The Coast to Coast is one of the world’s great walks, originally described by Alfred Wainwright in his 1973 book ‘A Coast to Coast Walk’.
The path runs from St Bees in the west passing through Orton, Kirkby Stephen, Ravenseat, Keld, Reeth and Marske in the Yorkshire Dales National Park before continuing to Robin Hood’s Bay in the east. The Coast to Coast walk uses public rights of way, permissive paths and access land.
In 2021 the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority started work with Natural England and local partners to designate the Coast to Coast long distance footpath as a National Trail with a view to Natural England presenting a formal proposal to Government early in Spring 2022. Read more about that here.
The Wainwright Society is the Responsible Organisation for the Coast to Coast and publicises the walk on its website and reports access issues on the route. You can find out more on the Wainwright Society website here.
“Wainwright suggested a way of breaking the walk miles into stages, each of which to be completed in a day. With one or two rest days, this enables the route to fit into a two-week holiday. However, Wainwright stated that people walking the Coast to Coast should not feel constrained to keep to these day-stages or even to his route: for example, by reducing the days to 10 or 12 miles, the walk becomes more leisurely with time to stand and stare” – The Wainwright Society.
Wainwright’s Coast to Coast book is available in all good book stores and through a variety of online retailers.
Coast to Coast Path Wider Benefits Report
On occasion Natural England commissions reports from external contractors to provide evidence and advice to assist in delivering Natural England’s duties. This report on the additional benefits of the Coast to Coast is an example. Natural England commissioned the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to produce this report. The views in this report are those of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and do not necessarily represent those of Natural England. You can read the report below.
In August 2022 Natural England’s proposal for Wainwright’s much-loved Coast to Coast walking route across the north of England to become a national trail was approved by the Secretary of State. The proposals incorporate some necessary realignments and legal work to create public rights where these are missing along the route. Work will now begin with the relevant national park authority and highway authority partners to implement these changes and bring the route up to national trail standards by the end of 2025.
For the first time, alongside approval for the creation of the national trail itself, a complementary programme of work has been scoped out and endorsed in principle by Ministers aimed at realising the wider benefits that National Trails can bring. The programme was derived from the report “Realising the Wider Benefits of the Coast to Coast Route Designation as a National Trail” commissioned by Natural England and prepared by the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Wider Benefits report is available to download and makes specific recommendations under the headings of Access and Accessibility, Nature Connectivity and Landscape, Community Engagement, Economy, and Tourism and Information Provision.
Natural England has identified a number of these recommendations that can be funded and delivered within the 3 year establishment window for the Coast to Coast, including:
- Better signage, visitor information and signposting to services as part of the core establishment work for the Coast to Coast
- A multi-user audit of access opportunities, including accessibility for people with reduced mobility and alternative routes for cyclists and horse riders
- Nature Connectivity – to include restoration of priority habitats
- Community Engagement
- Economic Development – support local business
Natural England will also work through the more detailed aspirations and proposals in the Wider Benefits Report to build a shared plan (with the National Trails partnership) around how to continue to deliver wider benefits from the Coast to Coast Path, beyond the 3 establishment phase. We would expect this to include how to continue to improve accessibility, including for those with limited mobility, horse riders and cyclists.
- The Coast to Coast Path Wider Benefits Report
- Appendix 1 – Detailed assessment of access issues and opportunities
- Appendix 2 – Coast to Coast Bridleway MTB Feasibility Report
- Appendix 3 – Data used for Nature Connectivity Heat Map
- Appendix 4 – Local Nature Recovery Network Maps – Cumbria
- Appendix 5 – Nature Connectivity projects
- Appendix 6 – Business survey
- Appendix 7 – Economic Value and Businesses (STEAM model)
- Appendix 8 – Bampton Case Study
- Appendix 9 – Ravenstonedale Case Study
- Appendix 10 Vakantiebeurs – summary of activity
- Appendix 11 EGWT OMtM Quant Research Summary (US)
- Appendix 12 DEF Research Summary Report – Discover England’s Great Walking Trails