england lake district coast to coast hiking tour

Lake District village

The Lake District is still as beautiful as it was 100 years ago. Our coast-to-coast hike begins in Lake District National Park, crosses the wooded valleys of Yorkshire Dales National Park, and ends with a hike over the dramatic North York moors.

Photo by Brian McGilloway

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England Coast to Coast route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6095  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Manchester, England
Depart: Manchester, England
Lodging: 13 nights inns, hotels, and B&Bs
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 13 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 6-8 hours a day, van support (for luggage or tired feet)


  • Hike through three fantastic national parks: Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and North York Moors
  • Visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and the castle town of Richmond
  • Overnights in village inns and historic hotels
  • Enjoy lively pub lunches

Stunning vistas, fun company and great hikes. We had a blast!Barbara K.—Kenilworth, IL

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Significant Currency Discount Available for this Trip!

The US Dollar has strengthened dramatically against the British Pound, and we want to pass the savings on to you! The amount of the discount will be calculated on the day you sign up, and will be locked in at that rate, no matter how many months away your trip dates are. Call or email us to find out today’s discount, or with any questions you may have. This is the year to visit Europe — Call soon! The US Dollar may not maintain this level of strength for long.

The coast-to-coast journey across England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea is one of the great hikes of the world. We’ve perfected this classic walk, hiking the most spectacular stretches as we cut a swath across England’s historic and literary landscape and through three magnificent national parks. We bring you from west to east, which puts the prevailing wind at your back, starting in the romantic Lake District, heading into the upland pastures of the Yorkshire Dales, then across the dramatic purple-heather moors of North York to reach the wild North Sea. Roman roads, storybook villages, friendly country pubs—this is England at its best!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-6
Irish Sea / Lake District National Park

At Ravenglass, we christen our boots in the Irish Sea (a coast-to-coast tradition), then hike the Lake District’s tranquil landscape of stone walls overhung with berry bushes and glistening green fields where flocks of sheep graze. The scenery is magnificent, with crystal lakes surrounded by a great amphitheater of emerald mountains. In the famous village of Grasmere, visit Dove Cottage, home of the poet William Wordsworth, then hike steeply over Grisedale Hause (hause is Old Norse for pass). Our final Lake District hike follows an ancient road, the highest engineered by the Romans in England.

Days 7-9
Yorkshire Dales National Park

Entering Yorkshire Dales National Park, James Herriot country, our hikes bring you across the main watershed of England by way of Nine Standards Rigg, a summit dominated by mysterious massive stone cairns, along the banks of the River Swale past stone barns and wooded valleys, and through some of the most charming villages in England. On Day 9, enjoy the historical treasures of ancient Richmond, whose massive Norman castle shelters narrow cobblestone alleys.

Days 10-14
North York Moors National Park / North Sea

Experience a dramatic change of scenery on a hike along moorland escarpments that evoke images from the Bronte sisters’ masterpieces. The views are bewitching—beneath huge billowy clouds, the purplish heather-strewn heaths gradually fade into a patchwork of golds and greens in a far-off distant valley. The last leg of our journey brings you through the lovely Esk Valley and along coastal paths to Robin Hood’s Bay, where we let the North Sea lap our boots and we celebrate the culmination of our hike. On Day 14, depart for Manchester via the medieval city of York.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

The hiking on this trip is rated 4+, moderate to strenuous, according to our trip grading system. The terrain can be rugged, with steep climbs over uneven ground, boggy terrain, open fells, and craggy rocks. The hikes range from 6-8 hours in length, with stops for lunch. Altitudes are not high, and we carry only a daypack, but distances are long on some days, and there are many days with steep ups and downs, especially in the Lake District section of the hike.

We hike the Coast to Coast from west to east, so that the prevailing wind and weather is at our backs. This can make a great difference in the changeable English climate! It does mean, however, that we start the trip with the hardest and highest section, the Lake District. Proper rain gear and gaiters will keep you comfortable no matter what weather blows in, and good conditioning will have you ready for the hike. Due to the steepness of some descents and the rocky surface in some sections of the path, the trip should not be attempted by anyone who has serious problems with their knees or hip joints.

Your feet should be fully prepared for the hikes, accustomed to long days in sturdy, well-broken-in hiking boots with Vibram-type soles and ample cushioning. A good pair of hiking boots is your most important piece of equipment. Your boots should be waterproofed. Hiking poles are highly recommended—they are particularly useful on steep descents.

A Note on Boots: British hiking etiquette requires patrons to remove their boots before entering hotels, guesthouses, pubs, etc. In the interest of both comfort and etiquette, you’ll want another pair of comfortable shoes to change into at the end of the hiking day.

We have designed this itinerary with our veteran Trip Leaders, who have selected the best stretches of the Coast to Coast hike. We do not hike every inch of the trail from one coast to the other—this is not a purist trip following every mile. The itinerary is flexible and adjusted by the Trip Leader’s knowledge and by weather conditions. A day of rain may make one route more desirable than another, for both safety and comfort.

Please note that in Britain, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Our accommodations have been chosen to best suit the logistics of our route and do vary a great deal in quality.
The villages we stay in are small and rural. Often there are no large hotels. Most nights we stay at comfortable B&Bs or guesthouses. The accommodations sometimes have laundry services available (for an added fee). All have private bathroom facilities.

“Loo” is the British term for bathroom. On many stretches of the trail, there are no loos, and you will have to find a private spot off the trail. There are sections of moorland and mountain with no cover available, but the Trip Leader will indicate in advance when the party will be walking in open country. If you need a few minutes of private time, please tell the Trip Leader so that he or she can ensure that the group does not get too far ahead.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

May 24-Jun 6, 2015  * Date has changed since original publication

Jun 28-Jul 11, 2015
Jul 26-Aug 8, 2015
Aug 23-Sep 5, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$6095 (12-14 members)
$6395 (9-11 members)
$6695 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $720
Forced single supplement: $520
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader
  • Accommodations in “bed & breakfast” guesthouses, hotels, and inns
  • All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
  • Land transportation, airport transfers as indicated in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, transfers other than those provided for group flights, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone calls).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation arriving to and departing from Manchester, England. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

Meeting Place:
Manchester, England
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Manchester, England (airport code MAN)
Suggested Flight Arrival Time: It is necessary to arrive in Manchester at least one day before the first day of this trip to assure you are on time for the group pick-up at 8:30 am on Day 1.


Manchester, England
Date: Day 14

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Manchester, England (airport code MAN)
Suggested Flight Departure Time: after 2:30 pm

Irton Hall

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Eskdale, England

With a long and noble history, Irton Hall is a 19th century house surrounded by 19 park-like acres at the foot of the majestic western fells of the Lake District National Park. Parts of the magnificent hall, including the Pele Tower, date from the 14th century. Both Oliver Cromwell and Henry VI visited Irkton Hall, although it is reputed that Henry VI was refused entry and spent the night under the 1000- year-old oak tree in front of the house, now known as The King’s Oak. Guest rooms are modern and comfortable and the welcome is warm.

Keswick Country House Hotel

Keswick Country House Hotel

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Keswick, England

This hotel of character looks like a set for a BBC series! Set on a four-acre park-like estate, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the ...
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Inn on the Lake

Inn on the Lake

Day 5 (1 night), Glenridding, England

Centrally located in the Lake District on the shores of Ullswater. this lovely inn offers a warm welcome along with stunning lake views. It is set ...
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Brownber Hall

Brownber Hall

Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Kirkby Stephen, England

Brownber Hall, built around 1860, is a welcoming home set amid beautiful, rolling countryside. The guest rooms are comfortable and well furnished, ...
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Kings Head Hotel

Kings Head Hotel

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Richmond, England

Originally a gentlemen’s townhouse, the Kings Head Hotel dates from 1717 and has fine red-brick architecture that blends in beautifully in the ...
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Wainstones Hotel

Wainstones Hotel

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Great Broughton, England

Located near the North York Moors, the Wainstones Hotel was once an 18th century home. Today it’s a small, friendly hotel with excellent ...
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Forest & Vale Hotel

Forest & Vale Hotel

Days 12 to 13 (2 nights), Pickering, England

In the ancient market town of Pickering, this well-run hotel has top-notch service and a grand dining room. The location puts us in easy walking ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Richard Bell

Departure Dates: May 24-June 6, 2015, July 26-August 8, 2015, August 23-September 5, 2015

For a man who has traveled to more than 100 countries, been a trip leader for Wilderness Travel for more than 20 years, and has an ever expanding palate to cook exquisite dishes with global infusion (ask him about his infamous slow-cooked lamb with pomegranates), Richard Bell still takes as much ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Karen Bell

Departure Dates: July 26-August 8, 2015

Karen Bell, born in the northwest of England, is a specialist of all things English and a lover of the country and its varied landscapes. The wife of veteran Trip Leader Richard Bell, she is a medical scientist, world traveler, and keen naturalist who has an uncanny ability to identify just about ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Tim Burford

Departure Dates: May 24-June 6, 2015

With a big smile on his face and hiking poles in hand, Tim’s jovial persistence to explore the ends of the world, which led him to write hiking guidebooks for such destinations as Chile and Alaska, is only matched by his contagious passion to lead hiking adventures closer to his native ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Tony Dewes

Departure Dates: June 28-July 11, 2015

Tony Dewes was born and brought up in Yorkshire, close to both the Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales. He spent more than 20 years as a college and university lecturer before becoming a full time outdoor instructor. Tony has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, and Central and Southern America, and ...
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Skye McDonald

Departure Dates: June 28-July 11, 2015, August 23-September 5, 2015

Skye McDonald was born and raised in Scotland in a small village called Scone, the ancient crowning place of the kings and queens of Scotland, and is now based in the Highland capital of Inverness. She has worked as a Trip Leader in 27 countries since the millennium and she’s still counting. ...
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Client Comments

Stunning vistas, fun company and great hikes. We had a blast! Barbara K., Kenilworth, IL Superb. Your Trip Leaders are why we travel with you. They are knowledgeable, fun, ultra-experienced, deeply committed, and concerned about guests’ enjoyment. Jan W., Tampa, FL I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite day because they were all pleasurable and unique. It was a superb trip! Carol T., Kingston, PA Can’t say enough about the trip or the Trip Leaders. Absolutely wonderful. They made the trip enlightening and fun. Karen N., Carlsborg, WA I loved this trip, with its wide variety of landscapes and terrain and its sense of accomplishing a goal. Carol T., Kingston, PA Beautiful hikes, gorgeous scenery, nice group, and excellent trip leaders and assistants made this trip extremely enjoyable. Marie-Odile F., Indianapolis, IN I really loved this trip and your company. In the future I will always consider your company first. Janet V., Cupertino, CA
Fantastic trip all the way around! Kate F., Santa Monica, CA So many wonderful moments on the trip. Really a remarkable opportunity. Fae E., Salt Lake City, UT This is a great hiking trip and a wonderful way to experience England outside the big cities. The scenery is varied enough to keep it interesting, and we fell in love with hiking in the Lake District. Jim and Carol B., Kensington, MD Fantastic trip! Well rated, wonderful hikes, everything was great! Richard P., Washington, DC It was a wonderful trip, great group of travelers, and fabulous trip leaders! Gretchen M., Cornwall On Hudson, NY I had a great time on this trip! Fun and challenging at the same time. Sunny M., Marietta, GA