Coast to Coast
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Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
The Coast to Coast, an amazing journey across the north of England devised by Alfred Wainwright, has become one of the most popular long distance trails in England crossing from the Irish Sea at St Bees to the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay, traversing three of Britain’s most beautiful national parks. It includes some of Britain's highest fells and largest lakes, beautiful woodland, idyllic valleys, rolling moorland and at each end of the trail spectacular coastal scenery.
Our accommodation is in comfortable hotels and guesthouses, on or near the route. Each has been selected for their character, quality and their warm welcome and friendly service.
Shepherds Arms Hotel, Ennerdale Bridge - 2nts
The Shepherds Arms is a well-known landmark at the centre of Ennerdale Bridge and close to the Coast to Coast. An old village centre farm, the Shepherds Arms Hotel is a comfortable and friendly destination. Rooms have with TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and toiletries. Wi-Fi and mobile phone coverage are limited.
Derwent Bank, near Keswick - 2nts
Our very own Country House: Derwent Bank is set in large grounds sloping down to the shores of Derwent Water with outstanding views. Rooms include tea and coffee making facilities, TV and hairdryer. It is well equipped with a boot and drying room.
Royal Hotel, Dockray - 1nt
The Royal Hotel is a family run traditional country hotel and nestles among the Lake District Fells, about one mile from the shores of Ullswater. Rooms include TV, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Wi-Fi is also available.
George Hotel- Penrith - 1nt (May, June, July departures)
The George Hotel is a 300 year old Grade I listed building and one of the finest hotels in Penrith, combining old world charm with modern hospitality. Rooms include TV, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and WiFi.
Tebay Service Hotel - 1nt (August, September departures)
Tebay Service Hotel is in a surprisingly tranquil and secluded location with a lovely lakeside restaurant and excellent facilities. Rooms include TV, WiFI, tea and coffee making facilities, locally sourced toiletries and a hairdryer. Drying facilities are available.
Jolly Farmers Guesthouse, Kirkby Stephen - 3nts
The Jolly Farmers Guesthouse has established itself as a firm favourite with our Coast to Coast groups. A warm welcome is assured. Situated a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Kirkby Stephen, the guesthouse has nine en-suite rooms, with TV, hairdryer and radio. Laundry facilities are also available; convenient, as it lies midway through the holiday.
Black Lion Hotel, Richmond - 2nts
The Black Lion Hotel in the historic cobbled market town of Richmond is a family-run hotel in a Georgian coach house. Casual, cosy rooms feature satellite TV, tea and coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
Larpool Hall, Whitby - 4nts
Larpool Hall built in classic Georgian style commands wonderful views over the Esk Valley and towards Whitby. Rooms include tea and coffee making facilities, TV and hairdryer. It is well equipped with a boot and drying room.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
Day 1: Arrival Day
See travel section for information on arrival. Your leader will give an introductory talk about the holiday.
Day 2: St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge
After a ceremonial dipping of the toes in the Irish Sea, our first four miles follow the cliff path past St Bees Lighthouse. The cliffs, about 300 feet high, are nature reserves and important sites for nesting seabirds. Leaving the coast we head inland through the village of Cleator, an old farming village before the advent of iron-ore mining. From the abandoned industrial landscape of West Cumbria we walk east to Dent (1,131 feet), our first ascent. We are rewarded with magnificent views to the Lake District fells, the west Cumbrian coast and on a clear day the Galloway hills. Descending steeply, we continue through the pretty Nannycatch valley to Ennerdale Bridge.14 miles (22.5km) with 2,300 feet (690m) of ascent
Day 3: Ennerdale Bridge to Seatoller
A rough path alongside Ennerdale Water, then a forestry track leads us to Black Sail hostel and an amphitheatre of spectacular mountain scenery. The craggy north face of Pillar to the south and the impressive summit of Great Gable dominate the head of the valley. After a rough, steep ascent from Ennerdale we follow Moses Trod. This old packhorse route leads us to Honister Pass with the slate quarry and visitor centre, before we follow a grassy track down to Seatoller. 13 miles (21km) with 1,650 feet (495m) of ascent
Day 4: Seatoller to Grasmere
We leave the Borrowdale Valley along another packhorse route following Stonethwaite, beneath the imposing Eagle Crags. Ascending a rough, steep path to Greenup Edge, there are two options depending on the weather. We either descend to the shelter of Easdale Gill, or follow a broad ridge to Helm Crag before a final steep descent leads us to Wordsworth’s village of Grasmere. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,700 feet (510m) of ascent
Day 5: Grasmere to Patterdale
Today’s choice of routes may be determined by the weather. The low level route involves another packhorse track, becoming steeper and reaching its highest point (1,929 feet) at Grisedale Hause. The scenery gets grander by the minute as the fells tower above Grisedale Tarn, St Sunday Crag and Fairfield on the right, and the Helvellyn massif on our left. Our descent to Patterdale is a rocky path. The high level route traverses St Sunday Crag (2,756ft). This involves an additional ascent of about 1000 feet, and rewards us with excellent views of Lakeland and Ullswater as we descend steeply to Patterdale. 8½ miles (14km) with 1,650 feet (495m) of ascent
Day 6: Patterdale to Shap
Leaving Patterdale we follow a narrow path up to Angle Tarn at the head of Ullswater. We walk along the Roman road of High Street, and then ascend to the summit of Kidsty Pike, the highest point on the entire walk at 2,560 feet. Descending steeply to the southern end of Haweswater we follow an undulating stony path along the shores of Haweswater to Burnbanks. We leave the Lake District National Park and continue through the wooded valley of the River Lowther to Shap, passing the picturesque ruins of Shap Abbey. 16 miles (26km) with 2,400 feet (720m) of ascent
Day 7: Shap to Kirkby Stephen
A long day but easier underfoot, we pass through the gentler hills of the limestone plateau, an area little known to walkers before the Coast to Coast became popular. We visit Sunbiggin Tarn, part of a National Nature Reserve continuing over Ravenstonedale Moor through Smardale to Kirby Stephen. 21 miles (34km) with 2,000 feet (600m) of ascent
Day 8: Kirkby Stephen to Keld
Leaving the market town of Kirkby Stephen, we pass through the village of Hartley and ascend the fell road to Hartley Fell. A track leads us to the summit of Nine Standards Rigg, at 2,170 feet the Pennine watershed. From this point we see to the north Cross Fell, the highest point of the Pennines, with the lovely Eden valley below. Westwards are the outline of Lakeland hills in the distance, whilst to the southwest and south lies the Mallerstang valley backed by Wild Boar Fell and the Howgills. From here we descend the wet and peaty moors by way of Whitsundale into Swaledale and down to the tiny village of Keld. 13 miles (21km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent
Day 9: Keld to Reeth
We briefly follow the Pennine Way as we cross the Swale near Kisdon Force then continue on a good track to Crackpot Hall. A narrow traversing path takes us along Swinner Gill to the site of an old mine. The valley was an important and busy area of lead mining during the 17th to 19th centuries, and for much of the day we will be walking along good tracks through the fascinating remains of this industrial landscape. Our destination is Reeth, an attractive village where old houses are built around a large rectangular green. 11 miles (18km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent
Day 10: Reeth to Richmond
Following field paths along the delightful River Swale we reach 12th century Marrick Priory, now an adventure centre. We leave the river to pass the hamlet of Marrick, then the attractive little village of Marske, with its 12th century church. Continuing high above the Swale, we pass Whitcliffe Scar and continue to reach the picturesque and historic town of Richmond, dominated by the dramatic Norman castle. 11 miles (18km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent
Day 11: Richmond to Danby Wiske
From Swaledale to the Cleveland Hills is the Vale of Mowbray, a fertile plain just above sea level and the only section of our journey that lies entirely over low ground. From the cobbled streets of Richmond we continue along the Swale, passing under the A1 where it crosses the river at Catterick Bridge. At the church in Bolton-on-Swale there is a monument to a local resident who is said to have lived for 169 years. We finish at Danby Wiske, at 110 feet the lowest point on the entire walk. 14 miles (22.5km) with 350 feet (105m) of ascent
Day 12: Danby Wiske to Carlton Bank
As we continue across the Vale of Mowbray, following an assortment of field paths, farm roads and quiet lanes, the Cleveland Hills become visible ahead, the village of Ingleby Arncliffe nestling at the foot. Our first ascent of the day is Beacon Hill, a fine viewpoint despite being only 982 feet high. The Ordnance Survey column on the summit, starting point for the Lyke Wake Walk, marks the start of the North York Moors section of our walk, today a splendid high-level traverse along the escarpment of the Cleveland Hills. We descend steeply into the peaceful wooded valley of Scugdale, and then ascend again towards the open expanse of Carlton Moor and our destination of Carlton Bank. 17 miles (27km) with 2,200 feet (660m) of ascent
Day 13: Carlton Bank to Blakey Ridge
We begin the day with a rugged, steeply undulating walk past the dramatic Wainstones to Clay Bank Top, where we ascend Carr Ridge and continue eastwards to Round Hill, at 1,489 feet the highest point on the Cleveland Hills. After Urra Moor we join the old ironstone railway at Bloworth Crossing, following the track to the 16th century Lion Inn, standing alone on Blakey Ridge. 13 miles (21km) with 1,950 feet (585m) of ascent
Day 14: Blakey to Grosmont
Crossing the head of Rosedale, we see a number of ancient crosses and visible scars of the ironstone workings. A good track takes us over Danby Moor to Great Fryup Head and on to Glaisdale Rigg. We descend to the village of Glaisdale with the 17th century Beggar's Bridge. Along the wooded Esk valley we cross the river at Egton Bridge, and then follow an old toll road to Grosmont. 14 miles (22.5km) with 700 feet (210m) of ascent
Day 15: Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay
Our final day starts with a steep surfaced road ascent out of Grosmont to Sleights Moor. From the high point of Flat Howe (953 feet) we look ahead to the North Sea, with Whitby and its Abbey. We drop into the pretty wooded valley of Little Beck, and then reascend to cross Greystone Hills, the last stretch of moorland. Continuing to the village of Hawsker, we enjoy an invigorating cliff walk along part of the Cleveland Way to our destination at Robin Hood’s Bay.15½ miles (25km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent
Day 16: Departure day
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
As this holiday starts and finishes at two different points, travelling by train is usually the most convenient method of travel.
By train to St Bees:
The nearest rail station to Ennerdale Bridge is at St Bees. The transfer from here to your first hotel is included in the price of your holiday. Your leader will meet you at St Bees Railway station (outside the main entrance) at 16.30 (the train from Carlisle usually arrives at this time) for the 30 minute taxi transfer to the Shepherds Arms.
If you will not be using our transfer from St Bees please let us know, so that the group is aware not to wait for you.
By train from Whitby or Scarborough:
Your holiday finishes at Larpool Hall, Whitby. The nearest railway station is in Whitby, but you may find the journey from Scarborough station is more convenient. The House Manager at Larpool Hall will arrange a taxi to either station for you, which could be shared. The 2 mile journey to Whitby will cost £5.80 per taxi, the 20 mile journey to Scarborough will cost £30 per taxi. Alternatively, there is an hourly bus from Whitby to Scarborough station.
For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950. For National Rail enquires from overseas call +44 (0)20 7278 5240
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Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
- 15 nights’ Full Board accommodation in comfortable en-suite rooms
- The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ trails guide
- All transport and luggage transfers on walking days
Prices are per person
- Single room are generally not available: see below for more information.
*If at eight weeks prior to the start of the holiday a sharing partner is unavailable, a single room or room for single occupancy with associated supplement will be allocated to you instead. This will be an extra £180 (complete holiday)*
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person