Everything you need to know about the coast to coast cycle - BookitList

Everything you need to know about the coast to coast cycle

One of the most iconic and scenic cycling challenges on these shores, The Coast to Coast cycle, also known as C2C, encompasses some of northern England's most beautiful scenery, from charming villages to mountains, lakes, valleys and moorlands.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the coast to coast cycle.

What is the coast to coast cycle?

As the name suggests, the coast-to-coast cycling challenge involves crossing the full breadth of the country by pedal power alone.

Although there are a number of possible options, the most popular route begins on the edge of the Irish Sea, in Cumbria, England's northwestern-most country, crossing the dramatic rugged landscapes of the Lake District and the Pennines, before ending in Tynemouth, on the fringes of the North Sea.

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Photo by Gemma Evans

How far is the coast to coast cycle?

The journey totals nearly 140 miles, or around 225 KM. It also involves a number of gruelling climbs, with a total ascent of 3000m!

How long does the coast to coast cycle take?

Although some riders attempt the journey over 2 days, or in some rare cases, a single day, the majority of people will choose 3-5 days. Our tour takes 4 days in total, with 1 day for pick up and preparation, and the remaining three days for cycling.

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Photo by Juliette Herlem

How to prepare for the coast to coast cycle?


The challenge is designed for regular cyclists who are comfortable cycling long distances (up to 50 miles per day) along with some pretty tough ascents!

If you're up for the challenge but are new to long-distance cycling it's important to ensure that you train properly before you attempt it.

Begin with 10-mile rides, building them up slowly until they reach 50 miles. It's also essential to incorporate some hills in your longer rides. Try to find routes that encompass a range of hills, from longer, gentler ones to shorter, steep ones. Adding shorter hill reps once a week is also a great idea. Try and find a hill that isn't super steep, and takes between 5 to 10 minutes to ascend. Cycle up it a number of times (freewheeling back down), building up your reps over time.

Everyone who signs up for our tour receives a free 8-week training plan to help them achieve the necessary base fitness level!

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Photo by Sam Barber

What you'll need

  • Bicycle - Some tours provide bicycles, but otherwise you might need to provide your own. We recommend a Premium Hybrid Road Bike, such as the ones we provide on our tour. If you're providing you're own, make sure it is properly checked and serviced prior to departure.

  • Tool kit (If not provided) - tyre levers, two spare inner tubes, Allen keys, chain link, and stick-on patches.

  • Bike lights (If not provided) & charger / spare batteries

  • Cycling helmet

  • Gloves (we recommend gel mitts)

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket

  • Short sleeve cycling top & shorts

  • Base layer

  • Socks & underwear

  • Cycling shoes

  • Sunglasses

  • Sun cream

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Photo by Mattia Cioni

What is the coast to coast cycle route?

There are a number of options, but our tour follows a classic and popular route that begins in Cumbria and ends in Tynemouth.

Day 1

You'll be collected from your chosen pick-up point and driven to the Cumbrian town of Penrith, where you'll have the remainder of the day to do as you please. Explore the town's landmarks such as the famed 14th-century castle, or relax and prepare to begin your challenge the following morning.

Day 2

After an early breakfast, you'll head to nearby Whitehaven where you'll begin your challenge in earnest. Heading east, you'll take in some of the most beautiful scenery the Lake District has to offer, before making a steep ascent into Whinlatter forest, and, after a short refreshment break, descending into Keswick before finishing the day in Penrith where you'll spend the night.

Day 3

Our third day is all about the Pennines. We'll pass the River Eden and Landwathby, ascending 3/4 miles to Hartside Pass, where we'll enjoy some truly spectacular views. Next, it's a
freewheeling descent to the charming village of Alston, before making one of our most challenging ascents up through Nenthead into Northumberland, and the highest point of the C2C route. Finally, we'll make our descent into the village of Allenheads, where we'll spend the night.

Day 4

Our final day begins with the moorlands of Country Durham. We'll follow disused railway lines, into Newcastle, where the famous Tyne will be our guide for the final stretch of our journey. We'll depart the city, following the river through Wallsend (home to the easternmost part of Hadrian's Wall) and North Shields, making one last climb, before ascending into Tynemouth, to reach our destination: The North Sea.

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Photo by James Brown

Join us on a memorable cycle adventure!

Is the Coast to Coast Cycle on your Bookitlist, then what are you waiting for?

Join us and a group of like-minded souls as we cross the full breadth of Northern England by pedal power alone, summiting peaks, passing through villages and valleys, and making memories that we'll never forget!