The Coast to Coast trek made famous by Alfred Wainwright is justifiably one of the great walking adventures in the UK. Spanning 190 Miles from St Bees on the West Coast, through to Robin Hood’s Bay on the West, this arduous walk was given a great boost by the BBC TV series fronted by Julia Bradbury. The variety of landscapes on this walk is staggering and is a major factor in drawing people to walk the route, but of course, with popularity comes pitfalls. The route becomes incredibly busy around bank holidays and dates from Easter through to the middle of June tend to be sold out by the end of January. With this in mind, this blog post is aiming to give some fantastic alternatives to those who have missed out on the Coast to Coast, but still want to stretch their legs in the North of England.
Hadrians Wall Path
Another Classic walk in England and a great replacement for the Coast to Coast is Hadrian’s Wall Path. Stretching from Wall’s End, just outside Newcastle to Bowness in the West, the path follows Hadrian’s Wall which is Europe’s largest surviving Roman monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Wall itself is testament to the Romans ingenuity and desire to control this small corner of Europe and there are many chances to investigate the wall and its history through the various museums, forts and turrets along the route. The walk takes you through some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in England and has gained in popularity massively since its inception in 2003.
Though this is a great alternative to the Coast to Coast, the Hadrian’s Wall Path is still a very popular walk and the Easter – Mid June dates tend to sell out by the end of February, so it is definitely one to book as early as possible.
The Windermere Way
One of the great highlights of walking the Coast to Coast is walking in the Lake District. Because of its immense beauty, its popularity is what makes the Coast to Coast so difficult to book at peak times. The Cumbria Way and Dales Way are good alternatives to the Coast to Coast, but they tend to be sold out too, due to the accommodation in the area being so busy.
The Pennine Way
A lot of people walk the full length of the Coast to Coast as a challenge to themselves, after all, 190 miles is not a light stroll in the park! For a walk with a similar challenge, I would suggest taking a look at the Pennine Way as a suitable alternative. Coming in at a whopping 256 miles, the Pennine Way stretches from Edale, just below Manchester, all the way up to Kirk Yetholm just over the border in Scotland. The route takes you through 3 National Parks, skirts along sections of Hadrian’s Wall and takes in some truly outstanding scenery. The route is littered with challenges and rewards like climbing to the peak of Great Shunner Fell and crossing the rugged Cheviot Hills, standing overlooking High Force Waterfall and the glacial valley of High Cup Nick.
As this trip is a bit on the long side we have various options for those who would like to take a crack at it. You can, of course, go for the full walk over 20 days or choose to walk certain sections to break it down and do the trip over a couple of holidays or simply just walk the best sections of the trail. Whatever you choose it is well worth getting in touch and speaking to our Pennine Way Specialist.
St Oswald’s Way
St Oswald’s Way takes in some of the finest scenery of Northumberland. It starts off in Lindisfarne on the Holy Isle and hugs the gorgeous English Coast before heading inland to finish up in Heavenfield in Hadrian’s Wall country. After walking across the tidal causeway from the Holy Isle, you head down the coast through countless pretty fishing villages, past Bamburgh Castle and on down to Warkworth. You then head inland through gently rolling hills following routes that St Oswald, the ancient King of Northumberland would have used himself as he took Christianity to his people.
Rather than just touching the coast in the other walks, this is a great chance to see the well renowned coastal vistas of Northern England and to soak up the abundance of history of this beautiful area. We offer St Oswald’s Way over 6-9 days depending on how much of a challenge you want to make it.
Hopefully, these have given you some ideas for alternative walks to the Coast to Coast and should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Destination Specialists.