England Coast to Coast

On Foot Across England’s Legendary Landscapes

Trip Level

This trip is rated a Level 4+ (Moderate to Strenuous) according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable hiking 10 miles a day and being on your feet for 5-6 hours a day. You will also need to be able to keep up with the moderate but steady pace of the group as there are no alternative hiking options available. Trail conditions, weather, and the group’s level of fitness can affect hiking times and pacing.

Average Hiking Day
• 6-8 miles
• 4-6 hours
• 1,000-1,500 feet gain/loss

Challenge Day
Day 9: 10 miles, 5.75 hours, 2,740 feet gain, and 2,460 feet loss

Terrain

The terrain can be rugged, with steep climbs over uneven ground, boggy terrain, open fells, and craggy rocks. 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, where there are many steep ups and downs. 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 balance or joint problems.

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.

Your feet should be fully prepared for the hikes, accustomed to long days in sturdy, well-broken-in hiking boots with ankle support. A good pair of hiking boots are 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.

Weather

Even in the summer, England is famous for its changeable weather. It is necessary to pack in preparation for cold rain, persistent fog, mist, and beautiful, sunny weather. The rule here is to be prepared for any eventuality by creating a layering system that takes you from shorts to warm rain gear.

Accommodations

Our accommodations are in small, comfortable hotels that have been selected for their local history and charm. Since they are often in historic buildings, the rooms are not always of uniform or international size. Our leaders do their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Additionally, many are architecturally protected, so elevators are not permitted and you will have to carry your luggage up the stairs to your room. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you prefer a single room, please make your request as early as possible.

Cuisine

Lunches will be either at local cafes and pubs or picnic-style during one of our hikes. Dinners will be at a local restaurant or at the hotel. Please note that in Europe, 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.

Transportation

Our van will transport the group's luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack for items you need for the day (rain gear, sweater, camera, water bottle, etc.). Trip members are always free to skip a day's hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle (or remain at the hotel if we are not transferring that day).

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.

References

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.