We’re excited to bring you the Gravel Coast to Coast, Powered by VOOM! In collaboration with the experienced route planners at Pedal North we’re sure this gravel cycling route across the North of England will appeal to anyone with an adventurous streak.
Any ‘coast to coast’ ride, or C2C, traditionally goes from one coast to the another as riders look to challenge themselves and see more of the country. This C2C gravel route takes you on an spectacular journey from Ravenglass on the West Cumbrian Coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on Yorkshire’s rugged East coast, with some of the best gravel riding the UK has to offer. At 365 km in total distance this ride makes for an unforgettable off road adventure on two wheels, with plenty of options to split the ride to suit your ambitions.
To get a flavour of what to expect check out our gravel coast to coast video with highlights from along the route.
How far is a gravel coast to coast?
At approximately 365km, or 226miles, this route packs a bit of a punch so, for ease, we’ve split the route into three stages; Ravenglass to Sedbergh through the heart of the English Lake District, Sedbergh to Northallerton across the Yorkshire Dales, and finally across the North York Moors from Northallerton to the seaside town of Robin Hood’s Bay. A map of the c2c route is below...
Assuming you don’t want to ride all 365km in one day, it’s up to you how to break up your ride; the table below summarises the distances between different stop over points.
Highlights of the VOOM Gravel Coast 2 Coast
There’s something satisfying about riding from one coast to the other, right across England, and even more so with some of the scenery and landmarks you’ll see on this course.
Gravel Riding the Lake District - Stage 1
In stage one you’ll set off from the historic seaside village of Ravenglass and during the 91km route you’ll pass Muncaster Castle, take gravel tracks through the peaceful Eskdale Valley and reach the imposing Hardknott Pass with the option of a short detour to see the Roman fort.
The route continues East across the upper Duddon Valley before heading over the gnarly gravel of the infamous Walna Scar Road and descending to Coniston. Enjoy the flatter lakeside stint, next up its Grizedale Forest with its array of gravel roads and forest tracks, then Hawkshead, Sawrey and the ferry across England’s longest Lake - Windermere. The final stretch from Bowness-on-Windermere uses quiet gravel routes near Kendal before finally reaching Sedbergh and the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. You can read more about this stage in in more detail soon.
Crossing the Yorkshire Dales on gravel
Stage 2 has a different feel about it as you cover some of Yorkshire’s finest gravel riding, cycling through the Yorkshire Dales National Park. First up is Dentdale before passing close to the highest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Whernside. After this you’ll cycle right under the arches of the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct and onto the Cam Road.
This historic Cam road, perhaps one of the best gravel riding sections in the Yorkshire Dales is a historic Roman Road which is said to be Yorkshire's highest road. It heads North East for around 13km, with a short tarmac section halfway along, before eventually descending into Bainbridge, possibly a good spot for refreshments at the Cornmill Tea Room.
A tough climb up towards the Stake Road offers fantastic views of Semer Water, previously home of the Wensleydale Triathlon, before another exposed section of fantastic gravel riding. The Stake Road drops you into Bishopdale before slightly flatter terrain (at least more descent than climbing) passing Middleham with the famous gallops and imposing Castle. Next is Jervaulx Abbey and then on to Masham marking the end of the hillier Dales section and a flatter run into Northallerton, marking the end of stage 2. See full details soon with map and GPX for stage 2 of VOOM's C2C.
Gravel Riding in The North York Moors
The third leg, the North York Moors stage of this gravel C2C, is the longest stage, and unfortunately it starts with a climb! You're soon onto the moors passing the locally known 'Square Corner' and crossing Arden Great Moor and descending again to Hawnby. Other features are Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Caste, with the welcome option of a cafe stop in Helmsley.
Enjoy cycling along the disused railway around the head of Rosedale Valley before hitting Rosedale Abbey. Pass the scenic North York Moors Railway close to Levisham Station. Further highlights include Hole of Horcum and Broxa Forest before approaching Scalby. The final stint heads north away from Scarborough, running parallel to the East Coast. Its easy to follow along another great section of gravel, the disused Scarborough and Whitby railway line.
Pass Ravenscar whilst enjoying the sea views and soon you'll descend through the popular seaside village of Robin Hood's Bay and the chance to finally dip the tyre in the North Sea, and maybe enjoy a pint at the Bay Hotel and the official end of the Coast to Coast. Full route details of the section from Northallerton to Robin Hood's Bay can be seen here soon.
Once you have an idea of where you’d like to stop-off, check out our accommodation recommendations below - we’ve done the research so you can enjoy the cycling!
Where to stay whilst gravel riding C2C
This handy map shows locations of plenty of cyclist friendly accommodation to help you decide where to stay on your coast to coast ride. Its hard to pick from the lovely accommodation available but these places to stay whilst cycling the coast to coast are some of the highlights in each area along the route.
Top 20 Cyclist friendly accommodation options on the coast to coast
When it comes to deciding where to stay on a coast to coast ride you want somewhere comfortable to rest the body and mind after a long day in the saddle. There’s plenty of choice so we’ve highlighted some of the best places to stay whilst riding your coast to coast adventure.
Pennington Hotel Ravenglass. Right beside the sea, home of the award winning Estuary Bar & grill, and just a couple of 100m to the start in the morning!
Coachman’s Quarters at Muncaster Castle. Just 2km from the start, a comfortable stay set in acres of fantastic grounds to explore.
Coniston Hall Campsite. Requires a slight detour but offers beautiful lakeside pitches on the West of Coniston Water.
The Coniston Inn. On the shores of Coniston with fantastic views of the lake and surrounding fells, and literally on the route!
YHA Hawkshead. Stunning grade II listed building with options for shared rooms, private rooms, camping and cabins.
Storrs Gate House, Bowness. Luxury Lake District B&B on the route which avoids the need to head into the centre of Bowness.
Sundial Stays Guesthouse, Kendal. Private, cyclist-friendly accommodation which unlike most accommodation in Kendal, is right on the route.
The Dalesman Country Inn, Sedbergh. Traditional, family-run inn in the centre of Sedbergh which offers fantastic food!
Conder Farm Campsite, Dent. Traditional campsite close to the village with its pubs and cafes.
Dentdale Pods Luxury Glamping. ‘Glamping pods’ for a more cosy and comfortable stay than a traditional campsite.
Gauber Bunk Barn & Den, near Ribblehead. A converted, historic Quaker barn just off the route and regular stop-over for Yorkshire 3 Peaks hikers.
The Garth, West Burton. Cyclist friendly, cosy self-catering accommodation right beside the route and in one of The Yorkshire Dales’ most beautiful villages.
Richard III Hotel, Middleham. Historic pub and accommodation, also makes a good cafe stop during the day!
The Bay Horse, Masham. Another historic accommodation offering, with great food and just yards from the Masham Market Place.
Solberge Hall, Northallerton. Just before arriving into Northalleron, luxury accommodation in the idyllic countryside, also does afternoon tea if you arrive in time!
The Golden Lion Hotel, Northallerton. The town’s premier hotel for the last three centuries!
YHA Helmsley. Offers shared rooms, private rooms and camping pitches at the purpose built hostel in a lovely market town.
The Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge. A remote, family-run inn at the highest Point of the North York Moors National Park.
Bickley Rigg Farm Cottages & Glamping, Broxa. Situated just outside Broza with acres of space in natural beauty and only around 35km from the finish.
Smugglers Ale House, Robin Hood’s Bay. Candle lit bars with self catering accommodation literally metres from the official coast to coast finish.
Trains are available to take you and your bike right to the very start of the route in Ravenglass or also Whitby, which is a short cycle to the start or finish at Robin Hood's Bay, whichever way you'd like to cycle. For Ravenglass trains please click here or for train services to Whitby, please click here.
We know you might want to carry less when doing this route so we have you covered with a range of luggage services who will take the stress out of riding from one coast to another.