The Most Scenic Sections of MTS' Classic England Coast to Coast Trek!
Absorb the astounding scope of England's history on this memorable trek, voted as one of the 10 best long-distance hikes in the world. We offer an abridged, 11-day version of legendary hiker and guidebook author Alfred Wainwright's original coast-to-coast route, traveling east to west, with a dedicated support team to help you through the mileage ahead (for the truly ambitious, we also offer a 16-day version that follows the entire 193-mile Wainwright route—see trip code ECC). You won't want to miss a single moment as you pass over the famous fells of the Lake District, and through three national parks, verdant meadows, and storybook villages. Our adventure begins in the pretty coastal town of Robin Hood's Bay on the North Sea, and finishes at the sea cliffs of St. Bees, on the Irish Sea. Along the way, we'll spend a little extra time in the Lake District, which Lakeland's favorite poet, William Wordsworth, described as "the lovliest spot that man has ever known."
9 Days of hiking over varied terrain that is often slippery or uneven.
- Explore ancient Britain through Druid standing stones, Roman roads, Norman castles, and more
- One of the world's 10 best hikes, following Alfred Wainwright's classic route, but in reverse—saving the best for last
- Traverse some of Britain's most idyllic landscapes, including the famously beautiful Lake District
Duration: 11 days Start Location: York, England End Location: Penrith, EnglandDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Meet in York – Robin Hood's Bay
We'll meet at the Railway Station in the historic city of York, which is easily accessed by train from London, Manchester, or Edinburgh. A short transfer takes us to the pretty coastal town of Robin Hood's Bay on the east coast of England. Later we'll reconvene for a trip orientation and welcome dinner.
Day 2 : Hike to Littlebeck
After dipping our toes in the North Sea, we'll set off on an enjoyable hike along the coast, and then turn inland through rural scenery towards the tiny settlement of Littlebeck. A short transfer returns us to Robin Hood’s Bay and our hotel.
Day 3 : The North Yorkshire Moors National Park
A short transfer takes us into the high ground of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Starting from the Lion Inn, we'll take advantage of this elevated trailhead to enjoy a high level hike through the park, finishing at Lord Stones. A short transfer will then take us to our overnight accommodation.
Day 4 : Yorkshire Dales National Park – Reeth to Keld
Apart from the Lake District, Wainwright’s favorite section of this route was through Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Today we'll hike from the village of Reeth along the River Swale to the tiny hamlet of Keld, passing through flowery meadows and enchanting stone villages along the way. This is classic English countryside and a real highlight of the trip.
Day 5 : Yorkshire Dales National Park – Keld to Ravenstonedale
Today we'll hike out of Swaledale and across the Pennines, passing Nine Standards Rigg, at 2,171 feet. We'll pass through the town of Kirkby Stephen, which has a market charter dating back to 1351, as well as the intriguing Giants Graves and the Eden Valley, before reaching our riverside inn at Ravenstonedale.
Day 6 : Into the Lake District
We’ve now reached the halfway mark, but from this point on we'll hike every step of the way to the coast. A short transfer takes us to the edge of the Lake District National Park. Here we'll start the day with a hike up to the famous Roman road called ‘High Street,’ then continue up to Kidsty Pike, at 2,558 feet, and the highest point of our walk. We then descend down to Lake Ullswater, the first of the English Lakes.
Day 7 : Hike Glenridding to Grasmere
Today we have a relatively short day, which gives us time to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding lakes and fells of the Lake District. We’ll climb up from Glenridding over Grisedale Hause (1,936'), offering splendid views over Grisedale Tarn toward the foreboding ridge walk of Striding Edge leading to the Hellvelyn summit. We'll then descend to the Vale of Grasmere, where we can visit the picturesque cottage which once belonged to the poet William Wordsworth.
Day 8 : Hike Grasmere to Borrowdale
We'll hike up to Helm Crag and on upwards to the pass of Greenup Edge at 2,000 feet. From here, the view is filled by the immense switchback of the Helvellyn range, Lakeland’s second highest range of mountains. We'll then descend into the valley and follow Stonethwaite Beck, a mountain stream, to our next hotel in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley.
Day 9 : Hike Borrowdale to Ennerdale Bridge
Today is a day of lakeshore, forest, and mountainside, taking us out of the Lake District and towards the coast. We'll hike up to Honister Pass at 1,163 feet and then descend past places with enticing names like Black Sail Hut and Moses Trod. We'll finally end with a splendid ramble along the southern shore of Ennerdale Water, Lakeland’s most easterly lake.
Day 10 : Hike Ennerdale Bridge to St. Bees
Today we leave the Lake District and make the final push to the west coast where our journey ends. As the mountains drop away behind us, we'll pass through the village of Cleator with its well-kept cricket ground, and then press on to the lighthouse at St. Bees Head, where puffins, kittiwakes, and guillemots can sometimes be seen. Leaving the iconic lighthouse behind, the walk continues for four miles along sandstone cliffs to the town of St. Bees itself. We'll end our long-distance hike in traditional style, by dipping at least a toe in the Irish Sea, by the sea wall at St. Bees!
Day 11 : Penrith – Departure
After breakfast, we'll transfer to the Penrith Railway Station, where we can connect with trains for London, Manchester or Edinburgh.
DATES: Best time to go: June, August - September Departures: Jun 20 - 30, 2014 Aug 8 - 18, 2014 Aug 29, 2014 - Sep 8, 2014
The Victoria HotelRobin Hood's Bay
Boasting stunning cliff-top views over Robin Hood’s Bay, this grand, Victorian hotel is on the edge of the North York Moors. It offers homemade food, rooms with Egyptian cotton bedding, and a sea view tea room. Light and elegant, the rooms all provide a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and free tea and coffee for guests to relax with. Every bedroom has a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer. Using local Yorkshire ingredients, the Sea View Restaurant serves hearty cooked breakfasts, and local cuisine in the evening. During the day, it doubles as a coffee shop and tea room with fantastic sea views. The bar provides real ales and a cliff top beer garden. Guests can enjoy the dramatic scenery of the nearby North York Moors or drive along the Yorkshire Heritage Coast.
The Red Lion InnGrasmere, Cumbria
This luxury Lakeland Hotel provides you with all you could wish for: ichly furnished, beautifully appointed rooms in which to unwind, most with sparkling spa baths to ease tired limbs after a wonderful days walk, and friendly service to bring you a refreshment, while you drink in the Lakeland panorama. Each of our 47 bedrooms have en-suite facilities with bath and power shower, television with satellite channels, wi-fi, cd player, iPod docking stations, a welcome refreshment tray, direct dial telephone, hairdryer and trouser press, many with views over the fells or the charming village of Grasmere.
The Black SwanRavenstonedale
Classic Cumbrian hospitality greets you at this family-owned village inn situated just outside the conservation village of Ravenstonedale. The breakfasts are hearty, the beds particularly comfortable. The inn also serves as the village pub, and the selection of real ales— including the notable Black Sheep bitter—is plentiful.
The Borrowdale HotelBorrowdale Valley, Keswick, Cumbria
The benefit of the Borrowdale Hotel's location is that many of the rooms offer a memorable view of Lakeland Fells. Whether a romantic break, a family holiday with the children, or a restful break with the dog, there are rooms to suit all. Each of the 40 bedrooms are individually styled and recently refurbished, yet all have the same facilities: a hospitality tray of course, hair drier, radio/television and telephone.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Mr. Ben Walker makes his home in England’s Lake District, but has spent much of his life travelling and leading groups in wild and remote corners of the world, including Borneo, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. He regularly guides overland trekking trips; as well as walking and epic cycling journeys across Asia from Borneo to Beijing, and to Kathmandu. He has also spent time in the Merchant Navy, and has worked as a scuba diving instructor.