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4
moderate to challenging
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • B&B
  • Guesthouse
  • Pubs
Meals
  • 11 Breakfasts

REDUCED

£2010 GBP

12 Days£1810GBP

Overview

Trip Code: WZZ

Shortened Coast to Coast Walk Trip highlights


  • A walk passing most of the highlights along Wainwright's famous Coast to Coast Trail
  • Most of the sections of one of the World’s Great Walks
  • Start your day with a full English breakfast, guilt-free!
  • English Lake District, Pennines & North York Moors
  • Staying at cozy small hotels, guesthouses & traditional, English pubs
  • Cross England from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay

This is a distilled version Alfred Wainwright’s celebrated Coast to Coast Walk. It is ideal for those with less time, but who still want to cross England from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay. The hiking holiday leaves out a couple of the lowland sections and a couple of the more strenuous route days, concentrating on the more beautiful aspects of the route, or 'highlights'. The walk is part of the quintessential English hill walking and long-distance trail experience that Wainwright, deviser of the route, described as "one of the world's great walks" traversing 3 national parks and a lot of interesting landscapes, old towns and of course public houses in between.

It is amazing to think that this most famous of routes got classified as a National Trail only in 2022, almost 50 years after its inception and has seen only very little alteration since.

Start your hike at the tiny Cumbrian seaside resort of St Bees on the Irish Sea - tradition states that you should get your boots wet and pick up a pebble from the beach to keep it with you for the entire walk. Head east, with the wind, into England's Lake District. Early on, you pass by some of England’s most famous lakes and cross some important passes. There are options to add extra days, for example to ascend popular peaks such as Helvellyn. You will bypass the strenuous day to Shap and the long day following that, to Kirkby Stephen with a transfer which takes you directly into the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Here you ascend to the mystical Nine Standards Rigg, before following the beautiful River Swale for a couple of days into the old market town of Richmond. Another transfer whisks you across the agricultural plains of the the Vale of Mowbray into the North York Moors National Park. From here you’ll roller-coaster around to the North Sea Coast to make a triumphant entrance into Robin Hood’s Bay. Drop the pebble that you collected from the Irish Sea and have a celebratory pint, bottle of champagne or ice cream by the sea.

While walking the Coast to Coast, you will be amazed at the variety of the dry stone walls, the charming little villages and just how much that you get to eat for a full English breakfast. You’ll stay at quality, cosy small hotels, guesthouses and pubs on our Coast to Coast walking holidays and these, as well as the rich variety of the people that you meet enroute, reflect something of the great diversity of England.

*Please note that you can also choose from 15, 16, 17, or 18 day options as well as 8-11 day sections of Wainwright’s popular route. Scroll down to find an overview of all Coast to Coast walking options to choose from.

Countries:

England

Starting Point:

St Bees

Finishing Point:

Robin Hood's Bay


Make your own way to the starting point of your Highlights of the Coast to Coast Walk. The resort of St Bees is on the edge of the Irish Sea where you'll have views across to the Isle of Man (but that's another trip). In St Bees you should have time to visit the Abbey church, which has features on the local history and a display on a mummified knight that was discovered in a lead coffin from the graveyard. If you have booked with us an extra night here, you can follow the coastal path or quiet inland roads to the attractive town of Whitehaven, with its marina and great museum. Whitehaven is famous in the annals of the US navy as the site of an elaborate raid on the British mainland by one John Paul Jones during the American War of Independence. | Accommodation: A family-run bed and breakfast in a large modernised Georgian farmhouse in the centre of St Bees.

Meals:  Nil

Take the first steps on the Highlights of the Coast to Coast Walk when you ascend from the beach at St Bees. Take a footpath along red sandstone coastal cliffs off St Bees Head with England’s only breeding colony of Black Guillimots. Then head inland over hilly ground to the edge of the Lake District National Park. Dent Hill is the first real fell that you cross and will give you some indication as to whether you are fit enough for the following days! Although short, there follows possibly the steepest descent of the whole trip down to Nannycatch Gate and Beck. A delightful stroll brings you to the final descent to leafy Ennerdale Bridge. // The day’s total ascent 780m / descent 665m. | Accommodation: Overnight at a friendly, family-owned hotel. Opt to enjoy a home-cooked meal of local produce including fish and game in season. A traditional feel is retained by the hotel, with its open fire, and the fully licensed bar serves a range of beverages including locally produced ale. If we are unable to book you into Ennerdale then we will secure accommodation for you at Cleator with a return taxi transfer that we will put in place for you (own expense).

Meals:  B

Follow a quiet and scenic footpath along the shore of Ennerdale Water, with a bit of an easy scramble under Angler’s Crag at Robin Hood’s Seat. A long walk on a forest track then continues to Black Sail Hut, which is the smallest youth hostel and originally a shepherd’s hut. A steep climb follows up the Lowther Beck before traversing some of the Lakeland fells, perhaps with views down to Buttermere. Finally, you reach the ‘drum house’, which marks the descent path to the Honister Slate Mine workings & cafe and Borrowdale. This is perhaps the most delightful valley in England's Lake District with its crags and broadleaved trees. Borrowdale is a delightful ensemble of hamlets: Seatoller, Longthwaite, Rosthwaite and Stonethwaite. Delightful riverside paths connect the places and their pubs together (if you have sufficient energy left for the evening!). You might be interested to know that ‘thwaite’ is old Norse for paddock. // The day’s total ascent 765m / descent 785m. | Accommodation: Your hotel tonight is located at the southern end of the Borrowdale (Seatoller) Valley. It has striking views over the local fells.

Meals:  B

Enjoy classic Lakeland scenery over Greenup Edge to Easedale and Grasmere. In good weather the longer variant optional path to Helm Crag is well worth it. Grasmere is one of Lakeland’s most celebrated villages and you might have time either this afternoon or tomorrow morning to visit poet Wordsworth's home at Dove Cottage and perhaps drop into the famous Ginger bread shop! // The day’s total ascent 750m / descent 760m. | Accommodation: We use a number of different accommodation in the busy village of Grasmere.

Meals:  B

A great walk over Grisedale Pass (609m/2000ft) and around the small mountain lake of Grisedale Tarn to Patterdale. In good weather and if you are a reasonably strong walker, we recommend that you take the detour route up St Sunday Crag (add 1½ hours). It will give some exceptional views down across Ullswater on the descend to Patterdale, possibly the most breathtaking of the Coast to Coast Path. Another detour option is via the summit of Helvellyn, for this add 2 miles and 2 hours. // The day’s total ascent: 900m / descent 805m (via the optional route over St Sunday Crag, less if you avoid this).| Accommodation: Tonight’s accommodation is a family-run guesthouse. It is located in the centre of Glenridding alongside Glenridding Beck, situated at the southern top of Ullswater - the second largest lake in the Lake District.

Meals:  B

Morning transfer to Kirkby Stephen (approx 1hr,10mins). After a look around and perhaps a visit to the bakery and the norse Loki Stone in St. Hedda's Church, climb out of town steeply to the cairns of Nine Standards Rigg (661m / 2170 feet) with its array of obelisks. This is an ancient, possibly, boundary feature that no one has any real knowledge of. It marks the Watershed of England. Next you cross squelchy moors down to Keld in Swaledale. The moors then become increasingly gentler as you walk into Keld with its many waterfalls and old stone barns. // The day’s total ascent 780m / descent 575m. | Accommodation: A medium-sized guesthouse with traditional Yorkshire fayre served in an attractively decorated dining room, and there are tea & coffee making facilities in all rooms.

Meals:  B

There are two options today. 1) The first is the higher alternative over wild moorland with long-abandoned lead mines, a magnet for the industrial archaeologist. 2) The second option is the pretty bucolic route via Swaledale, which is a lovely option if you have unfavourable weather or you just prefer a lower level walk. This takes you through numerous pastures with tiny gates through the dry stone walls. Whichever option you choose, your day finishes in Reeth, an attractive green village which flourished at the height of the mining age and today has a collection of pubs and tea shops. // The day’s total ascent 838m / descent 911m (via the higher route). | Accommodation: Your accommodation tonight is the oldest surviving Inn in Reeth, dating from 1680.

Meals:  B

The route threads its way along the Swale River past Grinton to the old priory at Marrick. From here find a steep set of stone slabs, then cross fields and down to Marske with its fascinating church. You will then be high above the river in pretty Swaledale, lined with limestone crags on either side. You should arrive early enough to allow time in Richmond for shopping (most shops are closed Sundays) & sightseeing. The extremely picturesque largely Georgian North Yorkshire town of Richmond, with its cobbled market square and Norman castle, is an ever-popular destination for visitors. You can also choose to follow the Swale River to Town Falls, which are quite impressive when the river is in spate. // The day's total ascent 395m / descent 510m. | Accommodation: The extremely picturesque North Yorkshire town of Richmond, with its cobbled market square and Norman castle, is an ever-popular destination for visitors. We use a number of guesthouses or pub accommodation in this busy town.

Meals:  B

A morning transfer takes you to Clay Bank Top (55 minutes), a pass in the Cleveland hills. From here there is a steep climb across the heather over Urra Moor passing Round Hill (454m), the high point of the day. The last 7km or so are on the easy gradient of the dismantled Rosedale Railway line which takes you around the side of Farndale to Rosedale. The moor can be bleak and is punctured in places by standing stones, some marked with inscriptions. There are enticing views at times into the fertile upper valleys of Farn and Esk dales. Finally, arrive at the ancient Lion Inn at Blakey. // The day’s total ascent 251 m / descent 128 m. | Accommodation: You'll stay at the Lion Inn in this bleak moorland location. This pub hotel has been a refuge from the elements for 400 years or so, and very cosy it is too! Normally there are a large number of ales to reward yourself with and great dining in either the bar or the restaurant.

Meals:  B

After a bit of a road perambulation past a white cross called Fat Betty, you follow an easy undulating descent down to beautiful wooded Eskdale. You also get some views opening up to the sea. The latter part of today's walk follows a pretty path through the woodlands on the banks of the River Esk. You come across the ‘Beggars Bridge’ a parabolic stone structure that has a story of love lost and love refound! Egton Bridge features a church with relics of the Catholic martyr Nicholas Postgate. A really pretty setting, the river is famous for fly fishing and has some interesting stepping stones, which enable you to hop between the two pubs faster than using the road. // The day’s total ascent 265m / descent 616m. | Accommodation: Egton Bridge or Grosmont - We use a variety of lovely guesthouses/B&Bs in either of these villages.

Meals:  B

You follow a delightful, private road to Grosmont, where you might want to try and get in time to see a steam train pull out for Pickering. You then follow a very steep pull up across heather moors with views down to Whitby Bay and its Abbey. But the sea and journey’s end is still tantalizingly far as the Coast to Coast route abruptly changes course to visit the May Beck valley with its Falling Foss waterfall. A last area of high moor brings you to the North Sea coast, where the last 5 km/3 miles are spent on the coastal cliff path to Robin Hood's Bay. It will appear almost by surprise as you near it. This is a village of red-roofed houses clustered around its harbour on the North Sea coast marking the end the 190 odd-mile Coast to Coast crossing of England. Celebrate with a drink at The Bay Hotel and as tradition states, dip your toes into the sea. // The day’s total ascent 775m / descent 770m. | Accommodation: Your final night is spent in an elegantly refurbished Victorian guesthouse with many original features. This is a popular seaside location so one of many similar B&B's may be used.

Meals:  B

Your Coast to Coast walk concludes in Robin Hood's Bay after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 11 Breakfasts
  • 11 Nights accommodation on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities where available
  • One piece of luggage per person transferred from Inn to Inn, not exceeding 18kg
  • 2 Transfers (on day 6 and on day 9)
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX files

  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Excess Luggage
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Guide - this is a self guided holiday

Accommodation


Suitability

moderate to challenging

4

Moderate to Challenging. Some long days with steep climbs and descents. You must be comfortable climbing up over stiles, walking on steep rocky and coastal terrain. Mixed weather can be expected. We would not recommend the route for first time walkers. When walking early or late in the season, you need to be mindful of shorter daylight hours and be prepared for changeable weather conditions which may include snow.


Departure dates

Daily from 27 Mar to 1 Oct

Notes

DN1
15, 16,17 & 18 day versions available as well as other sections of the walk

Priceper person from

£1810GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single room supplementGBP£600
  • Solo traveller supplementGBP£790
*Prices listed are per person

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, this is an itinerary that follows much of the Wainwright Coast to Coast but misses out the hard day to Shap, the long day to Kirkby Stephen, the long crossing of the Vale of Mowbray from Richmond and half of the standard day across the Cleveland Hills to Blakey. You still cross England from St Bees all the way to Robin Hood's Bay.

If the weather is good, for fit walkers the high level variants of the Coast to Coast are worth doing. You should be aware that the Red Pike option above Ennerdale often takes walkers an extra 2 hours over the standard route. The Helm Crag option adds and extra hour, the St. Sunday Crag option above Grisedale takes about 1.5 hours more than the standard route, and the Striding Edge option about 2 hours more than the standard route. We advise to always bear this in mind in terms of checking in and evening meals etc.

The Coast to Coast Path has become generally well signed on the lower sections, but is not generally waymarked across the Lake District. There is a small dedicated waymark on sections of the trail, sometimes on gates or fingerposts. It is still possible to take a wrong term and people still make mistakes in bad weather in the Lake District and the Pennines so good maps, GPX and route notes are essential.

Wainwright's Coast to Coast in the UK is a very popular trail. Most days throughout the season, individuals, couples and groups set off to walk the route. However you may find that no one starting on your start date will walk exactly the same speed so it is unlikely that you will all arrive at the end each evening at the same time and of course different people have different itineraries. Realistically there will be sections of the walk where you will be walking alone.

Please always carry maps / compass / guide book or route notes as well. We have seen GPS fail in heavy rain, or if a phone is dropped or of course runs out of power. In short you should be able to follow a map.

Your bags should be ready for collection at 08.30am each day. It doesn't mean that the bags will go exactly at that time, but depending upon schedules, the van driver may arrive at your accommodation first.

This makes sense in those places along the Coast to Coast where there is no shop. Otherwise you can choose to buy your own items at a shop or bakery. Some people find the packed lunches more than substantial, they may even contain more items than you require.

It was announced in 2022 that the Coast to Coast will become a UK National Trail in 2024. This should mean more funding for trail maintenance and signage. It is however unlikely that you will suddenly see a rash of waymarks across the higher levels of the walk such as in the Lake District.

It depends what you like to do! Grasmere, Richmond and and Robin Hood's Bay are great places to stay. With an extra night, you allow yourself more time to see the sights and visit for example Ambleside, Keswick (from Grasmere) or Whitby (from Robin Hood's Bay). Another place to spend extra time could be Keld, which is very quiet and there are nice walks to Thwaite and Muker.


Shortened Coast to Coast Walk Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Shortened Coast to Coast Walk Videos

Walk England's Coast to Coast with Walkers' Britain

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