Find your ideal cycling holiday
Sea to Sea - Whitehaven to Newcastle
11th July 2021 - 16th July 2021 (6 days)
The C2C can fairly claim to be the most popular and widely known long distance cycle route in the UK; thousands of people complete it every year. The route uses a mix of specially constructed cycle paths, off road tracks and minor roads, only occasionally straying onto main roads. Waymarked along its length, it is undoubtedly a challenge, containing several serious climbs. It can, however, be completed by those with less cycling experience when completed over 6 days (rather than the usual 3-4 days). The C2C cycle route map and the C2C Guide which are included in the holiday pack have been used to plan this cycling holiday.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Fleur Woolley
- Grade Leisurely
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Hotel, Guesthouse & Hostel
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 03634
Sunday 11th July
Meet at our guesthouse in Whitehaven before 6.30pm. Bikes will be stored in a garage, and we will have a short meeting at 7pm before walking to a local restaurant for dinner. Stay 1 night (guesthouse). Meals: D
Monday 12th July
Cycle to Keswick. It is a short ride from the guesthouse to the official start of the C2C route at the harbour. Using a combination of cycle tracks and quiet residential roads, we climb steadily out of Whitehaven and soon find ourselves in open countryside. We will reach Loweswater for lunch which should fortify us for our main climb of the day, which is up Whinlatter Pass. Refreshments and re-grouping at the top, after which we cycle downhill into Keswick. 33 miles. Stay 1 night (YHA Hostel). Meals: B D
Tuesday 13th July
Cycle to Penrith. We continue on the C2C climbing out of Keswick with a section on a railpath and some stretches on a cycle path at the side of the A66. We can choose to take the little jaunt up to The Mill Inn at Mungrisdale or keep straight on to the turn-off for Graystoke for lunch. From Graystoke the route is mainly down hill to Penrith. 23 miles. Stay 1 night (Premier Inn). Meals: B D
Wednesday 14th July
Cycle to Alston. We have a steady climb out of Penrith towards Little Salkeld for a morning break. Continue to Renwick where the we turn right towards Selah Bridge and Hartside. We soon see the Pennines loom into view. We climb steadily for 5 miles to the top of Hartside to be rewarded by spectacular views . Hopefully the cafe at the top will have reopened for a well earned refreshment stop. The other reward for the climbing is a 5 mile descent to Alston. 23 miles. Stay 1 night (YHA Hostel). Meals: B D
Thursday 15th July
Cycle to Parkhead Station. This is the hardest day of the tour as we climb and descend five times before the final climb of the day, said to be the hardest of the tour, being a gradient of 17%. 28 miles. Stay 1 night (shepherd's hut or shared guesthouse room). Meals: B D
Friday 16th July
Cycle to Newcastle. We ride from the front door of Parkhead Station down the Waskerley Way, which follows the old trackbed of the Stanhope & Tyne Railway, about 10 miles of gentle descent. It is a beautiful route passing through varied landscape, from exposed heather moorland leading to upland sheep farms and to the urban fringe. We cycle over the Hownsgill Viaduct to reach the iconic Terris Novalis sculpture with a view over to the site of the Consett steel works, once the largest in Europe. From here we continue downhill to the bright lights of Newcastle. 26 miles. Stay 1 night (riverside Hotel). Meals: B D
Saturday 17th July
Cycle to Tynemouth to the finish of the C2C route which is beside Tynemouth Castle & Priory. 11 miles. From here it is 11 miles back to Newcastle Station where the tour ends. If you don't want a 20 mile ride today you could choose to go straight to Newcastle station, which is signposted from the C2C route and about a mile from the Hotel. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
The above itinerary should be treated as an indication of what is to be accomplished during the tour and not as a contractual obligation.
Accommodation & Meals
Two nights are spent in a guesthouse and two nights in a hotel sharing rooms. Two further nights are spent in YHA hostels, sharing a dormitory. At one of the guesthouses one or two people may have to sleep in a shepherd's hut. No single rooms are available. Breakfasts and dinners are included. Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking.
No vehicle support is provided, and participants will need to carry their own luggage.
Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your Cycling UK membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks. Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.
The price of £575 is based on a minimum number of 9 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 2nd May 2021, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- 2 nights guesthouse, 2 nights hotel, 2 nights hostel sharing room/dormitory
- 6 breakfasts, 6 dinners
- Sustrans C2C Map and Guide book
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to the start and from the finish of the tour
- Drinks with dinner
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £58 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £517 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 2nd May 2021.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 2nd May 2021
From 2nd May 2021 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
We follow the classic Sea to Sea (C2C) cycle route from Whitehaven via Newcastle to Tynemouth, then return to Newcastle where the tour ends. Although this route is considered to be a 'Challenge' route, we will be completing it over 6 days, so the pace will be easy with plenty of time to explore along the way. Starting in Whitehaven on the Cumbrian Coast, we pass through the north end of the Lake District, the Eden Valley and then the North Pennines (the 'roof of England'), before heading down to the east coast at Tynemouth. The tour passes through perhaps some of the most beautiful empty countryside to be found in England. The route is made up of mostly quiet, country roads and cycle paths (off-road tracks and disused railway lines), with only a few, mainly short sections of main road through urban areas.
Rides & Rest Days
The question of having to 'keep up' is not necessarily relevant, as we don't insist on everyone riding together. Tour members are free to form their own small groups of riders with similar ability or riding style, allowing everyone to cycle at a pace comfortable to them. Tour members are also more than welcome to ride with the Tour Manager. It is helpful if you have had some previous experience of cycling on Sustrans 'Challenge' routes. Fairly fit people who have done other physical activities should be able to complete the tour without too much difficulty, but it is important that you are fit enough to undertake a tour with no support vehicle. Detailed route descriptions will be sent approx. three weeks before departure.
Accommodation & Meals
The accommodation is a mixture of guesthouses, hostels and hotels with the possibility of one night glamping in a shepherd's hut, all chosen for their location rather than for any particular amenities they might offer. Shared twin or triple rooms will be used at the guesthouses and hotels, with small dormitories and rooms used at the hostels. We will endeavour to place couples together, but this may not always be possible due to the makeup of the group and the accommodation available. No single rooms are available.
Trains provide the ideal way to travel to the start and back from the finish of this tour. If you really feel the need to use a car it may be possible to park your car at the last hotel (there would be a daily charge for this) and then travel by train to Whitehaven, which takes approx. three hours with one change in Carlisle.
The maximum number of participants will be 11 excluding the Tour Manager. Most of the group are expected to be novice cyclists, but more experienced cycle tourists who would like an easy paced tour are more than welcome.
Weather & Clothing
Be prepared for a range of weather, from very warm to quite chilly, with the possibility of wind and rain. Bring appropriate clothing to ensure that you can remain warm and (reasonably) dry. Sun cream and insect repellent are recommended. You will also want to bring some lightweight casual clothing for wearing in the evening.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards are optional but show courtesy to those who are following you in wet weather. Lights should not be necessary. New tyres are recommended of at least 28mm diameter. Participants will be expected to carry each day sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs.
Each participant is expected to bring, and carry, all of their own clothing, personal items and spares. You are advised to do some riding before the tour with a similar load to that which you will be carrying during the tour to get a feel for how your bike will handle. Helmets are recommended but are your personal choice. Please consider wearing hi-viz clothing.
Maps & Guides
The Sustrans Ultimate C2C pack is included in the price. This pack contains the 'Sea to Sea Cycle Route Map' plus 'The Ultimate C2C Guide'. You may also find the OS Landranger maps sheets 85, 88, 89, 90 and 91 useful though they are expensive and rather bulky. GPS tracks (in standard gpx format) can be provided for each day’s route.