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Cycle from Coast to Coast with a Cicerone Guidebook

Cover of The C2C Cycle Route
6 Feb 2014
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
1st Published
14 Jul 2011
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The C2C Cycle Route

The Coast to Coast bike ride

by Jeremy Evans
Book published by Cicerone Press

Guidebook to the Coast to Coast (C2C) Sustrans cycle route. The 140 mile route from Whitehaven or Workington to Tynemouth or Sunderland is mostly on cycle paths, forest tracks and minor roads with off-road options and taster day rides described. The cycle-friendly route is suitable for all abilities, and is described over 5 days.

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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
Weight: 200g

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The C2C cycle route first opened as a formal route in 1994. It is a cyclist’s version of Alfred Wainwright’s famous Coast to Coast Walk, but follows a shorter route with considerably fewer hills. The route was designed by Sustrans and is now the UK’s most popular long-distance cycle route.

The route in this guidebook is described from west to east, as this is often held to be the ‘best’ direction in which to cycle the C2C.

The C2C has two different start and finish points at both ends of the route – a choice between Whitehaven or Workington on the west coast and Tynemouth or Sunderland on the east coast.

The route can easily be completed in five days by those with a basic level of fitness. If you cycle further and faster, it’s possible to ride from sea to sea in four, three or two days.

Great care has been take to make the Coast to Coast as cycle friendly as possible. Approximately half of the route follows dedicated cycle paths or off-road tracks that are traffic free. Most of the other half follows quiet roads that are particularly well suited to cycling, allowing you to enjoy the ride with minimum stress or danger from traffic.

  • route described in 5 stages from west to east with variant first and final legs
  • 5 taster routes to give cyclists a flavour of the full C2C
  • off-road, variant and link routes also included
  • Seasons
    April through to October can be a wonderful time to ride the C2C, but spring or autumn can also provide gale-force winds and unseasonably low temperatures; summer is the best time for riding the C2C
  • Centres
    Whitehaven, Workington, Keswick, Langwathby, Nenthead, Consett, Sunderland, Tynemouth and places in between!
  • Difficulty
    accessible to any cyclist, whether over 1 or 5 days; however fit you are, do some training beforehand to get the most enjoyment from the ride
  • Must See
    Lake District and Pennine scenery; dramatic landscapes; interesting historical monuments, villages, towns and cities; great traffic-free cycle paths

February 2014

pp34; 142

Bike hire from Haven Cycles is now £40 for up to three days then £5 per day thereafter. Full contact details are:

Brian Robb
Haven Cycles
2 Preston Road
Tel: 01946 63263


Why do it?
Choosing your route
When to go
Getting there and getting back
Planning your itinerary
Specialist C2C companies
Where to stay
Choosing your bike
What to take
Food and drink
What to wear
Navigation and waymarking
Stamp collecting
Using this guide
The Route
Stage 1a Whitehaven to Keswick
Link route St Bees to the C2C
Stage 1b Workington to Keswick
Link route Whitehaven to Workington
Stage 2 Keswick to Langwathby
Stage 3 Langwathby to Nenthead
Stage 4 Nenthead to Consett
Stage 5a Consett to Sunderland
Stage 5b Consett to Tynemouth
Taster Routes
Route 1 Lakeland Loop
Route 2 West Coast Loop
Route 3 Western C2C Loop
Route 4 The Old Coach Road
Route 5 Penrith to Carlisle
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Suggested itineraries (4, 3 and 2 days)
Appendix C Useful contacts
Appendix D Riding the C2C from east to west
Appendix E Pre-ride bike medical
Appendix F Mending a puncture
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