Coast to Coast Walk West (8 Days & 7 Nights)8 Days & 7 Nights 4.7 Read 3 reviews
- Walking England’s Coast to Coast West from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen
- Dramatic upland scenery of the English Lake District
- Passing through some of England’s finest villages, such as Grasmere
- Wonderful camaraderie between fellow “coast to coasters”
- Observing Britain's rarest wildlife, such as red squirrels and otters
The Coast to Coast West takes you through the dramatic upland scenery of the English Lake District from St Bees, located on the Irish Sea, to the market town of Kirkby Stephen.
Created by Alfred Wainwright, this is one of the world’s great walks and on this particular itinerary, you will complete the western section.
As you walk you will meet fellow “coast to coasters” and enjoy the incredible camaraderie as you bump into the same walkers along the trail and in the charming B&B’s at day’s end. This dramatic and rewarding trail will stay forever in your memory.
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Ideal if you have an interest in:
- National Parks & Trails
- Most Popular
Activity Level & TerrainThis holiday is graded moderate to strenuous and is most suitable for those walkers with previous long distance experience.
The route is a mixture of paths, tracks and minor roads. Some of the paths can become very muddy and boggy where progress can often be slow.
The route is waymarked sporadically on the Coast to Coast however, navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation on this tour will be made simple and you cannot get lost.
You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.
We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We always try and book your accommodation as close as possible to the trail.
We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in the tour itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability we may have to accommodate you in alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard than those described.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. We welcome solo walkers on the Coast to Coast, although you should of course take extra care in the outdoors when walking solo.
- Hand picked B&B's, guesthouses and small hotel accommodation.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- All your trip documents provided digitally through your online Macs “My Account”
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Extra nights
When To Go
The Coast to Coast Walk West is available from March to September.
You can start your holiday on any date during the season. If your itinerary includes Grasmere, it may be easier to get availability if you do not start your walk on a Tuesday or Wednesday due to restrictions with weekend availability in Grasmere. Also, if Grasmere is on your itinerary it may be easier to confirm if you add in an extra night here (which we recommend anyway) due to restrictions with 1 night bookings in Grasmere.
No accommodation in Grasmere will allow one night stays on a Saturday night, we would therefore have to book you two nights in Patterdale.
Getting to the Start
Getting to St Bees
The closest airports to St Bees are Manchester and Newcastle. From both airports the travel time by train is approximately 4 hours . You can also fly into any of the London Airports and take a train north from London Euston (via a change in Carlisle). There are also alternative trains going via Lancaster and Barrow-in Furness.
If you are considering driving please be aware that St Bees has very limited parking facilities. The only free public parking is available at the railway station (only 18 spaces available) but is not intended for C2C walkers). Many B&B’s have parking available for a small fee per night.
Getting from the End
Getting from Kirkby Stephen
The closest airports to Kirkby Stephen once again Manchester and Newcastle. From Kirkby Stephen you can take a train to Manchester via Carlisle. Getting to Newcastle from Kirkby Stephen is more complicated and time consuming as you have to go via bus and train with a few changes. However it can be done and you would need to check the Traveline website for schedules.
It is also possible to travel by train to London via Carlisle, or via Leeds.
Parking in Kirkby Stephen is limited. There are some spaces in the Pennine View Campsite, the campsite is secure and you can leave it there for the duration of your walk.
If you do decide to park your car in Kirkby Stephen then we can arrange for your first night’s accommodation to be in Kirkby Stephen instead of St Bees and you can then catch the Sherpa Bus to St Bees the following day to being the walk. Please contact your Destination & Adventure Specialist for further details.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. Please ensure that you do not bring more than one bag of 20kg as if this occurs, the luggage transfer company will ask you to pay an additional fee (approx. £8.00 per day, per bag). This additional payment, should it be necessary, needs to be made locally to the driver and in cash. All bags need to be labelled, as do any additional bags, as if they are not labelled we cannot guarantee that they will reach you at the next accommodation.
If you are travelling from far afield and do have more than one bag it is possible to arrange for the extra luggage to be stored whilst you are on the tour for a fee of £25 per bag. These additional bags would be picked up from your accommodation at the start point (St Bees or Kirkby Stephen) and dropped off wherever you finish depending on the itinerary you choose to do. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
This tour is rated moderate to strenuous so you definitely should be in excellent physical health and have a very good level of fitness to fully enjoy this tour. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
The best way to travel to the start and finish of the Coast to Coast is by train. Our travel information page has further details on getting to and from the start/end of your walk.
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Wainwrights Coast to Coast is extremely popular especially over April/May and September. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
We recommend you walk from West to East as all the guidebook is written in this direction and this is also necessary because of luggage transfer restrictions.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use public transport, bus or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
ItineraryDay 1 Starting Point: St Bees
The attractive village of St Bees is served by regular trains to Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness, from where you can connect to all UK destinations. Journey time from London is between 4h30 and 5h30.
Stonehouse Farm is a friendly family run Georgian farmhouse in the centre of St Bees. It is only a 10-minute walk to the start of the Coast to Coast walk. The rooms are mostly en-suite, have tea & coffee making facilities and TVs.
This guest house offers a warm welcome and comfortable rooms all with a railway theme. They have three bedrooms available to let, which are Orient Express, Northern Bell & Flying Scotsman. There is a lounge and private dining room which is shared by the three rooms. In the morning, you can enjoy a lovely continental breakfast before setting off on your days walk.
The Manor is situated in the heart of the seaside village of St Bees. The location is ideal for walking the start of the Coast to Coast which leaves from the beach. Rooms have all the amenities you require along with flat-screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities and a private bathroom with either a bath or a shower and a selection of toiletries.
Kickstart your Coast to Coast adventure by leaving the shores of the Irish Sea behind, but not before a dramatic section along the cliffs of the St Bees Headland. The rest of the walk heads east towards the imposing peaks of the Western Lake District. There is a sharp ascent up Dent Hill, rewarded with great views, a taster of things to come!
Based in the picturesque village of Ennerdale, Thorntrees is a family-run B&B managed by Rosaleen and her husband Billy. They promise a warm welcome on arrival, and provide guests with their own living room, dining room, and comfortable en-suite bedrooms. They have a good drying room for wet walkers so everything will be dry by next morning.
The Fox and Hounds in Ennerdale Bridge offers three spacious en-suite rooms with all the amenities you require. All their food is homemade and cooked to order, they have a choice of 5 locally brewed ales and a selection of wines and spirits are available to compliment your meal.
The Shepherds Arms Hotel is a comfortable and friendly inn in Ennerdale Bridge. They have 8 bedrooms which are all en-suite or with private bathrooms (bathrobes provided). All are equipped with TV, hot drinks, toiletries and hairdryer. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and they offer good food & ales in the company of locals in their restaurant.
Walk along the southern side of Ennerdale Water, enjoying an easy lakeside stroll. Keep on the lower path as you head towards the picturesque Borrowdale. The route takes you along the low level path past the summits of Red Pike, High Stile and Hay Stacks. If you have nice weather and are feeling energetic it is also possible to take a high route from which the views are simply breathtaking. Borrowdale is your destination, made up of three different settlements, Longthwaite, Rosthwaite and Stonethwaite.
The Hotel is situated almost at the foot of Great Gable and the Scafell Massif, and is regarded as one of the Lake District’s renowned headquarters for climbers and hill walkers. The rooms are decorated in a warm and rich Country House style with a ‘Contemporary Twist’ perfect for a peaceful and relaxing overnight stay in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley. The Scafell Hotel offers an efficient and friendly service, with an elegant restaurant.
The Royal Oak is a small family run hotel; the main house is a fine example of a Cumberland Longhouse and dates from around the year 1750. Formerly a farm and miner's tavern the dining room, lounges and bar retain and reflect this heritage. The hotel has a television lounge - with free wifi access and an efficient drying room. They offer a traditional English breakfast and freshly prepared home cooked dinners, the four course menu changes daily, and uses local produce wherever possible; alternatives for dietary requirements are offered if needed.
This is a lovely 25 room hotel; all rooms have been designed with your comfort in mind, they all have fell views and will have all the amenities you require for a relaxing overnight stay such as central heating, complimentary tea and coffee and toiletries. Facilities at the hotel include comfortable lounges with stunning views, a residents bar including real ales and a nice selection of wines, a drying room and free WI-FI.
This stage is a Lakeland classic, taking you on a straightforward climb up past Lining Crag with fantastic views over towards Scafell Pike to Greenup Edge. Continue across the head of Wythburn Valley before you continue down the Easedale Valley. There is also the option to take high route via Helm Crag. Grasmere is filled with bustling cafes and restaurants and a classic pretty Lakes village.
The 200 year old traditional Cumbrian property has been furnished using local craftsmen and local materials and offers some lovely accommodation in Cumbria. Each of their 6 fabulous ensuite rooms has its own uniqueness with high quality furnishings. Each room has a flat screen TV, internet connection, underfloor heating, duck-down duvets and pillows, Egyptian cotton sheets and wool carpets.
Chestnut Villa was built in 1904 as a Coaching Inn, it has 9 beautifully decorated rooms, each of which is ensuite with either a bath/hand shower or shower. The rooms all come with tea & coffee facilities, LCD digital TV’s, toiletries and hairdryers.
Ivy Dene is a 100-year old coaching inn surrounded by beautiful Lakeland views. All rooms at Ivy Dene feature free wifi, ensuite showers, flat-screen TVs, hairdryers, and a welcome tray with homemade biscuits. Ivy Dene is just a 15-minute walk from Dove Cottage, the famous home of William Wordsworth, as well as Grasmere Lake and Rydal Water.
Grasmere to Patterdale , one of the shortest sections on the walk, is a classic stage where walkers can enjoy some great views back to Grasmere before walking over Grisedale and on to Patterdale via beautiful valleys and the lake of Ullswater glistening in the distance. This quiet village offers a couple of pubs as well as being home to a population of red squirrels.
Situated in the delightful village of Patterdale, and surrounded by some of Lakeland's most magnificent scenery, Old Water View has been welcoming visitors for over 100 years. All of guest bedrooms are tastefully decorated and furnished to a high standard. They offer comfortable, central heated accommodation, with all modern conveniences, including TV, CD player, hairdryer, and tea/coffee making facilities.
Crookabeck Farm offers B&B accommodation in a stunning farm location in Patterdale. The B&B is on a working farm owned and lovingly managed by the Bell family for three generations. It’s famous for Angora Goats and Helvellyn Herdwick sheep. In your room the linen and towels are 100% Egyptian cotton, you will have an en-suite bedroom, with guest lounge, TV Sky, a DVD player with a selection of DVDs, as well as a good range of books and magazines. They aim to source as much of the produce locally in Cumbria as they can.
School House is a lovely B&B in the centre of Patterdale. Each room has tea and coffee-making facilities, complimentary toiletries, wifi and spectacular views from every window. They also have a drying room just in case you encounter a bit of rain on your walk.
From the beautiful valley of Patterdale follow the path in the direction of Shap, leaving the Lake District behind you. Tackle the steep ascent out of Patterdale to Kidsty Pike and once out of the Lake District the wayfinding becomes easier and the gradients become gentler as you wind your way towards Shap. Don't let this fool you though, as on todays walk it is the distance which will leave you tired.
Brookfield House is a traditional B&B offering a warm welcome to walkers and wonderful uninterrupted views over the surrounding farmland. The accommodation is centrally heated throughout, and has ensuite rooms with flat screen TVs, digital radio alarms, hospitality trays, hairdryers, and free wifi. They also have a relaxing lounge and a well-stocked bar.
New Ing Lodge provides comfortable B&B accommodation; it used to be a working farm and has been a guest house since the 1820’s. They have a strong local/environmental policy, they know that buying local means fresh produce, and far better taste & superior quality. All the rooms are comfortably furnished and have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay.
A lovely old former farmhouse dating back in some places to the 1500's. You will find warmth and comfort here as well as a friendly welcome and a wonderful breakfast. All bedrooms have the amenities you need for a relaxing overnight stay including TV and tea & coffee making facilities. There is also a large sitting room where you can relax in the evening.
Having left the lakes behind, enjoy a short walk to Orton with no notable ascents, making the first part of today a nice break to the challenges of the previous days. Stop in the pretty village of Orton for lunch before continuing via limestone crags, open pasture and several prehistoric sites characterise this section. Finish in the town of Kirkby Stephen, a very walker friendly place with several great pubs enjoy a refreshing real ale in!
A warm welcome awaits you in this Grade 2 Listed Georgian Townhouse. The house dates from 1750 and has retained much of its original charm and character with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The owners have decorated and furnished each of the four bedrooms in a style to complement the house without compromising on comfort to make you feel at home. All the rooms have a digital TV, tea, and coffee facilities, hairdryers and free WIFI. Each room also has a foot spa and complimentary toiletries from The Bath House, a local company from Sedbergh. Following a long day walking why not sooth those aching feet with a foot spa containing lemongrass bath salts.
Lockholme is a warm and welcoming B&B offering stunning views, delightful rooms and a very warm atmosphere. The owners aim to make your stay extra special, in a relaxing friendly atmosphere. Their rooms have shower en-suites, are beautifully decorated, reflecting the Victorian character and charm, and they are well equipped with a hairdryer, free WIFI throughout, tea and coffee making facilities and luxury complimentary toiletries from The Bath House, Sedburgh. Upon arrival you can look forward to delicious homemade cake with tea or coffee and relax either in your room, the Guest Breakfast Room, with a real coal fire and fabulous views of the fells and The Nine Standards Rigg, or the sunny private rear garden, knowing that any wet boots and clothes will be taken care of!
Built in 1833, Fletcher House is a double fronted Grade II listed building in the centre of Kirkby Stephen. To match the fine-looking exterior of the house, the interior has many original features. All rooms are en-suite with walk in shower, WC, and basin. There is also a hairdryer in each room. They also have an extra "Pamper Bathroom" which any guest may use with large roll top bath WC and basin lots of radox and herbal bath, body lotions and creams, also first aid items and useful things you may have forgotten. There is a separate guest lounge with tv and book swap library to exchange books that they have read plus other interesting books to read. Complementary drinks available from the dining room from the coffee machine or selection of teas and decaf options.
Enjoy one last hearty Coast to Coast Breakfast before checking and making your way to the closest train station or airport for onward travel.
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