The route was launched on June 1, 2005 to complement the popular Sea to Sea Cycle Route (C2C) that runs from Whitehaven to Sunderland. It is designed to be slightly harder and longer than this other route, totalling either 149 or . As it has only been launched recently, the route is still undergoing some improvements (June 2005) to meet National Cycle Network standards.
From west to east, the W2W takes the following route:
At Barnard Castle, the route splits into two spurs. The northerly spur passes through Hamsterley, taking two miles (3 km) more to reach the beautiful cathedral city of Durham than the easier southern spur which passes through Bishop Auckland.A......