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Cycling the C2C — spectacular wilderness from coast to coast

Cycling the C2C — spectacular wilderness from coast to coast

Bike Touring Collection by komoot

3-6

days

3-6 h

/ day

165 mi

11,150 ft

11,300 ft

Picture this: cycling around magnificent lakes set amongst green rolling fells, climbing over moody hilltops with panoramic views and pedaling through historic mining towns and villages – it comes as no surprise that the Sea to Sea Cycle route has become one of the UK’s most popular long-distance cycle routes.

The iconic Sea to Sea (also known as C2C) Route will guide you 140 miles (230 km) from the edge of the Irish Sea to the North Sea. Starting in Whitehaven, you will pass through some of the UK’s most stunning scenery such as the Lake District National Park, the Eden Valley, and the Pennines, before arriving in Tyneside.

This Collection will guide you along the C2C route in seven stages. Although the route can be ridden in both directions, we recommend following it from west to east as the gradients are more gradual and you are more likely to enjoy a tailwind.

The C2C is suitable for any level of rider with a relatively good basic condition whether you are a cycling club enthusiast or family of novice bikers. Just bear in mind that you will have to do some climbing – the highest point of the route is over 610 meters (2,000 feet). To make things easier, there are various companies offering assisted cycles if you don’t want to carry your panniers.

Mostly following quiet country lanes and traffic-free cycle paths, any type of bike is suitable for your ride, although there are some optional off-road sections which may require thicker tyres.

Each section finishes in a town or village with all the facilities needed for a pleasant stay. Thanks to the route’s popularity, there are many accommodation options, cafes and restaurants that are geared towards cyclists, so you will always find a bike rack or bike shop nearby.

You can travel directly to the starting point in Whitehaven via train from Manchester, London Euston, Carlisle and Edinburgh. Don’t forget to book a space for your bike before you travel. To travel more comfortably, you could rent a bike from Whitehaven when you arrive. Bike rental shops then offer a pickup service to return your bike when you reach Tyneside.

For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/stations/whitehaven
For information about Whitehaven, visit: visit-whitehaven.co.uk

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    02:20
    22.1 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,200 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Waves crash against Whitehaven’s shore, colourful wildflowers blanket vast hay meadows, crystal-clear lakes glisten amongst emerald hills – your first day of cycling the C2C from Whitehaven to Tyneside will show you some of Northern England’s most magnificent spots.

    You will leave Whitehaven on a well-surfaced former railway line which takes you for 10 miles (16 km) from the coast …

  • Intermediate
    01:35
    12.3 mi
    7.7 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    “You may leave the Lake District, but once you’ve been, it’ll never leave you,” famous poet Williams Wordsworth once said about the lakes. On stage two of the C2C, you will understand why as you cycle 11 miles (19 km) further into the heart of the stunning Lake District National Park.

    Setting off from Lorton village, you will climb 3 …

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  • Difficult
    03:02
    28.3 mi
    9.3 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage three of the C2C cycle route leads you away from the Lake District and closer towards the Pennines. You will cycle further through spectacular scenery and visit intriguing historical monuments such as ancient stone circles and ruined castles along the way.

    Today, you will cover 27 miles (45 km) from Keswick to Penrith. The route becomes hillier as you …

  • Difficult
    02:42
    23.1 mi
    8.6 mph
    2,250 ft
    1,800 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On stage four of your adventure, you will pass 23 miles (37 km) through the beautiful Eden district into the Pennine mountains. With 690 meters (2263 feet) of elevation gain, you will warm your legs up for the challenging mountainous terrain that is to come.

    Setting off from Penrith, you will head north through the luscious Eden Valley, following the …

  • Difficult
    02:27
    20.1 mi
    8.2 mph
    2,600 ft
    2,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Serpentine roads carve through magnifcent peaks, long downhill stretches with panoramic views, and historic villages – stage five of the C2C is a beautiful day of adventure. With 750 meters (2460 feet) of elevation gain and four climbs, this is the toughest section of the route. But, you will be rewarded with spectacular views over the Pennine mountains.

    Starting from …

  • Intermediate
    03:29
    29.8 mi
    8.6 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,675 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Leaving the Pennine mountains gradually behind you, stage six of the C2C will guide you 29 miles (48 km) through sweeping moorland from Rookhope to Consett passing pretty villages, impressive viaducts and multiple cafes along the way.

    Your journey begins with one last climb as you depart from Rookhope. At the top, you can marvel at the panoramic view over …

  • Intermediate
    02:44
    29.1 mi
    10.6 mph
    575 ft
    1,375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Meandering rivers, buzzing cycling cafes, bustling cities, and ancient castles – your final day of cycling the C2C will lead you 28 miles (46 km) through luscious countryside and thriving suburbs towards the cultural metropolis of Newcastle Upon Tyne and the North Sea.

    Today, you can enjoy a relaxed ride, with more elevation lost than gained. There are also plenty …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    165 mi
  • Duration
    18:20 h
  • Elevation
    11,150 ft11,300 ft

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Cycling the C2C — spectacular wilderness from coast to coast