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Wainwright's Coast to Coast (West) - 6 nights

North of England

  • Duration: 6 nights, 6 days' walking
  • Walks and Treks
  • Self Guided
  • Moderate
  • April, May, June, July, August, September, October

About this Adventure

Dreamt up by the famous hill walker and writer Alfred Wainwright the stunning Coast to Coast showcases the very best of 3 National Parks. This magnificent long distance route starts at the red sandstone sea cliffs of St Bees and passes through the dramatic rugged mountains of the Lake District, the softer landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales and over the heather-clad North York Moors before finishing in the quaint fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay. 192 miles in length it can be enjoyed in a variety of trip lengths to suit you

Quick Facts

  • 6 nights’ accommodation
  • 6 days’ walking
  • 78.9 miles (127km) and 3,282m (10,765) of ascent
  • Walk Wainwright’s Coast to Coast
  • Dip your boots in the Irish sea and explore the best of the Lakeland Fells
  • Admire views of beautiful lakes and dramatic mountains in the Lake District
  • Explore the desolate, but beautiful Shap Fells
  • Savour Lakeland specialities such as Grasmere Gingerbread

More Information

The Coast to Coast is one of the most magnificent walks you could find anywhere. It covers 192 miles from St. Bees on the Cumbrian coast to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. Fully two thirds of the route is inside the National Parks of the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and North York Moors. This 7-night itinerary for the first half of the walk from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen allows for comfortable walking distances and leaves you a chance to enjoy this truly memorable experience.

The route is the creation of legendary fellwalker Alfred Wainwright. After finishing his guides to the Lakeland Fells in the 1960s, he set himself the challenge of devising a long-distance walk to rival the Pennine Way, using purely existing rights of way. He decided on a Coast to Coast route, going across the country at one of its widest points. By universal consent, he improved on his model. His route offers variety and contrast: uplands and lowlands, sharp peaks and lonely moorland, towns and country, limestone and granite country, beautiful wooded lakes and remote upland tarns, glorious natural features and fascinating remains of human occupation. An expert on the North of England, he shared his wisdom about some of England’s finest places, linked them up, and invited you to travel in his footsteps.

The experiences on this walk are too many to list, but highlights include the following. In the Lake District, you’ll visit four of the finest lakes: Ennerdale, Grasmere, Ullswater and Haweswater, plus the valleys of Borrowdale and Patterdale and the fine peaks of Helm Crag and Kidsty Pike. The limestone country of Westmorland offers some of the finest limestone pavements in the country, ancient settlements of Severals and Castle Folds, the Smardale Nature Reserve and the Stainmore Railway. The Yorkshire Dales offers remote moorlands; the strikingly steep, green, and sinuous valley of Swaledale dotted with drystone walls; the fascinating relics of former lead mining works in Gunnerside Gill and Old Gang gill; and the progression of settlements from the remote farmstead of Ravenseat, through Keld and Reeth, to the town of Richmond. After the attractive farmland of the Vale of Mowbray, the North York Moors offer fine views from Beacon Hills, escarpments of Wainstones and Hasty Bank, ancient tracks across remote moorland, old railways and forested glens before arriving at the dramatic cliff-side setting of Robin Hood’s Bay. That’s just a partial list of the riches on offer during this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

We take the stress out of your trip with expert local knowledge, hand-picked accommodation, luggage transfers and detailed support to help you find your way. You will need full walking kit including a waterproof jacket and trousers, a comfortable day sack and comfortable walking boots. You will receive a more detailed kit list upon booking.
The price for this trip is based on 2 people sharing. We are happy to provide this event for solo travellers for a supplement of £45pp per night. For groups with odd numbers there is a supplement of £35 per night per group.

Getting There

By road: St Bees is located on the Cumbrian coast, approximately 1 hour from junction 40 on the M6. From the M6, take the A66 towards Workington and then follow the A595 south until you see signs to St Bees.

By public transport:
There is a regular train service from Carlisle to St Bees station (SBS), which is a few minutes’ walk from the beach. Check for the latest public transport information.

By air:
The nearest airports are Manchester (MAN) or Newcastle (NCL), from where you need to take a train to St Bees (SBS).

Getting Away

By road: Kirkby Stephen is located 15 minutes from junction 38 on the M6 on the A685.

By public transport:
Kirkby Stephen railway station [KSW] is located 30 minutes’ walk from the centre of Kirkby Stephen from where there is a service to Carlisle and Leeds. Alternatively, take the bus from Kirkby Stephen to Penrith railway station [PNR], which is on the west coast mainline.

By air:
Take the public bus service to Penrith train station [PNR], then a train to Manchester Airport [MAN].

Optional Extras

  • Solo traveller supplement £45.00 per person per night
  • Odd number group supplement £35 per group per night
  • Add a well-earned rest day in Grasmere £75 per person
  • Transfer back to your car at the end of your walk (for up to 3 passengers) £120

Please select from Optional Extras at checkout.


We start this itinerary on any day of the week. A typical itinerary looks like this:

Day 1: Arrive at your accommodation in St Bees.

Day 2 - St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge: As is the custom, dip your boots in the Irish Sea, before walking above the impressive cliffs of the St Bees RSPB nature reserve. Keep a look out for kittiwakes and puffins and a fantastic array of wildflowers. From here the route starts its easterly journey crossing fields to Dent Fell, the first hill on the journey, where there are uninterrupted views of the Cumbrian coastline and Ravenglass Estuary. The route then descends to the quiet hamlet of Ennerdale Bridge. 22.1km (13.7 miles) and 690m (2263ft) of ascent.

Day 3 - Ennerdale to Rosthwaite: It’s a stunning walk today. The path begins by hugging the shores of Ennerdale Water, a great expanse of water overshadowed by towering Lakeland Fells. It then ascends initially through woodland, before passing the isolated Black Sail Youth Hostel where you begin to experience your first real taste of the mountains. Reaching the top of the pass you are surrounded by incredible mountainous views, with Buttermere to the north and Pillar to the south. There then follows a pleasant walk down the side of Fleetwith Pike via Honister slate mines into the valley of Borrowdale and the village of Rosthwaite where you spend the night. 22.8km (14.2 miles) and 530m (1738ft) of ascent.

Day 4 - Rosthwaite to Grasmere: The route leads you up beside Greenup Gill to the watershed between High Raise and Ullscarf, 608m above sea level, where you have incredible views towards Helvellyn and back over the central fells. You have a choice now as to whether to head down Far Easedale, where you might spot the odd deer or to continue along the tops to Helm Crag before finally descending into the pretty village of Grasmere made famous by Wordsworth and Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread. 12km (7.5 miles) and 530m (1738ft) of ascent.

Day 5 – Grasmere to Patterdale: Another amazing mountain day awaits you today as you pass through some of the most dramatic mountainous scenery Britain has to offer. Take time on the strenuous ascent up Tongue Gill to stop and admire the wonderful views of Lake Grasmere and the Langdale Pikes before heading over the pass and down to Grisedale Tarn. This little lake, nestled in a glaciated corrie, is the perfect place to pause and appreciate the splendour of the mountains. From here, the route descends beneath Nethermost Pike to the village of Patterdale. 12km (7.5ft) and 500m (1640ft) of ascent.

Day 6 – Patterdale to Shap: The last of the Lake District days. The route ascends steeply towards Angle Tarn with outstanding retrospective views of yesterday’s walk. Ullswater lies to the north and green fields lie peacefully in the valley below. From the top of Kidsty Pike, the lowlands come into view as the scenery changes from craggy mountains to limestone dales. Enjoy quiet solitude walking along the shores of Haweswater (a reservoir serving Manchester) before crossing through fields via Shap Abbey, the last abbey to be founded in 1199 and the last to be destroyed in 1540, to the village of Shap. 25km (15.5ft) and 762m (2499ft) of ascent.

Day 7 – Shap to Kirkby Stephen: There is an invigorating sense of freedom as you experience the wide open moorland upon leaving Shap and embark on the next leg of the journey. Spot prehistoric ruins, limestone pavement and moorland birds and take one last look back to enjoy the final sweeping views of the Lakeland Fells. The highlights are Sunbiggin Tarn, an important site for birds and Smardale Fell, where you get a great views down into Scandale Beck and towards the imposing Smardale Viaduct. The day ends in the attractive market town of Kirkby Stephen, where you can see the 8th Century Loki Stone which is located in the church yard. 33.1km (20.6 miles) and 270m (886ft) of ascent.

The trip ends at the end of the walk unless you have booked extra nights or other optional services with us.

Charity Information

How to take part for Charity

Pay a £199 deposit and confirm with your charity their minimum fundraising requirements for the balance. This will typically be double the cost of the adventure, less the registration fee.


  • 6 nights’ accommodation in a good quality B&B or hotel with ensuite or private bathroom and breakfast
  • Luggage transfers each walking day
  • Map and guide book plus detailed directions to your accommodation from the trail
  • Expert local knowledge and 24 hour emergency assistance during your trip
  • Professional event organisation


  • Travel to the start and finish points of the trip
  • Lunches and evening meals
  • Personal insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects)
  • Guiding (please contact us if you would like this trip to be guided)

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