Coast to Coast Walk: Day by Day Itinerary to England’s Popular Walk

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The Coast to Coast Walk across England is one of the most challenging long-distance trails in the UK, but it’s also England’s most iconic. So, if you’ve been looking to set yourself a new challenge for the new year, this should be your top priority.

The Coast to Coast Walking Route is memorable because it takes you through some of England’s most dramatic and ever-changing beautiful scenery. It’s a hike you’ll remember for the rest of your life and one that you’ll definitely want to record in your hiking journal

Read on to learn more about the Coast to Coast Walk and a suggested itinerary.

Coast to Coast Day by Day Itinerary to England's Popular Walk

The Complete Guide to Walking Coast To Coast 

The Coast to Coast hike is one of the most famous, if not the most famous, trail in England. The path covers over 190 miles (306 km) of England’s most stunning landscapes and has a total elevation of 6,077 meters (19,933 ft).

The route starts along the Irish Sea at the village of St Bees, Cumbria, before crossing the width of the UK and finishes at the North Sea in Robin Hood’s Bay in North York Moors National Park.

During the hike, you’ll pass through three of England’s most epic national parks:

  • The Lake District National Park: Many walkers in the UK claim this to be the best hiking location in England. It’s also home to England’s tallest mountain, Scafell Pike, dramatic mountain scenery and the largest lakes in England, so it’s easy to see why people are so fond of the national park.

  • The Yorkshire Dales: Admittedly not as dramatic as the Lake District, it has a certain charm that draws people to the area. While you’re there, you’ll be treated to stunning historic castles and fantastic country pubs.

  • The North York Moors: To end your long journey, you’ll be able to explore the largest expense of heather moorland in the United Kingdom before making your way to the North Sea.

History of the Coast to Coast Walking Route

The popular route was created in 1973 by the famous writer and hillwalker Alfred Wainwright. Initially, it was named Wainwright’s Way, and then later Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Hike, but today is known as the Coast to Coast Walk.

And one of the things that made the hike so famous is the variety of landscapes you pass; every day will always feel different as you walk in Alfred Wainright’s literal footsteps.

In August 2022, the Coast to Coast Walking Route was awarded National Trail Status. National trails are long-distance walks through some of the very best landscapes the UK has to offer, so it’s a big deal. Plus, they agree to put  £5.6 million into upgrading the route. You can read more about it here

While 6000 walkers take on the route each year, the upgraded status to a National Trail means the Coast to Coast Walk will likely become even more popular. 

Snow on the Wainwright's mountain

How Long Does The Coast to Coast Walk Take?

On average, most people walking Coast to Coast take between 12-16 days, depending on the daily mileage you want to do, age and fitness levels and whether or not you want to take a couple of rest days. 

If you want to tackle the hike in 12 days, you’ll need to walk a daily distance of 16 miles, so should be an experienced walker with a high level of fitness. Most hikers complete the walk in one of three time frames:

  • Coast Walk – 14 days: 13.5 miles per day
  • Coast Walk – 15 days: 12.6 miles per day
  • Coast Walk – 16 days: 11.8 miles per day

You also need to consider these times only include your walking time. They don’t include stopping for a snack or lunch. If you want to stop and do some sightseeing, you may want to choose to walk fewer miles each day or add in a rest day or a couple of days just for sightseeing. 

It’s also worth mentioning that some guidebooks have a 23-mile stretch between Richmond and Ingleby Arncliffe.

Most people will plan a route that takes them past a stop-off point so they don’t have to walk the entire stretch in one day.


Coast Walk – 16 Days Walking Itinerary (17 Days with Arrival Day)

Day 1: Travel to St Bees

coast to coast walk starting from st bees
  • Start Point: Home
  • Distance: N/A
  • Ascent: N/A
  • Finish Point: St Bees, Cumbria. Stay overnight in St Bees 

You will spend your first day travelling to St Bees in Cumbria, your starting location. You can find plenty of accommodation in St Bees.

Day 2: Walk from St Bees To Ennerdale Bridge

Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees To Ennerdale Bridge
  • Start Point: St Bees
  • Distance: 14 miles (22 km)
  • Ascent: 690 meters (2,263 ft)
  • Finish Point: Ennerdale Bridge

Your day will start at St Bees Nature Reserve by dipping your boots in the Irish Sea, which has become a time-honoured tradition.

While hiking through the Nature Reserve, keep your eye out for Kittiwakes flying above you and puffins on the coast. You’ll also see many beautiful wildflowers along the fields, which are a joy to stare at.

You’ll start your hike moving in an easterly direction towards Dent Fell, the first hill on your journey. From here, you’ll be able to see the Cumbrian coastline and Ravenglass Estuary before reaching Ennerdale Bridge.

You can find accommodations in Ennerdale here. 

Day 3: Walk from Ennerdale Bridge To Rosthwaite

Coast to Coast Walk from Ennerdale Bridge To Rosthwaite
Rosthwaite
  • Start Point: Ennerdale Bridge
  • Distance: 14 miles (23 km)
  • Ascent: 530 m (1,738 ft)
  • Finish Point: Rosthwaite

You’ll start your day by following Ennerdale Water, a vast water expense often overshadowed by Lakeland Fells.

From there, you’ll start your first ascent of the mountains in the Lake District National Park. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of Buttermere Lake and Pillar Mountain, the highest point of the Pillar group (892 m). 

You’ll then walk down Fleetwith Pike via the Honister Slate Mines into the valley, where you can spend your night in Rosthwaite. You should also be able to see Scafell Pike if the weather is clear.

See accommodations in Rosthwaite here.

Day 4: Walk From Rosthwaite To Grasmere

Coast to Coast Walk From Rosthwaite To Grasmere
Grasmere
  • Start Point: Rosthwaite
  • Distance: 8 miles (12 km)
  • Ascent: 530 m (1,738 ft)
  • Finish Point: Grasmere

You’ll start walking beside Greenup Gill to the watershed between Ullscarf and High Raise. Once you reach the top, you’ll have spectacular views of Helvellyn, which is a picture-worthy moment.

Coast to Coast Walk in Helvellyn
Helvellyn

From here, you have a choice to make:

You can either head down to Far Easdale and try and spot a deer, or you can continue to Helm Crag before heading to Grasmere.

You can find accommodations in Grasmere here.

Day 5: Walk From Grasmere To Patterdale

Coast to Coast Walk From Grasmere To Patterdale
hikers in Patterdale
  • Start Point: Grasmere
  • Distance: 8 miles (12 km)
  • Ascent: 500 m (1,640 ft)
  • Finish Point: Patterdale

This part of the trail takes you through some of the most dramatic scenery in the UK, and personally, it’s one of my favourites. The scenery is something that you don’t really experience anywhere else in England.

You’ll take a strenuous hike up Tongue Gill; make sure you take time to stop and admire the views of Lake Grasmere and Langdale Pikes. And be sure to turn around regularly; the views over Grasmere to Helm Crag are gorgeous. 

From there, you’re going to head down to Grisedale Tarn, a small body of water where you can admire the mountains you’ve just hiked.

Continue your journey by descending Nethermost Pike to the village of Patterdale, where you’ll be spending a night. See accommodations in Patterdale here.

Day 6: Walk From Patterdale To Shap

  • Start Point: Patterdale
  • Distance: 16 miles (25 km)
  • Ascent: 762 m (2,499 ft)
  • Finish Point: Shap

This will be one of your most demanding days walking Coast to Coast due to the distance and ascent you need to conquer; it’s also your last day in the Lake District National Park.

Coast to Coast Walk near Angle Tarn
Angle Tarn

The hike starts with a steep ascent toward Angle Tarn. At the top of Kidsty Pike, the lowlands will come into view with ever-changing scenery from mountains to limestone dales.

You’ll walk along Haweswater, the reservoir for Manchester, until crossing many fields into Shap Abbey.

Coast to Coast Walk through Shap Abbey
Shap Abbey

Shap Abby was founded in 1199 and was the last abbey destroyed in 1540. It will also mark the end of your day. You’ll find places to stay in Shap here. 

Day 7: Walk From Shap To Orton

Coast to Coast Walk From Shap To Orton
Orton
  • Start Point: Shap
  • Distance: 8 miles (13 km)
  • Ascent: 110 m (361 ft)
  • Finish Point: Orton

As you leave Shap, you’ll pass through historic ruins, limestone pavements, and moorland birds. You’ll follow the trail to Orton, where you can visit the famous Kennedy’s Chocolate Shop and reward yourself for your efforts so far walking the Coast to Coast Walking Route before resting your head in Orton.

Day 8: Walk From Orton To Kirkby Stephen

Coast to Coast Walk From Orton To Kirkby Stephen
Kirkby Stephen
  • Start Point: Orton
  • Distance: 13 miles (21 km)
  • Ascent: 160 m (525 ft)
  • Finish Point: Kirkby Stephen

Despite the long mileage, this will be quite an easy day due to the minimal elevation gain. The scenery isn’t as dramatic, but there is some stunning limestone flora.

The best part of this section is Sunbiggin Tarn and Smardale Fell, which offers excellent views of the Smardale Viaduct. I was taken away by the beauty of this area; the views are honestly to die for.

Your day will end at Kirkby Stephen, where you can check out the 8th-century Loki Stone from Norse mythology. This was another highlight for me because I’ve always been fascinated with Norse mythology.

You can find accommodations in Kirkby Stephen here.

Day 9: Walk From Kirkby Stephen To Keld

Coast to Coast Walk From Kirkby Stephen To Keld
a field barn near Keld
  • Start Point: Kirkby Stephen
  • Distance: 14 miles (23 km)
  • Ascent: 520 m (1,706 ft)
  • Finish Point: Keld

You’ll start by going into the Yorkshire Dales National Park and towards the Nine Standards Rigg. This is where the water either flows east to the North Sea or west to the Irish Sea.

At the top, you’ll find colossal stone cairns while having a great view of the Pennines. The route finishes at a stunning waterfall in the village of Keld. It also marks the halfway point of your Coast to Coast Walk.

Congratulations!

You’ll find places to stay in Keld here.

Day 10: Walk From Keld To Reeth

Coast to Coast Walk From Keld To Reeth Stone House
Reeth Stone House
  • Start Point: Keld
  • Distance: 12 miles (19 km)
  • Ascent: 130 m (426 ft)
  • Finish Point: Reeth

During this section walking Coast to Coast, you’ll pass by some waterfalls, making it a pretty special part.

As you follow the River Swale, you’ll see waterfalls at pretty much every corner.

passing by the River Swale Waterfalls for a Coast to Coast Walk
River Swale Waterfalls

Your final destination is Reeth, a beautiful 18th-century village known for its hand-knitted woollens.

Check out the accommodations in Reeth here.

Day 11: Walk From Reeth To Richmond

Coast to Coast Walk From Reeth To Richmond
Richmond
  • Start Point: Reeth
  • Distance: 11 miles (18 km)
  • Ascent: 340 m (1,115 ft)
  • Finish Point: Richmond

During this hike of the Coast to Coast Walk,  you’ll enjoy wooded glades, a 12-century priory, and two stunning villages before making your way to the historic town of Richmond.

While you’re there, it’s worth visiting Richmond Castle, the best preserved early Norman Castle in England, dating back to 1070 and overlooking the River Swale.

See accommodations in Richmond here.

Day 12: Walk From Richmond To Danby Wiske

  • Start Point: Richmond
  • Distance: 13 miles (22 km)
  • Ascent: 110 m (362 ft)
  • Finish Point: Danby Wiske

You’ll have views of the Cleveland Hills from this point before making your way to Brompton on Swale.

Cleveland Hills view for a Coast to Coast Walk
view from Cleveland Hills

From there, you’ll say goodbye to the River Swale and head across fields to Danby Wiske, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 13: Walk From Danby Wiske To Osmotherley

Coast to Coast Walk From Danby Wiske To Osmotherley
Osmotherley
  • Start Point: Danby Wiske
  • Distance: 11 miles (17 km)
  • Ascent: 185 m (607 ft)
  • Finish Point: Osmotherley

Today most of your Coast to Coast Walk is through farmlands before reaching North York Moors National Park. You’ll pass through charming villages, perfect for a cup of tea or lunch, but the highlight is Mount Grace Priory.

Passing by Mount Grace Priory for a Coast to Coast walk
Mount Grace Priory

It’s England’s best-preserved medieval Carthusian Monastery, where monks lived in solitude in 1539.

You’ll find places to stay in Osmotherley here.

Day 14:Walk From Osmotherly To Great Broughton

  • Start Point: Osmotherley
  • Distance: 13 miles (21 km)
  • Ascent: 600 m (1,968 ft)
  • Finish Point: Great Broughton

Today on your Coast to Coast Walk,  you’ll hike the sandstone escarpment via Carleton Bank, the Bronze Age burial mound of Cringle Moor. It’s the third-highest hill in the North York Moors National Park at 432 m.

 You’ll continue to Clay Bank before finally descending to Great Broughton, where you’ll be able to find accommodation.

Clay Bank near North York Moors
Clay Bank near North York Moors

Day 15: Walk From Great Broughton To Blakey Ridge

Coast to Coast Walk From Great Broughton To Blakey Ridge
Blakey Ridge
  • Start Point: Great Broughton
  • Distance: 11 miles (18 km)
  • Ascent: 300 m (984 ft)
  • Finish Point: Blakey Ridge

From Great Broughton, walking Coast to Coast takes you past a dismantled railway as it contours to the Lion Inn on top of Blakey Ridge, where you can stay for the night.

You could also walk a little further to stay at Moorlands Farm Cottage.

I stayed at the Lion Inn when I did the Coast to Coast Walk. The pub is beautifully located with views across the moorlands. They also had a great selection of traditional country food to die for.

Day 16: Walk From Blakey Ridge To Egton Bridge

  • Start Point: Blakey Ridge
  • Distance: 12 miles (19 km)
  • Ascent: 270 m (886 ft)
  • Finish Point: Egton Bridge

You’ll have your first glimpse of the North Sea from this part of the Coast to Coast Walking Route. You’ll stay high on the moors admiring the views before slowly descending to Eskdale. Finally, you’ll walk through stunning woodland before finishing at Egton Bridge for the day.

You can find accommodations here in Egton Bridge.

Day 17: Walk From Egton Bridge To Robin Hood’s Bay 

Coast to Coast Walk From Egton Bridge To Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay
  • Start Point: Egton Bridge
  • Distance: 16 miles (26 km)
  • Ascent: 340 m (1,115 ft)
  • Finish Point: Robin Hood’s Bay on the Heritage Coast of the North York Moors

This is the final day of your Coast to Coast Walk.  You’ll walk beside the River Esk and past the famous railways until you arrive at Grosmont.

Walking beside the River Esk for a Coast to Coast Walk
River Esk

From there, it’s only a short walk to Robin Hood’s Bay, where you can dip your boots in the north sea to mark your journey complete.

Congratulations! You’ve just finished walking the Coast to Coast!

You can places to stay in Robin Hood’s Bay for the night here.


How To Get to St Bees: the Starting Point of the Coast to Coast Walk

St Bees Village, starting point in Coast to Coast Walk

When taking such a long journey, one of your key considerations should be how you will get there and back.

There are two viable options for you to consider:

1) The first is to drive to the starting point and park your car at the Coast to Coast Packhorse. They have a minibus facility that runs daily from Kirkby Stephen to the village of St Bees, so you can get back to your vehicle from there.

2) Most people that walk the Coast to Coast prefer to use the National Trainline. You can get a train to St Bees using the Cumbrian Coastline.


How to Get Back From Robin Hood’s Bay: the End Point of the Coast to Coast Walk

Tour bus travelling from Robin Hoods' Bay, the End Point of the Coast to Coast Walk

Heading back home from Robin Hood’s Bay, there isn’t a train station, so you’ll have to catch the X93 bus service, which can take you to two train stations:

  • Scarborough: It’s further away but is better connected with other rail lines.
  • Whitby: Easy to get to, but only a few connection links.

Of course, which route you take is entirely up to you. If you plan on using the train service, ensure you get an open return so you’re not restricted to a specific date.

Open return train tickets are valid for an entire calendar month so that you can travel anytime during that month. They’re a good option if you want some flexibility on your walk or the option to take alternative routes which may shorten or lengthen your walk.

Accommodation Tips for Where To Stay While Walking Coast to Coast 

When you’re walking the Coast to Coast, you’ll be welcomed at many B&Bs, hotels, and bunkhouses. You’ll have no problem finding somewhere you stay, even with a low budget.

Spaces do fill up quickly in the summer due to the 6000 walkers and many of the villages are popular in their own right so be sure to book your accommodation well in advance.

Camping While Walking Coast to Coast

If you haven’t got the budget for hotels or B&Bs, or just prefer camping, this is also an option.

Unfortunately, there aren’t as many official campsites along the way as you might think there would be. And this can make camping the walk slightly more challenging.

With that being said, there are many pubs and farms that allow people to camp on their land if you ask so don’t be shy..

Wild camping without permission of the landowner is illegal, so make sure to get their consent beforehand.

Make sure you leave no trace if they do allow you to stay on their land. Campsites are already scarce, and if you leave a mess, the landowner might not be accommodating to the next people asking.

Is it Easy To Get Food And Drink During the Coast to Coast Walk? 

If you’re camping, you could carry a few days worth of food with you, but you’ll find plenty of options to stock up when walking Coast to Coast.

During the walk, you’ll pass through plenty of villages where you can top up your food, buy what you need for a hiking lunch and snacks refill your water.

Or you can stop at one of the many country pubs to get a nice warm meal.

There are also plenty of cafes where you can get an excellent full English breakfast or bacon bap to get ready for the day’s walk. 

When Is The Best Time To Do the Coast to Coast Walk?

Of course, the best time to go for most people is during the summer months, thanks to the more pleasant weather.

The thing is:

The trail can get extremely busy during these months, which can mean plenty of crowds and fewer accommodation options.

I recommend going in spring. You’ll still have warm weather but without all the crowds. And on the plus side, you see the fresh blooms of spring flowers. ft.

It’s not unheard of for people to take on the Coast to Coast Walk in winter, but it will be wet and cold, with the possibility of snow, so be sure you have the right winter gear, especially an emergency thermal blanket and microspikes

Final Thoughts & Takeaways

The Coast to Coast Walk is one of the UK’s most famous routes for a reason, providing an excellent adventure that combines some of England’s finest scenery with plenty of sightseeing opportunities. 

Share this article with someone you’d like to do the Coast to Coast Walk with. 

You may also be interested in these walking/hiking articles in the UK:

Coast to Coast Walk Tour in England

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