The 200 mile Coast to Coast walk from St Bees on the Cumbrian coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea shore has attracted hikers looking for a long distance challenge with the added attraction of three national parks and some of the country’s most inspiring scenery. Despite its fame, this route remains unofficial and has only experienced some minor adjustments since being devised by Alfred Wainwright 40 years ago.
This holiday tackles the western section of the trail crossing the Lake District from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen in seven walking days of 9 – 15½ miles a day. We'll be walking, on average, just under 13 miles a day throughout the walk with our longest days being 15½ miles.
We’ll walk from inn-to-inn staying in B Bs, guesthouses and small hotels with your baggage being transported for you each day leaving you to carry only what you need on the trail each day.
The route starts with a spectacular clifftop walk before heading inland towards Ennerdale and the first of the lakes encountered on this walk 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...
Intended route (with approximate daily walking distances):
You might also be interested in walking the Eastern Section of the trail or walking the Whole Route from coast to coast.
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 of 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 the 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 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. 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.
After breakfast, we say our farewells and depart Kirkby Stephen. Check out of the Black Bull Hotel by 10am.
See where this holiday travels to.
Right on the seafront in St Bees on the West Cumbrian Coast, Seacote Hotel features stunning sea views and a garden, just 6 miles from the Lake District National Park. It offers free Wi-Fi and free private parking. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities and an en suite bathroom with bathtub, free toiletries, shower and hairdryer. Every morning, guests will enjoy a full English breakfast served on site. They can also relax with a drink at one of the 3 bars or sample locally-sourced food at the restaurant. Guests can go for a walk along St Bees sandy beach, where the Coast to Coast Walk starts, or walk 9 minutes to go golfing at St Bees Golf Club. The historical port of Whitehaven is just 4.6 miles away.
Located in Sandy, The Kings Arms features a garden and free WiFi. Guests can make use of a bar. Guest rooms in the inn are fitted with a TV. The rooms are equipped with a private bathroom with a shower, while certain rooms have garden views. Cambridge is 18.6 miles from The Kings Arms, while Milton Keynes is 20.5 miles away. The nearest airport is London Luton Airport, 18 miles from the property.