The coast-to-coast off-road route is advertised as longer, more remote and more difficult than the classic route! From Whitehaven on the West Coast and the Irish Sea over to Tynemouth on the east coast and the North Sea across through the Lake District and across the Pennines.
The first 10 miles out of Whitehaven lull you into a false sense of security, it is very easy and gentle climbing along a disused railway track that used to transport coal and iron ore down to the Whitehaven harbour. But it’s not long before you go off road straight up the side of a hill on and a rocky pass along a ridge looking down towards Loweswater. Quite spectacular - however definitely bought the wrong bike. MTB only suitable even though I was told a hybrid bike would be okay!
After making our way down the hill we then took a very beautiful off-road section along the side the bank of Crummock water & through Lanthwaite Forest. Again very pretty but quite technical in parts.
We then after a stop in Buttemere & had a beautiful road section riding through Rannerdale down towards Honister pass. we were very lucky with the weather and the sunshine was beautiful glistening on the water as we cycled through the valley.
We then got to Honister pass, an iconic climb which reached 25% gradient in parts. I didn’t cycle the lot but I did manage to get back on the bike partway up and a great sense of achievement as we reached the top.
We then followed another off-road section which was full of boulders and not even possible for a mountain bike in parts, before we descended down to Seatoller and then a stunning Road section past Borrowdale all the way along the ridge with cat Bells on one side and looking down towards the Derwant Water on the other before our final destination in Keswick.
38 miles today and 3600 feet of climbing a challenging but beautiful day.
Old railway line
Loweswater / off road section
Honister pass ⬇️
More fun going downhill
Around Crummock water
Lots of tough off road sections today ⬇️