England Coast to Coast

Penrith, United Kingdom

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On this epic adventure along England's classic "Coast-to-Coast" trail, follow all 192 miles of the original "West-to-East" route scouted by Alfred Wainwright, who first blazed the trail in the 1970s. Beginning at the Irish Sea and ending at the North Sea, cross three national parks: the Lake District, featuring England's highest mountains; the rolling green hills and river valleys of the Yorkshire Dales (of James Herriot fame); and the dramatic landscapes of the North Yorkshire Moors. Each day's hike ends at a charming village, with a pint and warm English hospitality.


Duration: 16 Days
Starts in: Penrith, England
Ends in: York, England
Group Size: 6-16

Operated by:

MT Sobek

MT Sobek, the originators, innovators and leaders in adventure travel for more than five decades, crafts journeys to the world's most memorable places.


Meet in Penrith & Transfer to Cleator/Ennerdale Bridge

Arrive in England and take the train to Penrith railway station in northwest England. Meet your MT Sobek trip leader at the station between 2.30pm and 3pm and transfer to Cleator/Ennerdale Bridge, a small town in the English county of Cumbria. Have a trip briefing in the afternoon, then gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel, in the unspoiled little Lakeland village of Ennerdale Bridge.

Hike from St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

After a short transfer, begin the long-distance hike by dipping at least a toe in the Irish Sea, by the sea wall at St. Bees. The walk continues along the sandstone cliffs of St. Bees Head; look out for puffins, kittiwakes, and guillemots. Turning inland, reach the small village of Cleator, with its well-kept cricket ground. The mountain panorama of the Lakeland fells begins to open up, with views across to the Scafell Massif, at 3,208 feet England's highest range. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.

Hike from Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite

Embark on a day of lakeshore, forest, and mountainside exploration, starting with a splendid ramble along the southern shore of Ennerdale Water, Lakeland's most westerly lake. Following are enticing place names like Black Sail Hut and Moses Trod, on the ascent into the Lake District proper. The day ends after descending from Honister Pass (1,163') to Borrowdale, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the Lake District.

Hike from Rosthwaite to Grasmere

The day begins with a gentle walk along Stonethwaite Beck, a mountain stream running along the imposing Eagle Crag, before pulling up to the 2,000-ft pass of Greenup Edge. Take in the view of the Helvellyn range, Lakeland's second highest range of mountains. Trek down first, up to Helm Crag (1,328'), and then down to the Vale of Grasmere, a pretty little lakeside town best known for its association with William Wordsworth. Enjoy time to relax and explore Grasmere, and perhaps take an optional boat ride on Lake Windermere.

Hike from Grasmere to Patterdale

Embark on another relatively short day to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding lakes and fells of the Lake District. In the morning, visit Wordsworth House and Dove Cottage before setting off on the walk. Climb up from Grasmere over Grisdale Hause (1,936'), offering splendid views over Grisdale Tarn toward the foreboding ridge walk of Striding Ridge leading to the Hellvelyn summit. Descend to the picturesque Patterdale Valley, dominated by the enchanting reflections of Lake Ullswater, Lakeland's second largest lake. Dinner is at the Inn on the Lake.

Hike from Patterdale to Shap

On this last day in the Lake District reach the highest point of the coast-to-coast journey. Ascend to the old Roman road of High Street, which was the Romans' highest road in the country, reaching 2,700 feet. Cross the old Roman road and continue up to Kidsty Pike, at 2,558 feet the highest point of the walk. Descend to Haweswater, to walk about four miles along the lakeshore before heading off to today's destination of Shap village, best known for the ruins of its 12th-century abbey.

Hike from Shap to Ravenstonedale

Having now left the lakes and fells of the Lake District, cross a limestone plateau interspersed with ancient stone circles, burial mounds, and prehistoric settlements. Passing through the charming Westmoreland village of Orton, with its old houses, chapels, and roadside stream, reach the Gamelands, an ancient stone circle — 130 feet in diameter — that originally contained over 40 granite boulders. Then pass by Sunbiggin Tarn on the way to Smardale with its 16th-century deer park. Continue to Ravenstonedale, a quintessential English village, to reach the streamside hotel.

Hike from Ravenstonedale to Keld

Passing by the intriguing Giants Graves and the Eden Valley, head for the Pennine Chain, a ridge of mountains and hills, and the town of Kirkby Stephen, which has a market charter dating back to 1351. Continue on to Nine Standards Rigg, at 2,171 feet the highest point of crossing the Pennines, before descending into the scenic Yorkshire Dales National Park, with its rolling green hills and stone-built hamlets nestling by streams on the valley floors. Today's destination is the village of Keld, in the heart of the national park.

For those wishing to walk only the six miles to Kirkby Stephen, a transfer will be provided to Keld.

Hike from Keld to Reeth

On today's journey across the Dales—considered by many the most picturesque of the entire hike— first follow the river Swale through flowery meadows and enchanting stone villages as it descends into Swaledale proper. After lunch, ascend to the old lead mining areas overlooking this spectacular valley, among them the intriguingly named "Surrender Bridge." Today's destination is Reeth, the proud capital of Swaledale. Its inns and shops are a popular haunt for locals and tourists alike, and it even boasts a little folk museum.

Hike from Reeth to Richmond

Continue through Swaledale to Richmond today on an easier hike, passing an old priory, a couple of lovely villages, limestone geological features, and leafy streams. Richmond is a town steeped in history and dominated by the 11th-century Norman castle, with its imposing 12th-century keep. It's an impressive sight towering over the town, which itself has 14th-century churches and a cobbled market place. The restored Georgian theater dating from 1788 may offer the chance to catch a play while you are here.

Hike from Richmond to Danby Wiske

Only 200 feet of ascent today — a real contrast to the fells of the Lake District and the Pennines. Following the river Swale, pass near the ruins of Easby Abbey, which was founded in 1152. Passing through the villages of Colburn and Catterick Bridge (once the home of a Roman garrison and now a modern garrison town, with a well-known horse racecourse nearby), reach the charming small village of Bolton on Swale. Have a pint in the local pub before heading off to complete the day at Danby Wiske. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Hike from Danby Wiske to Osmotherley

It's off to the hills again! Leave Swaledale and the rolling green hills of the Yorkshire Dales and head toward the bleaker landscapes of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. After passing through Ingleby Cross, visit the 14th-century Carthusian remains of Mount Grace Priory, and take in the rows of cells where monks once worked transcribing colorful biblical texts. Continue on, crossing the flat and arable farmlands of the Swaledale plain. Today's destination is Osmotherley, a charming small English village.

Hike from Osmotherley to Blakey

Today is a roller-coaster of a day along the Cleveland Hills, where ascent is followed by descent while winding through the dramatic North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Highlights include a mid-morning snack at a hidden café in Carlton Bank; the crags and boulders of the Wainstones and the scarp cliffs of Hasty Bank; and the track bed of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway, built in 1861 to carry ironstone from the moors to the furnaces of Teeside. End up at the 400-year-old Lion Inn at Blakey (reputedly England's third highest pub).

The day's hike can be broken at Carlton Bank or Clay Bank for those not wishing to walk the whole day.

Hike from Blakey to Grosmont

Today is mostly downhill, descending to Great Fryup Head, where track ponies would earlier have carried coal from the pits scattered in the area, and on through the bracken of Glaisdale High Moor to the valley of Glaisdale and the Esk River. Take in Beggars Bridge, with its graceful arches dating back to the early 1600s, when it was used in the times of the packhorse. Continue through East Arncliffe Wood, and follow a centuries-old trade route through Eskdale and on to today's destination - Grosmont, in the Esk Valley.

Hike from Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay

The North Sea is near but there's still a good day's hike ahead. Leave the Esk Valley and head up over Sleights Moor and the Graystone Hills. Take in the postcard-perfect hamlet of Littlebeck, the slopes of Great Wood, the man-made features of the "hermitage" hewn from solid rock, and the wooded waterfall of Falling Foss. Embark on the final three-mile clifftop walk before reaching Robin Hood's Bay, a picturesque fishing village with narrow alleys and 400-year-old houses. Wrap up with a ritual bathing of the feet in the North Sea.

Transfer to York and Depart England

Transfer to the rail station in York for onward destinations. Arrival at York is by 11am, so you should arrange train departures for after this time. Returning homeward flights from London may require an additional overnight in London (cost of accommodations is additional); we do not advise scheduling a return flight home on this same day.


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