One man’s passion and lifelong love of walking in the fells… but then that man was Alfred Wainwright, who wanted to encourage others to experience the “sustained beauty, variety and interest” that is the 192miles of crossing the “grandest territory” of the North of England. He completed the trip in 1972 and his “A Coast to Coast Walk – A Pictorial Guide” was published the following year.
As one of those who crosses it every year, I would concur it is the most majestic experience. Starting on the beach at St Bees, dipping toe in the Irish Sea and collecting a pebble, through the majestic (and UNESCO World Heritage Status) Lake District, the limestone Westmorland Fells, the watershed between east and west, the delightful charms and rugged beauty of Swaledale, and the rugged heather expanse of the North York Moors, before the Jurassic sea cliffs into the finish in Robin Hood’s Bay and the North Sea. Along it are constant surprises and fascinating glimpses into the past and how the land shaped life across it (and vice versa).
The Coast to Coast is one of the most popular and highly rated long-distance routes in the world – and quite rightly so in our opinion. As Wainwright himself says “there cannot be a finer itinerary for a long-distance walk”. No two days will be the same.