On Foot Across England’s Legendary Landscapes

Overview

Our 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 your back as we traverse the romantic Lake District, the limestone uplands of the Yorkshire Dales, and the purple-heather moors of Brontë country. Journey’s end is Robin Hood’s Bay on the wild 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 1-6
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 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.

Irton Hall
Eskdale, England
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Keswick Country House Hotel
Keswick, England
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Hotel Skiddaw
Keswick, England
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Inn on the Lake
Glenridding, England
Day 5 (1 night)
The Glenridding Hotel
Ullswater, England
Day 5 (1 night)
Brownber Hall
Kirkby Stephen, England
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
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.

Brownber Hall
Kirkby Stephen, England
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Kings Head Hotel
Richmond, England
Days 8 to 9 (2 nights)
Days 10-14
North York Moors National Park / North Sea

Our hike along moorland escarpments evokes images from the Brontë sisters’ masterpieces, and the 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 14, depart for Manchester via the medieval city of York.

Wainstones Hotel
Great Broughton, England
Days 10 to 11 (2 nights)
Forest & Vale Hotel
Pickering, England
Days 12 to 13 (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, 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: $6395  
Arrive: Manchester, England
Depart: Manchester, England
Lodging: 13 nights inns, hotels, and BandBs
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
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.