How long to take?
The majority of C2C trips are spread over 3 or 4 days but many people do the ride over a longer (or shorter) period of time. It is perfectly possible to complete the whole of the C2C within a single day although for a sub 24 hour C2C you need to have trained rigorously. However some like to spread the ample pleasures of the trip over 5, 6 or even 7 days. Many do it with the whole family while others like to leave enough time to immerse themselves in the geography and culture of this untouched corridor of wilderness that links the Irish Sea with the North Sea.
We thoroughly recommend taking as much time as you have got on Britain’s most popular leisure route.
We receive many emails asking for advice on how many days the ride should take. There is no definitive answer as every cyclist is different, with differing expectations and requirements. However we have set out below some possible schedules which you may wish to follow, including places to places to stop off.
These are, of course, only intended to act as suggestions and are open to change depending on how much time you have, what you wish to achieve and (importantly) your level of fitness. We have listed the start and finish points of the ride as Whitehaven and Sunderland purely because that is the route that most C2Cers choose to ride.
However there are growing numbers tackling the route from the scenic start of the Coast to Coast walk, at St Bees & Egremont.
NB all distances given below are to the nearest mile or so.
2 Day Trip
Day One …Whitehaven to Alston – approx. distance 70 miles
- two big climbs – Whinlatter and Hartside – rest of route flat to undulating
Day Two. On to Sunderland – approx. distance 59 miles
- four big climbs in the first 18 miles before the route levels out for the last 40 miles
3 Day Trip
Day One … Whitehaven to Greystoke/Penrith/Langwathby – approx. distance 50 miles
- one big climb at Whinlatter rest of route reasonably undulating
Day Two … Greystoke/Penrith/Langwathby to Allenheads/Stanhope – approx. distance 40 miles
- climbs up Hartside, out of Garrigill and Black Hill. A tough day over very hilly terrain
Day Three … Allenheads/Stanhope to Sunderland – approx. distance 45 miles
- climb out of Allenheads and then Rookhope Incline (or Crawleyside if going via Stanhope) then its level or downhill all the way to the finish
4 Day Trip
Day One … Whitehaven to Mungrisdale – approx. distance 39 miles – slightly undulating ride with the one climb at Whinlatter
Day Two … Mungrisdale to Alston – approx. distance 37 miles
- big climb up to Hartside then downhill to Alston
Day Three … Alston to Castleside/Consett – approx. distance 34 miles
- climbs out of Alston, Black Hill, Allenheads and Rookhope – the toughest day
Day Four … Castleside/Consett to Sunderland – approx. distance 25 miles
- the last day and after yesterday a very easy one- level or downhill to Sunderland
5 Day Trip
Day One … Whitehaven to Keswick – approx. distance 30 miles - one big climb at Whinlatter then downhill to Keswick
Day Two … Keswick to Langwathby – approx. distance 28 miles
- slightly undulating day but apart from Fell Lane in Penrith nothing too serious
Day Three … Langwathby to Allenheads – approx. distance 29 miles
- climbs up Hartside, Garrigill and Black Hill – a tough third day!
Day Four … Allenheads to Consett – approx. distance 26 miles
- a climb out of Allenheads and also Rookhope ( or Crawleyside if going via Stanhope)
Day Five … Consett to Sunderland – approx. distance 25 miles
- easy peasy – level or downhill all the way!
As mentioned earlier these timings and stop-offs are merely guidelines. Please feel free to plan your own itinerary. That is what this website is for. That and enjoying a fabulous coast-to-coast crossing. You can even try winging it and seeing where you end up, but only do this if you are prepared to camp as accommodation is often full.
For more ideas on choosing the number of days in which to attempt the C2C visit the related links page and read other peoples C2C journals for their ideas and experiences. Or get the Coast to Coast Cycle Routes book, on sale here.