The Coast to Coast is an epic long-distance hike through three of England’s most-loved national parks: the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors.
Exploring an ever-changing landscape filled with history, heritage, tranquillity, and wild beauty, the route travels 182 miles (293 kilometers) from St Bees on the Irish Sea to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea.
Along the way you will discover some of Britain’s most stunning countryside as you hike over empty fells and past serene lakes, through patchwork pastures and into sleepy villages, over majestic moorland and along some spectacular coastline.
Despite being one of the most popular long-distance routes in the UK, the Coast to Coast is an unofficial trail and is mostly unsignposted. As such, navigation skills are helpful on some of the more remote parts.
The route was devised by legendary fellwalker Alfred Wainwright in his 1973 book, A Coast to Coast Walk. Wainwright recommends that walkers dip their booted feet in the Irish Sea at St Bees, at the start of the walk, and in the North Sea at Robin Hood's Bay at the end of the walk.
As Wainwright suggests, this Collections starts on the East Coast and finishes on the West Coast. This way, the prevailing winds are behind you and the hardest walking is completed in the first few stages. However, many people opt to complete the trail from West to East and it is an equally valid choice.
In this Collection, we split the trail into 13 stages. Of course, you can split up each stage into as many days as you are comfortable with. You can also walk any single stage, or a couple of stages, in isolation.
Every stage finishes close to accommodation, even if there are only a few options. However, places to stay are not abundant so it is worth planning in advance and scheduling any rest days accordingly. Campers are relatively well-served along the route.
Because this hike crosses from one side of the country to the other, it is best to arrive by public transport.
You can catch a train to St Bees Railway Station, which has connecting services around the country. To get home, you would need to catch the X93 bus service from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby and then catch a train from Whitby Railway Station, which has connecting services around the country.
If you are planning to arrive by car, your best bet is to negotiate with a hotel or B&B a rate to stay for a night either side of your hike in St Bees and leave your car for the duration. Alternatively, there are long stay parking options around St Bees.
To get home, you would need to catch the X93 bus service from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby and then catch a train from Whitby Railway Station back to St Bees. Be aware, though, this will take more than six hours and requires at least three changes.
This stage marks the first leg of the Coast to Coast walk, one of the most famous long distance hikes in Britain.
Devised by legendary fellwalker Alfred Wainwright, the route passes some 182 miles (293 kilometers) through three of England’s best-loved national parks: the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors.
From the starting memorial in St …
The Coast to Coast is synonymous with solitude and along this stage you get a real flavor of the remote countryside in store.
From Ennerdale Bridge, the trail passes through farmland for the first couple of miles until you reach the stunning expanse of Ennerdale Water.
The most westerly, and remote, of all the lakes, Ennerdale Water affords a real …
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This stage takes you high into the fells and should challenge your fitness and stamina.
From Rosthwaite, you hike through pretty pastures for the first couple of miles before the long and tough climb up Lining Crag.
Standing at 1,778 feet (542 meters) tall, Lining Crag affords spectacular views over the rugged landscape.
It is then a long descent to …
The trail continues higher into the fells along this stage, exploring a wild landscape that will take your breath away.
From Patterdale, you have more than five miles (eight kilometers) of continuous and challenging climbing to contend with.
Fortunately, the hills are filled with beauty. Angle Tarn, an enchanting stretch of water high on the fells, is one particular highlight …
This stage is the longest on this itinerary and will be a real test of you mettle.
With many ascents and descents to contend with, as well as a rugged terrain, this hike will push you to your limits.
From Shap, trail undulates as it climbs gradually through the moorland. Two miles (three kilometers) into the route, it is worth …
After a grueling last stage, you will find this hike more leisurely.
From Kirkby Stephen, you make a long, but very gradual ascent to Nine Standards Rigg.
At a height of 2,172 feet (662 meters), the curious Nine Standards afford superb views over the town of Kirkby Stephen and beyond. Whilst the origin of the cairns is a mystery, some …
Waterfalls, a wild landscape, and the signs of a bygone industrial age combine to make this a memorable stage.
From Keld, you follow the River Swale and soon arrive at East Gill Force, an impressive waterfall in a stunning location.
You continue into the hills past the Swinner Gill lead mines; ascending sharply before dropping again to the impressive ruins …
The landscape changes from rugged moorland to a picturesque farmland on this stage.
With a relatively short distance to contend with, this leisurely stage ends in the jewel in the heart of North Yorkshire, Richmond.
From Reeth, you follow Arkle Beck until it joins the Swale and continue alongside the river until Marrick Priory, where you make a sharp ascent. …
This almost entirely flat stage explores a landscape of farms, fields, villages, ponds, rivers, and historic places
As you follow the River Swale out of Richmond you soon arrive at the breathtaking ruins of Easby Abbey.
The free-to-enter ruins are one of the best-preserved monasteries of the Premonstratensian 'white canons'.
You continue through fields and small woodlands, never straying too …
This stage might be a little modest, but it has plenty of charm.
If your legs are in need of a rest, the good news is that the distance is short, the terrain is forgiving, and the hills are non-existent on this super-leisurely stage.
Before leaving Danby Wiske, it is worth making a small detour to see the village church, …
This hearty hike takes you into the wild and beautiful North York Moors National Park.
From Ingleby Arncliffe, you climb through a small section of woodland before joining the Cleveland Way, another long-distance national trail between Helmsley to Filey.
After passing through Huthwaite Green, it is a challenging climb onto Live Moor. From there, the trail ascends gradually to Carlton …
You hike onto the highest piece of land in the North York Moors along this rugged stage.
From Clay Bank, you rejoin the Cleveland Way and immediately begin a steep climb onto Urra Moor, a beautiful and peaceful place to be.
As you continue through the vast expanse of Urra Moor, you soon arrive at Round Hill, the summit of …
The final stage of the Coast to Coast is a fitting homage to the route—a gritty, long-distance slog over majestic moorland to picturesque coastline.
From Glaisdale, you descend to the River Esk and follow it through woodland and fields to the village of Grosmont.
If you time your visit to Grosmont right, you might spot some vintage steam engines. The …
Hiking Collection by Alex Foxfield