This classic Great British ride covers some of northern England’s most rugged and spectacular scenery. Join us on this 130 mile ride from the west coast to the east coast of England and enjoy one of the UK’s most archetypal and memorable tours.
We will be following the west to east C2C route developed by Sustrans and the Lake District National Park authorities which uses National Cycle Network routes 71, 7 & 14.
After dipping our wheels in the Irish Sea at Workington we will cross the northern edge of the Lake District to the Eden Valley. Back into the hills we cross the North Pennines before dropping down to the post-industrial landscape of the North East and dipping our wheels into the North Sea at Tyneside.
The route that we take avoids main roads and keeps to quiet country lanes and cycleways. A guide cycles with the group and your luggage is moved for you each day. You are provided with detailed route notes and maps so that you can cycle at your own pace or you can cycle with our guide who is always at the back of the group. The back up van will carry spares and a few spare bikes and will be on hand to help with any mechanical problems that may occur en-route. Breakfasts and lunches are provided each day at a local pub or cafe.
We aim to take the hassle of organising a tour away from you so that you can concentrate on enjoying yourself and completing the coast to coast challenge. Your bags are moved for you each day & you have the knowledge that if anything goes wrong with your bike we will be on hand to fix it for you or provide a spare bike if necessary. PLEASE NOTE THAT A ROAD BIKE IS NOT SUITABLE FOR THIS TOUR.
If you are taking the train the best station is Penrith as we stay two nights in Penrith. At the end of the tour we will take you to Newcastle station (to arrive around 16.00) or you can be taken back to Penrith if you drove and left your car at the start (to arrive around 18.00). There is always a good camaraderie during the trip and we aim to facilitate a relaxed, friendly and memorable tour.
If you choose the return transfer option please add £50.00 to the total tour price.
Thu 3rd – Sun 6th May 2018– Places available
Thu 20th – Sun 23rd September 2018– Places available
Thu 4th – Sun 7th October 2018– Places available
Prices for 2018 are £375 for shared twin or double in B&Bs only, £465 single B&Bs and £495 for sole occ of a double in B&Bs.
Thu 2nd – Sun 5th May 2019– Places available
Thu 27th – Sun 30th June 2019– Places available
Thu 3rd – Sun 6th October 2019– Places available
Arrival Day – Thursday:
We will all arrive in Penrith for a group meal and welcome brief at 7:30pm, ready for the start tomorrow morning.
Day 1 – Friday: Workington to Penrith (48 miles) Elevation 3777ft / 1151m
After dipping our wheels in the Irish Sea at Workington we will cycle through Cockermouth and ascend onto the gorgeous fells to the south of Bassenthwaite Lake before a steep and tricky descent through Wythop Woods and onto Portinscale where we will stop for lunch. The afternoon sees us cycle through Keswick & along a former railway track through fantastic Lake District scenery to the small town of Penrith.
Day 2 – Saturday: Penrith to Stanhope (44 miles) Elevation 5246ft / 1598m
After a good nights rest in Penrith we will be cycling by soaring Lake District Fells such as Saddleback, Clough Head and Great Mell combined with traffic free and quiet lanes make this section of the CTC truly memorable. The town of Penrith marks the start of a tough section; a climb to Langwathby and then a further climb onto Hartside Height at nearly 600 metres. The terrain becomes a little easier as we descend to our second nights stop in the Pennine village of Stanhope.
Day 3 – Sunday: Stanhope to Tynemouth (40 miles) Elevation: 1809 ft / 551m
After a challenging climb in the morning it is all downhill (don’t quote me) to Tynemouth. A welcome brew at the Parkhead Café and then a brilliant, long, traffic free descent at the side of the River Derwent into the suburbs of Newcastle. Sustrans and the city planners have done a fine job in Newcastle and we are able to stay ‘traffic free’ as we cycle through one of the UK’s most vibrant cities. The final stretch of the route is city cycling at its finest, we will be following the River Tyne and passing the iconic Tyne Bridge and the Baltic Gallery before reaching the castle in Tynemouth, where once again we will dip our wheels, this time in the North Sea.
We will then transport you and your bike to either Newcastle train station for around 4pm or, if you have booked it, back to Penrith for around 6pm.
The tour price includes 3 nights accommodation, 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, full trip support including a tour leader that cycles with the group, back up van with spare parts and a few spare bikes, detailed route notes and maps so that you can cycle at your own pace and luggage transfer each day. The back up van also carrys a range of snacks, fruit, tea/coffee, water, biscuits, chocolate, dried fruit, nuts etc which you are welcome to have throughout the day.
Evening meals, cycle hire, transport to Penrith, transport from Tynemouth. C2C Cycle shirt (available for £30).
The group will be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 25 people. We feel that this size of group works best as there will always be enough in the group for some good company but there won’t be so many people that it becomes overcrowded.
You will stay in a variety of places in a mixture of 3 star B&B’s. All the places that we stay have been carefully selected on grounds of character, location, comfort and cleanliness. Hot showers will always be available so that you can get cleaned up and relax after a long day on the saddle.
All of your breakfasts are included in the price of the trip. You will have a choice of full English, toast, cereals, fruit juices, tea, coffee etc. Lunches are also provided each day at a local pub or cafe. We will meet each evening at a local pub for an evening meal (not included in the price).
An experienced tour leader will cycle with you each day and be on hand to help with any bike problems that may occur. You will have detailed route notes so that you can go slower or faster than the leader if you prefer or you can cycle behind the tour leader so that you don’t have to navigate at all.
A back up van will leap frog the group a number of times each day so that help is never far away. We carry a range of spare parts so that repairs can be made en-route and we will have a spare bike available in the event that your bike has a serious breakdown.
We highly recommend that you use a bike that you are used to and feel comfortable riding. Your bike should be fully serviced and in good condition before you start, this will reduce the risk of mechanical problems and unnecessary stoppages along the way. A hybrid bike is preferable however the ride can be done on a mountain bike if you prefer. We have a range of hybrid bikes & touring bikes available for hire (£50 – £80 per person) if you don’t have your own bike.
This tour is suitable for someone with a reasonable level of fitness and who wants a challenge. If you do plenty of training beforehand you should have no problem completing the ride.
It must be stressed that a good amount of training before the ride will make your tour much more enjoyable and ensure that you finish your ride. We are always happy to advise you about training plans in preparation for the ride.
Clothing for all weathers is recommended so waterproofs are essential. A full recommended kit list is provided and we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Your baggage will be transferred for you each day and will be waiting for you at your accommodation when you arrive.
If you would like collecting from Penrith, we will meet you at the station and take you, your luggage and your bike to the hotel where we will spend our first night. Just let us know when you want picking up and we will meet you then. We will have a group meal at 19:30 on the Thursday night so if you are arriving much earlier you have the time free to yourself.
You can get to Penrith by car, bus and train (or you could cycle). We can pick you up at Penrith when you arrive and transport you and your bike to our first nights accommodation. If you could let us know when you will be arriving and we will make arrangements to collect you if required.
By Car If you are using a hire car there are a couple of car hire companies who have a depot at Penrith. Just let us know when you want picking up and we can collect you once you have dropped off the car.
By Train There are frequent trains into Penrith as it is on the West Coast Mainline. For train timetables tel: 08457 48 49 50 or book online at www.nationalrail.co.uk
On the final day we finish cycling on Sunday around 15:00. We have a final lunch just before the end where we re-group and all cycle to the finish point together and after dipping our wheel in the sea and have our photo’s taken, the coach will meet us on the priory car park above the beach at Tynemouth. The coach will then do a transfer to drop people off at Newcastle if needed and then it will take people back to Penrith. The transfer to Newcastle is included in the tour price but the transfer option back to Penrith is an extra £50.00
We don’t expect you to be an expert bike mechanic but there are a few simple skills that will be a great benefit to you. The most important skill you need to know is how to fix a puncture. It is quite likely that at some point you will have a puncture or two so it is essential that you carry a puncture repair kit & a spare tube or two with you. It is also helpful if you know how to change your brake pads and adjust your brakes & gears however this isn’t essential. Our guides will help you with any repairs & adjustments en-route.
We arrange a buffet lunch at a pub or café each day. This will be a mixture of sandwiches, pasta salads, soup, quiche, salads etc and will be different at each place. There will always be enough to go round so don’t worry if you are at the back of the group. The lunch stops provide a good opportunity to re-group & catch up with others and compare notes.
No, a tour leader cycles at the back of the group so that you won’t be left behind if you are worried about cycling too slowly. Throughout the group there will be a mix of abilities and cycling speeds so you will usually be able to cycle with others that cycle at a similar pace. Some people like to cycle fast whilst others prefer to take their time, stop for coffee and cake or stop to take photos etc so whether you are a ‘speed demon’ or more of a ‘tourer’ there will usually be someone to cycle with each day.
No, you don’t need to be super fit but a good level of fitness is important as the Scottish End to End is a challenging ride. The fitter you are & the more training that you do beforehand will add to the enjoyment of your tour and improve your chances of succeeding the challenge. If you need any advice about fitness please contact us and we will be happy to discuss any questions & concerns that you may have.
Obviously each group is different but generally they are a fun, friendly, helpful and adventurous bunch. There will be people of all ages and from all walks of life. We tend to get quite a few older riders although there will always be a few younger riders as well. So far our youngest rider was 15 and the eldest 82. We think that a group of 15-25 is ideal as there will be plenty of people with similar interests and character without being such a big group that it becomes too much.
Generally the group will be split 50/50 between people travelling alone and people that travel as a pair such as two brothers, two friends, two partners. There will be plenty of people to socialise with throughout the day and in the evening.
If you are travelling home by car from Penrith then the return coach from Tynemouth has a bike trailer to fit all the bikes in. If you are travelling home from Newcastle train station then the coach will take you and your bike there where you can then take it on your train journey home. If you live near Peak Tours HQ in Glossop, Derbyshire then we can always bring the bike back here and you can pick it up from us free of charge. Alternatively we can always bring it back to Peak Tours HQ and post it back to you for which there is a £70 charge.
Once you have arrived at your accommodation you should have chance for some time to relax, have a shower etc before the evening meal. We usually arrange somewhere to eat for the evening meal so that we can all get together and you won’t be left alone if you would like to eat with others. Quite often we will simply arrange a certain pub to meet up and just drift in when you are ready whilst at other places we have a set time to eat – it just depends on the location.
No, the back up van doesn’t drive behind the group at all times but the van shouldn’t be too far away if you require assistance. In the morning we have a group brief and set off cycling, meanwhile the backup driver will collect all the luggage from the various B&B’s and hostels. Once all of the luggage has been loaded, the support vehicle will leapfrog the group stopping when necessary. The backup driver will be at the lunch stop should you need anything from the van & in the afternoon will go on ahead to ensure that your luggage is in place before you arrive.
There is limited space in the back up van to store luggage. We therefore request that you try to keep your luggage size to a minimum & try not to bring too much with you. Washing clothes can be done en-route so you shouldn’t need to bring a clean set of clothes for every day. The ideal size for luggage is 70 x 50 x 30 cm and a weight of 15-18kg (or less).
The more the better. We will provide a training guide for you so that you can build up your cycling strength and prepare for the ride in the correct way. It is important that you cycle two long days back to back whilst training & also that you cycle on some hills. We hold training weekends at the start of the season so that you can meet with others in the group, ask any questions you may have & also test yourselves amongst the hills of the Peak District.
The most suitable bike for this trip is a hybrid or touring bike. The route is not suitable for a road bike due to some rough sections through woodland.
Please ensure that your bike is fully serviced and in good working order before the start of the trip.
If you are riding a mountain bike then it is advisable to use slick tyres. Tyre inflation & rubber composition is important and a tyre width of 28mm or more is recommended for this tour. Please ensure that you have hard wearing tyres with plenty of tread.
You are going to cycle over 130 miles so it is important that your bike won’t let you down. You may want to fit new brake blocks, tyres & inner tubes before you start the ride and also bring a spare inner tubes, pump, puncture repair kit and multi-tool to carry with you each day. It is essential that you are able to fix a puncture.
It is also advisable to have front and rear lights on your bikes and try to be a visible as possible.
It is advisable to use your own bike if possible however we realise that it is not always possible to use your own steed so you may wish to hire one. We have three types of hybrid/touring bikes bike available. Details of these bikes can be found by clicking on the ‘Tour Extras’ tab.
All of our hire bikes come fitted with a cycle computer, water bottle cage, bell, map holder, rear rack and mudguards and front and rear lights. We can also provide a pannier with a multi-tool, pump, puncture repair kit, spare tube and tyre levers at no extra cost. All bikes can have flat pedals or SPD’s but if you would prefer to use your own (and maybe your own saddle) then please bring these along with you. We can also provide a helmet for you at no extra cost.
We provide a suggested kit list so please contact us if you would like a copy sending to you.
This varies with each group. There are usually more guys than gals but an average would be about 1/3rd ladies & 2/3rds gents.
To book a tour please send a completed booking form and (a) Deposit of £250.00 per person for tours of 7 days or longer or £50.00 for all other tours or (b) The full holiday cost. If only the deposit is paid at time of booking then full payment of the holiday is required no less than 8 weeks before the start of your holiday. No further reminder is sent. If you book your holiday within 8 weeks of the holiday start date, the full holiday cost is required at time of booking.
In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the tour you will be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid or we will move you to a different tour date if you’re able to do so. If the tour is cancelled because the minimum number of people required to operate this tour hasn’t been reached then you will be notified no less than 3 calendar months before the departure date. If the tour is cancelled by us we will not be responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred such as travel expenses, visas etc & no compensation will be paid to cover these expenses.
If you have to cancel your holiday then please notify us as soon as possible. We always try to be fair and will always try to move you to different tour date if possible. If you cancel your tour less than 8 weeks before your tour start date then you will lose all monies already paid. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance to cover cover this.
|Length of time before the tour is due to start||Cancellation Charge|
|More than 60 days before start date||Deposit|
|Less than 60 days before start date||100%|
If you decide to cancel your tour after receipt of your booking form you will be entitled to a 14 day cooling off period. During this time you will be entitled to a full refund of any monies paid.
If you chose the B&B only option you will stay in a mixture of B&B’s, hotels and country pubs. If you are travelling with a friend then you will be roomed together in a twin or or if you’re with your partner then you will be in a double room (or a twin if you prefer). If you are travelling alone then you will be roomed with another member of the group in a twin room (same sex). The actual stopovers may change from the advertised accommodation providers, if this happens then an equivalent standard of accommodation will be used nearby. The majority of the rooms you stay in will be en-suite however you may stay in a couple of rooms that are not en-suite.
If you choose the single room option you will have your own room for the duration of the trip. This will be in either a single room or single occupancy of a double room in a mixture of en-suite and non en-suite rooms.
If you choose this option you will have a guaranteed double room to yourself throughout the tour. You will always have an en-suite each night of your tour. There may be a rare occasion when you have a separate bathroom but this is very unlikely.
This option is only available for the 14 day LEJOG tour. If you chose the YHA option you will stay in a mixture of hostels, hotels & B&B’s staying in single sex dormitory rooms, single rooms, twin rooms & triples.
On tours with 8 people or less in the group then there may only be one tour guide with you who will drive the back up van each day. Tours with 8 – 15 people in the group will have two tour guides with one guide driving the back up van and the other guide cycling with the group or both guides driving a back up van each. Tours with 16+ will have a guide that cycles with the group plus two back up vans do provide support.
If you choose the cycle hire option you will be provided with your bike at the start of your tour. The bike comes with everything you need for your trip although some people like you use their own saddle, peddles and/or helmet (just let us know beforehand). At the end of your tour you can simply hand your bike back to us when you finish cycling. Please see the additional cycle hire sheet for details of the bikes we have available.
If the minimum number of people required to run the trip is not met then we will have to cancel the trip. You will be notified at least 3 calendar months prior to the start date of the trip if the minimum number (usually 8 people) hasn’t been met & you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.
In order to comply with EU Travel Regulations 1992 your deposit & final payment will be held in a separate account until your holiday is completed. This is to ensure the financial security of your holiday.
It is compulsory that you take out adequate holiday insurance including medical cover, personal accident, loss of belongings & cancellation cover. We cannot be held responsible for your own illness, injury or loss/damage of your bike or belongings while on holiday.
This card entitles you to greatly reduced or free state medical services throughout Europe, including Switzerland. We recommend you send off for one of these before the trip and carry it with you. It’s important to bear in mind that these cards are not a substitute for travel insurance and adequate travel insurance is compulsory for this tour. This link will give you all the information you need about the EHIC. www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC
Cycling is a potentially dangerous activity & the risks involved should be considered before undertaking such a trip. We will be cycling mostly on quiet back roads however there will be times when we cycle on busier roads where traffic density is higher. All persons undertaking this tour do so at their own risk & Peak Tours cannot be held responsible for any accidents that may occur whilst on the trip. For further details please see our risk acknowledgement statement here which forms part of these conditions.
By signing your booking form you agree to the booking conditions as outlined above. Peak tours will carry out our obligations as detailed in the tour itinerary & any information supplied to you.
The following extras are available for this tour:
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