The Coast to Coast walk is a famous British hike designed by Alfred Wainwright that steers across the UK’s landscape from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. The C2C rambling route passes through three national parks: the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park. The great fell-walker, Alfred Wainwright, who devised the journey, chose a route which showcases the British landscape at its best.
Alfred Wainwright’s ‘Coast to Coast Walk’ book was first published in 1973 and there have been a number of changes to the route over the years. Specifically, Wainwright divided his hike into 12 sections for ramblers, meaning experienced fell walkers can tackle the journey in as many days.
It is suggested that Wainwright’s route is better travelled over 14 or 15 days, therefore taking time in your itinerary to explore and wonder. Significantly, Wainwright recommended that ramblers dip their booted feet in the Irish Sea at St Bees and, at the end of the hike, in the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay. Hikers will explore some of the famous Wainwright Fells along the way.
The Wainwright Society, founded in 2002 to keep alive the things which AW promoted through the guidebooks, took on responsibility for the Coast to Coast Walk. At the Society’s Annual General Meeting in 2012, chairman Eric Robson announced that the journey would be way-marked for the first time in 40 years.
The length of the Coast to Coast walk is about 192 miles long. Therefore, there are some variations possible on some of the sections from Wainwright’s guide. As a result, to travel the whole route, it is suggested to be across in 12-14 days.
The itinerary for the long distance ramble can be quite challenging. Consequently many people ask us how difficult is the C2C walk? By the time you take your first steps in St Bees, you should ideally be at a good level of fitness and stamina. The natural environment can be especially demanding at times.
The Coast to Coast walk is quite challenging. Ramblers will witness some of the most stunning natural sights England has to offer and will need to walk across valleys, hills and mountains. As a result, it is best to have some previous hill-walking experience.
View our pre-trip fitness guide here.
We use our expert knowledge of the coast to coast walking route to plan each visitor’s path. There are an array of alternative routes to wonder, places to stay and sights to see. Below we have listed some of the C2C route’s highlights, which you can explore at your own leisure. Along the way, hikers stay in top quality accommodation carefully chosen by our team. Each place is located close to the route for maximum convenience. For variety within the itinerary, we include country hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses, so no two nights are the same.
Dip your toes in the water of St Bees’ beaches before you embark on your coast to coast walk. After enjoying the wonders of Saint Bees Head Heritage Coast, walkers will visit Fleswick Bay, St Bees Lighthouse, Sandwith Quarry, Cleator and Dent Fell, before landing at Ennerdale Bridge.
On a clear day, the ridge line from Red Pike through to Haystacks presents one of the best views in the Lake District. The path from Red Pike to High Stile is a fun hike that takes you across the rocky peaks of High Crag, passing Bleaberry Tarn, and Buttermere along the way.
Overall, this is one of the shortest sections of the coast to coast hike. However, the path takes you across particularly high, rocky sections with steep climbs and stream crossings. Hikers begin from Borrowdale towards Stonethwaite Beck, while exploring Eagle Crag. You will be taking in the amazing views of Easedale and the surrounding fells and distant summits, before ultimately landing at Grasmere.
Patterdale to Shap takes you up and over the high point of Kidsty Pike and is undeniably one of the toughest days on route. However the the long journey is unquestionably worth it once you reach Kirkby Stephen for a rest in the home town of C2C Packhorse.
The journey from Keld to Richmond via Reeth is much easier than the trails before it. Walkers enjoy the vast hills of Yorkshire and wonder the relatively flat terrain toward Richmond.
Arriving from Richmond to Danby Wiske takes explorers across the low-lying land on the North York Moors known as the Vale of Mowbray (yes, like the pies!). You will approach Ingleby Cross close to the North York Moors National Park. This route offers some amazing vantage points after a day of hill climbing. Furthermore, hikers can enjoy the beautiful countryside of Swaledale and enjoy their first glimpse of the North Sea Coast on a clear day.
See the map below for a detailed look at the epic cross-country adventure from St Bees to Robin Hood Bay.
Our company only provide C2C tours, as a result we can dedicate ourselves to providing a tailored experience for every walker. We use our many years of experience to shape the tour packages. Consequently, we can help decide how many miles per day a rambler wants to do and how many rest days to include. It also means handling all of the arrangements, from booking accommodation to making sure the luggage is waiting each time. If a customer is unable to continue through injury or illness, we’ll transport them to their next accommodation. If a participant wants to choose their own accommodation we’re still on hand to provide any help they need.
The price for our walking tour packages varies depending upon the length of the journey. Some walkers opt to complete just part of the Wainwright Way over 5 or 6 nights for example. Sample prices include:
|WALKING & RUNNING PACKAGES|
|PART WALK/RUN||FULL WALK/RUN|
|Single Supp||£35 per night|
|Bag Transfer||£13.00||per move|
|Booked less than 24hrs||£15.00||per move|
|East to West||£14.50||per move|
|Passenger Transport |
KS-St Bees / RHB – KS
|£37.50||per person per move|
|Car Parking||£6||per day|