Why Choose Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk?
By Mark Wright
Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast is an iconic and cherished long distance walk spanning the width of the country, from St Bees on the west coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east. Covering approximately 192 miles, the trail journeys through three national parks, the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors. The celebrated fell walker and guidebook writer created the Coast to Coast walk in 1973. Wainwright’s passion for the outdoors, coupled with his meticulous attention to detail, resulted in a magnificent walk showcasing some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the north of England. Wainwright himself once said, “Surely there cannot be a finer itinerary for a long-distance walk.”
The adventure begins in St Bees, where you are greeted by dramatic sandstone cliffs and expansive views of the Irish Sea. As you journey through the Lake District, England’s largest National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll encounter majestic mountains, serene lakes, and delightful villages. The trail then takes you into the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, characterised by rolling hills, limestone formations, and charming market towns. The final stretch over the North York Moors offers atmospheric heather-clad moorlands and stunning coastal views. The variety of landscapes ensures that each day on the Coast to Coast brings a new and captivating backdrop.
Of course walking the Coast to Coast is not simply about the scenery, amazing though it is, it’s also an immersive cultural experience, and a walk through history. Along the way you’ll pass through many towns and villages, each with its own unique character and charm. You’ll have the opportunity to converse with locals, sample regional cuisine, and learn about the history and heritage of the areas you visit. The Coast to Coast travels through ancient landscapes, on age-old tracks, where you’ll encounter remnants of the past, from stone circles to medieval castles. The trail passes through a number of places with historical significance, such as Shap Abbey and the old mining town of Keld. When walking the Coast to Coast, you’re walking in the footsteps of those who have traversed these lands for centuries.
For nature enthusiasts, the Coast to Coast walk offers a perfect opportunity to connect with the natural world. From the shores of Wild Ennerdale to the heather-clad expanses of the North York Moors the trail takes you through some of England’s most unspoiled and protected landscapes, allowing you to experience the beauty of the countryside up close.
The Coast to Coast provides a welcome escape from the stresses of daily life. The simplicity of walking, the changing landscapes, the absence of technology, and the immersion in nature create a respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Despite the prospect of tired and aching feet, walking the Coast to Coast will ultimately prove to be a rejuvenating experience.
The Coast to Coast has become a must-do long distance walk for outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. The shared experience of walking the trail and facing its challenges creates a sense of camaraderie among fellow walkers. Stories are shared, friendships are formed, and a sense of community develops. The shared goal of reaching the east coast creates a bond among walkers, turning the journey into a collective adventure.
Completing the Coast to Coast walk is a significant achievement, one you should be very proud of. The journey requires a good level of physical fitness, and at times, mental fortitude. As you approach the cliffs of Robin Hood’s Bay, knowing that you have traversed the width of the country on foot, you’ll no doubt experience a profound sense of fulfillment, and rightly so. The challenges overcome along the way, the landscapes crossed, and the memories created, contribute to a lasting sense of accomplishment that will remain with you long after the walk is over.
Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast is more than a walk across England, it’s an uplifting journey that comprises the best of nature, culture, history, friendship and self-discovery. Whether you are a seasoned walker seeking a new challenge or a nature enthusiast looking to connect with the outdoors, the Coast to Coast walk offers a truly memorable experience. For further information on the Coast to Coast and to book your 2024 adventure email us [email protected] or call us on 017687 72335 to speak with one of our walking holiday experts.