- From - to: Whitehaven or Workington to Newcastle or Sunderland (Irish Sea off Cumbrian Coast to North Sea off Northumbrian Coast). Map includes Penrith-Carlisle Link to Scottish route.
- Distance: 136 miles. Map shows 202 miles of route, of which 79 are traffic-free.
- Terrain: Minor roads, disused railway lines, off-road tracks and specially constructed cycle paths
- Categorisation: Challenging
- National Cycle Network: Route 7, 14 and 71
- Please note: One of the bridges on this route at Keswick has been washed away in Storm Desmond on 6 December 2015. We are working to put in place a diversion but we advise not using this section of the route at the moment. For more information on road closures please visit Cumbria County Council's website.
This route was developed by Sustrans and partners and opened in 1994. Often considered to be the UK's most popular 'challenge' cycle route, it travels between the Irish Sea and the North Sea, from Cumbria to Tyneside.
Starting in Whitehaven or Workington, and finishing in Sunderland, Wearside or Tynemouth, the route passes through the northern Lake District and travels to the pretty town of Keswick. From here it heads to Penrith and the Eden Valley before climbing the Pennines, known 'the roof of England'. Taking you through old mining towns, the route descends to the railway paths of County Durham. It includes Black Hill, the highest point on the National Cycle Network (609m) and the Consett-Sunderland railway path and sculpture trail.
The route follows:
- National Route 71 between Whitehaven or Workington and Penrith
- National Route 7 between Penrith, Consett and Sunderland OR
- National Route 14 between Consett and Tynemouth
The route is best ridden from west to east to take advantage of the prevailing winds and also the gradients are kinder this way round, with longer downhill sections and shorter uphills. Most riders follow the tradition of dipping their back wheel in the Irish Sea at the start of the journey and their front wheel in the North Sea when they finish.
All bikes are suitable to tackle the C2C. Along the route where there are off-road sections, but you always have the option of taking the surfaced alternative.
There are lots of companies who provide supported cycle rides if you don't want to carry all your equipment, we recommend Saddle Skedaddle.
Artwork on the route
Sustrans has commissioned a number of public artworks for the route, including Tony Cragg's 'Terris Novalis' and four steel cows by Sally Matthews at Consett.
For maps, guides and shirts visit our shop.
Pease be aware that the Stanhope Moor will be closed and cyclists will have to follow the signed diversion on the following dates:
- Monday 14 August
- Tuesday 15 August
Friday 18 August
Saturday 19 August
Friday 25 August
Saturday 26 August
Tuesday 29 August
Friday 1 September
Saturday 2 September
Friday 8 September
Saturday 9 September
Wedsnesday 13 September
Thursday 14 September
Wedsnesday 20 September
Thursday 21 September
Monday 25 September
Friday 29 September
Saturday 30 September
Friday 6 October
Friday 6 October
Saturday 7 October
Wednesday 11 October
Thursday 12 October
Thursday 19 October
Thursday 26 October
Friday 27 October
- Wednesday 1 November
Whitehaven Workington to Newcastle Sunderland Cycle Route Map.
The UK's most popular challenge cycle route passing through the northern Lake District before climbing the Pennines, and descending to the railway paths of County Durham.