C2C: For the record

It’s now a couple of weeks since we finished the C2C route from Workington to Tynemouth. It was a great week and although it was a lot of hard work it was great fun.

Since then I’ve found myself sitting at work wishing that I could just go out on my bicycle for a ride rather than catch up with all the tasks that were waiting for my return from annual leave. I pulled together the numbers for our ride, both the daily ride and the totals for ascent and descent.

I’ve noted the alternatives that we opted for and the detours that we were forced to make due to the damage to a number of bridges during flooding.

Date Distance Ascent (feet) Descent (feet) Extra notes
08/05/2016 30.03 3,202 2,916 Workington to Keswick
Notes Longer than expected due to a substantial detour after floods washed out bridges on the main route. After Cockermouth it took us across to Low Lorton where we hooked up with the Whitehaven to Keswick route. The detour added around 6 miles to the journey.
09/05/2016 22.38 2,526 2,398 Keswick to Penrith
Notes A small detour on this one. We were taking the longer but less steep route—not the Old Coach Road—coming out of Keswick we weren’t able to join the railpath out of town but had to detour down towards Castlerigg Stone Circle (on the Old Coach Road route) and then turn back shortly after the circle onto our route. It probably only added a couple of miles to the journey. At Scales we took the shorter unsigned short cut that the book recommended.
10/05/206 28.47 3,950 2,933 Penrith to Nenthead
Notes We took the Alston alternative on this route rather than the Garrigill-off road option.
11/05/2015 32.78 3,221 4,360 Nenthead to Consett
Notes We took the on rather than off-road option out of Nenthead. We took the Stanhope alternative route.
12/05/2016 28.36 2,208 2,522 Consett to Tynemouth
Notes We took the route along the north bank of the Tyne (the Newcastle-side) rather than the Gateshead option.
Totals 142.02 miles 15,107 feet 15,129 feet

The Sustrans book—C2C Guide—and the road map were invaluable for the journey. In most places the road signs were pretty good but towns were a little harder.

Hotels

We stayed in some nice hotels along the way. Our first night was in Keswick where we stayed in the first of several pubs, the Twa Dogs a few minutes walk out of the centre of town. Our bikes were stowed away securely in the cellar. The room was large and the hotel quiet. We had a pleasant dinner in town (Lakes Bar and Bistro) and breakfast in the hotel. We also popped into the newish Wetherspoons (The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas) to see the converted court/police station.

In Penrith we stayed in a bed and breakfast, the Blue Swallow Guest House. Our bicycles were kept securely under cover. The room was pretty but also quite small. We did have a nice breakfast here. We ate at The Lounge in Penrith which was a little noisy with a young crowd but offered nice food. It had a blue plaque out front announcing that a trooper who had charged with the Light Brigade at Balaklava in 1854 had lived there. I suspect he wouldn’t have recognised the place.

Our favourite place that we stayed in was the Miners Arms in Nenthead. Another pub with accommodation and a secure place for the bicycles in the coal shed! This hotel provided the nicest room, large, quiet and modern with a great shower. We had a great dinner and breakfast too in the pub. It also had a bicycle shop next door. What isn’t there to love about that!

In Consett we stayed at Shotley Bridge in another pub, the Crown and Crossed Swords. Our bicycles spent the night locked away night in their attached stables (no horses were present!). The hotel was a little dated and the bed rather lumpy but it wasn’t such a problem as we were pretty tired. Breakfast was fine. We had dinner over the road at an Italian restaurant, Sale Pepe.

Our final night was in Tynemouth at the art deco Park Hotel overlooking the sea. In a somewhat makeshift arrangement, our bicycles were brought inside and left in one of the offices so again really secure. A slightly tired hotel with wi fi that only really worked in the corridors but hey you can’t have everything!

Kyla & Erik

 

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