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Hadrian’s Cycleway and C2C Cycle tour

Hadrian’s Cycleway and C2C Cycle tour

£1,195 per person

Introduction

This is a new trip starting and finishing in Sunderland and taking in the entire length of Hadrian’s (wall) Cycle Way (from South Shields in the East to Ravenglass in the West) and then returning to Sunderland across the Lake District and the Pennines on the famous C2C route – so it’s a double tick-off on the ‘cycle routes bucket-list’.

Remember the obligatory dipping of your cycle in the sea at the beginning and end of the ride!

Cycling

Wherever possible we utilise country lanes and national cycle network paths, trying to avoid main roads. We ride at a pace that is well within the reach of a fit and competent cyclist. We start each day at around 8.45am with a morning briefing where the tour leader will explain the day’s route and the traffic and weather conditions that you are likely to encounter. You will also be briefed on the place where we will be having our lunch stop, we usually provide a healthy picnic/sandwiches or if the weather is bad we will make use of cafes or pubs along the route.

The support van will be available to help with the day to day running of the tour and towards the end of each day transporting your luggage to your accommodation. Wherever possible during the day we stop the van in a safe place and offer hot drinks and snacks.

Accommodation

Your accommodation is a twin share bed and breakfast basis and will be in hotels. We prefer to use good standard local hotels with ensuite facilities if possible.

Single accommodation is available for a supplement of £235.

Meals

Breakfasts and lunches are included. Breakfast will be in the hotel and lunches will be picnic lunches from the van and will include sandwiches/wraps or similar. Alongside this there is fresh fruit, cakes, cereal bars, dried fruit/nuts. Hot and cold drinks will also be available. You will need to purchase your own evening meals, which are usually eaten communally, although you are free to opt out if you wish.

In the Tour Plan, (B, L, D) refers to meals included in the trip cost i.e. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Bike Transfers

We will happily transport your bike to Sunderland and back at no extra charge. If you drop your bike off at our Sheffield office up to a day before departure we will carefully pack it in the support van, drive it to the start and then return it to Sheffield ready for you to collect.

If arriving by car you can bring your bike to Sunderland and leave your car at the hotel car park for a week.

If that isn’t convenient then depending where you live we may be able to collect your bike on our journey from Sheffield to Sunderland. Please get in touch with us to discuss arrangements, any other arrangements will be for an agreed fee.

While we will take all reasonable care while handling your bikes, using padded covers and making sure they are securely stored, we are not liable for any loss or damage during transportation and storage. We recommend you have appropriate insurance.

6 days of cycling (8 altogether)
Approx 330 miles Age
  • Destination
    UK
  • Depart from
    Sunderland
  • Return from
    Sunderland
  • Road surfaces
    Tarmac
  • Bike Type
    Road / Hybrid / Touring Bike
  • Included
    Hadrian’s Cycleway and C2C Cycle tour
    Accommodation
    Lunch
    Cycling guide
    GPX files
    Vehicle support
    Baggage transfer
  • Not Included
    Domestic flights
    Evening meals (unless specified)
    Bike hire
    Travel to start & from finish
    International flights
    Airport transfers
    Travel insurance
    Cookie Policy (US)
    Cookie Policy (US)
    Visas
1
Arrival Day
Arrive in Sunderland and meet in the hotel for an evening briefing from your guides.
2
Sunderland to Hexham (42 miles)
Today is a relatively gentle introduction as it's the shortest day regarding distance and the gradients are quite easy. After our daily group briefing (morning) and an initial bike check to see that all gears, brakes and wheels etc. are working properly, we drop down to dip our tyres in the sea. We then set off up the North Sea coastal road on the cycle pathway to South Shields. We cycle to the Arbeia Fort, which marks the official starting points of Hadrian’s Cycleway. Continuing on cycle paths we make our way to the cycle tunnel under the River Tyne. This tunnel was made specially for cyclists and walkers and brings us out on the north side of the river. Special cycle paths bring us to the Millennium bridge and the centre of Newcastle. Passing Newcastle’s other bridges we follow the River Tyne. In the afternoon, our route continues to take us mostly on special cycle paths and sometimes on minor roads passing through Ovingham and Corbridge and on to Hexham, the historic principal county town of Northumbria, where we will stop for the night. There will be time to walk into Hexham and see the Abbey, Moot Hall and the first prison in Britain. (B,L)
3
Hexham to Carlisle (51 miles)
For those interested in Roman history, today offers some excellent opportunities to see the best preserved remnants of Hadrian’s Wall and also the remains of some of the forts and other structures relating to it. Throughout the day, our route (which is quite hilly at times!) weaves in and out of the course of the Wall but also takes us through the towns of Haltwhistle and Brampton, both of which provide some excellent refreshment options. In the afternoon, we pass by the ruins of Lanercost Priory, which offers yet more visiting opportunities for history lovers and eventually we wind our way down to our overnight stop in Carlisle, the largest town in Cumbria which is also famous for its well preserved castle. (B,L)
4
Carlisle to Whitehaven (68 miles)
Today is the longest day of the tour in terms of distance, but this is in part compensated for by the relatively flat nature of the terrain, as our route for the most part follows the coastal path along the Solway Firth all the way to Whitehaven, where we will stop for the evening. The marsh lands that form part of the route are officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and offer some good opportunities for any keen ornithologists out there!). Places of interest along the way include: Burgh-by-Sands, where, in St Michael’s Church, the body of King Edward 1st was laid in state after he died in the nearby marshes on one of his many campaigns against the Scots; the village of Bowness-on-Solway that stands on the remains of the Roman town of Maia (which marked the official Western end of Hadrian’s Wall); the town of Silloth with its old cobbled streets, Maryport and Workington. The ride in the morning to Silloth is mostly on small roads. From Silloth we leave the busy A road along the coast and cycle inland for a while on small lanes to Allonby. Continuing to Maryport there is now a dedicated cycle trail following the old railway lines and on land reclaimed from the sea all the way to Seascale. Passing through Workington, the largest town in Western Cumbria, which has some excellent shopping and other amenities we come to Whitehaven where we stay tonight. For those interested in sailing, Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven all have busy marina areas with plenty of small craft on display. The ride in the morning to Silloth is mostly on small roads. From Silloth we leave the busy A road along the coast and cycle inland for a while on small lanes to Allonby. Continuing to Maryport there is now a dedicated cycle trail following the old railway lines and on land reclaimed from the sea all the way to Seascale. Passing through Workington, the largest town in Western Cumbria, which has some excellent shopping and other amenities we come to Whitehaven where we stay tonight. For those interested in sailing, Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven all have busy marina areas with plenty of small craft on display. (B,L)
5
Whitehaven to Keswick (65 miles)
A tough day today as we climb into the Lake District. We continue heading South on the well-made cycle path down the Cumbrian Coast, past Sellafield nuclear power station, to Ravenglass, where the Roman bath house marks the official end of Hadrian’s Cycleway. It is also the picturesque terminus of a well-known local narrow-gauge railway line where there is also a great coffee shop with wonderful cakes. We then head into the hills passing Muncaster Castle before turning inland and back East along the pretty Esk Valley. The rest of the day we cycle on small roads as the stunning Lake District scenery unfolds. We climb up onto Cold Fell and have great views of Loweswater as we join the famous C2C route back to Sunderland. Towards the end of the day we face the steep climb up and over the Whinlatter Pass before we descend for the evening into the historic market and tourist town of Keswick. (Please note there is an easier option today to follow the C2C route direct from Whitehaven to Keswick). (B,L)
6
Keswick to Alston (45 miles - but tough!)
The morning sees us head out of Keswick along the recently restored disused railway path that criss-crosses the Greta river and heads towards the village of Threlkeld, overlooked by the magnificent Blencathra. From there we continue to take in some more magnificent Lakeland scenery as we make our way back down into the Eden Valley and the old Westmoreland market town of Penrith for a coffee stop. In the afternoon, we face the famous ‘5-mile climb’ up and over Hartside Pass as we make our way into the Northern Pennines. The well-known café for bikers at the top sadly burned down some while ago. However, the reward for all that climbing is a lovely descent into the East Cumbrian market town of Alston, where we will spend the night. (B,L)
7
Alston to Sunderland (60 miles)
Our final day of riding starts with a tough morning with 5 climbs. We first have a short steep ascent out of Alston and on to the little villages of Nenthead and Allenheads, both of which have steep climbs out of the village. This central area of the North Pennines is very sparsely populated and provides some spectacular ’wilderness’ views and experiences. Descending to Rookehope we have another steep climb out of the village before descending towards Stanhope. We turn off up Crawley Side before the village and have a final steep climb back into the hills before the route gradually descends onto the Waskerley Way. From here it is all cycle path for the rest of the day. (B,L)
8
Departure day
Free to leave anytime after breakfast. (B)

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

8.7
Superb
10.0
Accommodation
8.0
Route & Rest Locations
8.0
Food & Refreshments Provided
8.0
Cycling Pace & Time in Saddle
10.0
Tour Guide & Support Crew
8.0
OVERALL SATISFACTION

Comments:

  • Richard & Karen
    27 June 2021 at 21:33

    Varied scenery and landscape the route passed through. Friendly relaxed atmosphere on the trip.

    Accommodation
    Route & Rest Locations
    Food & Refreshments Provided
    Cycling Pace & Time in Saddle
    Tour Guide & Support Crew
    OVERALL SATISFACTION
  • Celia Pardoe
    24 June 2021 at 23:09

    Small groups a bonus and friendly team. Getting to the top of the hills without stopping!

    Accommodation
    Route & Rest Locations
    Food & Refreshments Provided
    Cycling Pace & Time in Saddle
    Tour Guide & Support Crew
    OVERALL SATISFACTION

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BOOK A PLACE ON THE NORTH CIRCULAR - HADRIAN'S CYCLEWAY AND C2C CYCLE TOUR

Please click on your preferred tour dates below and you will be taken to our secure booking form.
Sunday 23rd to Sunday 30th June 2024
Sunday 22nd to Sunday 29th June 2025
If you prefer not to book online, you can download a booking form and post or fax it to us. Please read the Booking Conditions carefully before completing the booking form. We require a completed booking form plus the appropriate deposit before your reservation can be confirmed. Note your booking is with High Places Ltd an ATOL and ABTOT bonded tour operator.