Coast to Coast West
6 stages . 7 nights . Lake District
St Bees beach on the Coast to Coast trail
Coast to Coast West
Coast to Coast West
6 stages . 7 nights

Coast to Coast West
Self-guided walking holiday

Key information

Start: St. Bees in Cumbria
End: Kirkby Stephen in Yorkshire
Season dates: 1 May to 15 Sept 2024
Length: 6 days' walking
Typical walk: 23km, 600m ascent
Total distance: 130.2km or 81 miles
Highest altitude: 792m
Grade: Red 3 (Walking grades)
Group size: 2 or more trekkers

From GBP 770 per person

Walk the spectacular Coast to Coast path from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen under your own steam on a self-guided walking holiday. Our package lets you walk at your own pace, takes away the work of planning and gets you straight to the best bits.

Wainwright devised his Coast to Coast route to cross England via the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. The route is a delight throughout and one of the classics of the walking world. On our Lakes section, which is the first 6 days of the trail, you’ll trek through the drama and charm of the Lake District and finish with one day in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Each morning, set off after a good breakfast and pick up the trail. Arrive at your next accommodation and settle into a nearby pub or restaurant for the evening. There's great satisfaction to be had from this footloose yet purposeful life; a sense of moving through the landscape. We plan it all for you and give you our detailed routecards, the proper maps and lots of local information.

Alternatively, if your group would like to hike with a guide, we can arrange a privately guided Coast to Coast West trip for you. We welcome you to get in touch to ask for more details on this option.

Alternative trip options
Prefer a different style or length of trip? Why not try one of these:
Coast to Coast Full - 14 stages - 15 nights
Coast to Coast East - 8 stages, 9 nights
Make the trip shorter
For those happier with longer days, our 5-stage trek combines stages 3 and 4 from Borrowdale to Glenridding, omitting the overnight stay in Grasmere. Please contact us for details and specific schedules.

Make the trip longer
We can book different lengths of trip according to your preferences. For a more relaxed pace, our 7-stage trek splits the 2 long stages between Glenridding and Kirkby Stephen into 3 stages, with 25km the maximum distance.

Additional rest days
We do not include any rest days as standard in this trip, however if you have the time, we highly recommend adding one in. A rest day can be welcome to many; others prefer to keep going. Grasmere is a super place for a pause, and comes at the half way point of the trek.

Coordinating travel
As normal we include your accommodation in St Bees and Kirkby Stephen, both of which have train stations. If travel time is short, we can suggest ways to fit journeys in before your first stage and after your last. If driving, there are ways to minimise time needed to return to your car, for instance by using Kirkby Stephen as a base to go out and back. Please ask us about these options.

Hike with a guide
Hike with confidence in the company of our fully qualified International Mountain Leaders (IMLs), with the navigation, accommodation and all arrangements taken care of. You're welcome to walk on any date within our season and we can adjust the hike to suit your needs. If your group would like a guide for your trip, please get in touch for more details.
Coast to Coast West
1 May to 15 Sept 2024
Hutty Classic Comfy
5 stages
(6 nights)
Please ask
GBP 700
Singles 275
70 per dog
GBP 875
Singles 310
70 per dog
6 stages
(7 nights)

Please ask
GBP 770
Singles 315
80 per dog
Main Trip
GBP 970
Singles 350
80 per dog
7 stages
(8 nights)

Please ask
GBP 850
Singles 360
90 per dog
GBP 1065
Singles 400
90 per dog
Baggage transfer
To all stops

GBP 100 per bag
Baggage transfer

GBP 30 per bag

Where we stay
Your accommodation is in a mix of guesthouses, B&Bs, hotels and inns that we hope will invigorate and entertain. The Coast to Coast, as much as any long distance trail in the UK, offers some authentic and memorable overnight stays. One night you could be staying above an inn in the middle of a small village; the next you could be guests in a friendly home hidden away in the hills. We book ensuite accommodation where possible.

Upgrade your accommodation in some towns and villages along the way. We book comfy hotels in Borrowdale, Grasmere, Glenridding and Kirkby Stephen. Stay in smarter Lakeland hotels and guesthouses, and fewer B&Bs, such as The Grasmere Hotel and the Inn on the Lake. For your first night we book the Ennerdale Country House hotel in Cleator and include a taxi from Cleator to the start of the route in St Bees.

Contact us for more details of hiking the Coast to Coast using more basic accommodation, such as hostels and bunk houses. We can try to book hostels in Borrowdale, Grasmere, Patterdale, Shap and Kirkby Stephen, and more may be available depending on your particular schedule.

Single Room Supplement
If you would like to stay in single rooms rather than sharing a double, twin or triple room we add our single room supplement. This covers the additional cost of booking single occupancy rooms on a per person basis.

We welcome dogs on our Coast to Coast trips. On a doggy CTC schedule longer than our classic 6 stages, we have to arrange taxis due to the lack of dog-friendly accommodation in Orton. Here we propose two nights in Kirkby Stephen, and we will cover the cost of the taxis.

Solo Travel
We do not take bookings for solo walkers on self-guided trips. If you are still interested in this trip, we do have availability on our guided trips.
Walking to Ambelside on the Coast to Coast
The route heading into Ambelside
Our approach to the Coast to Coast West
Your route follows the Coast to Coast, as officially as the slightly relaxed nature of the route allows, as far as Kirkby Stephen. Set off from St Bees and reach the headland above cliffs before breaking away inland towards Ennerdale. Cross the centre of Lakeland, past the Black Sail hut into Borrowdale, then through Grasmere and across to Patterdale. Over the ridges of High Street reach Shap and some gentler ground. Pass Orton and later reach Kirkby Stephen in the valley.

People at Alpine Exploratory
Latest research on the Coast to Coast by Alpine Exploratory's Dan.

The Terrain
The Coast to Coast involves a broad mix of England's walking terrain. Most miles are across relatively forgiving terrain such as field paths, tracks, rockier paths or country lanes. On the four Lakeland passes, terrain is rougher: either rockier or boggier. The path might not be visible on the ground for short stretches, meaning reliance on good navigation if the cloud is low.

Is it for me?
The Coast to Coast West is a manageable trek for regular walkers who are used to full-day walks in the hills. With careful choice of where to stay each night, there need not be any particularly long days. The Lake District National Park is one of the most beautiful areas in the UK and this trip really makes the most of it. For quaint English hospitality, spectacular scenery and excellent trails, the Coast to Coast West is a superb option.

The Coast to Coast's emphasis is on distance rather than steepness. Distance is one consideration, however the terrain and weather can combine to create another challenge - navigation on the Lake District stages can be tricky in mist, and anyone who is used to climbing hills in the Lakes will have an advantage. In any case it will greatly help your enjoyment of the walk to arrive fit at the start, used to days of similar distance and height gain to those that you are about to face. There is no climbing or scrambling, but there are some steep rocky paths, especially in the Lakes. It is all par for the course in the sphere of hill-walking in the UK. On some days there are easier and harder alternatives, which you can decide on the day depending on weather conditions and if you feel up for a more challenging day or not.

   For an even more detailed read, please see our Coast to Coast Walking Guide
How to get there
Hike the Coast to Coast
Follow the fence

Your holiday starts in St Bees and ends in Robin Hood's Bay. The train is best to St Bees, on the coastal line that links Carlisle and Lancaster, while Robin Hood's Bay is linked by a regular bus to Scarborough for trains to York and Leeds. If flying we suggest Manchester for both directions and to transfer by train.

Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.
  • Bespoke accommodation itinerary - tailored to suit your particular requirements
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Detailed Routecards CTC1-6 of the Exploratory system, printed on waterproof paper
  • 2 topographical maps of the route
  • Downloadable GPX Tracks covering the route
  • Expert advice and local information
  • A comprehensive 'Season Update' following our pre-season recce
  • Full support during your trip from the Alpine Exploratory team (8am until 8pm in the UK)
Not included
  • Travel to and from your trip
  • Local transport whilst on the trip unless specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches, snacks, drinks and evening meals
  • Baggage transfers (available as an extra)

Baggage transfer

Our baggage option on the Coast to Coast West takes your bag to each night's accommodation. Each morning simply leave your bag with your host or at reception, and it will be delivered to your next accommodation.
Got questions about the Coast to Coast West?
Feel free to ask us any questions you have about any aspects of your planning and preparations! Lucy, Steph, Nicky, Rob and Ben will reply with expert advice. We spend a lot of time walking our routes and more broadly exploring ski and hiking trails around the world so do feel free to ask anything at all.

Enquiry Form
Coast to Coast Self-guided

Your name

Your email address

Optionally, where did you first hear about us? We're always curious!

Your intended arrival date on the Coast to Coast West? (This helps us give you an idea of availability and doesn't need to be exact)

How many people will you be?

Any questions or preferences?

I would like to stay updated with your newsletter!

If you prefer, please feel welcome to email or call us. Thanks!

Contact Alpine Exploratory
Phone +44 (0)131 214 1144
Our times 9am to 5pm UK time
Monday to Friday
Australia 02 8319 2266
Canada 416-548-4819
New Zealand 04 889 4515
USA 646-757-1102

Open to the world
Since Alpine Exploratory started in 2005 we have loved getting to know our clients from around the world. Along with the UK, our best-represented countries are the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Please use our national-rate numbers for a cheaper call to contact our office in Edinburgh.

The Alpine Exploratory Team
The Alpine Exploratory team in Edinburgh

Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram, and our Blog for photos and updates from our own travels and clients' trips.

Easedale Tarn near the Coast to Coast trail
  Views onto Easedale Tarn    Photos from the Coast to Coast

Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.

About us