||B&B, Guesthouse, Hotels, Small Inns
||1 - 12+
May 01, 2024 - Oct 15, 2024
|Single Supp Cost
Hiking Trip Summary
First described in his 1973 guidebook A Coast-to-Coast Walk, Alfred Wainwright devised a walking route across the north of England that would become one of Britain’s most inspiring long-distance walks. Wainwright’s route was a celebration of both England’s extensive network of public rights of way, permissive paths and access lands and the grand adventures that could be had by linking them together. His intent was not so much to establish a permanent route as it was to encourage others to devise their own long distance walks.
Not only does Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast route run the breadth of England between the North Sea and the Irish Sea, but it also traverses three of England’s most celebrated national parks, revealing an array of landscapes rich in natural and cultural beauty. Staying true to the spirit of Wainwright’s original intent, our Coast-to-Coast walk incorporates much of the classic route as well as a few variations of our own.
You'll begin your journey in Whitby, on the east coast of the North Sea, and head west. With the sun at your backs and gentler terrain to start, we save the most challenging and best for last. Concentrating your time in national parks, you first cross the North York Moors National Park with its high, heathered moorlands and open vistas, then the Yorkshire Dales, with its lush green valleys, ubiquitous dry stone walls and old market towns, and finally the crown jewel of England’s national parks, the Lake District, with its brooding crags and tarns and romantic lakeside villages.
Visible throughout these serenely beautiful landscapes are tenacious and eternal reminders of those that have walked these paths before you. As you hike 130 miles in 12 days, you’ll pass by ancient standing stones and boundary markers, travel old Roman ways and explore the ruins of medieval abbeys. Words such as fell, beck, dale, force (meaning hill stream, valley, and waterfall) echo back to a time of Norse occupation.
This is one of the best ways to experience northern England, on foot through changing landscapes, stopping in the evenings in villages or small hamlets, staying at old inns and bed & breakfasts, pausing for tea in the afternoon, enjoying a pint at the end of the day at a local pub.
- This itinerary represents our standard itinerary. There are other variations possible, depending on your timeframe and level of hiking ability. Please contact us if you would like a more detailed itinerary including elevation gain, loss, distance, and additional information.
Day 1: Independent travel to Goathland
Goathland is considered one of the most picturesque towns in the North Yorkshire Moors, with its wonderful stone houses bordered by a broad, grassy common. Black-faced sheep still graze the village common and surrounding moorland, their owners holding common rights that have been passed down over hundreds of years. The 70-foot waterfall Mallyan Spout is a short walk from the center of town. Meals included: Breakfast
Day 2: Whitby to Goathland
You begin your hike in Whitby, a wonderful old seaside resort. After dipping your boots in the sea you'll head west following the Eskdale Way as it parallels the River Esk. Once an old monk’s way between the Abbey at Whitby and the Chapel in Grosmont, the route still bears the flagstones laid to protect the monks’ habits from the mud. You will end your day back in the village of Goathland. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 3: Goathland to Rosedale Abbey:
From Goathland, you begin the day hiking a short section of the Wheeldale Roman Road, one of the best-preserved Roman roads in England. Heading out across the heather-covered expanses of Wheeldale Moor, White Moor, and Shunner Howe, we’ll pass the standing stone of Blue Man-i'-th'-Moss, ending our day in the old mining town of Rosedale Abbey. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 4: Rosedale Abbey to Great Broughton
Today you cross the High Blakey, Farndale, and Urra moors. Here you'll encounter the Cleveland Hills, where the route parallels two other well-known British walks, the Cleveland Way and the Lyke Wake Walk. After crossing Clay Bank Top, also known as Hagg’s Gate, we’ll reach the curious stone outcroppings of The Wainstones before descending into Great Broughton. Meals Included: Dinner, Breakfast
Day 5: Great Broughton to Richmond
Hiking along the impressive Boughton and Kirby banks, you’ll rise to the crest of Cringle Moor with its views of the surrounding Cleveland Hills. Continuing along an undulating escarpment, you cross Carlton Moor, a popular area for the sport of gliding, and then Live Moor before descending through the Clain and Arncliffe Woods, ending your day in the village of Osmotherley, a picturesque village of old stone buildings.
From Osmotherley, you will transfer by van across the Vale of Mowbray to Richmond. Still possessing an air of quaint antiquity, Richmond is dominated by an 11th century Norman cliff-top castle and boasts a large cobbled marketplace with the ancient church of Holy Trinity as its centerpiece. A mixture of stone and brick buildings spread down the hillside in a maze of narrow streets. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 6: Richmond to Reeth
You will have a chance to explore the lovely market town of Richmond before beginning your walk. Just outside Richmond, you enter the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and from here, the walk to Reeth is one of variety. The landscape of limestone escarpments, rich meadows, and "leafy becks" serves as a backdrop for the two lovely villages and priory you will pass along the way. You will end your day with a short transfer to your country inn. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 7: Reeth to Thwaite
Today you’ll have a wonderful riverside walk along the River Swale. Meandering beside the river’s edge and then turning up through rich, green pastures checked with dry stonewalls, your route will take us to the villages of Gunnerside and Muker before ending in the tiny hamlet of Thwaite. Transfer from Thwaite back to the inn. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 8: Thwaite to Hawes
Departing the classic Wainwright route, today you'll head south to the beautiful valley of Wensleydale. Leaving Thwaite, you join another well-known long-distance footpath, “The Pennine Way,” and begin our climb up the north side of Great Shunner Fell. After reaching the summit at 2,363 feet, you’ll have a long, gradual descent into Wensleydale. Here you will be staying at the Stone House Hotel, a fine Edwardian country house set amidst old English gardens, offering expansive views of the Valley. Meals Included: Dinner, Breakfast
Day 9: Hawes: Rest day in Hawes
The day can be spent exploring the nearby market town of Hawes or relaxing at a wonderful Edwardian hotel. Located at the upper end of the Wensleydale Valley in the Northern Yorkshire Dales, Hawes is an active livestock market town. Its attractive main street is lined with old stone buildings, cafes, pubs, and shops. The Wensleydale Creamery, famous for its cheese, is located here, as is the Dales Countryside Museum. Meals Included: Dinner, Breakfast
Day 10: Hawes to Haweswater Reservoir
From the Stone House Hotel, you will transfer to the trailhead just past the town of Orton to begin your hike to Haweswater Reservoir. You join the course of an ancient Roman road, following it over open, rolling terrain. A short detour brings you to the site of the remains of a mysterious stone circle. Hiking through the village of Shap, you will continue through a well-preserved and protected countryside of lakes and high fells. You will stop to visit the remains of Shap Abbey before continuing on to the Haweswater Reservoir and your hotel. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 11: Haweswater Reservoir to Glenridding
You are now entering what some consider the finest section of the Coast-to-Coast route, the Lake District. Leaving the Haweswater Hotel, your hike continues along the reservoir, passing several falling “becks,” or streams, before beginning our climb up Kidsty Peak (2,600′), the highest point of the route. The downhill path then leads along a four-mile stretch with expansive views. You’ll skirt the mountain lake of Angle Tarn on your way to the pass at Boredale Hause, descending to Glenridding and our stopping place for the night. Meals Included: Dinner, Breakfast
Day 12: Glenridding to Grasmere
This is Wordsworth country, an area of classic English beauty, for decades attracting artists and poets. Your route takes you up the valley of Grisedale along Grisedale Beck, past the lake of Grisedale Tarn, and over Grisedale Hause (pass). Just before Grisedale Tarn is a plaque commemorating the “Brother’s Parting.” This is where Wordsworth bid his brother, John, a memorial goodbye in 1800. His brother was lost at sea in 1805. On a clear day, you should have your first glimpse of the Irish Sea from Grisedale Hause.
Day 13: Grasmere to Wasdale Head
Today will be a long and challenging day, beginning with a transfer to the end of Great Lansdale Valley. Following the valley to its terminus, you then begin your climb up to Rossett Pike (1,980′). From here you'll descend slightly to Angle Tarn and climb again to the pass at Esk Hause (2,500′). The descent will take you past Sparkling Tarn and Sty Head, then just beneath the buttresses of Great Gable, Kirk Fell, and the highest fell in England, Scafell Pike (3,209’), ending at Wasdale Head. Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 14: Wasdale Head to Ravenglass:
Leaving Wasdale Head, you hike up over Eskdale Moor. After passing Burnmoor Tarn, which lies between Eskdale Fell and Illgill Head, you will descend to the little hamlet of Boot. Here you can stop for lunch at the pub before continuing to Ravenglass.
The Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway runs from Dalegarth, a short distance from Boot, to Ravenglass. One of the oldest and longest narrow-gauge railways in England, it first began transporting iron ore in 1875 and later took on passengers. Today it’s a heritage railway overseen by the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society.
After walking the short distance from Boot to Dalegarth, you’ll board the train, affectionately called “Old Ratty.” A 15-minute train ride will bring you to Irton. From here you’ll hike up over the high bluff of Muncaster Fell and on to Muncaster Castle. After walking through the grounds of Muncaster Castle with its impressive rhododendron groves, you will have your first glimpse of the Irish Sea.
On your way to Ravenglass, you will pass the ruins of a Roman settlement before arriving at the shore. Dipping your boots in the sea will officially mark the end of your journey. From Ravenglass, you'll start making your way back to the Manchester area, stopping for the evening Austwick on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Meals Included: Dinner, Breakfast
Day 15: Depart
Independent travel onward.
- General consulting regarding hiking dates and abilities
- Travel information on getting to and from the starting point
- Travel suggestions
- All accommodations
- All breakfasts (full English)
- 5 dinners
- All group transfers on buses and vans as described in the itinerary
- Luggage transfer
- Detailed trail notes which include additional information covering various aspects of your trip (i.e., lunches, laundry, water, hotel routines, alternate transportation, etc.).
- Maps: Set of 8 Ordnance Survey maps, 1:25,000 scale (one set per household)
- Great hiking and great memories!
Airfare, transportation to and from the trip start and end, 8 dinners, lunches, optional/individual transfers between inns or individual excursions, items not on set dinner menus, beverages except at breakfast, insurance, items of a personal nature.
The above may change, depending on your final, confirmed itinerary.
This hike has luggage transfer each day. You will only need to carry a small day pack with the clothing and accessories you will need for the day. We recommend that you keep your luggage to a size that you can easily manage yourself, given our accommodations may have narrow hallways and no elevator. See our sample packing list.
While this trip includes luggage transfer, it is not vehicle-supported. Participants should be in a physical condition appropriate to the strenuousness of this hike. It is, however, possible to skip a day of hiking and take a taxi to the next hotel. This extra cost is not included in the price of the trip.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND FACILITIES
Most evenings will be spent in small villages or hamlets. For the most part, these are not typical tourist destinations and therefore have limited choices of accommodations. Our accommodations will run the gamut between small, simple B&Bs to very comfortable country inns. All rooms will be double occupancy with private bathrooms when possible. Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels or nearby restaurants or pubs. Lunches are picnic-style along the trail, with the occasional stop at a pub or tea room.
It is most convenient to fly into Manchester, England. However, there are frequent trains from London; just be sure to allow for extra travel time.
The trip begins on Day 1 in the village of Goathland near Whitby. We will provide information on how to get to Goathland and are happy to arrange airport transfers for an additional fee.
The trip will end at our hotel in the village of Austwick. There is a nearby train station. We will provide information on onward travel from Austwick and are happy to arrange airport transfers for an additional fee.
WHO WOULD LIKE THIS HIKE?
Unlike our trips in the Alps, our England Coast-to-Coast Walk involves more distance than it does elevation gain and loss, yet each day provides good solid hiking and ends at comfortable accommodations. Each of the three National Parks this route travels through has its own unique landscape and ecosystem, heightening the sense of traveling by foot, and the small villages along the route retain a feeling of timelessness.
For the independent hiker, and those who enjoying map reading, navagating the footspaths of England provides its own challenges and delights.
If you’ve ever felt the urge to shout “Heathcliff” across the moors, have a cup of tea in the afternoon, a pint at the pub at the end of a long day’s walk, and experience the endless variety of footpaths and stiles that England has to offer, this trip is for you!
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP DIFFERENT?
Typically, the Coast-to-Coast is hiked from west to east. We organize it from east to west. Many consider the Lake District to be the jewel of England’s national parks, offering some of the dramatic scenery and most challenging hiking. We like leaving the best for last, working up to the most strenuous days in the Lake District National Park.
We also deviate somewhat from the Wainwright route, opting to spend more time in the National Parks. We bypass Kirkby Stephen, instead spending a day on the Pennine Way, crossing over from Swaledale to Wensleydale and visiting the old market town of Hawes in heart of James Herriot country. And instead of ending at St. Bee’s Head, we remain in the Lake District National Park, visiting the most remote corner of the park, Wasdale Head, and ending our walk in the village of Ravensglass.
If you would like to register or would like to receive more information, including a detailed itinerary (including elevation gains, loss, and distance), please contact us. We're also happy to provide a list of past participants willing to share honest insights into this guided England Coast-to-Coast experience.
Reserving This Trip
A non-refundable deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the area provided when completing your registration forms.
Before registering for this, please read our Terms and Conditions in their entirety and then refer to our Self-Guided Trips page for specific information regarding the process.
The balance is due 90 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 75 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive trip
rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.