This swift walk across England is based on Wainwright’s original Coast to Coast itinerary. The demanding 303km hike takes in some tough high sections of the Lakeland fells, undulating dales and long flat moorland stretches. If you’re looking to challenge your endurance or you’re limited for time, this adventure will maximise your enjoyment while minimising the days required to finish this inspiring journey.
- Challenge your stamina and build fitness on Wainwright’s original Coast to Coast itinerary
- Dedicate 14 walking days to trek across the entire breadth of northern England
- Experience the iconic landscapes of England’s highest fells, wildest moorlands and deepest lakes
- Relish in the simple immeasurable pleasure of walking outdoors in nature
- Fall in love with idyllic rural towns and historic villages
- Marvel at mysterious cairns, ancient stone circles and historic markers
- Mingle with fellow walkers over an ale in cosy, sometimes centuries-old pubs and inns
The walk is most suitable for hikers with a good level of fitness wishing to physically challenge themselves or for experienced walkers with limited time to complete the crossing. The itinerary is based on Alfred Wainwright’s original 14-day walk but with the added benefit of a rest day in Richmond.
The Coast to Coast Path includes stunning but demanding high routes across the Lake District fells, pleasant undulating hills in the Yorkshire Dales and long flat days through the beautifully barren North York Moors.
With the advantage of enjoying pack-free walking, fit well prepared hikers should find this iconic walk achievable while still being able to appreciate the spectacular and unique characteristics of remote rural England.
Are you a first-time or solo traveller?
We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.
DAY 1: ARRIVE ST BEES
Arrive in St Bees and enjoy a stroll to the seaside to contemplate your upcoming adventure and choose the pebble you’ll carry with you to Robin Hood’s Bay.
DAY 2: WALK ST BEES TO ENNERDALE BRIDGE (22.5KM)
The Coast to Coast Path begins with a spectacular cliff-top walk from the stunning red sandstone of St Bees Head, past pretty Fleswick Bay and St Bees Lighthouse before finally turning inland towards Robin Hood’s Bay.
Follow quiet country lanes and fields past the villages of Sandwith, Moor Row and Cleator and your first challenging climb to Dent Fell. If the weather is clear you can savour the wonderful 360 degree views back over the coastline to the Isle of Man and Scottish coastline. Begin your descent downhill to the wonderfully named Nannycatch Beck and Ennerdale Bridge along with breathtaking glimpses of the incredible Lake District.
If you have time sit, relax and sample locally made ice-cream at ‘The Gather’ – the delightful community owned and run cafe, shop and creative space.
DAY 3: WALK ENNERDALE BRIDGE TO ROSTHWAITE (24KM)
Sometimes it’s hard to describe beauty – you just have to see it with your own eyes. Walking through the stunning Lake District is one of those times. You’ll also understand why Alfred Wainwright dedicated every single night for 13 years to writing his chronicle of guidebooks. As you walk with your guide along the beautiful shores of Ennerdale Water, notice the National Trust rehabilitation project ‘Wild Ennerdale’ dedicated to returning the area to its natural wilderness. Your guide will discuss various route paths but we recommend the route over Haystacks to Innominate Tarn, Wainwright’s favourite fell and final resting place. This is also a great place for your guide to discuss some basic navigation and information on how to keep safe on the fells, something we take seriously because sign-posting along the trail is quite poor.
DAY 4: WALK ROSTHWAITE TO PATTERDALE (28KM)
A tough day begins with an easy walk beside Stonethwaite Beck, which keeps you company until you begin your first soggy scramble up Greenup Gill. From the top there are stunning views back over Borrowdale and down towards Easdale valley where you have a choice of paths.
The easier and recommended path, especially for inclement weather, descends into the valley and follows the line of Easdale Gill with spectacular craggy mountain scenery all the way to Grasmere. After you leave Grasmere you’ll climb to Tongue Gill waterfall, which is perfect for picnicking and photo opportunities. After another short climb you’ll reach the head of Grisedale Tarn where you have the choice of three possible routes.
If the weather is fine the ridge walk along St Sunday Crag is highly recommended; some say it has the best views of the entire Coast to Coast. The most challenging route is to the summit of Helvellyn and Striding Edge – so called because of its precipitous drop. This option is not a RAW Travel recommended route. The official Coast to Coast Path, and best poor weather option is to continue down the Grisedale valley path into Patterdale and the shores of the beautiful Ullswater Lake.
DAY 5: WALK PATTERDALE TO SHAP (25KM)
Today the trail leaves the Lake District with a steady climb from Patterdale. There are lovely views back over Ullswater and the beautiful Lakeland mountains. You’ll pass pretty Angle Tarn as you climb steadily upwards towards Kidsty Pike, the highest point of the Coast to Coast at 780m. From here, begin your steep descent to the still shores of Haweswater, all the while looking for endangered shy red squirrels.
Pass the tiny village of Burnbanks where, just over the stile, there usually sits an ‘honesty box’ with chocolates and drinks for thirsty Coast to Coasters. The trail flattens and criss-crosses pretty becks and fields as it moves past the 12th-century Shap Abbey and the River Lowther before entering the village where you can pick up stores from the small supermarket.
DAY 6: WALK SHAP TO KIRKBY STEPHEN (34KM)
Enjoy the changes of scenery as the path embraces wide open moorland with big skies, limestone escarpments, lush pastures and scattered farmhouses. The limestone plateau east of Shap has yielded many archaeological finds with some dating back 2000 to 9000 years. Early on, the path is relatively flat and easy going except for a few small boggy bits which can be easily skirted.
The quaint village of Orton has many historical buildings and Kennedy’s Fine Chocolate shop is always welcome if you have a sweet tooth or need a chocolatey refreshment. The path follows easier gradients with glimpses of a prehistoric past through wild moorlands to enter one of the least populated areas of England. These now lonely places were once busy with human life and hold the dramatic remains of Victorian rail engineering.
You’ll pass by Sunbiggin Tarn with its resident birdlife before dropping into the Lune Valley and Smardale Bridge where you should look out for the ‘pillow mounds’ – prehistoric sites whose purpose remains unclear. After walking up Smardale Fell you descend to the welcome sight of the lovely market town of Kirkby Stephen.
Day 7: KIRKBY STEPHEN TO KELD (21KM)
An eventful day crossing the beautiful Pennine Hill mountain range from county Cumbria into Yorkshire. At the summit you pass the mysterious 800-year-old Nine Standards, which for many are a highlight of the walk. The origins of these enormous cairns remain unknown; however, they do mark the invisible divide that dictates whether water flows west into the Irish Sea or east into the North Sea. Three seasonal walking routes have been introduced to help protect the delicate moorland biodiversity from thousands of walking boots. Unfortunately ‘delicate biodiversity’ also means peat bog, lots of it. It’s almost impossible to avoid, so strap on your gaiters if you have them, keep to the paths as much as possible and soak up the gorgeous Swaledale scenery on your downhill trek to Keld.
DAY 8: WALK KELD TO REETH (18.5KM)
Keld has many waterfalls and old stone barns and is now a tiny hill village but in the mid 19th century it was the heart of a thriving lead mining industry. Today’s walk passes through the remains and legacy of those boom times. You’ll notice the area littered with mining ruins and in some parts, the ground has been stripped away completely to leave a scarred and desolate landscape.
There is a choice of routes and in poor weather the lower level walk via Swaledale is a pretty alternative to the high route via the mines. There is also a good village pub in Gunnerside on this lower route and a well worthwhile 10-minute detour for morning tea at Muker. The walk finishes in Reeth with an excellent variety of pubs and tea shops to enjoy plus a fine village green to sit out and enjoy.
DAY 9: WALK REETH TO RICHMOND (17KM)
Today you’ll understand why the Yorkshire Dales is such a much-loved walking destination. After leaving Reeth, the River Swale meanders reassuringly beside you providing company as you stride out on wide easy pathways to Marrick Priory. This once Benedictine nunnery, now an outdoor education centre, was in use from 1140 to 1160 and is considered one of the best preserved in the UK. From here the path follows the Nun’s Steps through gorgeous woodland and lush farmland to charming Marske where wildflowers seem to peek from every village garden.
On your way to Richmond also note the changing geology as you pass by some of the limestone cliffs for which the Yorkshire Dales is famous.
DAY 10: REST DAY RICHMOND
Discover Richmond’s winding streets, cobbled market place and Norman castle. Read a book, relax with a massage or shop for artisan gifts and local produce such as cheese, honey and fudge at ‘The Station’, the town’s former railway station. There’s also ‘The Noted Pie Shop’ in the market square, which comes highly recommended by the Coast to Coast team at RAW Travel and the British Pie Association – don’t miss it!
DAY 11: WALK RICHMOND TO INGLEBY CROSS (36KM)
The River Swale is your companion again as you leave Richmond for the flat agricultural fields of the Vale of Mowbray. There’s a pretty church at Bolton-on-Swale where you can buy refreshments.
Walk along quiet country lanes and fertile pastured fields to the lowest point of the trail at Danby Wiske where the Cleveland hills beckon in the distance. From tiny Danby Wiske enjoy a relaxing pace while absorbing the sights and sounds of rural England before treating yourself to coffee and cake at the Joiners Shop Cafe in the idyllic village of Ingleby Arncliffe.
DAY 12: WALK INGLEBY CROSS TO BLAKEY RIDGE (34KM)
You may find today’s section the toughest as the Coast to Coast Path climbs steadily through Arncliffe Wood to the stunning expanses of the North York Moors.
If you’re walking in late summer you’ll be treated to a beautiful carpet of purple heather. Watch out for shy grouse who live among the moorland. There’s a long ascent to Live Moor and Carlton Bank but the scenery is so lovely you’ll barely notice. Break your journey at the delightful Lord Stones Café, a local landmark specialising in locally sourced produce. After a succession of hilly climbs take in the wonderful views back over the Pennines and before you to the North Sea.
Begin your steep descent to Kirby Bank before climbing again to the giant Wain Stones with views to Roseberry Topping. Emerge at last from the rollercoaster of hills to follow the former Rosedale ironstone railway through the heathland wilderness to High Blakey Moor and the much-awaited Lion Inn.
Day 13: WALK BLAKEY RIDGE TO GROSMONT (22KM)
From high on Blakey Ridge take in the surrounds as you stroll down the Esk Valley past the medieval stone markers of Young Ralph and Fat Betty.
There are numerous myths and legends around Fat Betty including that the cross marks the place where two nuns from nearby Rosedale Abbey lost their lives on the misty moors. As you head towards Glaisdale Moor and the village of Egton Bridge and Grosmont, the wide unenclosed vista inspires you to stride out with an unbound sense of freedom and adventure.
Day 14: WALK GROSMONT to ROBIN HOOD’S BAY (25KM)
One of the best last days of any walk! Before you begin your climb out of Grosmont look out for steam trains at the vibrant village station. You can catch glimpses of Whitby Abbey in the distance.
If your steps start getting slower as you move towards Robin Hood’s Bay, we completely understand – you won’t want this special walk to end. There’s so much to enjoy on your final walking day, including captivating moorlands and pretty Little Beck Woods.
Enjoy morning tea or lunch at the delightful Falling Foss Tea Gardens before, finally, meeting the North Sea and stunning cliff-top views as you walk the last few kilometres and head straight to Robin Hood’s Bay and Wainwright’s Bar to celebrate your achievement.
DAY 15: DEPART ROBIN HOOD’S BAY
After a leisurely breakfast, you can check-out any time before 10am.
- One full day walking the Lake District fells with your own private mountain guide.
- Hassle-free hiking with exclusive use of RAW Travel’s specifically designed Coast to Coast navigational hiking App.
- 14 nights’ accommodation in character-filled warm country inns and B&Bs – hand-selected by our team.
- Fresh fruits, yoghurts, cereals or a big hearty English breakfast to support your day on the trail.
- Pack-free walking with daily luggage transfers to your accommodation (20kg per person).
- Local 24/7 UK support from RAW Travel staff.
- Comprehensive information pack with full Coast to Coast guidebook and map booklet.
- Pre-trip consultation with our specialist Coast to Coast team who all know and love the trail.
Map & Guide
Andrew and Gabrielle Tagg, East Killara (NSW) – June 2019
I just wanted to say that Gabrielle and I both agreed this Coast to Coast walk is fabulous and is arguably the best walk we have done to date. The scenery and the joy of walking in such secluded, pristine, beautiful and ever-changing vista, constantly reminded us how fortunate we were to be there. We were lucky with the weather, plus no injuries or blisters. The locals and fellow walkers we met and with whom we chatted were amazing and the places in which we stayed were always cosy, inviting, welcoming and a joy to be there. We both agreed at the end we could have easily continued walking such were the delights this walk evokes within you.
Sarah Beadman, Suffolk Park (NSW) – June 2019
Great way to see England’s countryside. The locals so welcoming and keen to help you. Challenges you mentally and physically. Didn’t want it to end.
Maureen Baker, Redcliffe (QLD) – May 2019
We just wanted to thank you for your great organisation of our Coast to Coast walk across England. Absolutely everything went like clockwork. We had good weather – no driving rain. Yes, at times it was cold but that is to be expected. All hosts were lovely. Plenty of food, especially the lunches. One lunch between two of us was more than ample. I would recommend RAW Travel to anyone interested in the Coast to Coast walk.
Julie Kidd, Bunyip (VIC) – June 2018
A truly wonderful experience of walking in remote parts of England.
Dave & Kerry Stevenson, Glendale (NSW) – May 2018
All went well. The weather was almost perfect; it only rained at night. A very minor issue was the ‘breeze’ up on Kidsty Pike – let us say it was strong enough to blow you away if you were not careful. The accommodation was excellent all the way along the trail. The different B&B hosts were great and added good memories to the experience. Packhorse was flawless in moving our luggage around. The trail was a little harder underfoot than we expected with more rock hopping than we trained for, but a lot less mud. I only made one navigation error of note at Kidsty Pike in the cloud and wind but that was quickly corrected using a GPS app on my phone. I recommend the GPS app as a cheap alternative to getting a proper GPS like a Garmin Etrex. Although one lady we met used one and said it made navigation a breeze. At each decision point on the trail she knew within about 10m if she was on the right track or not. She said she hired it in Amsterdam for about 40 euros for the trip. Maybe there is somewhere in Australia that may hire GPS units, I certainly never thought of it. With Coast to Coast done and dusted we are looking forward to the Camino from Portugal. Thanks for your help with the trip and also to Ros and the rest of the team.
Matthew & Catherine Gibney, Invermay (VIC) – August 2017
Brilliant trip! One of our best ever holidays. Invigorating and relaxing at the same time. Lovely scenery, lovely people on the way, well organised with good accommodation. We loved the challenge and the interaction with locals and other travellers. We often took the harder ‘high road’ as we are all very fit. This was wonderful.
Joanne Ham, Windermere (VIC) – August 2017
We had a great walk, varied scenery and excellent accommodation.
Jane McInnis, Glen Iris, VIC – May 2017
I am so glad to have had the experience of walking Coast to Coast – it gave me the life space I was after, in a most wonderful series of natural spaces. I walked every day at my own pace, except for the 3 days guided in the Lakes District. Guide Neil was spot on in terms of the kind of person you would hope to have in this role. I would not have been without this aspect of my walk – I gained confidence, learnt key compass skills, and got answers to a wide range of questions (plants, animals, geology, local lives etc), and it enabled me to experience climbing Helvellyn and clambering down Swirral Edge – brilliant! There was a blend of old style and more funky accommodation – all absolutely fine. Lots of climbing up and down, big skies, hillsides of bluebells, babbling streams, swathes of native garlic in the woods. Rain, fog, mist, cloud, sun and wind! Rockwalls, kissing gates, latches of all kinds and ingenuity, and so much more. Thank you.
Jenny Fessl, St Leonards, NSW – May 2017
Thanks Sandra for all your help and organisation so that I was able to do this wonderful walk. The last day into Robin Hood’s Bay was a long but very rewarding day. It was a very special moment when we reached the North Sea and wet our boots and threw the stone into the sea. The achievement of what we had done was well rewarded at the pub afterwards.
The service was absolutely first class. It was an absolute treat to know that a new host awaited me at the end of each day… I cannot recommend your company enough and have sold its praises to everyone who has asked me about the walk.
The trip was excellent. Everything worked brilliantly, including accommodation and bag drop off. I really enjoyed the mix of B&Bs and hotels – all welcoming and of a high standard. Well done.
What our Clients Say
This Coast to Coast walk is fabulous and is arguably the best walk we have done to date. The scenery and the joy of walking in such secluded, pristine, beautiful and ever-changing vista, constantly reminded us how fortunate we were to be there.
Andrew and Gabrielle Tagg, NSW – June 2019
Great way to see England's countryside. The locals so welcoming and keen to help you. Challenges you mentally and physically. Didn't want it to end.
Sarah Beadman, NSW – June 2019
We just wanted to thank you for your great organisation of our Coast to Coast. Absolutely everything went like clockwork. All hosts were lovely. Plenty of food. I would recommend RAW Travel to anyone interested in the Coast to Coast walk.
Maureen Baker, QLD – May 2019
Lilia Akhtanenko – Camino, Coast to Coast (UK) & Nepal
(03) 5976 3763
This trip has a difficulty rating of 6-7 out of 10.