Originally known as “The Return C2C”, the Reivers Route starts at Tynemouth (the northern end of the C2C) and heads north west to the forests surrounding the Kielder Reservoir, then back south west via moorland roads and into Carlisle.
It skirts the northern end of the Lake District at the back of Skiddaw, runs through Cockermouth to the coast at Workington, then down the coast to finish in Whitehaven.
The Reivers Route
It’s wilder country than the C2C, and a longer cycle route, but with fewer big climbs.
There are two maps available. There is the original and very good Reivers Cycle Route Map and a newer (also good) Reivers Cycle Routes map, which shows both an on-road and an off-road route. See below.
Either way, it is an excellent cycle-touring route. I certainly enjoyed it when I rode it!
Or put a map in your basket below.
Brief description of the Reivers Cycle Route
The Reivers Route starts at Tynemouth (where the C2C finishes) and heads north west to Bellingham along country lanes.
It then becomes wilder as it runs through Kielder Forest. You can either take the forest track routes (which are too rough for road bikes) or stay on road.
The route comes out of the forest and dropped down through Newcastleton. Do stop off to see the fabulous Bewcastle Cross, and then head down to Carlisle using the signposted country lanes.
From Carlisle, the road rises pretty steadily to Caldbeck, from where there are some quite entertaining (!) ups and downs to Bassenthwaite.
It’s then quite straightforward to Cockermouth where the route joins the Workington branch of the C2C. In Workington it turns south, running on cycleways almost all the way to the finish at Whitehaven on the slipway, exactly where the Whitehaven branch of the C2C starts.