Coast to Coast Cycling

Whitehaven / Whitby

A challenging route from one side of England to the other.

Pack plenty of snack bars (and also a camera) for this two-wheeled odyssey across the top of England. The C2C – or ‘sea-to-sea’ as it’s also known – is a 147-mile (236 km) signposted cycle route that traditionally starts in the Cumbrian town of Whitehaven on the west coast, before taking you through the Lake District and on to Whitby on the eastern shore.

The mileage itself need not be that daunting – especially if you break it up into bite-size bits – but it’s the climbs en-route that turn your legs to jelly. The one to watch out for is the legendary Hartside Pass – an eight-kilometre uphill slog to the top of the Pennines. From the summit you can see all the way to Criffel in Scotland, around 45 miles (72 km) away.

Another place to look out for is Alston, the highest market town in England, where you can treat yourself to stay at the rather swish Alston House and maybe even an ale or three – apparently it’s good for muscle fatigue. After three to five days on the road, you’ll finally arrive on the other side, with a ferocious tan and a licence to eat as much as you like (and we’re not talking snack bars).

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