Coast to Coast Routes


Über Member
firstly I've just done the C2C. Started cycling 12 months ago this month and I'm 49 with reasonably bad sciatica. We done it with panniers and it was hard - 4 days.
but it's the choice of route I'm stuck on, I don't know anyone who did it recently, so memories fading, but many that have done it.
We used the official map and after hartside pass, did Garrigill to Nenthead with was the hardest climb by far. Day 3 was Hartside to Stanhope and had many BIG hills.
But some of the folk I spoke to say after hartside it's not so bad, and if you can do Hartside, you will be ok. Others say the hill after hartside is the worst (Garrigill to Nenthead).
We B&B'd in Stanhope and done the last big hill the next morning upto the beautiful long downhil lstarting on the Waskerly way.
It seems to me we followed the map exactly but it seems to me some go to Alston after Hartside and avoid some of the big hills.

I'm just a bit confused and wonder if any regulars or locals can enlighten me?

IMHO If you followed the official route then your spot on.

There are some variations, mainly seasonal due to grouse shooting etc, but thats august/sept time.

Others vary there route by personal choice, depending on availibility of accom etc. Some to avoid hills! Although you cant avoid em all.

I did the same route as you but I took the off road climb from Rookhope.

Our second day was a real killer, we went from Scales (Keswick area) to Allenheads so had a lot of major climbs in one day.
Hartside was hard but not in my opinion the hardest, the climb out of Garrigill is a killer.

The important thing is that you enjoyed it.


Senior Member
I have just done the c2c too. We camped along the way and went to Alston because it had a camp site. Yes we missed out the hill out of Garrigill as a result but did not know that till after :biggrin:

I dont know if you should be a slave to the official route. Ater all you still go sea to sea. If you enjoyed it and had a good time who cares if you deviated a bit.

Camp sites were much more important to us, especially those near a pub :biggrin: and we found some great ones (sites and pubs!)


Legendary Member
jethro10 said:
But some of the folk I spoke to say after hartside it's not so bad, and if you can do Hartside, you will be ok. Others say the hill after hartside is the worst (Garrigill to Nenthead).

It's about six years since I did this but I followed the then official route. I've since ridden Hartside on three occassions and don't feel it's as bad as suggested especially if you follow the official route. I well recall the climb out of Gargill, which I'm told is the steepest tarmacced gradient in the UK (more than happy to be told I'm wrong). For me the climb out of Gargill was awful, I was full of breakfast just ambling along and turned a corner to be faced with it!! After Gargill I felt the rest was OK, big hills but OK. I was 49 then.

As far as I know the only hill avoided by going to Alston is the one out of Gargill.


Smutmaster General
Did it last yr in 2 days... overnight in Alston, but we (well I) went back to do Garrigill climb... others missed it out...heathens!


Senior Member
The hills are the challenge that the C2C is all about for me.
In my opinion Hartside-tough, Road out of Garrigill-tougher BUT! the road from Stanhope to the Waskerley Way is the toughest! It is called Crawley Side. We did it on a baking hot day and it seemed to go on for ever.
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