One of Europe's classic walks. The Coast to Coast travels from St Bees in Cumbria across to Robin Hoods Bay in Yorkshire - a distance of 190 miles (300km)
Devised by the late Alfred Wainwright in 1973 to link the Irish Sea and the North Sea via the hills, moors and valleys of northern England. The route crosses three National Parks: the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. It is scenic, but high-level, including some fairly demanding upland stretches, and visits only two towns of any real size, Kirkby Stephen and Richmond.
The route is traditionally walked from west to east (St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay), so that the prevailing weather will be coming from behind. But others choose to begin on the Yorkshire coast, so as to have the Lake District section as a grand finale. Similarly, the walk can be as long or as short as you want. Some people prefer to walk it in weekend sections, but most walk it continuously, averaging between 10-14 days in total.
Scenery and terrain is varied. The valleys and arable land make for straightforward walking, but the hills – particularly in the Lake District – are high and the gradients sometimes steep. Many stages are bare and exposed, such as the North York Moors, and help may not always be close to hand. Unless you are an experienced long-distance walker, it is advisable to take a companion. And before you set off, make sure you have the necessary map and compass skills, fitness and stamina, clothing and equipment.
For further information visit the Coast to Coast section of the Wainwright Society's website.