“The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.”
― A. Wainwright, The Western Fells
The Lake District National Park, Northwest England.
The Coast to Coast Path – England’s Classic Walk
At almost 200 miles, the Coast to Coast Path was originally devised in the early 1970s by famous British fell walker, author and illustrator Alfred Wainwright. It is not the longest in the country, neither has it been given ‘National Trail’ status and therefore remains an ‘unofficial’ walk, but it has certainly become the most popular long distance route in England. With rolling hills and lush green countryside, not forgetting the traditional market towns, quaint tea rooms, legendary public houses, and famous fish and chip shops that you will come across, this classic walk is overflowing with quintessential English charm.
If you are considering the Coast to Coast as a long distance hike, the preferred direction to go is east to west as this keeps the prevailing wind and rain at your back, as well as the evening sun out of your eyes. The C2C path begins at the most westerly point of northern England at St Bees in Cumbria, a tiny village on the Irish Sea, just 50 miles from the Scottish border. The route takes you across the West Cumbrian coastal plain and the Lake District, where thereafter you will enter Yorkshire and cross the Pennines, a range of mountains and hills that form the backbone of England.Following this, the trail crosses the Yorkshire Dales, the Vale of York and the North York Moors before finally reaching the North Sea coast at the charming fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay, where your ‘Coast to Coast’ walk would not be complete without stopping for a pint at Wainwright’s Bar!
The pebbles we carried from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay, following the Wainwright tradition.
We completed our thru-hike between July 19th and August 6th 2014. Our daily trip reports with accompanying photographs are included below:
You can export a GPX/KML file from this by clicking on the ‘Coast to Coast (UK)’ link below.