C2C Whitehaven to Tynemouth

Posted on
  • The C2C from Whitehaven to Sunderland is my dream ride and something I have wanted to cycle since 2005.

    It is 140 miles in total, with quite a few hills. The aim is to do this over 2 days.

    I've been very brave/presumptuous and booked myself on a ride for September this year, as I know places sell out reasonably early. Hope I can continue the good work so far and I am not tempting fate!

    The details are here if anyone wants to join me, although the website doesn't appear to be fully updated with this years details. Before anyone asks, no I am not riding fixed!


  • Go for it, are you doing it fixed? :)

  • Thanks. No, not *planning*to do it fixed, but if my new geared bike doesn't come through, it could very well happen.

  • Sorry I was teasing about fixed, should be lovely I fancy c2c but finishing in Whitby.

  • I know ;)

    You can always come on this one and then cycle down to Whitby. (If you do I highly reoommend Bothams tea rooms). My original plan was to cycle to Tynemouth, but the fact this ride is happening in September is just so right for me.

  • Im doing it the other way round after the schools break up in july
    4 days plenty down time in between riding allowed
    come along? wild camp, or pub stops, depending on weather

  • Ooh enjoy. I think if you do it the other way the wind is more of a problem, but over 4 days should be fun. Would love to join you but can't

    I might have to pull out altogether this year because of circumstances beyond my control. I will need to make a decision at the beginning of July because my sponsorship page will need to be online by then if I want to have hope in hell of reaching target for my favourite charity.

  • Sadly, I've had to pull out. A bit too much migrainous vertigo pushed me back into the realms of novice cyclist and there is no way I will be physically able to complete this at the moment. BUT I do plan to do this next year. Dream on baby, dream on.

  • Sorry Shoosh. It will still be waiting for you. I did it east westin 3 days last week.
    Advice-get a back up vehicle.
    In the 19th century the Draisienne was invented to go faster on 2 wheels than a pedestrian, cyclotourists never heard about that as the pace when fully loadedis slower than walking. .... sorry call it bikepacking, touring, whatever it takes the fun out of riding bikes. Speed, fitness and freedom for me rather than slogging it up hills in granny ring.
    Positive note- the pennines are scenic, the bits where it was knar on the tops like hartside were knar.
    Sustrans routes on railways rock, but everywhere else are wank, signage is pitiful and your better off with a proper map.
    England's C2C is teensy. Keep up the riding.

  • Oh yeah bivvying in the right conditions is superb, but you can do that anywhere #microadventure

  • Oh you lucky, lucky thing. Well jel as they say.
    The people I am cycling with have a support vehicle which carries all our gear to the campsite, and obviously support you during the ride. Yes, to the proper map.

    Not too worried about the weather, I want to feel the wind in my hair, the rain on my face and enjoy the scenery of such a fantastic place.

    Did you honestly expect Hartside to be anything else but knar? That's why there is a cafe selling homemade cakes at the top.

  • Heh. No i didn't expect anything else. Cloud base at 400 metres is something to become used to in the U.K
    Theres a new phrase im liking more than shredding the knar- the Mountain Weather Information Service say 'pulses' of rain, yep, just about sums it up.

  • ' pulses' of rain >

    Pulses? Like lentils or chickpeas?

  • nah like, pulses of rain,

  • Finally, after too many setbacks, this is going to happen and I am going to cycle from Whitehaven to Tynemouth in 2018, but this time it will be over 3 days, not 2.

    I'll need to practice some hill climbs first though...

  • Now all booked and paid for. This is happening in 6 weeks time. So I’ve now got 6 weeks to get fit. Gulp!

    I’ve worked out that as long as I am up to doing 3 days of 3 consecutive rides of 30 miles, with some Hill training, I should be okay-ish but if anyone has got any tips on training or prep I’d be happy to hear them.

  • Shit time flies.
    Funny to see this again as I've literally today entered the Lakes 5 days again. 5 races over a week. This time not doing the c2c E-W like 2014 though.
    That timing will be fine for you covering serious distance each day. If I were you I'd just make sure you get some hill climbing done with the same load on. Then you will know how much fun gets stolen by cycle touring.
    Since this thread started I'd now go for an ebike to cycle tour. Take the shit bit out of it on the climbs.
    Good luck with the planning.

  • I realised I forgot to update this.
    Well I made the start, even though I had yet anothet setback only a few weeks before.

    I’d had a discussion before going about using the bike supplied or taking my own, so I took my own. All the other cyclists used the bikes provided but brought their own saddle and pedals. No one had any issues with the hired bikes.

    The whole thing was amazing, awesome and so much better than cycling in London and the surrounding areas.

    Everywhere welcomed cyclists and on the first cycle path out of Whitehaven, you’d think that people had been paid by the local tourist board as every one we passed said good morning and wished us luck.

    The hills - no amount of training in flat ol’ London can prepare you for the hills. Long climbs over 1-3 miles and the sheer incline in Penrith first thing in the morning on cold legs - ouch.

    The weather was hot and sunny but you’ll see in the link on Day 2 the video of the wind near Hartside, which was pushing my fellow cyclists back up the hill on the descent, meaning they used a lot of energy trying to cycle down when they should have been freewheeling.

    Overall I cycled 69/140 miles thanks to a deep quad sprain (which I am still struggling with).

    I’ve written up the three days and have loads of photos etc via my sponsorship page.
    (Its worth checking out the sponsorship link just to see what I did when I got to the top of

    If you already sponsored me THANK YOU, if you didn’t, I’d really like to make 100% of my target and just £5 will make a difference.

    All the photos https://photos.app.goo.gl/8y6pZ6TBdBtsMP­Jd7

    Also the local tour support vehicle was Velocene Adventures. He is based up there but has organised worldwide cycle tours too so definitely worth making a note of, only because his rides include Granny’s home made ginger cake. https://velocene.com/en/

    To anyone thinking of doing the C2C do it. But leave your road bike at home along with your ego. This is definitely a ride, not a race.

  • Just came across this thread or i would have commented earlier. 4 yrs ago, according to my fb feed, i cycled the C2C but spread it over 3 days and based myself in Hexham and used the trains to get to the stages. I used the reiver route which effectively follows Hadrian's Wall roughly. I used my singlespeed with a freewheel hub because hills. It was pretty good and the wall route is eminently doable. The best bit is by far getting off the train at Whitehaven with a dozen blokes pushing tricked out MTB and Road bikes who then see the overweight bald idiot with a singlespeed and a C2C t shirt with just giving info.
    'Jesus you're not doing it on that'
    'Weight saving fella, that derailleur looks heavy'

    and away I went.

    The route i used was significantly less hilly than yours and the daily distance was reduced to about 40-50 miles. Even then i was ruined at the end of it.

  • @CompoS - wish you had commented earlier. Would have been good to speak to someone who had done something similar.
    But a less hilly route... not sure that's the true C2C.
    These are the Strava Hill profiles for what I managed on the first two days...

    2 Attachments

    • Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 11.28.17.png
    • Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 13.21.00.png
  • oddly i was due to do the original route through the hills with a mate but he cancelled last minute as his missus was heavily pregnant and he didnt fancy being miles away in case she hatched. So we called an audible on the morning and swapped to the wall route. Theres still some climbing but no where near as much.

  • I did this recently albeit reversing direction...theres a good reason for people heading west to east as this travels with prevailing winds. That being said traveling east to west worked for me as i wanted to have some time in the Lake District afterwards

    I did the trip loaded over a couple of days which was pretty ambitious (for me)

    I was expecting (based on other alpine rides) a rise to a peak and then downhill but what you have here is a series of rises and the Western section is pretty up and down other than the final leg into Whitehaven. A very different story if youre doing the traditional route as youre essentially heading along the Tyne River

    I was extremely lucky with the weather with sun and barely a cloud in the sky...there were enough public toilets along the route which is a good thing as I was wild camping (relatively straight forward albeit something Im now very comfortable with).

    There were plenty of people riding in the other direction, a large proportion presumably doing it supported. There were some really lovely parts on the route on the northern edge of the Lake District which are worth savouring and arent overrun in quite the same way that other parts are.

    After finishing the ride, I was keen to check out the Lake District. There was the option of going around Broughton-in-Furness but opted to head over Hardknott Pass. The pass has a deserved reputation as one of the steepest streets in England along with Rosedale Chimney Bank so there was inevitably some pushing involved but also some amazing views.

    After the Lake District it was down to the Furness Peninsula, down through Morecambe (Sunderland Peninsula is a particular highlight) over to Lancaster and an overnight trip too Kirky Lonsdale

  • Good pics! Spotted all the extra bits you got in the lakes.

    This version (Ravenglass to Tynemouth) of the C2C is great for anyone wanting to start touring/multi day riding. Can be ridden on any kind of bike. Managed it with some mates in 2 long days on a 60's bike with a 42/53 + 13-23t block, yeah there are some grindy hills between Carlisle and Hexham, but otherwise totally fine. Can be done in 3 leisurely days. Can also make it into a loop by dropping down the Eastern coast then back across pennines on the other C2C route finishing back at (St Bee's, but easy to just end up at Ravenglass).

  • Sorry for the thread necro; do you (or anyone else here) happen to have route recommendations for cycling around the lakes, and particularly for going over Hardknott? Ideally with London-accessible train stations as a starting point and doable within a weekend so I don't have to take leave; doesn't have to be the full C2C!

    Have done the C2C before but with a friend who wasn't as keen a cyclist so we took the easier/shorter route, and ever since hearing a friend talk about going over Hardknott I've been dying to experience it for myself (though I doubt I'll make it up without pushing, either).. I am aware of the Fred Whitton but am not the strongest of cyclists so as little climbing/effort prior to Hardknott would be much appreciated!

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

C2C Whitehaven to Tynemouth

Posted by Avatar for Shoosh @Shoosh