C2C Coast to Coast Cycle Map and Guide Books
One of the C2C Coast to Coast Cycle Map and Guide Books

C2C Coast to Coast Cycle Map and Guide Books

The C2C Coast to Coast cycle map and guide books cover this iconic coast to coast cycle route. It is normally done in 3-4 days, through some testing hills and beautiful scenery. The route is generally done West to East, and this is how the C2C map and guide books work, with start points at Whitehaven and Workington, and end points at Tynemouth and Sunderland.

The C2C starts gently, before some hills taking you to the edge of the Lake District, with wonderful views of Loweswater and Crummock Water. There is then a stiff climb to Whinlatter Visitor Centre before dropping to Keswick.

After Penrith, the main hills of the route start, as you cross the Pennines. After that, the route drops and then becomes flat as it heads for the coast.

Off-road alternatives are often available, some of them a bit rugged for standard bikes. Other off-road sections are on converted railway lines, and are really excellent. Personally I would recommend doing the off-road sections: the views tend to be great. You can take advice on which in one or other of the guide books.

The Alternative Route past the destroyed bridges between Keswick and Threlkeld

You may have read the the C2C bridges near Keswick were destroyed in the 2015 floods. They were and it will be some time (possibly years) before they are back in place. There is an alternative route though.

To take the ‘alternative’ C2C route, leave Keswick in the usual way along the old railway line route. In about half a mile you will come to a fork – see below. Take the right fork up a slight hill, rather than the left fork which is the standard C2C route.Take the right fork to avoid the closed old railway line route ahead.

If you have gone wrong, you will be able to tell, because instantly the standard C2C route becomes very rough and rubbly – almost as if it was part of the river.

If you have taken the correct route, you come very quickly to a small gate on to the main road. Go through and – VERY CAREFULLY – cross the road in order to cycle up the hill – or walk on the pavement if you prefer. It can be a very busy road.

You will see a sign on the right hand side of the road showing a small red 71 and ‘via Castlerigg Stone Circle‘, showing that you are on the alternative C2C route.

Take the left turn and almost immediately you will see a turn on the right. Take that and you are on your way to the Stone Circle, and the alternative route to Threlkeld.

Here are the The C2C Coast to Coast Cycle Map and Guide Books:

Sea to Sea C2C Sustrans MapThe C2C map, published by Sustrans

I would strongly recommend cycling the route with a map. Living in Cockermouth, it is not uncommon to come across C2C cyclists without one and looking slightly lost!

Published by Sustrans and regularly updated, it is easy to follow.

The map is printed on waterproof paper and comes in a plastic wallet.

The Ultimate C2C Guide – Coast to Coast by Bike, published by Excellent Books, written by Richard Peace

C2C guide book from Excellent Books

Richard’s guide book has introductory sections including:

  • The Route
  • Sustrans
  • Route surface and signage
  • How long should I take?
  • When should I go?
  • Supported or unsupported
  • Riding information and advice
  • Travel information

C2C page sampleThere are then separate sections on each part of the route, eg Whitehave – Keswick, each containing:

  • Route info
  • Height chart
  • What to see and do
  • Directions
  • Maps
  • Where to stay
  • Colour photos

C2C Cycle Route, published by Cicerone, written by Jeremy Evans

C2C Cycle Route Cicerone guide bookJeremy’s guide has introductory notes on:

  • Why do it
  • Choosing your route
  • When to go
  • Getting there and getting back
  • Planning your itinerary
  • Specialist C2C companies
  • Where to stay
  • Choosing your bike
  • What to take
  • Food and drink
  • What to wear

There are then separate sections on each part of the route, covering:

  • Distances
  • Description of route
  • Map
  • Colour photos

You can also read more about the route at The Guardian newspaper’s website

And you can buy the Coast to Coast cycle map and guide books by clicking here.

Happy cycling!