Coast to Coast Walk

Coast to Coast Walking Holidays

The Coast to Coast walk is one of the iconic walks in England. Originated and described by Alfred Wainwright, author of a well-known series of mountain-walking guide books on the Lake District, the Coast to Coast walk starts on the Irish Sea coast of Cumbria near the huge red sandstone cliffs of St. Bees Head. You cross three National Parks before reaching the North Sea at the pretty fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay on the rocky coastline of the North York Moors.


Tradition has it that on the Coast to Coast walk you dip your boots in the Irish Sea and take a pebble to deposit in the North Sea at the end of your walk. That should confuse geologists a few thousand years hence. The first few days take you over some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain of the Lake District by way of the idyllic lakeland valleys of Borrowdale, Grasmere (Wordsworth lived here) and Patterdale, close to Ullswater Lake. You pass Helvellyn, England’s most popular mountain, and the mountain oddly named High Street, along which the Roman Legions marched on their way to Hadrian’s Wall.


After leaving the Lake District you cross a gentler landscape round Shap and Orton. Beyond the quaint market town of Kirkby Stephen you enter the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Two days are then spent walking through the long valley of Swaledale, with its dry stone walls and unspoilt villages. You reach the historic town of Richmond with cobbled streets, sloping market square and famous castle perched above the River Swale. Beyond the arable farmland of the Vale of York, you ascend onto the heather moorlands of the North York Moors, a region of long vistas and easy walking. After crossing the wooded valley of Eskdale you reach the dramatic cliffs of the North Sea Coast. 


The last few miles of the Coast to Coast walk follow the scenic clifftop path to the red-roofed village of Robin Hood’s Bay. With an extra night here, you can relax on the beach or visit nearby Whitby with its ruined abbey (associated with the Dracula legend) and its Captain Cook Museum.



We recommend allowing 15 days for the entire UK Coast to Coast walk, however it can also be done in 18 days if you would like to slow things down a little and take in your surroundings a bit more along the way. If walking the whole route in one go is a little daunting you are also able to break up the walk into an 8 and a 9 day holiday. 



Given the long distance nature of our Coast to Coast walking holidays they are graded 'Moderate to Challenging', including some long days and steep climbs. This route is not normally recommended for first time walkers. 

Despite its justifiable popularity, this is not a National Trail. Waymarking is variable or erratic and you will have to use map interpretation for much of the time, especially at times of low visibility, so you should be accustomed to using map and compass.


In order to make the most of the extended daylight hours and warmer weather, we recommend undertaking the UK Coast to Coast walk between mid-April to the end of September. It is good to keep in mind that accommodation along the route is limited and over Easter and Bank holidays most will book out long in advance, so it's best to book early.



If you're looking for some more inspiration and information on the UK Coast to Coast walk we have prepared a number of articles in our blog, which contain loads of pictures, tips and advice from our guides and travellers for walking the route. You can also check out our Coast to Coast Walk album on our Facebook page. 


We offer several different options for walking the UK Coast to Coast, including self guided and guided trips.


Our Coast to Coast WALKING Holidays