Looking out over Robin Hood’s Bay, you reflect on the sheer variety of stunning scenery you’ve explored on this iconic hike, and bask in the satisfaction of your achievement.
The 194 mile Coast to Coast walk from St Bees on the Cumbrian coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea shore attracts hikers looking for a long distance challenge with the added attraction of three National Parks and some of the country’s most inspiring scenery.
This holiday provides the chance to tackle the western section of the trail from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen in seven days walking, or the eastern section from Kirkby Stephen to Robin Hood’s Bay in eight walking days, or the whole route in walking sections of 9-16 miles a day. We’ll walk a total of 85 miles on the western section and 109 miles on the eastern section. We walk from inn-to-inn staying in B Bs, guest houses and small hotels with your baggage being transported leaving you to carry only your day pack with what you need for the day.
The whole route starts with a spectacular clifftop walk before heading inland towards Ennerdale and the first of the lakes and the first mountain pass beyond. Before leaving the Lake District National Park you’ll have experienced some of the best high level hikes, lake shore walks and spectacular views England has to offer continuing across the moors, onto the Dales and to the picturesque finishing point at the North Sea Coast at Robin Hood’s Bay.
Most of the walks are at grade 6. However on some days they will feel more like grade 7 due to the longer distances covered.
You might also be interested in walking just the Western or Eastern sections of the trail.
Independent travel to The Seacote Hotel in St Bees. Check in is from 3pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6.30pm in the hotel for a briefing before dinner.
St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge. From the sea front at St. Bees, having wet our boots and collected a pebble, we follow the coastal, cliff top path before heading inland across farm land and through villages before crossing our first Lakeland hill, the outlying Dent Hill. We will continue to the village of Ennerdale Bridge. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 24km/15 miles. Ascent 680m/2210ft. Max. Altitude 352m. Walking time 7-8hrs.
Ennerdale Bridge to Seatoller. The majority of today we will spend walking the length of Ennerdale, known as the remotest valley in the Lake District. Initially we will follow a small path along the southern shore of the Water and then onward through Ennerdale Forest to Black Sail Youth Hostel. As we walk we are under the shadows of some of the highest mountains in England, Great Gable and Pillar and we pass close to Hay Stacks. On climbing out of Ennerdale, we will make our way to Honister Hause and descend the old road to Seatoller in Borrowdale. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 23.5km/14 miles. Ascent 720m/2340ft. Max altitude 579m. Walking time 7hrs.
Seatoller to Grasmere. Following a pleasant stream or two we will gradually ascend to Greenup Edge on the slopes of High Raise where we have a choice of two routes. Dependent on the weather, we can tackle the ridge walk to Helm Crag, or else take the more direct, lower route and descend alongside Easedale Gill as we make our way to the delightful Lakeland town of Grasmere. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 16km/10 miles. Ascent 550m/1790ft. Max Altitude 616m. Walking time 5-6hrs.
Grasmere to Patterdale. We will walk on lanes and a bridleway to Great Tongue, and on the toss of a coin fork to the right or the left, the paths meet later and take us to Grisedale Tarn, which nestles under the shadow of Helvellyn. Crossing the outflow from the Tarn we can either follow the beck as it tumbles downwards or climb up to walk the St Sunday Crag ridge before descending into Patterdale. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 14.5km/9miles. Ascent 680m/2210ft. Max. altitude 595m. Walking time 5-6hrs.
Patterdale to Burnbanks. On leaving Patterdale we will begin our ascent for the day, passing Angle Tarn, the slopes of Rest Dodd and The Knott crossing the course of the Roman road and to the highest point on the walks; Rampsgill Head and Kidsty Pike (780m/2,559ft). We walk down the East ridge before a steep descent to reach Haweswater. A path, which improves as it goes, takes us the whole length of the lake, and we will then walk into the hamlet of Burnbanks, originally built to house those working on the dam. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 18.5km/11.5miles. Ascent 870m/2827ft. Max. Altitude 792m. Walking time 6hrs.
Burnbanks to Orton. After the rigours of the Lakeland Fells today’s walk will seem more leisurely, as we follow paths and lanes to the ruins of Shap Abbey, through the now quiet town of Shap and then continue over and around gentler, limestone hills to the village of Orton. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 20km/12.5 miles. Ascent 327m/1063ft. Max. Altitude 354m. Walking time 6hrs.
Orton to Kirkby Stephen. With limestone scars above us to the north we complete our journey on lanes and paths over gritstone, and limestone moors, some heather clad, as we make our way past the Iron Age enclosed field systems of Severals Settlements, across Smardale Fell, looking out for a wonderful Victorian rail viaduct,to the market town of Kirkby Stephen. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 21km/13 miles. Ascent 315m/1024ft. Max. Altitude 344m. Walking time 6hrs.
We enjoy a well earned rest day and free at leisure to explore Kirkby Stephen. Dinner in the hotel.
Kirkby Stephen to Keld. Today’s section starts in the county of Cumbria and continues into Yorkshire. We begin by crossing the Eden river at Franks Bridge and climbing up to the Nine Standards Rigg. This is a major watershed as, from now on, all rivers will be draining eastwards into the North Sea. This area is extremely boggy - if you have gaiters this would be an ideal occasion to wear them. There are three routes to follow, depending on the conditions, but all lead into Swaledale, which we will follow for the next two days. Dinner in the hotel. Distance Depending on route: Red 19km/12 miles. Green 23km/14.5 miles. Ascent 459m / Descent 314m, Max. Altitude 575m. Walking time 6-7hrs.
Keld to Reeth. The wildlife is in abundance along today’s section, so we may encounter rabbits, pheasants, grouse and deer. We begin by crossing the Pennine Way and ascending to Crackpot Hall where we can either descend to follow the River Swale to Reeth, or climb up to traverse the moors and examine the mining history that has scarred the landscape. The high level route is the preferred option and we will climb above the narrow gorge of Swinner Gill, and as we continue further uphill we see the remains of Swinner Gill smelting mill with waterfalls alongside and look at the ‘hushes’ on the far valley. We continue across attractive countryside and pass Moss Dam and tackle a steep path up onto Melbecks Moors. From Cringley Bottom we are rewarded with fine views as the track rolls down to Reeth. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 18.5km/11.5 miles. Ascent 202m, Descent 313m, Max altitude 377m. Walking time 6hrs.
Reeth to Richmond. Our day starts with a pleasant walk alongside the River Swale to Marrick Abbey, founded in the 12th Century. We then climb up above the river, to arrive in the village of Marske, where we will learn about the Hutton family. We will then walk beneath a limestone scar and pass through wooded areas including Whitecliffe Wood. After emerging from here we are treated with fine views of Richmond our destination for the night. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 17km/11 miles. Ascent 287m, Descent 361m Max Altitude 314m. Walking time 6hrs.
Richmond to Danby Wiske. On leaving Richmond we start to cross the Vale of Mowbray, a fertile agricultural plain which is only just above sea level. We will follow the River Swale for much of the morning, past the old Roman settlement at Catterick Bridge, but when the river swings away south, we will head off due east towards the Cleveland Hills which we will see in the distance. This is a pleasant day of field walking as we head to Danby Wiske, the lowest point on the walk apart from the start and finish! Dinner in the hotel. Distance 23km/14.5 miles. Ascent 65m, Descent 162m Max. Altitude 137m. Walking time 7hrs.
Danby Wiske to Huthwaite Green. The day starts with us following an assortment of paths across fields as we get ever nearer to the Cleveland Hills. We finally reach the A19, which we have to sprint across as there is no bridge, and so on to Ingleby Cross at the foot of the Hills. We then enter the North York Moors National Park as we climb steadily up through Arncliffe Wood to join the Cleveland Way on the top of Beacon Hill. We will then enjoy wonderful views as we cross open moorland before descending gently though woods, on a short section of the Lyke Wake Walk path to arrive at Huthwaite Green. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 23.75km/14.75 miles. Ascent 600m, Descent 450m Max. Altitude 299m. Walking time 7-8hrs.
Huthwaite Green to Blakey Ridge. Our morning walk follows the Cleveland Way along the northern edge of the Cleveland Hills. Whilst it is a bit of a switchback walk as we traverse Carlton Moor, Cringle Moor and the Wain Stones, the views north are spectacular and offer a first glimpse of the North Sea. Having crossed a B road at Claybank Top, our afternoon will see us climb steadily up onto Urra Moor. Once there, the going becomes much easier as we will follow a dismantled railway all the way to Blakley Ridge. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 24.5km/15.2 miles. Ascent 1114m / Descent 825m Max. Altitude 447m. Walking time 8hrs.
Blakey Ridge to Grosmont. We begin by following the road towards Young Ralph Cross and Fat Betty, one of the many boundary stones in this area. We continue eastwards and walk along the Southern side of the wonderfully named Great Fryup Dale until the end of Glaisdale Moor where we should catch another glimpse of the North Sea. We continue along a rough stony track following the spur of Glaisdale Rigg before descending to Glaisdale. A short walk through the delightful East Arncliffe Wood brings us to Egton Bridge, where there are some stepping stones over the River Esk. We then follow a private drive and old Toll road by the river into Grosmont. Here we can enjoy the steam trains at the station as we eat our cream tea. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 22km/13.7miles. Ascent 57m, Descent 310m Max. Altitude 420m. Walking time 7hrs.
Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay. Our final day’s walk contains a bit of everything. We begin with a steady climb up onto some heather moorland before dropping down into the wooded May Beck valley to visit the Falling Foss waterfall. A last area of boggy moorland brings us to fields and then, finally, to the coast where we rejoin the Cleveland Way and follow it along the cliffs to Robin Hood’s Bay. Dinner in the hotel. Distance 25.5km/15.9 miles Ascent 508m, Descent 627m Max. Altitude 283m. Walking time 7-8hrs.
After breakfast we say our farewells and depart Robin Hoods Bay. Check out of the Victoria Hotel is by 10.30am.
See where this holiday travels to.