England Coast to Coast

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 literary landscapes and through three renowned national parks. We do the hike from west to east, putting the prevailing wind and weather at our backs as we traverse the romantic Lake District, the limestone uplands of the Yorkshire Dales, and the moors of Brontë country. Journey’s end is Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea, where we dip our boots in the water, the traditional celebration of this grand hike. En route, we visit delightful villages and ancient castles, stay at welcoming inns, and savor a pint or two at friendly rural pubs.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Irish Sea / Lake District National Park

At Ravenglass, we christen our boots in the Irish Sea and collect a pebble to carry with us on the journey, a time-honored coast-to-coast tradition, then start our hike through the Lake District’s famously scenic landscapes of sapphire lakes and craggy peaks. An intricate latticework of granite walls stretches into the distance and a scattering of white farmhouses completes the picture of rural tranquility here. After we visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage in Grasmere, we make the classic Lake District hike over Grisedale Hause, with a descent along the long, blue ribbon of Ullswater, one of England’s most beautiful lakes. Our final Lake District hike brings us over the highest Roman road in England, where we look back at the fells of Lakeland, now arrayed on the western horizon.

Sella Park Country House Hotel
Calder Bridge, England
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Hotel Skiddaw (1)
Keswick, England
Day 3 (1 night)
Inn on the Lake
Glenridding, England
Day 4 (1 night)
Macdonald Old England Hotel and Spa
Bowness-on-Windermere, England
Day 4 (1 night)
Brownber Hall
Kirkby Stephen, England
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Days 6-8
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 Marrick Priory, established in the 12th century for Benedictine nuns, through wooded Yorkshire valleys, and into charming villages along the banks of the River Swale amid meadows and stone barns. In ancient Richmond, poised majestically above the River Swale, we explore narrow, cobbled alleys below a massive Norman castle.

Brownber Hall
Kirkby Stephen, England
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Frenchgate Hotel
Richmond, England
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)
Days 9-12
North York Moors National Park / North Sea

As we hike moorland escarpments, the views are bewitching, with huge billowy clouds and purplish heather-strewn heaths against a patchwork of golds and greens. The dramatic play of light and color can give you the feeling of 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 12, depart for Manchester via the medieval city of York.

Gisborough Hall
Guisborough, England
Day 9 (1 night)
Forest & Vale Hotel
Pickering, England
Days 10 to 11 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Savor the emerald 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 and historic Richmond, with its Norman castle on the River Swale
Overnights in village inns and historic hotels, lively pub lunches

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $5995  
Arrive: Manchester, England
Depart: Manchester, England
Lodging: 11 nights inns, hotels, and B&Bs
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

11 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 6-8 hours a day, van support, strenuous hikes in the Lake District