The Coast to Coast Cycle St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay Route you take might not exactly reflect the classic Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walking route using the same start and finish points but it will be pretty close. This is largely due to the use of cycleways, roads, tracks and bridleways rather than footpaths but it’s still your choice whether you dip your toes in the sea at both ends.
For example Trailbrakes have a route starting at Ravenglass on the West coast just 16 miles to the south of St Bees itself rather than St Bees to take advantage of different trails. Just remember that all roads out of St Bees are uphill!
Anyway – the fact is that there are loads of different routes so hanging my hat on a particular map is difficult. So I will base this information on the well known Tim Woodcocks version called the Wheelwright’s Coast to Coast. Whilst being an excellent route it does come with a word of warning as it does go over Black Sail Pass, Wasdale Head and Walna Scar Road. Other options could be to go via Scarth Gap Pass, into Honister Pass for example.
The route through the Lakes is very hard going, the North Pennines are moderate, Vale of Mowbray is very easy and the North Yorkshire Moors is moderate.
One option is to follow the Sustrans C2C route to Keswick, then do the Old Coach Road and drop south to Pooley Bridge, then pick up the Wheelwright’s route from there. The Wheelwright’s uses the Tan Hill road from Barra’s, instead of the Nine Standards which after a period of heavy rain is very hard going underfoot and is not impossible on a bike. Tan Hill Inn is the highest Inn in England and a great spot for a pint. Then the descent into Swaledale exciting to say the least.
How to recognise your achievement
The Coast to Coast Cycle St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay Route is a great challenge. I have found all the information in this blog whilst researching the maps and data to enable me to create a picture for a customer. He had completed this route more than 20 years ago and it is still a strong memory for him. He chose the colour of the cycle frame to match the bike he used. My previous bike picture for Coast to Coast Cycle used the Sustrans C2C route which is very popular although the start and finish points are always in some doubt given the multiple variations. I have also produced this using my Tandem Design and the Road Bike Design.