Hike the highlights of Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk across the north of England, while occasionally venturing off the trodden path in the spirit of Wainwright himself! This classic route crosses the lush hills and waters of the Lake District, continues into the idyllic landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, wends through golden meadows and fields of heather in the North York Moors, and ends at Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea.
Along the way, we explore quintessential towns, rural villages, and bucolic farmlands. We watch farmers work their sheepdogs, learn about the history of mining and agriculture in the region, immerse ourselves in the literary traditions of Wainwright and Wordsworth, explore the striking ruins of 12th-century abbeys, and enjoy tea (or a pint of ale!) in traditional English pubs on our route.
St. Bees to Tarn Flatts
Welcome to northern England! We meet in Penrith late this morning for a 1.5 hour transfer to St. Bees on the west coast of England, the start of Wainwright's classic Coast to Coast hiking route. En route, we stop for lunch and a brief trip orientation from our guide. After dipping our toes in the Irish Sea — a Coast to Coast tradition! — we hike up and along the rocky coastline, eventually heading inland to Tarn Flatt Farm. From there, we transfer to Great Cliffton for a celebratory welcome dinner and overnight.
Melbreak HotelGreat Clifton, England
Situated on the western end of the Lake District, the Melbreak Hotel offers panoramic views of the Loweswater Valley and mountains beyond. Onsite amenities include a lounge bar and the Conservatory Restaurant.
Honister to Derwentwater
The terrain gets a bit more challenging today as we depart the coast and head into the mountainous Lake District, transferring to Honister Slate Mine — the last working slate mine in England.
Our hike takes us into the beautiful Borrowdale Valley, which Alfred Wainwright called, "the fairest valley in the Lake District." Following a path along the banks of the wending Derwent River, we walk to Hawes End on the shores of Derwentwater. Here, we board a launch that will take us over the lake to Keswick in style.
The market town of Keswick is lovely and lively, with plenty of restaurants and pubs from which to choose. The evening is free to explore the charming streets and enjoy dinner at your leisure.
Inn on the SquareKeswick, England
Centrally-located on Keswick’s market square, the Inn on the Square is a family-run hotel with modern, Scandinavian-inspired design.
Grasmere to Glenridding
Our start time is a bit earlier this morning since we have a full day ahead of us! We begin with a short transfer to Grasmere, now truly in the heart of the Lake District National Park. Upon arrival, we visit Dove Cottage, the home of beloved English poet William Wordsworth. The cottage houses the Wordsworth Museum, which offers insight into what daily life would have been like for Wordsworth and his family in the late 1700s. We stop at Grasmere's tiny (yet famous) gingerbread shop, which is well worth a visit and a sample!
Today's hike departs from Grasmere, and the terrain includes a mix of stone steps, dirt singletrack, and bedrock as we make our way toward Glenridding. Our route passes close to Helvellyn, one of England's highest and most beautiful peaks, and we walk directly to our accommodation for the evening — the Inn on the Lake, situated on the shores of Ullswater. There is time to relax and enjoy the view before dining together this evening.
Inn on the LakeGlenridding, England
The Inn on the Lake is located on the shores of Ullswater, surrounded by 15 acres of beautiful grounds. An onsite restaurant, golf course, and croquet lawn make the most of this picturesque location.
Oddendale to Sunbiggin Tarn
We transfer about one hour to the small historic hamlet of Oddendale in the Yorkshire Dales for the start of our hike. Now out of the Lake District, the scenery changes to rolling pastures, stone barns, wildflower meadows, and traditional dry stone walls.
Near Crosby Ravensworth Fell we pass an ancient stone circle and Robin Hood's grave, named for the legendary character in English folklore. We cross the Great Asby Scar, traversing natural limestone pavement that dominates the upland area between the villages of Orton and Great Asby.
Surrounded by rolling hills, we end at Sunbiggin Tarn. A short transfer takes us to Hawes for dinner and our accommodation for the next two nights.
The Stone House HotelHawes, England
The Stone House is a classic country house built in 1908 near the charming market town of Hawes. It retains the atmosphere and furnishings of an elegant family home in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Keld to Low Row
Today's hike begins in Keld, which is the halfway mark of the 192 mile-long Coast to Coast Trail. We walk through the beautiful Swaledale Valley, surrounded once again by meadows and views of grazing sheep in pastures. Along the way, we stop at the quaint Muker Tea Room for tea and cake before continuing to our stopping point in Low Row, a quintessentially English countryside village.
En route back to Hawes, we stop at a local farm for a working sheepdog demonstration by the farmer and his border collies.
Richmond to St. Giles
Our day begins with a visit of Wensleydale Creamery, known for their wide assortment of local cheeses. We have a private cheesemaking demonstration followed by time to browse in the shop and sample the products.
Afterward, we head to the town of Richmond. Here, we have leisure time to enjoy lunch, explore the town, and visit historic Richmond Castle, one of the greatest Norman fortresses in Britain.
In the mid-afternoon we reconvene and depart Richmond for St. Giles. Our hike follows along the beautiful banks of the River Swale. From St. Giles, we transfer to Hawnby for the evening.
Laskill Country HouseHawnby, England
With stunning views across the valley of Bilsdale and the unique North York Moors National Park, Laskill has been a family run business for the last 50 years, making it a welcoming and relaxed place to stay.
Rievaulx Abbey was one of England's most powerful Cistercian monasteries, and the first in northern England. We explore the ruins this morning, learning about the dramatic rise and fall of the abbey and how it was used over the centuries. There is also time to relax on the beautiful grounds, perhaps enjoy a cup of tea, and view previously unseen artifacts in a small onsite museum.
Departing directly from the abbey, we walk into a remote valley on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. Upon arrival in Helmsley, a picturesque village in the Ryedale District, we stop at Helmsley Castle and have time for some souvenir shopping before transferring back to our hotel for the evening.
Clay Bank Top to Blakey Ridge
Now in the North York Moors, we begin at Clay Bank Top and follow a trail that meanders through heather-clad hillsides and over Round Hill, eventually following what was once an old railway track used by the mining industry until the 1920s. Our hike takes us to Blakey Ridge, where we can reward ourselves with a pint (or two!) in a traditional pub that dates back to the 16th century.
We transfer just under an hour to Goathland for dinner and our accommodation for the evening.
Mallyan SpoutGoathland, England
The Mallyan Spout, named for a waterfall located behind the hotel, is a 19th-century country house located in the North York Moors. The property has modern rooms, an onsite restaurant, two bars, and extensive gardens.
Hawsker to Robin Hood's Bay
We start our final hike at nearby Hawsker. The trail takes us across rural pastures and on to a clifftop path, which follows the coastline to our end point in the charming village of Robin Hood's Bay, nestled under the cliffs of England's east coast, looking out to the North Sea.
After spending some time exploring the colorful streets and enjoying a traditional lunch of fish and chips, we drive to the traditional seaside vacation town of Whitby. Here, there is the chance to scale the 199 steps that lead to Whitby Abbey, high on the cliffs above the town, or explore the many wonderful shops. We gather for a final celebratory dinner together this evening.
White Horse & Griffin InnWhitby, England
The White Horse and Griffin Inn is one of the most iconic and charismatic properties in Whitby. Built in 1681, it was used as a meeting place for explorers Captain James Cook and William Scoresby. Careful restoration after years of neglect allowed the inn to re-open in 1993, its history and original decorative detail remarkably well-preserved.
York and Departure
After breakfast, we transfer about two hours to the train station in York and say farewell as we depart for home or on to independent travels.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.
Jun 27-Jul 6, 2020
Sep 12-21, 2020
$5,495 Per Person
First two reserved:$175
See single supplement policy below.
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active, bring a spirit of adventure, and have a positive attitude. England Hiking Coast to Coast is rated 3+, moderate with some strenuous days, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). This adventure is designed to be enjoyed by avid hikers, and rugged terrain in England's Lake District requires agility and stable footing. Days 2-5 are particularly mileage heavy, and guests should be prepared for consecutive days of hiking 7-9 miles. All hikes will be conducted at a leisurely pace.
The terrain we encounter in northern England is a mixture of dirt paths, rocky trails, and stone stairs. The beginning of our trip is mountainous and rugged, and then becomes more rolling with flat sections as we move into the moors and dales. Daily ascents and descents typically range between 500 and 2000 feet. You will likely encounter roots, rocks, mud, and loose gravel. It is important that you are aerobically fit and have good balance, and we strongly suggest bringing hiking poles.
Most Convenient Airport for Arrival: Glasgow International Airport, Glasgow, Scotland (airport code GLA) is a 90-minute train ride to PenrithMost Convenient Airport for Departure: Manchester International Airport, Manchester, England (airport code MAN) is a 80-minute train ride from York. However, London will have more flight options and is a 2-hour train ride from York.
England's weather conditions can vary greatly, even in the course of a single afternoon. It is not uncommon to have deep blue skies followed by clouds and rain. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared for a variety of conditions — including dressing in layers and wearing quick-drying clothing. Waterproof hiking boots, jacket, and pants are essential as you will likely encounter water and mud along the trails.
English cuisine has come a long way in the past decades, from a time when fish and chips, stews, and meat pies were the only items to be found on the menu. These classic dishes are still quite common in northern England, but modern cuisine has grown from these traditions and often includes fresh local seafood, meat, and vegetables.
Please inform us of any specific dietary restrictions and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please call our office with any questions or concerns about our ability to meet your needs.
Gill's first career was in healthcare, but as a lifelong hiker, she decided to switch to working in the outdoors. She's hiked all over the world including Canada, Nepal, Spain, and Morocco, but the north of England and Scotland are very dear to her heart. Gill loves the beautiful scenery, the fascinatin history, and of course, the excellent beer. She feels very privileged to be able to work as a guide in a landscape that casts a spell with its unique combination of countryside, quaint villages, and awe-inspiring views.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
Full days of moderate hiking with some strenuous days on rugged terrain
This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.
By: Emily Trostel
I certainly have my own highlights from when I hiked England’s Coast to Coast trail, but I thought it would be more interesting to hear the perspective of our amazing…
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