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Looking for something a bit different? In reasonable shape? Why not try the C2C cycle route! If you are a keen cyclist, or looking for an excuse to get in shape it could be just the thing for you.

The C2C – Coast to Coast – route runs from western Cumbria, at Whitehaven, to Sunderland on England’s north-east coast and passes through a great deal of beautiful countryside.

The route is more suited to a mountain bike than to road bikes but has no particularly challenging sections. That does not mean it’s completely flat, but it does means you won’t be cycling along Striding Edge in a blizzard.

It is one of the great success stories for tourism in the north of England, and more than 10000 cyclists are said to complete the route each year. About half of the journey is on small roads, the rest on cycle paths and off-road sections (with a very occasional section, especially at the start and end, in a more built up region). There are various accommodation options along the route so a tent isn’t needed.

Downside? Funny you should ask…

Well it is 146 miles from one end to the other so unless you are super fit you’re going to take more than one day to complete it. Occasionally people do it in two days, but very often cyclists prefer to make a holiday out of it and take a few days.

If you haven’t been on a bike since you were 16 and weighed 70 kilogrammes – and are now 46 and weigh 120 kg – you are going to find it tough, and a few months of practice first would be recommended.

Still lacking motivation? Each year there is a cycling coast to coast C2C challenge for charity where you have all the fun and suffering of cycling the route in two days while also raising money for a good cause. So you get fit, have a good time and raise money for charity all at the same time. What more could you ask?!

Anyway I’d do it myself if I had a mountain bike and lived a bit closer…maybe.

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