Sea to Sea
St Bees to Tynemouth in 2 days Cycling Code: SS3
We offer 4 holidays along the whole Sea to Sea Cycle Route. The long distance cycle ride is well waymarked and there are many variations on the route, so it can include some challenging mountain biking or just roads and cycleways. You will require a good level of fitness and a good touring bike to complete the route over 2 or 3 days, the shorter holidays are for the more serious cyclist.
The 144 mile Sea to Sea Cycle Route is probably the most popular and widely known long distance cycle route in Britain. It starts in Whitehaven (we use St Bees), running through the northern Lake District, it then climbs into the hill country of the North Pennines and onto the roof of England with grand views of the Durham Dales. It finishes in Tynemouth, near Newcastle upon Tyne on the North sea coast.
The route is well waymarked and there are many variations on the route, so it can include some challenging mountain biking or just roads and cycleways.
Of all our Sea to Sea cycling holidays this is the one for the more serious cyclist, covering the whole route in just 2 days! You will require an excellent level of fitness and a good touring bike.
|Day 1||Travel to St Bees for your first nights accommodation|
|Day 2||St Bees to Alston||82||132|
|Day 3||Alston to Tynemouth||62||100|
|Day 4||Depart from Tynemouth after breakfast|
St Bees – Whitehaven – Alston
Following the Cumbria/Hadrian cycle route from St Bees to Whitehaven for the first 4 miles you will then pick up the Sea to Sea cycle route from Whitehaven, a pleasant sea port with an attractive town. For the first 10 miles the route follows the Whitehaven to Ennerdale Railway Path, a well surfaced traffic-free trail. The route then climbs fell sides, follows lake shores and goes through Whinlatter Forest Park onto Keswick, passing through some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery.
On leaving Keswick you will ride along the delightful Keswick to Threlkeld rail trail, deep in the gorge of the river Greta. From Threlkeld the route skirts the slopes of Blencathra, one of Cumbria’s most distinctive mountains, en route for the hamlet of Mungrisdale. From here it continues on cycle paths and lanes through the fringes of the Lake District to the market town of Penrith and the village of Langwathby in the Eden Valley. (There is an alternative off road route across the Old Coach Road over Threlkeld Common, but this is not suitable for heavily laden bikes).
You then continue with a long climb up Hartside Pass into the North Pennines, known as England’s last wilderness. This is a huge, wild upland area characterised by open moorlands and plenty of wildlife. You then arrive at Alston for your nights stay, England’s highest market town.
Alston – Tynemouth
Today you will continue with a climb up Black Hill, the highest point on the Sea to Sea route and then it’s onto the old mining village of Allenheads. This section marks the end of the rough, hilly terrain of the Northern Pennines and the start of the industrial landscape of the north east. Although most of the route between Allenheads and Castleside is on lanes, the traffic is relatively light allowing you to enjoy the wild grandeur of the moorlands.
Between Castleside and Newcastle the route travels mainly on cycle paths alongside the river Tyne into Newcastle upon Tyne and onto your final destination, the north pier at Tynemouth, where this ride finishes.
Easy to Moderate
There are several rocky sections along this route which should be easy enough to tackle for most reasonably fit people. Goat Fell has a sheer drop on one side on the descent and a river crossing via stepping stones, this can be avoided in bad weather or for people with vertigo by taking the low route. The paths along the shore are not always clear but as the route follows the coast it is hard to get lost. As some sections are impassable at high tide it is important to check the tides before setting off. If in doubt use the alternative routes.
Terrain: A coastal path with a mostly rocky shoreline, some road sections (not very busy) and forest tracks. Depending on the tide the route can be sandy or shingly with some boulder fields that are slow going and can be tiring. Consider an itinerary with shorter days than you would normally choose to allow for this.
What’s it like underfoot? A mixture of road, rocky shoreline (which can be slippery after high tide or in wet weather) forest tracks and some constructed paths. A few sections may be muddy after heavy rain.
How Much Up & Down? Mostly flat, apart from the Goat Fell option which involves a climb of 874 meters (there is a get out at 630 meters). The alternative forest route between Lagg and Whiting Bay rises up to 250 meters.
Signposting: There is little signposting on the route.
Navigation: A compass is required if you do the Goat Fell section – the map is sufficient for the coastal paths.
Weather: You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views, but you must be prepared because the weather can change quickly. Good clothing and waterproofs are essential, but don't forget your sunhat, sunblock and shorts!
|Accommodation||Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs.
Full English or Continental breakfast.
|Guidebook||A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information, including details of services to be found along the route. For example, cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and telephones.|
|Maps||The appropriate map(s) covering the entire route|
|Personal Itinerary||A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.|
|Emergency Telephone Support||Should you get in to difficulties during your holiday.|
|15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors||We will issue you with a 15% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.|
|Luggage Transport||We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s cycling.|
|Provided for each day’s cycling if required.|
|Off Road Parking||If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).|
|Arrangement of return transport||We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option).|
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight in to the day-to-day operation, and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses in market towns, bed and breakfasts in farm houses, country cottages and Victorian town houses. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. For example, over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, on a working farm, and in a Georgian hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
General travel information for the Sea to Sea Cycle route will be in your holiday pack including train and bus timetables where available.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for detailed information.
By Air: Your nearest international airports are Manchester (MAN) and Newcastle (NCL) you can then take a train to St Bees.
By Public Transport: There is a train station in St Bees Village (SBS). Most train journeys will pass through Carlisle (CAR) where you will need to change for St Bees.If travelling on a Sunday take the train to Whitehaven, from where it is a 3 mile journey to St Bees.
By Road: St Bees is on the Cumbrian coast approximately an hour’s drive from junction 40 on the M6. From the M6 you follow the A66 then the A595.
Returning from Tynemouth
Take the Metro from Tynemouth to Newcastle Central Station (you will need some change for the ticket machine). Newcastle is on the East Coast Mainline and has a Metro link to Newcastle Airport (NCL).
No recommended rest days available for this holiday