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, putting the prevailing wind at your back, from the romantic Lake District into the upland pastures of the Yorkshire Dales and across the dramatic purple-heather moors of Bronte Country to reach Robin Hood’s Bay on the wild North Sea. En route, we visit delightful villages and ancient castles, stay at welcoming inns, and sip a pint or two at friendly country pubs—this is hiker’s England at its best!
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.
— Steve H., Verona, WI
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 famously scenic landscapes of sapphire lakes and craggy peaks. After we visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage in Grasmere, we make the classic Lake District jaunt over Grisedale Hause, with a descent along ancient stone walls and the long, blue ribbon of Ullswater, one of the most beautiful of all English lakes. Our final Lake District hike brings us over the highest Roman road in England.
Yorkshire Dales National Park
Entering James Herriot country, we cross the watershed of England, with the Lake District behind us and the Yorkshire Dales ahead. Our hikes bring us to a ruined Benedictine nunnery, through wooded Yorkshire valleys, and into charming villages. In ancient Richmond, poised majestically above the River Swale, we explore narrow cobbled alleys below a massive Norman castle.
North York Moors National Park / North Sea
Our hike along moorland escarpments evokes images from the Bronte sisters’ masterpieces, and the dramatic play of light and color here can give you the feeling that you are hiking through an 18th century landscape painting. Following paths to Robin Hood’s Bay, we let the North Sea lap our boots and celebrate the culmination of our hike. On Day 14, depart for Manchester via the medieval city of York.