Coast to Coast Cycling

Whitehaven / Whitby

A challenging route from the Irish Sea to the North Sea.

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 The Sea to Sea (C2C) can start at either Whitehaven or Workington, and finish on the North Sea coast in Sunderland or Tynemouth.

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 interesting tan lines and a licence to eat and drink as much as you like. 

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