(Coast to Coast) Ullswater and Patterdale
COAST TO COAST (SELF-GUIDED)   14 stages . 15 nights . Northern England   Booking

Coast to Coast
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Complete Wainwright's classic long-distance trail
+ Expert advice to find your ideal itinerary
+ Friendly and comfortable guesthouses, inns and hotels

Latest news November 2019
Our 2020 dates and prices are up! Availability is great at this early point. Please ask us about a trip - thank you.

Walk the spectacular Coast to Coast path under your own steam on a self-guided trekking 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 314km (196 mile) 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. The obvious drama and charm of the Lake District stages show only one side of the walk; engrossing views in the Dales and North York Moors later in the trek reveal many more aspects of Northern England.

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.

Your accommodation is in a mix of guesthouses, B&Bs 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.


Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's Coast to Coast Self-Guided walking holiday


Alpine Exploratory
CTCsg Coast to Coast (Self-guided)
3 May to 18 September 2020
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Popular schedules
16 stages
2 rest days
(19 nights)
Please ask 1,370
Singles 475
190 per dog
Singles 570
190 per dog
15 stages
1 rest day
(17 nights)
Please ask 1,230
Singles 425
170 per dog
Singles 510
170 per dog
14 stages
(15 nights)

Please ask 1,090
Singles 375
150 per dog
Singles 450
150 per dog
Specialised schedules
13 stages
(14 nights)

Please ask 1,020
Singles 350
140 per dog
Singles 420
140 per dog
12 stages
(13 nights)

Please ask 950
Singles 325
130 per dog
Singles 390
130 per dog
11 stages
(12 nights)

Please ask 880
Singles 300
120 per dog
Singles 360
120 per dog
Baggage transfer
All stops
Baggage transfer


Here is our normal schedule of 14 stages:

Arrival day: Arrive in St Bees
Your trip starts on arriving in St Bees. Explore the village; stroll to the beach where the CTC starts. There are good pubs for a first dinner.
Guesthouse in St Bees

Stage 1: St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge
Red3 grade, 24km with 570m ascent, 520m descent
Start the Coast to Coast on the beach! There is a highly scenic stretch along the cliffs. The route turns inland and threads a course along an old railway before climbing the small hill Dent (352m). With the Lake District ahead, complete this rolling stage into the village of Ennerdale Bridge.
Inn in Ennerdale Bridge

Stage 2: Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite
Red3 grade, 25km with 600m ascent, 605m descent
Walk the length of Ennerdale Water as a prelude to wild Ennerdale. The Black Sail hut (refreshments) is near the head of the valley. It's at this point that the CTC starts climbing, to reach Honister Pass. Paths are faint on the ground. Drop into Borrowdale, one of our favourite Lakeland valleys. We stay in the charming village of Rosthwaite.
Inn in Rosthwaite

Stage 3: Rosthwaite to Grasmere
Red3 grade, 12.5km with 585m ascent, 615m descent
The first of two short but steep stages links Borrowdale with the village of Grasmere. A steady climb brings the CTC to two grassy cols. Then it's a long rolling descent to Grasmere, farms and dry-stone walls appearing as we near the village. An option is the entertaining ridge walk to Helm Crag.
Guesthouse in Grasmere

Stage 4: Grasmere to Patterdale
Red3 grade, 13km with 590m ascent, 515m descent
Leaving Grasmere, climb steeply to Grisedale Hause where the large tarn of the same name sits in the col. Roll downhill towards Patterdale, another superb Lakeland valley descent. Options are given today to climb St Sunday Crag or Helvellyn on the way to Patterdale.
Guesthouse in Patterdale or Glenridding

Stage 5: Patterdale to Shap
Red3 grade, 26.5km with 920m ascent, 810m descent
Some of the highest walking of the CTC is over the High Street mountain range. The CTC's high-point of Kidsty Pike (792m) comes just before the long drop to Haweswater. We walk the length of this reservoir and beyond through fields to Shap.
Guesthouse in Shap

Stage 6: Shap to Kirkby Stephen
Red3 grade, 33km with 495m ascent, 585m descent
With the Lakes firmly behind you, enjoy this long, gentle stage across low moorland and through fields. On the way, detour to Orton for supplies. Arrive in bustling Kirkby Stephen, one of the largest villages on the route and boasting several pubs.
Guesthouse in Kirkby Stephen

Stage 7: Kirkby Stephen to Keld
Red3 grade, 18.5km with 590m ascent, 440m descent
A distinct section of the route starts today with an ascent of Nine Standards Rigg, a moorland ridge. Now starts the Yorkshire Dales. The hilltop has traditionally hosted some of the boggiest walking of the route but new stone slabs have made it better. Drop down over the moors to Keld, a pretty hamlet in a fold of hills. We are at the top of Swaledale.
Guesthouse in Keld

Stage 8: Keld to Reeth
Red3 grade, 17.5km with 570m ascent, 690m descent
Follow old moorland mine tracks to Reeth. This is a rolling stage of low moorland ascents, in and out of mining valleys. We see much evidence of mining history. The village of Reeth sits around a notably large green. (An easier alternative follows the Swale through the valley, visiting Muker.)
B&B in Reeth

Stage 9: Reeth to Richmond
Blue3 grade, 17km with 435m ascent, 515m descent
Gentle walking with a mix of woodland and open fields leads all the way to Richmond. Arrive in Richmond with time to see the castle. Richmond is the largest place on the CTC and an ideal chance for new cuisine and bigger shops.
Guesthouse in Richmond

Stage 10: Richmond to Danby Wiske
Blue3 grade, 25.5km with 125m ascent, 210m descent
Start the two-day crossing of the Vale of York, a flat agricultural area between the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Fields and country lanes make it easy going for the distance.
Inn in Danby Wiske

Stage 11: Danby Wiske to Osmotherley
Blue3 grade, 20km with 275m ascent, 150m descent
Watch the North York Moors draw closer. The terrain is flat for much of the day but rises into woodland before you drop to Osmotherley, a charming village on the edge of the hills.
Inn in Osmotherley

Stage 12: Osmotherley to Clay Bank Top
Red3 grade, 18.5km with 850m ascent, 745m descent
Three tough days in the North York Moors start with an undulating route on the edge of the hills. This is a surprisingly hilly day. We follow the crest on good paths. At Clay Bank Top, the natural break in the walking, there is no accommodation so we detour North or South to a small hotel or B&Bs.
B&B near Clay Bank Top

Stage 13: Clay Bank Top to Grosmont
Red3 grade, 38km with 450m ascent, 640m descent
Rejoining the CTC at Clay Bank Top we walk over generally easy moorland tracks to the isolated pub at Blakey Ridge. This makes a super lunch stop. Carrying on, the miles go quickly over the moor and down to Glaisdale. Valley paths and the railway link Glaisdale with Egton Bridge and Grosmont.
Inn in Grosmont

Stage 14: Grosmont to Robin Hood's Bay
Red3 grade, 25.5km with 480m ascent, 555m descent
This is a rolling cross-country day to finish. Walk through old woodland on the way to the sea. The final clifftop miles mirror those of St Bees at the start. Robin Hood's Bay narrows as it drops to the sea, improbably small houses nestling together on the steep lanes.
Guesthouse in Robin Hood's Bay

Departure day: Depart from Robin Hood's Bay
After a last breakfast take the bus to Scarborough and join the rail network; Manchester, York or London are easily reached. Congratulations on the Coast to Coast!

Our usual schedule of accommodation might not be available, especially if there is not much time between booking and your trip. We book accommodation as closely as possible to this itinerary and present a schedule for you to check before we proceed.

Baggage transfer

Let us deliver your bag to each stop on the Coast to Coast. Each morning simply leave your bag with your host or at reception.


Few Coasts to Coast are alike. We don't have set schedules or start dates and we'll chat with you to plan the best approach. Please ask us to advise.

Alternative schedules
We can book different lengths of trip according to your preferences. A prime example is our 16-stage trek which lets us split the longest stages to give a maximum stage of 25km. Or, for seasoned long-distance trekkers only, our 11-stage trek contains several days of over 30km. It's worth remembering that even our normal 14-stager is an unusually tough walk, that is easy to underestimate.

Rest days
Add one or more rest days, to recuperate during the route. Over a two-week trek this can be welcome to many; others prefer to keep going. Kirkby Stephen and Richmond are good locations and we can advise.

Coordinating with travel
As normal we include your accommodation in St Bees and Robin Hood's Bay. 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.

Please let us know if you fancy a more comfy or more basic trip. At many villages on the Coast to Coast we can adjust your schedule, for example by booking smart little hotels or good youth hostels.

The route

Our approach to the Coast to Coast
Your route follows the Coast to Coast, as officially as the slightly relaxed nature of the route allows. 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 to reach Kirkby Stephen, then cross into the Yorkshire Dales on Nine Standards Rigg, the barrier between East and West and a major milestone. Swaledale beckons, all the way to Richmond, past Keld and Reeth. Cross the flat Vale of York to Ingleby Cross and Osmotherley before setting off for the last section on the North York Moors. High and open walking on good ground leads you past Blakey Ridge and down to Glaisdale and Grosmont. A final stage leads to the coast with a few short clifftop miles left before Robin Hood's Bay.

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 and to a lesser extent on Nine Standards Rigg and on the North York Moors, 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.

How to get there

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.

Happy Clients

"An excellent service right from the start. We booked fairly late (and had a dog) but you managed to organise the trip for the dates we wanted. We were given regular updates and lots of information to help us plan and prepare.

"Very impressed with the organisation and service overall - would definitely book again with you."

Linda Simpson, UK
(Coast to Coast)

Key information Summer 2020

Trip name: Coast to Coast
Guided or self-guided? Self-guided
Trip code: CTCsg
Route: The Coast to Coast (Walking guide)
(Prefer East or West trips?)
(Prefer one week on the West or East?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
Length: 14 days' trekking
Start: St. Bees in Cumbria
End: Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire
Typical walk: 22.5km, 550m ascent
(Longest stage 38km on 14-stage trek)
Total distance: 314km or 196 miles
Highest altitude: 792m
Grade: Red3 (Walking grades)

Prices Summer 2020

14 stages, per person:

CTCsg Classic
GBP 1,090 (singles 375, dog 150)
Coast to Coast (self-guided)

Research Summer 2020

People at Alpine Exploratory Alpine Exploratory's 2019 research on the Coast to Coast was led by:
Pete Ellis in March

Recces 2020

A light rain shower in Robin Hood`s Bay
Robin Hood's Bay (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

15 nights, staying in:
B&Bs and guesthouses (10)
Small hotel (1)
Inns (4)

Accommodation and itinerary
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards CTC1-14 of the Exploratory system
Maps and local information

Season for self-guided treks
3 May to 18 September 2020
Trek on your ideal dates

On St Sunday Crag looking to Grisedale Tarn
Grisedale Tarn (Photo gallery)

Find out more

About our walking holidays Our FAQs page covering equipment, weather, insurance and more about how our trips work

Walking guides Our CTC background page

Contact us or use this form:

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Alpine Exploratory
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