Start of Coast to Coast

Locating the Coast to Coast Path

The walk is 192 miles long

England's Coast to Coast walk begins on the coast of Cumbria at St Bees, and ends on the North Yorkshire Coast at Robin Hood's Bay. It passes through three National Parks: Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. It is not a walk along the Coast but a walk from one side of England to the other.

  •  Seak Pink, St Bees Head

    Seak Pink, St Bees Head

  •  Lighthouse, North Head

    Lighthouse, North Head

  •  Saltom Bay

    Saltom Bay

  •  Cloven Barth

    Cloven Barth

What is the Coast to Coast Walk?

The walk is made up by joining together dozens of existing footpaths, bridle ways, roads and other rights of way crossing the breadth of England, from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire. So the Coast walk is not actually a path in its own right, but a network of paths created by Alfred Wainwright.

This allows walkers to experience a wide variety of England's best countryside and history and also allows for variability. Wainwright's intention all along was to allow walkers to choose their own walking route, using his walk as a guide.
Coast to Coast Walk

Coast to Coast's National Parks

1 - Lake District National Park

The Lake District contains high mountains, deep valleys, exotic lakes and stunning scenery. It is unrivalled for its beauty and tranquillity. This is the first of the National Parks to be walked through, and begins at the foot of Dent Fell. The walk passes around Ennerdale Water, and passes close to Buttermere, Grasmere and Ullswater.

2 - Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales rivals the Lake District for its splendour, although at a lower elevation. Its mixed and varied scenery includes Swaledale and its exotic flowering meadows, upland moorland and timeless villages.

3 - North York Moors

The North Yorks Moors has the largest area of upland heather moors in the country, with many secluded valley towns and a diverse wildlife.

Midway along the Coast to Coast


Swaledale, in the Yorksdale Dales, is almost midway along the Coast to Coast path. It starts near Keld and continues all the way to Richmond, its riverbanks exuberant with yellow flowering meadows and hay barns. There are 2 alternative paths here, the low level route through Swaledale and the high level route acreoss the old mining moors.

  •  Muker Hay Field

    Muker Hay Field

  •  Meadows in Swaledale

    Meadows in Swaledale

  •  Fields above Marble Scar

    Fields above Marble Scar

  •  Rowleth Wood, Swaledale

    Rowleth Wood, Swaledale

Coast to Coast Information Articles

And Coast to Coast Trail Guide

The menu at the top of this page contains headings for each chapter of the walk, i.e. Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Vale of Mowbray and North York Moors. The menus then subdivide into sections for each day's walk (16 altogether). The menus are indexed and sub-indexed for ease of reference and are added to and updated with weekly constancy. They will enrich your knowledge of the places and countryside discovered as you walk the path. If you would like to walk it but are unable to, you can at least see it in pictures and learn all about it.

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Coast to Coast Trail Guide

End of the Coast to Coast

Robin Hood's Bay

As at the beginning, walking along the Irish Sea coastal cliffs for a few miles, the walk finishes in just the same way, by walking along the Cleveland Way on the coastal cliffs above the North Sea The walk finally ends in the seaside town of Robin Hood's Bay, which is just a few miles south of Whitby.

Statistical Facts - Coast to Coast

  • Length : 192 miles
  • Average time to complete : 16 days
  • Average Daily Walk : 12-14 miles
  • Counties Traversed : Cumbria and North Yorkshire
  • National Parks passed through : Lake District, Pennines (just), Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors
  • Highest Point : Kidsty Pike in the Lake District, near to Hawswater : 780 metres
  • Status of path : Although it is the most renowned long distance walk it is not a National Trail, but only a walking trail created by joining up sections of established footpaths and rights of way. The walk shares parts of some National Trails such as the Cleveland Way and the Cumbria Way.
  • Founder of the Walk : Alfred Wainwright
  • Lakes walked around : (west to east) Ennerdale Water, Grisedale Tarn, Angle Tarn, Hawswater

Geographical Facts - Coast to Coast

  • Lakes walked around : (west to east) Ennerdale Water, Grisedale Tarn, Angle Tarn, Hawswater
  • Lakes within 1 mile but not walked around : (west to east) Longlands Lake, Buttermere, Easedale Tarn, Lake Grasmere, Ullswater, Hayeswater, Blea Water, Small Water, Sunbiggin Tarn, Cow Dub, Birkdale Tarn, Moss Dam, Bolton-on-Swale Lake, Ellerton Lake, Cod Beck Reservoir
  • Major rivers crossed : (west to east) River Ehen, River Derwent, River Rothay, River Lowther, River Eden, River Swale, River Esk
  • Named Waterfalls encountered : (west to east) Galleny Force, Tonguegill Force, Thornthwaite Force, East Gill Force, Kisdon Force, East Grain Waterfall, Hard Level Force, Falling Foss
  • Mountain or Hill Summits bagged (height in metres) ("AR" = alternative route) : (west to east) Dent Fell 283m, Red Pike 755m (AR), High Stile 806m (AR), High Crag 744m (AR), Seat 561m (AR), Lining Crag 500m, Seat Sandal 736m (AR), Fairfield 873m (AR), St Sunday Crag 841 (AR), Birks 622 (AR), The Knott 739m, Kidsty Pike 780m, Smardale Fell 362m, Nine Standards Rigg 662m, White Mossy Hill 659m, Buzzard Scar 445m, Scarth Wood Moor 258m, Live Moor 315m, Carlton Moor 408m, Cold Moor 402m, White Hill 398m, Round Hill 454m
1 St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge
2 Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite
3 Rosthwaite to Grasmere
4 Grasmere to Patterdale
5 Patterdale to Haweswater
6 Haweswater to Raisbeck (Orton)
7 Raisbeck to Kirkby Stephen
8 Kirkby Stephen to Keld
9 Keld to Reeth
10 Reeth to Richmond
11 Richmond to Danby Wiske
12 Danby Wiske to Swainby
13 Swainby to Clay Bank
14 Clay Bank to Lion Inn
15 Lion Inn to Grosmont
16 Grosmont to Robin Hood's Bay

How to Navigate the Coast to Coast

Recommended Navigation Aids

1 Digital Map : Ordnance Survey
2 Paper Map
3 Waterproof plastic wallet
4 Compass
5 Guidebook : I recommend my own. It is both a travelogue and a guidebook and as well as describing and showing the route, it lets you see it and describes hazards, weather and the path - Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast path.
6 Torch and whistle
Navigating the Coast to Coast path is one of the most exciting parts of the walk, or at least it was for me. Every person we met was navigating with the use of a printed OS Map and/or guide book. I had to be different! My wife and I, while lost on the boggy plateau on the top of Birkdale Common, soon came to realise that navigating solely with the aid of a smart phone using a digital version of OS maps was not foolproof, or rather, it was not weather proof or temperature proof.

While trying to discern an almost imperceptible path in dense mist, pouring rain and howling wind my phone switched itself off and would not re-start. The temperature had dropped below the level required for the phone to work. We had no paper maps or any other form of backup navigation. We had never been on the Coast to Coast path before and were not familiar with the route. Even if we had been, the rain and mist hid the path from view. Everywhere looked the same.

We learned a lesson that day. Simply put, this was to always have a backup paper map, suitably covered in a waterproof plastic wallet as the more experienced hikers had done. It is so much easier to navigate digitally, following a route plotted onto the OS digital map, but only when it is dry! In future we would carry both.

Frequently Asked Questions for the Coast to Coast

Where is the Coast to Coast Walk?

The Coast to Coast Walk starts at St Bees on the western shores of Cumbria, about 3 miles south of Whitehaven. It starts as a cliff top walk and heads inland through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Vale of Mowbray and the North York Moors to finish on the east coast of North Yorkshire at Robin Hood's Bay, 5 miles south of Whitby.

How long does it take to walk the Coast to Coast?

The Coast to Coast walk is traditionally divided into sections, each section to be walked one a day. Altogether there are 16 sections. Most people spend the first day travelling to St Bees, where it starts, then walk for 16 days and travel home the day after. So, a Coast to Coast walking holiday is normally 18 days.

How long is the Coast to Coast Walk?

The Coast to Coast walk is 176 miles long if you follow the traditional Wainwright route. People often vary this as Wainwright intended, e.g. some people walk on road only and some omit mountainous or boggy sections. So the distance will be modestly increased or decreased depending on how the route is followed, but the base guide is 176 miles.

What is the Coast to Coast Walk Like?

All of the Coast to Coast walk is scenic and awesome. The beginning and end follow pleasant and safe cliff top walks, for about 3 miles each end. The Lake District involves mountain and valley walking, some watersheds and some isolation; the Yorkshire Dales offers a choice of pleasant flowering meadows or upland mining moors, Mowbray is pleasant farming land and the North York Moors consist of ups and downs, on rolling table top hills.

Is the Coast to Coast Walk Safe?

The Coast to Coast Walk is safer to walk in the spring and summer and in good weather, but many people walk it in poor weather and still enjoy it. So long as you are prepared with suitable navigation tools, suitable clothing and spare food you would normally be safe. As always you should acquaint yourself thoroughly with the route before setting off. It is unwise to walk the route alone in poor weather.