- The sense of achievement riding from Coast to Coast
- Sinking an Allendale Ale after a day on the bike
- The dramatic landscapes of the Lake District, Northumberland & the Pennines
- Riding classics such as Crummock Water, Catbells and Castle Crag
- The forest of Slaley and woods of Chopwell
- Challenging yourself on the passes of Honister and Hartside
Our meet-up point will be in Skedaddle’s hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Newcastle serves as the most convenient train station for those who wish to arrive by rail and included in the trip price is a late afternoon transfer from here to our accommodation to Threlkeld, near Keswick.
For those arriving by car, you will be able to leave your vehicle in Newcastle as we’ll be returning here at the end of the trip.
Over the evening meal in Threlkeld you’ll have the chance to get to know the rest of the group and chat with the Skedaddle guide about the next few days of riding.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Following an early breakfast we’ll transfer to Whitehaven Harbour which marks the start of our ride. It doesn’t take long to leave the somewhat industrial coast behind, quickly reaching some of the prettiest countryside in the UK.
Initially following the Cumbrian Cycle Network and the Classic C2C route, we’ll follow the route of a disused mineral railway to Kirkland. From here we’ll take quiet country lanes along an undulating route to Loweswater to commence our off-roading.
Our initial riding takes us around the ‘back’ of Crummock Water and Buttermere. It’s a nice ‘warm up’ for the legs and serves as a taste of what to expect over the next few days.
Our first cheeky challenge today is Honister Pass. Although an on-road ascent it’s steep in places and allows us to gain some decent height. Back off-road once again we top-out at the slate mines of Honister before the rolling technical descent of Castle Crag rewards us for our efforts.
Once in the valley below we’ll have great views of Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Blencathra as we enjoy an easy track at the base of the lovely Catbells. From here our next section is on the road as we make our way to Keswick, the ‘hub’ for the Northern Lake District. From here the final few miles of off-road riding round off the day nicely and end in Threlkeld. The views along this section are wonderful. To the northwest stands Blencathra (868 metres) and to the southeast Great Dodd (856 metres) towers above Deepdale.
Our evening meal will be taken at our pub accommodation that we’ve been bringing tired and hungry Skedaddlers to for as long as we can remember and there’s no better place to be after this initial day on the bike.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
There’ll be little chance to warm-up the legs this morning as we’ll be heading steeply upwards straight from our accommodation.
Thankfully these first few miles of the day are on road until we reach Blease Fell. After a well-deserved breather the off-road fun begins with the initial section a real treat. Time to enjoy the longest section of un-gated tracks in the Lakes as we roll our way past disused slate mines until Skiddaw House.
Picking up the Cumbrian Way shortly afterwards, a tricky (but fun!) singletrack section soon connects to a well-maintained and well-surfaced section through one of the Lakes most picturesque valleys down to the hamlet of Mosedale.
From here we make our way to Penrith via a series of bridleways and tracks that weave their way through the small villages and hamlets including Berrier Roman Road. After a quick pit-stop here there’s just a few miles left (including a kicker of a hill out of Penrith!) to ride until we reach our accommodation on the outskirts of the village of Langwathby in the Eden Valley.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
A few twists and turns transport us out the Eden Valley before our date with Long Meg and Her Daughters near Little Salkeld – a superb Bronze Age stone circle is well worth spending a bit of time exploring. Our morning challenge comes soon after the village of Gamblesby when we take on the legendary Hartside (580 metres). Firmly etched in C2C folklore we’ll be taking the direct off-road route up rather than the windy road option, so make sure your climbing legs have been packed today.
From here we head down to Leadgate and Garrigill before more off-road shenanigans through the old mine workings of Nenthead until we reach Black Hill, which at 609 metres is the highest point we’ll reach on this coast to coast journey.
Some great riding across the moors follows along Issac’s Tea Trail. The trail is named after Isaac Holden, a travelling tea seller in the early 19th century who followed this route in all weathers selling tea to farms and outlying hamlets.
Today’s ride ends in the village of Allendale where we also stay for the night. Our evening meal will be taken in one of its pubs where you’ll be able to sample some delicious Northumberland fayre and sample some great local ales from the Allendale Brewery.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Hopefully you’ve not overdone it with the Allendale Pale Ale or had one sausage too many for breakfast as we’ve a big day ahead and a cheeky Skedaddle climb straight from the get go!
Leaving Allendale behind we’ll soon be searching for an extra gear as we climb up from the village to Hexham Common where we start our off-road adventure once more.
After winding our way across this open section of moorland we soon reach the Slaley Forest. Here the terrain changes somewhat as we ride the wooded trails in this lovely part of the Pennines. We then follow the ‘Slaley Ridge’ to Chopwell Woods where we continue our woodland riding. A few meandering miles then takes us through Rowlands Gill, Sunniside and Springwell as we ebb and flow between County Durham and Tyne & Wear.
Popping out at Hebburn there’s a short road section before we reach the Tyne Cyclist Tunnel, Britain’s first purpose-built cycling tunnel. Running under the River Tyne between Howdon and Jarrow it opened in 1951 and heralded as a contribution to the Festival of Britain. Recently re-opened it’s a fantastic way to continue our biking adventure.
Once over the other side of the river we soon pass by the Royal Quays Marina and the Fish Quays of North Shields with its bustling little harbour area which is home to some of the finest fish and chips around. You are now at the mouth of the Tyne and a few more pedal turns lead to your final destination, Tynemouth. Congratulations – you’ve just Skedaddled our Coast to Coast Off-Road trip!
Photos taken, you will then be transferred back to Newcastle’s Quayside and our accommodation for the evening. Centrally located it’s the perfect spot to explore the legendary ‘toon for a few celebratory drinks and enjoy a delicious meal at one of its fine restaurants.
Should you be short of time then it’s possible to depart from Newcastle tonight, with a £40 per person reduction possible for those choosing this option.
- Meals: Breakfast
This morning you can take a morning transfer to Newcastle train station or treat yourself to a lie-in and have a more relaxed morning before enjoying breakfast and heading on your way.
Should you have a little more time available Newcastle is a great place to have a wander around and take in the sights and sounds.
It’s a compact place with most things centrally located and with something for everyone. Highlights include the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, the Sage and numerous prestigious museums such as the Laing Gallery.
For those looking to take in a spot of cafe culture and wanting to kick-back and take it all there’s lots of great options to choose from in what for us is the UK’s most fun and friendliest city.
This route offers some fantastic off-road riding, with technical trails, singletrack and double track. Many of the trails on these routes are rocky, with drop offs and step ups, loose stoney surfaces, mud, grass & the occasional roots.
This type of riding needs good bike handling skills and off-road experience to make the most of the trip. There are also some tough, and long, climbs (both off and on road), so a good level of fitness is required.
This trip also uses part of the National Cycle Network (notably the initial section from Whitehaven) operated by Sustrans, a charity devoted to promoting the use of sustainable transport.
Whilst pre-dominantly off-road the route does also follow quiet country lanes, cycleways and paths including sections on old railway lines with gravel or cinder surface.
The routes are subject to changes depending on weather conditions and local alterations.
Mountain Biking Grade
Distances of 25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day
Aimed at regular cyclists who have a degree of off road experience
Some moderate and difficult technical sections
Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!
For more information about our grading system click here.
Is this suitable for you?
If you have some experience of off road riding on a variety of terrain, and would like to do more, a grade 3 trip could be for you. These rides give you elements of our higher grade trips but at a manageable level with sections of singletrack (narrow trails wide enough for one rider) and shorter steep sections (both up and down) which require more bike handling ability. A day’s ride can see you on the trails for around 8 hours (with breaks) and covering between 25-50 miles depending on the terrain. If you’re generally fit and manage to ride regularly this could be the level for you.
Dates & Prices
Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)
B) Meals as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides
D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid
E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers
F) GPX files available upon request
G) Scheduled Newcastle train station transfers Day 1
H) Scheduled Newcastle train station drop-off Day 6
What's not Included
A) Bike rental (available if required)
B) Travel costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)
C) Meals not stated in the itinerary
D) Single room (available if required)
E) Travel insurance
F) Personal clothing and equipment
G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)
H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route
I) Newcastle train station drop-offs Day 6
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