On Foot Across England’s Legendary Landscapes

Overview

The coast-to-coast journey 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 make our way across England’s historic and literary landscape and through three magnificent national parks. We bring you from west to east, putting the prevailing wind and weather at your back as we traverse the romantic Lake District, the upland pastures of the Yorkshire Dales, and the dramatic purple-heather moors of Bronte Country. Our journey’s end is at Robin Hood’s Bay on the wild North Sea, where we dip our boots in the water, the traditional end to this grand hike. 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!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-6
Irish Sea / Lake District National Park

At Ravenglass, we christen our boots in the Irish Sea, then hike the Lake District’s famously scenic landscapes of sapphire lakes and craggy peaks. After we visit William 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. This is a milestone in our journey—the last vantage point to have a final look back at the fells of Lakeland.

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Days 7-9
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.

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Days 10-14
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.

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Highlights

Highlights

Savor the exquisite landscapes of the Lake District, the limestone country of the Yorkshire Dales, and the rolling moors of North York
Visit Wordsworth’s lovely Dove Cottage, historic Richmond, with its Norman castle on the River Swale, and take the heritage steam train to Pickering
Overnights in village inns and historic hotels, lively pub lunches

Details

Length: 14 days
Cost From: $6095  
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 if you wish to skip a day’s hike). This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.

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