Start: St Bees Finish: Kirkby Stephen
Arrival in St. Bees via train – routes available from all major airports.
St Bees includes St Bees Head, the most westerly point of Cumbria, on the coastal strip between the Lakeland fells and the Irish Sea. It has a history going back over 1,000 years and has been a popular holiday destination for over 150 years.
Set off along the coast before turning inland towards the village of Sandwith. Once you’ve passed through the sleepy villages of Moor Row and Cleator, you reach the first climb of the trip: Dent Fell, before arriving at the small village of Ennerdale Bridge.
You are now in the Lake District National Park and the day starts with a walk along Ennerdale Water with superb views of the approaching fells.
From here, you have a choice: either go high up to Red Pike and over High Stile onto the iconic Haystacks and past Inominate Tarn (where Wainwright’s ashes were scattered) or follow a gentler route up to Black Sail Youth Hostel and then up Loft Beck. Both routes take you to Honister Slate mine, the last working slate mine in England, before a descent into the village of Rosthwaite followed by Stonethwaite (both located in the Borrowdale Valley).
A shorter stage today, but the ascent to the day's only peak, Greenup Edge, is steep and demanding. The view from here is another iconic picture of the unique and beautiful landscape of the Lake District.
Overnight in pretty Grasmere where there is lots to explore including the Wordsworth Museum and the poet’s former residence, Dove Cottage.
All walkers along the Coast to Coast climb up to Grisedale Hause with gorgeous views back towards Grasmere. From here, you have the option to go even higher and up the famous Helvellyn peak or St Sunday Crag – with far reaching views as far as Ullswater – before coming down Grisedale into Patterdale. Alternatively, take the direct route down Grisedale to the village.
The day starts with another climb and impressive panoramic views across to Fairfield, Helvellyn, Hartsop and Kirkstone Pass. You continue beside Angle Tarn, across the old Roman path of High St and onto Kidsty Pike – at 780m, the highest point on the Coast to Coast Walk. From here you can have amazing views down to Haweswater and Riggindale. Descend to Haweswater – formed in the 1930’s
to provide water to the cities of the North West – for an undulating onward walk through the charming village of Bampton and continuing past Shap Abbey, the ruins of a monastery founded in the 13th century. The monks abandoned it to Henry VIII in 1540 and since then it has served as a memory of a bygone era. A short distance to the village of Shap.
The route from Shap crosses into the Westmorland Fells in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. From here, the vistas change from dramatic granite rocks to an open limestone landscape as you continue past the tiny village of Orton. Continue through open countryside with occasional villages, remote houses and secluded farms - and a wide panorama towards the distinctive Howgills and the distant
Pennines. Pass Smardale Bridge, a stunning piece of Victorian architecture
from a long-gone railway. Then it’s on into the small yet lively town of Kirkby Stephen, with its welcoming pubs, cafes and restaurants, in the heart of the lovely Eden Valley.
Your tour finishes after breakfast at the accommodation.
This program can be booked any day between Late March and mid-October, subject to availability. We recommend that you start your walk between Saturday and Tuesday as many of the Lake District accommodations stipulate a minimum 2 night stay at the weekend.
The nearest international aiport to fly to is Manchester
Getting to St Bees
You can get to St Bees via train, you can use the main line from any of the airports. Most walkers travel to Manchester airport then take the train to St Bees by changing at South Lakes or Carlisle.
The alternative is to travel via car to Kirkby Stephen and use the free car parking available. You will then stay overnight in Kirkby Stephen rather than St Bees. A transfer will then leave the following morning to take you to the start of the route.
Return from Kirkby Stephen
You may have your waiting for your return at Kirkby Stephen. Otherwise from Kirkby Stephen you can take a train to Leeds for your onward travel to Manchester or London, or travel via Kendal.
GPS tracks are available on request.