About the Coast to Coast

313 km(194 mi)
Type of trail
Long-distance, Thru-hike

Difficulty is highly personal. Be aware of the weather conditions as bad weather turns easier trails in difficult trails especially in the mountains.


Lodging means a mix of hotels, hostels or AirBnB’s.

Camping, Lodging
Elevation gain
8850 m(29035 ft)
Hills, Countryside
Some of the time
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Follow the steps of the famous Alfred Wainwright, a renowned British fellwalker, adventurer, author, and illustrator, on the nearly iconic ‘Coast to Coast Walk.’ This trail, one of the UK National Trails, spans from the west to the east coast, traversing three national parks. You will hike through charming villages, with options to stay in cozy inns and B&Bs or camp in the beer gardens of local pubs, enjoying traditional fish & chips and a pint. Though challenging at times, especially in the Lake District, the trek rewards with stunning English countryside views, British humor, and camaraderie.

The National Trails in the United Kingdom (National Trail UK) form an exceptional network of walking paths, with 17 designated ‘National Trails’ in England and Wales, and separate ‘Great Trails’ in Scotland. The Coast to Coast, added as a National Trail in 2022 following a petition by English walkers, stands as a testament to its popularity and significance within the hiking community.


Elmar Teegelbeckers

Passionate hiker Elmar spends months of his time on the trail. He’s usually on the lookout for hidden gems in one of his favourite countries such as Slovenia, Switzerland and Japan. He founded hiking-trails.com in need for a community and detailed information about the trails. Before this, he worked for the Alpine asscociation in the Netherlands[ (NKBV) but lost his heart to the trails.

With this website and socials, he hopes to shape an inclusive community for hikers all over world. No matter your speed, experience or level, you can get out there to enjoy the trails and connect with the heartwarming hiking community. Life is so much better outside and he hopes to inspire hikers to take their first, or next, step on the trail.

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The Trail

The Coast to Coast Walk begins at Saint Bees on the northern west coast of England, where tradition dictates a ceremonial dip of a toe in the Irish Sea, which you will repeat when you reach the North Sea. Also, tradition is to carry a little stone from here and return the stone to the other side of the island. The path starts with a coastal walk, known by birdwatchers worldwide for sightings of the guillemot, or ‘Northern penguin,’ unique to England’s rugged cliffs.

Continuing to Ennerdale Bridge, the walk starts into the Lake District, the first and most challenging national park on the Coast to Coast. The trail then moves through the sweet village of Ennerdale, which looks like the village from scenes of ‘The Holiday’, ending the day at the welcoming Fox and Hounds Inn, which will be your introduction to the cozy pub culture.

The first days through the Lake District are rigorous. The route offers high and low paths, the former has steep climbs and a few scrambles over peaks. The trail goes up to 780 meters, rewarded with panoramic views from Kidsty Pike, and you’ll end with a well-earned meal at Shap, home to one of the UK’s top-rated fish & chips shops.

Transitioning into Yorkshire Dales, the second national park, the trail becomes easier, offering nicer stages in the English hills. Midway, in the small village of Keld, you’ll be able to resupply and camp by a river, enjoying the camaraderie of fellow trekkers and local pub patrons. The journey then leads to Reeth, surrounded by ‘Dry Stone Walls,’ and through a few sections offering a blend of ease and monotony, eventually opening up to the diverse landscapes of the North York Moors.

The North York Moors introduce a unique terrain of heathlands, home to the curlew, and smooth trails that create new friendships among hikers, which is always welcome. A great stop at the Lions Inn at Blakey Ridge, a 16th-century establishment, offers a historic resting point before the final leg to Robin Hood’s Bay, a fishermen’s village. You’ll finally complete the trail with a dip in the North Sea to mark a fulfilling end to the Coast to Coast Walk, celebrated with local hospitality and a well-deserved pint at Wainwright’s Bar.


You can choose your itinerary on the Coast to Coast Walk. Sometimes you can choose for a high-route or low-route depending on your preferences and fitness. The high route has more demanding trails and elevation gain. There are plenty of towns alongside the trail so you can easily end the stage earlier or hike a bit further. It’s up to you!

Stages for a 12 day itinerary

Stage 1:

St. Bees – Ennerdale Bridge, 23 km | 14.3 mi

Stage 2:

Ennerdale Bridge – Borrowdale, 23k m | 14.3 mi

Stage 3:

Borrowdale – Patterdale, 25 km | 15.5 mi

Stage 4:

Patterdale – Shap, 25 km | 15.5 mi

Stage 5:

Shap – Kirkby Stephen, 31 km | 19 mi

Stage 6:

Kirkby Stephen – Keld, 19 km | 11.9 mi

Stage 7:

Keld – Reeth, 18 km | 11 mi

Stage 8:

Reeth – Bromton-on-Swale, 26 km | 16 mi

Stage 9:

Brompton-on-Swale – Ingleby Cross, 28 km | 17.4 mi

Stage 10:

Ingleby Cross – Blakey Ridge, 16 km | 10 mi

Stage 11:

Blakey Ridge – Littlebeck, 28 km | 17.4 mi

Stage 12:

Littlebeck – Robin Hood’s Bay, 31 km | 19 mi


Hiking the Coast to Coast will give you plenty of options for your sleeping spot for different preferences and budgets. From camping to sleeping in the cozy inns and guesthouses or one of the YHA Youth Hostels, there’s something for every type of hiker along this trail.


Scattered along the trail, campsites offer a more structured camping experience with basic amenities like toilets and sometimes even showers. Most of the time you can pitch your tent in the garden of the local pub (it’s common) for ten pounds. Also, you’ll find several campings and YHA Youth Hostels where you can pitch your tent.

Hostels, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses

Hostels, mainly from the YHA Youth Hostel Association, are a budget-friendly option with a social twist. These accommodations often feature communal kitchens and common areas, making them a great place to meet fellow trekkers and exchange stories.

If you look for more comfort and local hospitality, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses are also plenty along the route. These often family-run establishments offer a warm welcome and a hearty breakfast to fuel the day’s journey.

Hotels and Inns

In the villages and towns along the way, you can find hotels and inns. These provide a higher level of comfort, of course including private rooms, bathrooms, and dining facilities. Booking in advance is highly recommended, especially during the peak trekking season, as these accommodations can fill up quickly.

Best time of the year

The best time of the year to hike the Coast to Coast is generally from late spring to early autumn, with May and September as the ideal months. These periods typically offer a better balance of milder weather, longer daylight hours, and less crowded trails, enhancing the overall hiking experience. From November to March, especially in winter times, the trail circumstances are really tough and it’s not recommended to hike the Coast to Coast walk in that period of time.

Safety & Gear

The English weather can be unpredictable, with sudden changes that can affect visibility and trail conditions. Always check the weather forecast before you start your day and be prepared for all conditions, including rain, wind, and occasionally even snow in higher areas, even during summer months.

Wear appropriate hiking shoes with good grip, as the terrain can be rocky and uneven. Dress in layers to easily adjust to changing temperatures, and always carry waterproof clothing. Your backpack should include essentials such as extra food and water, a first aid kit, a headlamp, and a lightweight emergency shelter.

Make sure you’re physically prepared for the challenge. The trail can be demanding, with long distances and some steep sections. Start with shorter hikes and gradually increase your distance in the months leading up to your trip. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed, you’ll get there!

Good to know

The Coast to Coast Walk is best done in the spring or early fall. In the summer, it can be a bit busier, and it’s wise to always book your accommodations in advance. The villages are small and there usually aren’t many places to sleep. If you’re camping, you don’t have to worry, as there’s always a spot at the campsites along the trail. Often, you can also set up your tent in the garden of a pub. Take good rain gear for the typical English weather and be extra careful on the slippery paths when it rains in the Lake District. You can always opt for the easier low route in bad weather.

Point to point
Highest point
780m (2560 ft)


cover guidebook

The Coast to Coast walk

View guidebook

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Terms of Use: important to all visitors on this website. We strive to publish high quality content and information on this website. However it’s always possible that we’re missing out on some crucial information. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps) were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. Therefore, hiking-trails.com and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individuals hiking or following this route. Should you choose to hike this trail, this is always at your own risk. Check out our guidelines for safety hiking and Leave No Trace principles at the hiking 101 page.

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