OVERVIEW

Experience what some would argue is the most spectacular part of England's Coast to Coast walk in the Lake District, England's premier walking destination. Walk from St Bees on the Irish Coast to the old market town of Kirkby Stephen to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. This week-long journey covers a distance of just over 131 km, much of which is spent in the iconic Lake District, recognised as a World Heritage Site since 2017. Considered to be the most challenging part of the Coast to Coast track, the route will take you up rugged hills, along the shores of beautiful lakes, and through lush, green valleys, such as Borrowdale and Wordsworth's Grasmere.

If you are not quite ready to commit to the full Coast to Coast walk or only have a week to spare but are looking for some challenging fell walking, this is the trip for you!

Highlights

  • Rolling green hills, drystone walls, and fluffy sheep in the hypnotic Yorkshire Dales
  • Picturesque country villages and farms, and nesting seabirds on the cliffs at St Bees in spring
  • Sensational views of Scafell Pike, England's highest peak 
  • Old churches with stunning stained-glass windows
  • Walk through the Grasmere Valley which the poet Wordsworth famously called, ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found’
  • Stunning high routes for good weather days and easier low-level alternatives for those inclement weather days

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
9 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Longer walking distances, up to 20km +. Steep hill sections and rough terrain. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 1995

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 595

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of a room when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9

DAY 1
Getting to St Bees

Arrive at St Bees at your own leisure and check into your accommodation. Enjoy a stroll on the beach or explore the lighthouse and the Priory founded in 1020AD. Or simply take the opportunity to wander around the very pleasant township and relax in one of the many pubs in preparation for the first day’s walk.

Accommodation: St Bees in an ensuite room

DAY 2
St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

Starting out along the cliffs at St Bees (great views of nesting seabird colonies in spring and early summer), the walk takes you through the agricultural landscapes around the villages of Moor Row and Cleator, before the ascent of Dent Fell Hill (353 m) for some grand views of the coast now behind you. Descend to the beautiful gorge of Nannycatch Gate and continue easily to Ennerdale Bridge Village.

Walks: Moderate to challenging / 23 km / 8 hrs
Ascent: 1105 m / Descent: 1005 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Ennerdale Bridge in an ensuite room

DAY 3
Ennerdale Bridge to the Borrowdale Valley

Today we enter the Lake District National Park, starting with a delightful walk along the southern shores of Ennerdale Water. A long forest road leads through conifer plantations to the famous Black Sail Hut. This is a nice spot to pause for lunch and marvel at the fantastic glacier-carved valleys all around. A steep climb along the line of Loft Beck takes you to a high saddle with extensive vistas that feature many famous peaks and lakes of the area. The old Moses Trod path then brings you to the Honnister Slate mines where we meet the winding road down to the Borrowdale Valley and today’s destination.

Walks: Moderate to challenging / 23 km / 8 hrs
Ascent: 715 m / Descent: 730 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Borrowdale Valley in an ensuite room

DAY 4
Borrowdale Valley to Grasmere

A gentle start through Stonethwaite Valley following the beck of the same name. Eagle Crag looming up on the far side of the valley. The gradient increases for the push to the rocky outcrop of Lining Crag. You’ll definitely deserve a break here to catch your breath and take in the views of Scafell Pike (England’s highest peak at 978 m) and more. Easier gradients follow to Greenup Edge and on, to the head of the Far Easedale Valley. From here, take either the good weather High Route over Calf and Helm Crags (add 1 hr but no additional climbing), or continue down towards Grasmere following the line of Far Easedale Beck. Grasmere was home to the poet Wordsworth for many years. He described this valley as, “the fairest place on earth”.

There are many things to see here, including Wordsworth’s famous Dove Cottage, now a museum. Perhaps consider a day off to spend some time in Grasmere. It’s well worth it!

Walks: Moderate / 15 km / 5 ½ hrs
Ascent: 622m / Descent: 672m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Grassmere in an ensuite room

DAY 5
Grasmere to Patterdale-Glenridding

Both options today take you up the delightful valley of Tongue Gill to Grisedale Hause. From here, either continue down Grisedale Valley to Patterdale-Glenridding following the line of the beck that drains the tarn or, in good weather, you might consider the high ridge walk via Saint Sunday Crag.

Patterdale-Glenridding is also a good option for a rest day, especially if you are keen to climb Helvellyn via the Classic Route, going up via Striding Edge and descending again via Swirral Edge.

This day offers two options – a low & high route

The direct (low) route via Grisedale Valley
Walks: Moderate / 14 km / 4 hrs
Ascent: 580m / Descent: 490m

The high route via Saint Sunday Crag
Walks: Moderate to challenging / 14 km / 5 hrs
Ascent: 850m / Descent: 760m

Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Patterdale – Glenridding in an ensuite room

DAY 6
Patterdale to Shap

A demanding leave-taking of the Lake District via Angle Tarn and Kidsty Pike (784 m), the Coast to Coast’s highest point. A steep descent from the high plateau via Kidsty Howes takes you towards Haweswater. The walk continues ‘undulating’ across the slopes above the lake to Burnbanks village. From there, continue along country lanes and paths past the ruins of the historic Shap Abbey to your accommodation for the night in the town of Shap.

This day offers two options – a low & high route. This overview is for the high route via Kidsty Pike

Walks: Moderate to challenging / 25 km / 6.5 – 9 hrs
Ascent: 925 m / Descent: 813 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Haweswater or Shap in an ensuite room

DAY 7
Shap to Orton

Today is a shorter easier walk to allow you to recover after the challenges of yesterday. Starting in the village of Shap, cross the busy M6 via a pedestrian footbridge and walk the mystic moors through one of England’s “Empty Quarters”. The ancient stone circles and burial mounds here are evidence of a time when this area was far more densely settled.

Walks: Moderate / 12.5 km / 2.5-3.5 hrs
Ascent: 193 m / Descent: 216 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Tebay in an ensuite room

DAY 8
Orton to Kirkby Stephen

The onwards route crosses the base of an upland area of limestone (the Orton Scar) before continuing over the moors towards Sunbiggin Tarn. In spring, this area is dotted with limestone-loving wildflowers and the skies are filled with birdsong. These wild, windswept moors were also once home to thriving communities as attested by the Severals village complex (not excavated) and enigmatic “pillow mounds” near Smardale Bridge. A gentle climb up and over the fells brings you to the old market town of Kirkby Stephen. Granted a market charter in 1351, this vibrant town boasts numerous cafes, restaurants, pubs, and even a few outdoor gear stores!

Walks: Moderate / 20 km / 5-6 hrs
Ascent: 335m / Descent: 395m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Kirkby Stephen in an ensuite room

DAY 9
Kirkby Stephen and away

After breakfast, the trip officially ends.

Meals: Cooked breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Walk the entire Lake District section and more of the Coast to Coast track pack free
  • 8 nights’ accommodation in character-filled English B&Bs and pubs
  • Excellent home-cooked breakfast daily and walkers lunches
  • Stunning high routes for good weather days and low-level routes for those bad weather days
  • Grasmere Valley, ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found’ according to Wordsworth, rolling green hills, picturesque country villages and farms plus a lot more
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with our comprehensive track notes (written by one of our head guides who has walked every section of the Coast to Coast track and more), maps, map case, Coast to Coast book, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • All luggage transport and 24/7 support with our local partner network on the ground

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

A real highlight on this walk as it is for all the Coast to Coast trips is staying in the traditional English Bed and Breakfast and lodge accommodations along the way. The genuine warm welcome each day from your hosts is all part of the experience. In many cases, the hosts own the accommodation and subsequently provide a much more personable experience. Hosts often have intimate knowledge of the history of the Coast to Coast track, many of them have walked the Coast to Coast, some multiple times. All the properties are well cared for and of course very comfortable, offering all the local hospitality that the English are renowned for.

After each day’s walk on the Coast to Coast be rewarded with a hot shower, a cosy bed and cooked dinner (we’ve left this to you as there are many choices on offer). We do however include all the cooked breakfasts in residence and all the walker’s lunches (except for one).

All the accommodations listed below are our’ go to’ accommodations but on some occasions, we may have to swap out one accommodation for another of equal quality due to lack of availability.

 

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHT 2

  • NIGHT 3

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 5

  • NIGHT 6

  • NIGHT 7

  • NIGHT 8

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs.

If you do not have access to hills, it is essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible such as on a treadmill or stair climber. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Also, prioritising resistance weight training will help you develop overall muscle strength.  Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels if you are able to. Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a blend of physical and mental readiness.

Begin with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is especially important, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement.

The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritise options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

GENERAL INFO

WHY CHOOSE AUSWALK FOR THE COAST TO COAST

For starters, we’ve actually walked the track and take the time to curate what we actually offer. The Coast to Coast follows clear walking tracks throughout but there are lots of tracks going in all directions. In areas like the Lakes District National Park, walking tracks are not signposted at all, it is apparently against their “ethos”. Not to worry, our very comprehensive day-by-day walking notes that we’ve created, together with our marked copy of a detailed walking map, will ensure that you can walk the Coast to Coast with full confidence, and no fear of becoming lost, even when it is foggy and misty.
AVAILABILITY OF THE COAST TO COAST WALK

The walk is available from March to October. Outside that time please check with us.

August is one of the best months in which to walk the Coast to Coast. The weather is often relatively stable, the heather is in flower, and it is often less busy at this time than one might expect! However, we also recommend spring and autumn as the best time to walk the Coast to Coast track as the weather is pretty good for walking.

HOW TO GET THERE AND GET AWAY

We offer this walk from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen, from west to east so the walk starts in  St Bees. The closest airports to the St Bees are Manchester and Newcastle, then it’s a 4-hour train ride from there. Of course, London is the most popular entry route into the UK. You can take a train which takes 5 to 6 hours from Euston Station central London northwards to St Bees (via Carlisle).

  1. Travelling to the Start of the walk

Please refer to your itinerary. To make it easy we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By Air: The easiest option would be to fly into the UK, any of the major cities will suffice as the UK’s excellent train network will ferry you to St Bees. The main UK airports for international flights are: Heathrow Airport www.heathrowairport.com, Gatwick Airport www.gatwickairport.com, Manchester Airport www.manchesterairport.co.uk.

The nearest airports to St Bees are: Durham-Tees Valley Airport www.dtva.co.uk, Leeds Bradford Airport www.leedsbradfordairport.co.uk, Newcastle Airport www.newcastleairport.com

By Ferry: International ferry services run to UK ports from France, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. There are also local ferry services that run from the Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man and the Scottish Isles. Visit www.aferry.co.uk/ferryports.htm

By Rail: The easiest way to get to the start of the track from London is by train. St Bees has good train services. For easy train bookings in the UK (and beyond), we recommend using the LOCO2 website https://loco2.com/en. They have an excellent smartphone APP too. Just enter your station of origin, your destination, date of travel etc, and options will be presented (times, fares etc). You can pay online. Electronic tickets or ticket pick up at the station (from dispenser machine). Trains from London connect with the Cumbrian Coast Line (Northern Rail) which services St Bees. There are several trains daily. Trains to St Bees from London will take approx. 5 hr, with 1 or 2 changes required.

If you would prefer not to change trains, consider going direct from London to Penrith and spend the night there before continuing to St Bees by private transfer.

By Coach: National Express Coaches link most major towns and cities in the UK. For details of departure times and to book tickets call 0871 781 8181 (or +44 (0) 871 781 8181 from overseas) or visit https://beta.nationalexpress.com/.

By Bus: Various buses run to St Bees from nearby towns. Please visit http://www.traveline.info/ for up to date bus journey schedules.

By Road: If you have your own vehicle and are thinking of driving up to the walk, we would suggest driving to Penrith where we can arrange secure car storage for the duration of your walk. You will spend the night in Penrith and then get a private transfer out to the start of the walk. If this appeals to you, please contact the Auswalk office about this as soon as possible. For advice on driving to St Bees, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

  1. Travelling from the End of the walk

By Air: The nearest airport to Kirkby Stephen is: Manchester Airport https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk

By Rail: Kirkby Stephen in on the main Carlisle to Leeds Train Line. To get to London from Kirkby Stephen, take the train to Leeds (Northern Rail Line). Then change at Leeds to continue to London Kings Cross Station (North Eastern Railway). Travel time is approximately  4.5 hr. For easy train bookings in the UK (and beyond), we recommend using the LOCO2 website: https://loco2.com/en.
As with flights, the earlier you book, the cheaper it is. Pick up tickets at the station machine – you just need to provide the credit card that you used to book the tickets online, and they’re printed and ready to go.

By Coach: National Express Coaches link most major towns and cities in the UK. For details of departure times and to book tickets call 0871 781 8181 (or +44(0) 871 781 8181 from overseas) or visit https://beta.nationalexpress.com/.

By Bus: Various buses run from Kirkby Stephen from nearby towns. Please visit http://www.traveline.info/ for up to date bus journey schedules

By Road: For advice on driving from Kirkby Stephen, visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

  1. Returning to the Start of the Trail:

To return to the start of the walk, from Kirkby Stephen take a train directly to St Bees (approx. 3 hrs). Please note that there are different options for this journey, depending on the date and time you wish to travel. We recommend visiting the LOCO2 website https://loco2.com/en.

If you left your car in St Bees you would need to take the train to St Bees (approx. 4 hrs). Again please check National Rail or the Trainline website for timetables.

WALKING

8 days is the recommended minimum amount of time in which to do this walk. This means that there are days where you walk up to 23 km days and a few as 14 km. The shorter days have a little up and down so there’s enough walking.  We can also adjust this schedule to include rest days if you need to. The track conditions range, but all of the walk is passable, no scrambling required. There is some incline but we are not talking about anything significant. The United Kingdom is prone to having rain, no surprise there, so there may be some boggy sections but this entirely depends on the time of year and the prevailing conditions. Our advice is to prepare and bring the right gear and you’ll have a fabulous walk. See gear advice in the FAQ section.

WEATHER ON THE COAST TO COAST WALK

This walk is not available from November to February. See the United Kingdom Met office or the United Kingdom Meteorological Service for information about the weather and average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

MAP

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Apr 2024 - 1 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $1995

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $595
  • 31 Mar 2025 - 28 Sep 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2075

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $750

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Overview

OVERVIEW

Experience what some would argue is the most spectacular part of England's Coast to Coast walk in the Lake District, England's premier walking destination. Walk from St Bees on the Irish Coast to the old market town of Kirkby Stephen to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. This week-long journey covers a distance of just over 131 km, much of which is spent in the iconic Lake District, recognised as a World Heritage Site since 2017. Considered to be the most challenging part of the Coast to Coast track, the route will take you up rugged hills, along the shores of beautiful lakes, and through lush, green valleys, such as Borrowdale and Wordsworth's Grasmere.

If you are not quite ready to commit to the full Coast to Coast walk or only have a week to spare but are looking for some challenging fell walking, this is the trip for you!

Highlights

  • Rolling green hills, drystone walls, and fluffy sheep in the hypnotic Yorkshire Dales
  • Picturesque country villages and farms, and nesting seabirds on the cliffs at St Bees in spring
  • Sensational views of Scafell Pike, England's highest peak 
  • Old churches with stunning stained-glass windows
  • Walk through the Grasmere Valley which the poet Wordsworth famously called, ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found’
  • Stunning high routes for good weather days and easier low-level alternatives for those inclement weather days

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
9 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Longer walking distances, up to 20km +. Steep hill sections and rough terrain. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 1995

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 595

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9

DAY 1
Getting to St Bees

Arrive at St Bees at your own leisure and check into your accommodation. Enjoy a stroll on the beach or explore the lighthouse and the Priory founded in 1020AD. Or simply take the opportunity to wander around the very pleasant township and relax in one of the many pubs in preparation for the first day’s walk.

Accommodation: St Bees in an ensuite room

DAY 2
St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

Starting out along the cliffs at St Bees (great views of nesting seabird colonies in spring and early summer), the walk takes you through the agricultural landscapes around the villages of Moor Row and Cleator, before the ascent of Dent Fell Hill (353 m) for some grand views of the coast now behind you. Descend to the beautiful gorge of Nannycatch Gate and continue easily to Ennerdale Bridge Village.

Walks: Moderate to challenging / 23 km / 8 hrs
Ascent: 1105 m / Descent: 1005 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Ennerdale Bridge in an ensuite room

DAY 3
Ennerdale Bridge to the Borrowdale Valley

Today we enter the Lake District National Park, starting with a delightful walk along the southern shores of Ennerdale Water. A long forest road leads through conifer plantations to the famous Black Sail Hut. This is a nice spot to pause for lunch and marvel at the fantastic glacier-carved valleys all around. A steep climb along the line of Loft Beck takes you to a high saddle with extensive vistas that feature many famous peaks and lakes of the area. The old Moses Trod path then brings you to the Honnister Slate mines where we meet the winding road down to the Borrowdale Valley and today’s destination.

Walks: Moderate to challenging / 23 km / 8 hrs
Ascent: 715 m / Descent: 730 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Borrowdale Valley in an ensuite room

DAY 4
Borrowdale Valley to Grasmere

A gentle start through Stonethwaite Valley following the beck of the same name. Eagle Crag looming up on the far side of the valley. The gradient increases for the push to the rocky outcrop of Lining Crag. You’ll definitely deserve a break here to catch your breath and take in the views of Scafell Pike (England’s highest peak at 978 m) and more. Easier gradients follow to Greenup Edge and on, to the head of the Far Easedale Valley. From here, take either the good weather High Route over Calf and Helm Crags (add 1 hr but no additional climbing), or continue down towards Grasmere following the line of Far Easedale Beck. Grasmere was home to the poet Wordsworth for many years. He described this valley as, “the fairest place on earth”.

There are many things to see here, including Wordsworth’s famous Dove Cottage, now a museum. Perhaps consider a day off to spend some time in Grasmere. It’s well worth it!

Walks: Moderate / 15 km / 5 ½ hrs
Ascent: 622m / Descent: 672m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Grassmere in an ensuite room

DAY 5
Grasmere to Patterdale-Glenridding

Both options today take you up the delightful valley of Tongue Gill to Grisedale Hause. From here, either continue down Grisedale Valley to Patterdale-Glenridding following the line of the beck that drains the tarn or, in good weather, you might consider the high ridge walk via Saint Sunday Crag.

Patterdale-Glenridding is also a good option for a rest day, especially if you are keen to climb Helvellyn via the Classic Route, going up via Striding Edge and descending again via Swirral Edge.

This day offers two options – a low & high route

The direct (low) route via Grisedale Valley
Walks: Moderate / 14 km / 4 hrs
Ascent: 580m / Descent: 490m

The high route via Saint Sunday Crag
Walks: Moderate to challenging / 14 km / 5 hrs
Ascent: 850m / Descent: 760m

Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Patterdale – Glenridding in an ensuite room

DAY 6
Patterdale to Shap

A demanding leave-taking of the Lake District via Angle Tarn and Kidsty Pike (784 m), the Coast to Coast’s highest point. A steep descent from the high plateau via Kidsty Howes takes you towards Haweswater. The walk continues ‘undulating’ across the slopes above the lake to Burnbanks village. From there, continue along country lanes and paths past the ruins of the historic Shap Abbey to your accommodation for the night in the town of Shap.

This day offers two options – a low & high route. This overview is for the high route via Kidsty Pike

Walks: Moderate to challenging / 25 km / 6.5 – 9 hrs
Ascent: 925 m / Descent: 813 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Haweswater or Shap in an ensuite room

DAY 7
Shap to Orton

Today is a shorter easier walk to allow you to recover after the challenges of yesterday. Starting in the village of Shap, cross the busy M6 via a pedestrian footbridge and walk the mystic moors through one of England’s “Empty Quarters”. The ancient stone circles and burial mounds here are evidence of a time when this area was far more densely settled.

Walks: Moderate / 12.5 km / 2.5-3.5 hrs
Ascent: 193 m / Descent: 216 m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Tebay in an ensuite room

DAY 8
Orton to Kirkby Stephen

The onwards route crosses the base of an upland area of limestone (the Orton Scar) before continuing over the moors towards Sunbiggin Tarn. In spring, this area is dotted with limestone-loving wildflowers and the skies are filled with birdsong. These wild, windswept moors were also once home to thriving communities as attested by the Severals village complex (not excavated) and enigmatic “pillow mounds” near Smardale Bridge. A gentle climb up and over the fells brings you to the old market town of Kirkby Stephen. Granted a market charter in 1351, this vibrant town boasts numerous cafes, restaurants, pubs, and even a few outdoor gear stores!

Walks: Moderate / 20 km / 5-6 hrs
Ascent: 335m / Descent: 395m
Meals: Cooked breakfast and walkers lunch
Accommodation: Kirkby Stephen in an ensuite room

DAY 9
Kirkby Stephen and away

After breakfast, the trip officially ends.

Meals: Cooked breakfast

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Walk the entire Lake District section and more of the Coast to Coast track pack free
  • 8 nights’ accommodation in character-filled English B&Bs and pubs
  • Excellent home-cooked breakfast daily and walkers lunches
  • Stunning high routes for good weather days and low-level routes for those bad weather days
  • Grasmere Valley, ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found’ according to Wordsworth, rolling green hills, picturesque country villages and farms plus a lot more
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with our comprehensive track notes (written by one of our head guides who has walked every section of the Coast to Coast track and more), maps, map case, Coast to Coast book, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • All luggage transport and 24/7 support with our local partner network on the ground
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

A real highlight on this walk as it is for all the Coast to Coast trips is staying in the traditional English Bed and Breakfast and lodge accommodations along the way. The genuine warm welcome each day from your hosts is all part of the experience. In many cases, the hosts own the accommodation and subsequently provide a much more personable experience. Hosts often have intimate knowledge of the history of the Coast to Coast track, many of them have walked the Coast to Coast, some multiple times. All the properties are well cared for and of course very comfortable, offering all the local hospitality that the English are renowned for.

After each day’s walk on the Coast to Coast be rewarded with a hot shower, a cosy bed and cooked dinner (we’ve left this to you as there are many choices on offer). We do however include all the cooked breakfasts in residence and all the walker’s lunches (except for one).

All the accommodations listed below are our’ go to’ accommodations but on some occasions, we may have to swap out one accommodation for another of equal quality due to lack of availability.

 

  • NIGHT 1

  • NIGHT 2

  • NIGHT 3

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 4

  • NIGHT 5

  • NIGHT 6

  • NIGHT 7

  • NIGHT 8

Fitness Guide

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - ABOVE AVERAGE

Distance training is a major consideration in your overall training program. As you progress, incorporate longer walks into your training plan.

Schedule one or two long walks each week, gradually increasing the distance until you can comfortably cover 17-25 km in a single day. Also include walks on consecutive days to help your body adapt to the demands of walking for multiple days in a row. Take every opportunity you can to walk. If you have a fitness watch or phone, you should try to reach >15,000 steps every day.

Ensure you can comfortably walk the average distance per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs.

If you do not have access to hills, it is essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible such as on a treadmill or stair climber. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills is incredibly useful. Also, prioritising resistance weight training will help you develop overall muscle strength.  Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems, opposed to distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking.

If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels if you are able to. Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

TERRAIN

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a blend of physical and mental readiness.

Begin with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is especially important, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement.

The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritise options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and rocky, balancing and core exercises are vital.

Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills, up and down stairs at work, or up and down at a local oval with a grandstand is incredibly useful. Elevation is often where walkers encounter problems not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles to everyday flat walking. Concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

WHY CHOOSE AUSWALK FOR THE COAST TO COAST

For starters, we’ve actually walked the track and take the time to curate what we actually offer. The Coast to Coast follows clear walking tracks throughout but there are lots of tracks going in all directions. In areas like the Lakes District National Park, walking tracks are not signposted at all, it is apparently against their “ethos”. Not to worry, our very comprehensive day-by-day walking notes that we’ve created, together with our marked copy of a detailed walking map, will ensure that you can walk the Coast to Coast with full confidence, and no fear of becoming lost, even when it is foggy and misty.
AVAILABILITY OF THE COAST TO COAST WALK

The walk is available from March to October. Outside that time please check with us.

August is one of the best months in which to walk the Coast to Coast. The weather is often relatively stable, the heather is in flower, and it is often less busy at this time than one might expect! However, we also recommend spring and autumn as the best time to walk the Coast to Coast track as the weather is pretty good for walking.

HOW TO GET THERE AND GET AWAY

We offer this walk from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen, from west to east so the walk starts in  St Bees. The closest airports to the St Bees are Manchester and Newcastle, then it’s a 4-hour train ride from there. Of course, London is the most popular entry route into the UK. You can take a train which takes 5 to 6 hours from Euston Station central London northwards to St Bees (via Carlisle).

  1. Travelling to the Start of the walk

Please refer to your itinerary. To make it easy we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By Air: The easiest option would be to fly into the UK, any of the major cities will suffice as the UK’s excellent train network will ferry you to St Bees. The main UK airports for international flights are: Heathrow Airport www.heathrowairport.com, Gatwick Airport www.gatwickairport.com, Manchester Airport www.manchesterairport.co.uk.

The nearest airports to St Bees are: Durham-Tees Valley Airport www.dtva.co.uk, Leeds Bradford Airport www.leedsbradfordairport.co.uk, Newcastle Airport www.newcastleairport.com

By Ferry: International ferry services run to UK ports from France, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. There are also local ferry services that run from the Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man and the Scottish Isles. Visit www.aferry.co.uk/ferryports.htm

By Rail: The easiest way to get to the start of the track from London is by train. St Bees has good train services. For easy train bookings in the UK (and beyond), we recommend using the LOCO2 website https://loco2.com/en. They have an excellent smartphone APP too. Just enter your station of origin, your destination, date of travel etc, and options will be presented (times, fares etc). You can pay online. Electronic tickets or ticket pick up at the station (from dispenser machine). Trains from London connect with the Cumbrian Coast Line (Northern Rail) which services St Bees. There are several trains daily. Trains to St Bees from London will take approx. 5 hr, with 1 or 2 changes required.

If you would prefer not to change trains, consider going direct from London to Penrith and spend the night there before continuing to St Bees by private transfer.

By Coach: National Express Coaches link most major towns and cities in the UK. For details of departure times and to book tickets call 0871 781 8181 (or +44 (0) 871 781 8181 from overseas) or visit https://beta.nationalexpress.com/.

By Bus: Various buses run to St Bees from nearby towns. Please visit http://www.traveline.info/ for up to date bus journey schedules.

By Road: If you have your own vehicle and are thinking of driving up to the walk, we would suggest driving to Penrith where we can arrange secure car storage for the duration of your walk. You will spend the night in Penrith and then get a private transfer out to the start of the walk. If this appeals to you, please contact the Auswalk office about this as soon as possible. For advice on driving to St Bees, please visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

  1. Travelling from the End of the walk

By Air: The nearest airport to Kirkby Stephen is: Manchester Airport https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk

By Rail: Kirkby Stephen in on the main Carlisle to Leeds Train Line. To get to London from Kirkby Stephen, take the train to Leeds (Northern Rail Line). Then change at Leeds to continue to London Kings Cross Station (North Eastern Railway). Travel time is approximately  4.5 hr. For easy train bookings in the UK (and beyond), we recommend using the LOCO2 website: https://loco2.com/en.
As with flights, the earlier you book, the cheaper it is. Pick up tickets at the station machine – you just need to provide the credit card that you used to book the tickets online, and they’re printed and ready to go.

By Coach: National Express Coaches link most major towns and cities in the UK. For details of departure times and to book tickets call 0871 781 8181 (or +44(0) 871 781 8181 from overseas) or visit https://beta.nationalexpress.com/.

By Bus: Various buses run from Kirkby Stephen from nearby towns. Please visit http://www.traveline.info/ for up to date bus journey schedules

By Road: For advice on driving from Kirkby Stephen, visit www.theaa.com which has a very useful route planner.

  1. Returning to the Start of the Trail:

To return to the start of the walk, from Kirkby Stephen take a train directly to St Bees (approx. 3 hrs). Please note that there are different options for this journey, depending on the date and time you wish to travel. We recommend visiting the LOCO2 website https://loco2.com/en.

If you left your car in St Bees you would need to take the train to St Bees (approx. 4 hrs). Again please check National Rail or the Trainline website for timetables.

WALKING

8 days is the recommended minimum amount of time in which to do this walk. This means that there are days where you walk up to 23 km days and a few as 14 km. The shorter days have a little up and down so there’s enough walking.  We can also adjust this schedule to include rest days if you need to. The track conditions range, but all of the walk is passable, no scrambling required. There is some incline but we are not talking about anything significant. The United Kingdom is prone to having rain, no surprise there, so there may be some boggy sections but this entirely depends on the time of year and the prevailing conditions. Our advice is to prepare and bring the right gear and you’ll have a fabulous walk. See gear advice in the FAQ section.

WEATHER ON THE COAST TO COAST WALK

This walk is not available from November to February. See the United Kingdom Met office or the United Kingdom Meteorological Service for information about the weather and average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

Map

MAP

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Apr 2024 - 1 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $1995

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $595
  • 31 Mar 2025 - 28 Sep 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2075

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $750
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