Coast to Coast Packhorse
The UK’s only travel company specialising in Alfred Wainwright’s C2C Way route.
Coast to Coast Way
The Coast to Coast walk is a famous British hike designed by Alfred Wainwright that steers across the UK’s landscape from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. The C2C rambling route passes through three national parks: the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park. The great fell-walker, Alfred Wainwright, who devised the journey, chose a route which showcases the British landscape at its best.
The coast to coast walking route from St Bee’s to Robin Hood’s Bay runs across many stunning landscapes that offers a self-guided walking experience that is completely unforgettable.
Alfred Wainwright’s ‘Coast to Coast Walk’ book was first published in 1973 and there have been a number of changes to the route over the years. Specifically, Wainwright divided his hike into 12 sections for ramblers, meaning experienced fell walkers can tackle the journey in as many days.
It is suggested that Wainwright’s route is better travelled over 14 or 15 days, therefore taking time in your itinerary to explore and wonder. Significantly, Wainwright recommended that ramblers dip their booted feet in the Irish Sea at St Bees and, at the end of the hike, in the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay. Hikers will explore some of the famous Wainwright Fells along the way.
The Wainwright Society, founded in 2002 to keep alive the things which AW promoted through the guidebooks, took on responsibility for the Coast to Coast Walk. At the Society’s Annual General Meeting in 2012, chairman Eric Robson announced that the journey would be way-marked for the first time in 40 years.
How long is the Coast to Coast Walk?
The length of the Coast to Coast walk is 190-192 miles long, depending on the route you take. Therefore, there are some variations possible on some of the sections from Wainwright’s guide. As a result, to travel the whole route, it is suggested to be across in 12-14 days.
The itinerary for the long distance ramble can be quite challenging. Consequently many people ask us how difficult is the C2C walk? By the time you take your first steps in St Bees, you should ideally be at a good level of fitness and stamina. The natural environment can be especially demanding at times.
Below we have detailed a general guide to the Coast to Coast route itinerary. The journey can be traversed with several itineraries, allowing for rest days, breaking the hike up into longer sections. For more exact itineraries, please see each individual holiday page.
Dip your toes in the water of St Bees’ beaches before you embark on your coast to coast walk. After enjoying the wonders of Saint Bees Head Heritage Coast, walkers will visit Fleswick Bay, St Bees Lighthouse, Sandwith Quarry, Cleator and Dent Fell, before landing at Ennerdale Bridge.
On a clear day, the ridge line from Red Pike through to Haystacks presents one of the best views in the Lake District. The path from Red Pike to High Stile is a fun hike that takes you across the rocky peaks of High Crag, passing Bleaberry Tarn, and Buttermere along the way.
Overall, this is one of the shortest sections of the coast to coast hike. However, the path takes you across particularly high, rocky sections with steep climbs and stream crossings. Hikers begin from Borrowdale towards Stonethwaite Beck, while exploring Eagle Crag. You will be taking in the amazing views of Easedale and the surrounding fells and distant summits, before ultimately landing at Grasmere.
Patterdale to Shap takes you up and over the high point of Kidsty Pike and is undeniably one of the toughest days on route. However the the long journey is unquestionably worth it once you reach Kirkby Stephen for a rest in the home town of C2C Packhorse.
Arriving from Richmond to Danby Wiske takes explorers across the low-lying land on the North York Moors known as the Vale of Mowbray (yes, like the pies!). You will approach Ingleby Cross close to the North York Moors National Park. This route offers some amazing vantage points after a day of hill climbing. Furthermore, hikers can enjoy the beautiful countryside of Swaledale and enjoy their first glimpse of the North Sea Coast on a clear day.
The final leg of the coast to coast walk takes you from Blakey Ridge to Robin Hood’s Bay. Between Blakey to Grosmont, hikers will make the short trip between Glaisdale and Egton Bridge. Watch out for ‘Fat Betty’, a white landmark with the tradition of leaving a small gift for fellow travellers! Finally, walkers stroll from Littlebeck to the final destination of Robin Hood’s Bay! The end of a spectacular journey.
Read our Coast to Coast Explorers Blog. Here we share all of our company news and local information direct from our team on the C2C Way route in Kirkby Stephen. We also share tonnes of useful guides to mountains around the UK and valuable ‘before you travel’ articles about Alfred Wainwright’s famous 192-mile route.