What to Expect on your Coast to Coast Cycling Trip
This tour is an iconic journey and a well loved route from West to East across the North of England. Starting from Whithaven, the route crosses the Lake District in all its majesty and then continues through the North Pennines, finally arriving in Tynemouth. Drink in the wonderful views of the Lakeland fells and lakes before entering a wilder landscape as you cross the country, remembering to dip your back wheel in the Irish Sea as you start and your front in the North Sea as you finish.
We will help you draw up the itinerary that is right for you. The Coast to Coast is a special cycle and the enjoyment of it can be further enhanced by careful planning to fit your own unique requirements, aims, fitness, experience, and any time constraints.
No Hassle Self-Guided Cycling Tours
We take all the hassle out of cycling by including all luggage transfers, booking and organising all accommodation, maps, Ride With GPS instructions, and recommending iconic places to visit along the way.
Step back in time on this idyllic cycle route through the heart of the English countryside, over passes and moors, through villages, tracing ancient trading and pilgrimage routes, through woodlands and valleys, and all on quiet roads and paths with panoramic views around every corner. This linear journey is the perfect way to discover England at its finest.
Coast to Coast Cycling Photos
C2C Self-Guided Cycling Itinerary
Day 1Whitehaven To Keswick
Following a pick up from either Newcastle Railway Station or Whitehaven Railway Station, we’ll set you up to your bikes and give you an introduction to your tour – starting by “dipping” your rear wheel in the Irish sea at the marina to mark the start of the trip (it’s tradition to dip your front wheel in at the end in Tynemouth). You’ll head off soon after 11am by following disused railway lines and minor roads out of town for a nice leg stretcher all the way to Keswick. There is one significant climb at Whinlatter, with a few minor climbs earlier on.
Mileage: 33 miles
Day 2Keswick to Alston
From Keswick you will head up to Castlerigg Stone Circle, a great place for a break to walk around the ancient circle and drink in the panoramic views of the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat. Among the earliest and most atmospheric British circles, it was raised in about 3000 BC during the Neolithic period. The route then follows stunning tracks and minor roads through the hills until you reach the market town of Penrith. From Penrith you will see the Pennine hills, often referred to as ‘The Backbone of England’ in front of you to the East. Riding through Langwathby and following the route up over Hartside you’ll find a perfect café stop with stunning views looking west over the hills. From here it’s pretty much a downhill ride all the way to Alston and your accommodation for the evening.
Mileage: 44 miles
Day 3Alston to Stanhope
Today is a shorter and hillier ride full of fantastic hill-top views. You’ll rejoin the route at Garrigill, which stands close to the source of the River South Tyne and head over the steep 20% climb to Nenthead which leads you onto a wonderful roller-coaster series of hills with breath-taking views from each mini-peak – Allenheads, Rookhope and finally Stanhope, arriving to your accommodation in the evening. Keep an eye out for the disused lead mines along the way!
Mileage: 22 miles
Day 4Stanhope to Tynemouth
Beginning the day there is a tough climb out of Stanhope, however after that it’s a great downhill all the way to the River Tyne at Swalwell. From there you follow the winding river, through Newcastle, complete with all of its stunning bridges and finish on the North side of the river at Tynemouth, steeped in history and looked over by the impressive Priory and Castle which dominates the headland. At Tynemouth, after dipping your wheel in the North Sea (and perhaps a pint to celebrate!), we will transfer you back to Newcastle for the end of your tour. Many choose to stay an extra night in Tynemouth to rest their legs and explore this maritime village and scenic surroundings. We would be delighted to book in additional accommodation for you; please get in contact with us.
Mileage: 38 miles
Download Detailed Intinerary
For full information about this tour and to find out all you need to know, download your copy of the detailed itinerary by clicking the button below.
Travel Insurance, highly recommended for an active holiday
Why choose a self-guided cycling holiday?
With exceptionally well-planned routes, our self-guided tours are designed to suit the independent traveler or groups of travelers; those who wish to cycle at their own pace and speed. With GPS (our routes downloaded onto your phones) and maps, we detail all of the points of interests, lunch stops, cafes – and of course pubs! Bike at your leisure, safe in the knowledge that a support team and emergency support vehicle is on standby
How do I get to Whitehaven, Penrith or Newcastle for the start of the tour?
Whitehaven, where our tour begins, is a small, former mining town and port on the Irish Sea, which has train connections from Manchester and to the South, London. Connections also from Carlisle to the North.
Pre-trip overnight in Penrith: where there is access to the North West Mainline. Guests will be picked up at 10.00am on the first morning of the tour
Newcastle or Tynemouth: Guests who are driving often decide to leave their car here, to be picked up at the end of the tour. We will transport you from either on the day before the tour starts or guests can stay in Newcastle and transfer to Whitehaven early in the morning ready for a 11am start.
What is your Emergency Recovery?
If you do have a mechanical issue and are totally stuck, either physically, mentally or mechanically, then we offer an emergency recovery service (up to 4 hour response) to get you off the route and to safety. This service may be chargeable depending upon circumstances.
What are the Hotels like on the Coast to Coast Cycle?
We have handpicked a selection of hotels and bed and breakfasts in ideal locations so you can cycle into and out of your hotel to begin and end your walk each day, with no detours! With great access into towns and views over the Lake District, North Pennines these hotels and guest houses are the perfect place to rest your legs and relax during the evenings while on your tour.
Read M.W’s review of our hotels: “The accommodations were first rate — small inns scattered throughout the countryside. And the food — out of this world! […] It was so relaxing to have the whole trip prearranged.”