there is another exhilarating downhill section along the Waskerley Way. This very pleasant ride is traffic-free all the way to the end of the route. Riding alongside the River Tyne or the river Wear the route takes you right into the heart of the bustling cities of Newcastle or Sunderland. With impressive bridges and buildings all along as you cycle, with plenty of opportunities to stop for refreshments. You will be met at Tynemouth or Wearmouth to be transported back to Penrith where you will pick-up your car from the hotel and continue your journey.
RAIL TRAVEL from LONDON to WHITEHAVEN (NOT included in tour price): There is an hourly train service from London (Kings Cross) to Whitehaven (usually changing at Carlisle).
RAIL TRAVEL from NEWCASTLE to LONDON (NOT included in tour price): There is an hourly train service from Newcastle to London (Kings Cross).
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 B cycling: Between 43 - 51 miles (69 - 82kms) a day. You will start cycling about 10am and finish at approx. 4pm. These grades are for guidance only and will depend on weather conditions and your fitness.