This section of the C2C Guide will hopefully offer you tips and advice on how not to get lost in the built up area areas of the route. It is in response to the large amount of people who tell me that they have trouble navigating these urban areas, hopefully by mid summer I will have a full list of route directions and maps to aid your navigation but if there is something missing feel free to e-mail me and let me know.
An awful lot of people find it difficult navigating in and out of the various urban areas on the C2C and so below is a list of the general trouble points and detailed explanations on how not to get lost, or in some cases, alternative routes to avoid the problem areas.
Starting from Workington is relatively straightforward, head away from the sea and the car park over looking the harbour and cycle alongside the harbour for 0.5 miles, just before the road you are on reaches a T-junction turn left along the edge of the harbour wall (try not to fall in!) and cross the narrow railway bridge via a VERY narrow footpath (fully laden panniers and wide handlebars may have a bit of trouble crossing the bridge!) Cross over the railway and onto a grass track swinging left alongside the River for 0.4 miles. This fetches you out on a road (mile marker 1.1), from here turn right and head straight on, keeping right at the first junction and go under the bridge ahead of you on the path on the right hand side of the road. After a couple of hundred yards you will see another bridge. Stay on the path as it climbs to the bridge and turn left onto the cycle path (mile marker 1.6) over the bridge and follow to Camerton.
After the obligatory dipping of wheel in the Irish Sea you leave the Harbour area by cycling from the C2C artwork on the slipway towards the car park between you and the Beacon visitor centre. Immediately before the car park turn left and cycle for 50 yards until you meet the main road and the pedestrian crossing near the Argos shop. At this point you have two choices -
a – the easiest option being to turn right at the Argos store and follow Preston Street straight ahead, over the roundabout and then take the cycle path on your left just after Focus superstore.
b - the more convoluted way is to cross over Preston Street via the pedestrian crossing and straight ahead for 20 yards. Turn right at the Tourist Information centre and follow the street straight ahead until you meet the YMCA building where you turn right to the roundabout and then left before taking the cyclepath on your left just after Focus superstore.
Take the cycle path just after Focus as it swings right and when you meet a road cross straight over and follow the cycle path almost directly opposite. Stick on this path past the Recreation Ground and just after going under the railway bridge you take a right turn along Esk Avenue for 50/60 yards. Take the right hand path as the road starts to swing left and cycle alongside the railway track before turning right, go under the railway and follow the path as it turns left and then enters Croasdale Avenue. After 40 yards turn left and then take the next left under the railway. Turn right and follow the path until you join the Whitehaven to Sheriffs Gate railway track. Congratulations you have just exited Whitehaven.
You enter Cockermouth down a lovely sweeping hill with stunning views of the town on your right hand side. When you reach the T-junction with Gote Road (mile marker 9.5) cross straight over and follow the walled path almost directly opposite. After 150 yards the path ends, you then turn right and, keeping the car park on your right hand side, enter the footpath to the left of the car park and cross over the River Derwent on a footbridge. This brings you out on to the main street, turn left and follow for 200 yards (beware of traffic as this is a busy stretch of road) before turning right down Challoner Street for 50 yards (mile marker 10). Turn left into Cocker Lane and then almost immediately turn right and follow the riverside path. Just after passing under the bridge (its a big one – you won’t miss it!) swing a right and head uphill, take the first right off the path to arrive on top of the bridge you have just passed under and head right for 0.75 miles before joining up with the road again leading to Wythop.
After leaving Portinscale you cross a pedestrian bridge (mile marker 29.6) over the River Greta, follow the road (used as a car park) for 100 yards where it meets the main road into Keswick. From here you turn right and take the road. Upon entering the built up area (mile marker 30) you cycle straight ahead on the road (ignoring the left turn opposite the Esso garage) and cross over the River Greta with Southey Hill Trading Estate on your left. Keep cycling for another 100 yards, ignoring the right hand turn opposite the Co-Op and 75 yards further on follow the road as it takes a sharp left turn and then a sharp right, cycle up the hill and turn left immediately after the pedestrian crossing at the top of this hill keeping the war memorial on your right hand side (mile marker 30.6). Cycle for 300 yards to Keswick Spa, go through the grounds of the swimming pool and the Keswick Railway Footpath is on your right hand side to take you to Threlkeld.
If you wish to stay a while in Keswick, it’s best to dismount just before the sharp left hand turn opposite Blacks outdoor stores and with the pedestrianised centre straight ahead of you (mile marker 30.5) and walk your bike the 100 yards or so straight ahead and into the pedestrianised centre with the Moot Hall (tourist information offices) facing you. From here you can access all the cafes etc as well as the lakeside frontage half a mile or so away. When it is time to leave, have the Moot Hall on your right hand side and Ye Olde Friars confectioners on your left and facing towards Birketts pie shop ahead of you, leave the pedestrianised section by cycling 30 yards straight ahead, turn sharp left onto the road and follow for 150 yards until you reach a junction, go straight over (keeping the war memorial on your right) and carry on to Keswick Spa and the Railway Footpath.
If you are entering Penrith on the official route via Newton Rigg college and the off-road cyclepath then the route into town is pretty straightforward. You enter the town between the Grey Bull pub and a Shell garage (mile marker 52.6), cross straight over the road (following painted cycle lane across pavement on left of phone box) into Drovers Lane. Keep on this road for 500 yards going straight over the mini roundabout at the junction till you see a C2C sign pointing right (mile marker 53.1). Head down here (Hunter Lane) past the Police Station and take the last left turn fetching you out on the main street with Woolies in front of you and the Tourist Information 150 yards on your right. From here turn left, go straight ahead over the pedestrian crossing to find the Monument clock straight ahead. Keep left for 30 yards and dismount, taking the path on your left in between Nat West bank and Barclays bank, go straight down past the churchyard, turn left at the very bottom then right, go up past the Chinese takeaway, turn right at the mini roundabout ahead of you and first left up Fell Lane and you have successfully left Penrith behind!
Lydgetts Junction – all the blue cycling signs are missing so refer to Millenium Milepost direction fingers at the junction
Blackhill Park milemarker 110.3 The cycle route through the park has is now open for use again now the work on the park has been finished.
Wearside Rangers – the local volunteer rangers looking after the route in and around Sunderland have built a dedicated website complete with detailed maps to help prevent cyclists getting lost – for more info visit www.cycle-routes.org/wearsiderangers
Below is a link leading to a map giving details how to get to Newcastle Station from the finish at Tynemouth.