Ascending St. Sunday Crag from Grisedale Beck on the Coast to Coast Walk, England
It’s one of the world’s most iconic walks. Also referred to as Wainrights Walk, named after Alfred Wainwright, the author of a well-known series of mountain-walking guide books on the Lake District among which is the first guide ever written on the Coast to Coast walk, England’s Coast to Coast is on the bucket-list for most keen walkers. As specialists on this classic English hike, we offer a number of options. This cheat sheet has been designed to help you select the right one for you. WHAT EXACTLY IS THE COAST TO COAST WALK?
England’s Coast to Coast walk crosses from West to East on one of the narrowest parts of the island. The route begins on the Cumbrian coastal town of St Bees, which overlooks the Irish Sea. It crosses through three national parks; the Lake District National Park, Yorkshire Dales National Park and North York Moors National Park, before finally reaching picturesque Robin Hood’s Bay overlooking the North Sea. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
You can choose from a self guided walk or a guided group experience. The various full trail trip options on offer essentially differ in duration, from 15 to 18 days. Or, you can break it up into two smaller stages, from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen, or from Kirby Stephen to Robin Hood’s Bay. IT’S ONLY ENGLAND; IT CAN’T BE THAT HARD, RIGHT?
Wrong. Experienced trekkers have stated they have found the Coast to Coast Walk more difficult than climbing Kilimanjaro or trekking to Everest Base Camp. This is because of the distances covered, an average of 24kms each day on the shorter walk. Backing that up over 2 weeks – without a rest day - it is important to consider your fitness before undertaking this challenging walk All our full trail Coast to Coast Walks are graded at the higher end of our grading scale, moderate to challenging and challenging. Traverse the breadth of England on the Coast to Coast Trail WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING COAST TO COAST WALK?
The shortest version, our 15-day Coast to Coast Walk (available as both escorted and self-guided). It’s the most challenging version of the Coast to Coast Walk because you do the full length of the route in just 13 days of walking. The walking distances and times are longer than on any of our other trips. WHAT’S THE LEAST CHALLENGING FULL TRAIL OPTION?
The longer 18-day version of the Coast to Coast Walk, our ‘Rambler’ walks. Walking distances are shorter so you have more time to rest and take in the scenery. Of course, on self guided trips it’s possible to add in extra rest days in any of our itineraries, just talk to us about your needs. I’M INTERESTED IN THE SELF GUIDED WALK. WHAT’S THE SIGNAGE LIKE ALONG THE ROUTE?
The Coast to Coast Walk varies in its signage. The walk is not an official long distance footpath and because of that there are no official waymarks. When you pass through the towns and villages, most often you will find wooden sign posts. In the Dales there are some Coast-2-Coast signs and in the Cleveland Hills you can partially follow certain waymarks. However, especially in the Lake District and in parts of the Dales, you must be prepared as there are no waymarks whatsoever. The Coast to Coast crosses a number of other routes such as the Cumbrian Way and Herriot Way so you can’t assume the person in front of you is going the same way. We provide you with comprehensive route notes and maps, which we have refined over many years. Combine this with our luggage transfers and it makes sense to organise your individual walking experience with us. The Coast to Coast Walk traverses England, from St Bees to Rob Hood's Bay I AM SHORT ON TIME. WHAT CAN I DO?
Break the trail into two sections – or consider cycling it (see further on). You walk the first part of the route, from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen, in eight days. This stretch shows you the Lake District and is considered the most scenic section of the Coast to Coast Walk. The first few days will take you over some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain of the Lake District. You will also pass Helvellyn (950m), England’s third highest mountain. You can decide to walk to the summit on a detour and on a clear day you may be able to see Scotland and Wales from its summit. Then come back another time to complete the Kirkby Stephen to Robin Hood’s Bay stage, which takes 9 days. WILL I MISS ANYTHING IF I GO ON THE CLASSIC 15 DAY COAST TO COAST WALK?
In principle all trips follow the same route, however there are very minor differences between the 15 to 18 day routes in that you follow slightly different paths in order to arrive in a village on time. Whether you choose to walk the classic 15 day route or one of the extended versions, you will still take in all the important villages, sights and wonderful nature. The main difference is the walking pace. I’M MORE OF A CYCLING PERSON…
There is a cyclist’s Coast to Coast – referred to as C2C or Sea-to-Sea - available as well. It covers a different route and embraces different scenery. We will soon be offering a short 4 day Coast to Coast cycling holiday on the popular C2C cycle route, offering superb cycling amidst the Lake District's great scenery. Stay tuned... CAN I START IN ROBIN HOOD’S BAY INSTEAD?
All our Coast to Coast Walks travel from West (St Bees) to East (Robin Hood’s Bay). This follows Wainwright’s original description of the walk and is the way all the guidebooks describe the trail. If you follow this direction, you’ll have the prevailing winds in your back and towards the end of the day, the sun won't hinder your vision. Find your Coast to Coast Walk.