Irish Sea to the North Sea cycling holiday

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If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Irish Sea to the North Sea cycling holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

England’s northern counties are blessed with outstanding natural beauty, from the rolling ridges and rocky outcrops of the Lake District fells to the windswept moorlands of the Pennines or the sand expanses of the Northumberland coast. Travelling by bicycle often gives us more time to ask questions and understand the forces at play in these rural landscapes – how do the sheep interact with fells, what is the function of peat bogs, how are dry stone walls maintained? In the process of these reveries from the lofty perch of our saddle, or perhaps the more familiar post-climb roadside slump, we begin to learn and understand more – what might be the impact of different human activities and land uses, and how are these conflicts and balances addressed? What happens if we don’t manage our landscapes properly? Here on the Coast to Coast to Route - riding through the managed forests of the Lake District, through the industrial heartlands and engineering marvels of Tyneside, through rural farms and on repurposed railways lines - we see all this in action, and may even forget about the pain in our legs...

We always encourage our customers to use re-usable water, non-plastic bottles on all of our trips and the same goes for the coast to coast. These can be bought from us in advance for use during the journey. As it is a short and challenging trip the cyclists do not carry much equipment and waste is minimal. By providing a support vehicle throughout the trip and waste can be easily disposed of by the driver and guide.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. Cool Earth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

Community

Along the Coast to Coast route, we stay in small locally run hotels and guesthouses, and frequently stop off en route to enjoy a cup of coffee or some home-made cake in a local café. As well as providing the best fuel for the legs and the heart, this helps us learn more about the small settlements we pass through, and provides important economic support for these communities. We’ll also pass through local market towns such as Whitehaven, Keswick and Penrith, where you can purchase local delicacies and crafts, and when you hang up your wheels in the evenings, you may even be tempted by a well-earned pint of local real ale.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

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