Planning a Coast to Coast walk

Last updated 16 November 2014

Follow the green fence like

If you’ve been reading my Coast to Coast posts, there’s a possibility that you’ve been inspired to walk it yourself. Either that or you’ve watched that Julia Bradbury do it on the telly and thought “that looks great!” Or maybe you’ve just picked up the book and decided to have a go.

Whichever way you’ve come to the Coast to Coast doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’ve thought “Yes, I could do that! Sign me up! How do I do it then?” You have, haven’t you?

You have? Great! So what do you need to know to plan your trip walking from one side of the west of England, to the east?

Inside This Guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The Roue
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the Coast to Coast
  6. Guide books and maps
  7. Know how to use a map and compass
  8. And finally, and any questions

What is the walk like?

Tackling the route to Patterdale

It has been on TV and was created by a walking superstar, so the Coast to Coast is quite a famous route. And it’s popular. And that means people sometimes think it’s going to be easy – like walking in the park.

It’s not. It’s 190 miles long, and there are some difficult bits, especially in the Lake District. And if the weather is bad, well it can be very difficult indeed. And I’m saying that as an experienced walker who has been up to his knees in bog on the Pennine Way.

I don’t want to put people off doing the Coast to Coast, because it’s a very rewarding route and in many parts it’s nice and easy going. I’ve heard of those who in their 70s and 80s who have done it. So if you’ve done some hill walking you should be fine.

However do not underestimate the Coast to Coast. To do it successfully you will need to be fit, have good walking boots and be very competent with a map and compass. Preferably you’ll have done some long distance walking before too.

That said, what should you expect? Well the Coast to Coast is an amazingly varied route, and no two days are the same. There’s fells, moorland, fields and mining history. In creating the walk Wainwright really went out to make it interesting. It really does seem to cover everything you could ever possibly want in a long distance walk.

If you’d like to know more, you can read about my own Coast to Coast journey.

The Route

The Coast to Coast goes from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. You can see the route using the map above. Using the controls you can scroll around, zoom in and explore the route. Note that this map is a guide only, and should not be used for navigation.

The Coast to Coast has a number of options and variations over the course of its route. This is especially true in the Lake District. All Wainwright’s variations are included on the map above.

Planning an itinerary

On a rock

Unless you’re camping, you need to work out your itinerary in advance and get it booked. As the Coast to Coast goes through many small villages, and is a very popular route, accommodation is very limited and booked up early.

The Coast to Coast could be walked all year round, however navigation and conditions can be difficult in poor conditions. As such, it is best walked in the period of May to October.

There are a couple of different possible itineraries and I have listed three: 12 days, 14 days and 15 days. Based on my experience I recommend the 15 day one. The 12 day version includes some very long distances and is recommended only for fit and experienced walkers.

The towns and villages listed in the itinerary below have been selected as they all have facilities – every one has a pub, and most have shops too. Where there are no shops, pubs and B&Bs will be able to provide packed lunches. Locations with a railway station are marked with a *.

12 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 St Bees * Ennerdale Bridge 14 22½
2 Ennerdale Bridge Rosthwaite 14 22½
3 Rosthwaite Patterdale 17 27¼
4 Patterdale Shap 15 24
5 Shap Kirkby Stephen * 20 32
6 Kirkby Stephen * Keld 11 17¾
7 Keld Reeth 10½ 17
8 Reeth Richmond 15 24 [1]
9 Richmond Ingleby Arncliffe 23 37 [1]
10 Ingleby Arncliffe Clay Bank Top 11 17¾ [2]
11 Clay Bank Top Glaisdale 18 29
12 Glaisdale Robin Hood’s Bay 19 30½
14 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 St Bees * Ennerdale Bridge 14 22½
2 Ennerdale Bridge Rosthwaite 14 22½
3 Rosthwaite Patterdale 17 27¼
4 Patterdale Bampton 11½ 18½
5 Bampton Orton 11½ 18½
6 Orton Kirkby Stephen * 12½ 20
7 Kirkby Stephen * Keld 11 17¾
8 Keld Reeth 10½ 17
9 Reeth Richmond 15 24 [1]
10 Richmond Ingleby Arncliffe 23 37 [1]
11 Ingleby Arncliffe Clay Bank Top 11 17¾ [2]
12 Clay Bank Top Lion Inn 9 14½
13 Lion Inn Grosmont * 12½ 20
14 Grosmont * Robin Hood’s Bay 15½ 25
15 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 St Bees * Ennerdale Bridge 14 22½
2 Ennerdale Bridge Rosthwaite 14 22½
3 Rosthwaite Grasmere 9 14½
4 Grasmere Patterdale 8 13
5 Patterdale Bampton 11½ 18½
6 Bampton Orton 11½ 18½
7 Orton Kirkby Stephen * 12½ 20
8 Kirkby Stephen * Keld 11 17¾
9 Keld Reeth 10½ 17
10 Reeth Richmond 15 24 [1]
11 Richmond Ingleby Arncliffe 23 37 [1]
12 Ingleby Arncliffe Clay Bank Top 11 17¾ [2]
13 Clay Bank Top Lion Inn 9 14½
14 Lion Inn Grosmont * 12½ 20
15 Grosmont * Robin Hood’s Bay 15½ 25
  1. As a big town, Richmond is an obvious place to stay overnight. However doing so means a 23 mile slog the next day. To avoid this, from Richmond continue walking the 4½ miles to Brompton-on-Swale. Then either stay overnight in Brompton or catch the regular bus to Richmond and return on it the next morning. The next day you will be seriously thankful you did.
  2. Clay Bank Top is simply a road pass and there are no buildings here. Accommodation can be found in nearby Great Broughton (2½ miles north up the road) and at Chop Gate (2 miles south.) The road is busy but if you ask nicely and in advance, B&Bs and pubs may pick you up and drop you off.

Breaking the walk up for several trips

If you haven’t got time to do it all in one go, you can break the Coast to Coast up in a few ways.

The most sensible place to split the route is half way at Kirkby Stephen which is on the Settle to Carlisle railway link.

Alternatively you can do it into three sections by breaking at Shap and Richmond. Neither have a railway station, however local bus routes connect both with railway stations. Buses run from Shap to Penrith, and from Richmond to Darlington, both of which are served by mainline services.

Due to limited public transport services on other parts of the trail, there are no other easy ways to split the Coast to Coast up.

Rest Days

Walking 12-15 days consecutively may sound a lot, although if you keep your daily mileage reasonable, you’ll find it easier than you may think. However you may want to plan in some places where you can have a day off.

If you’re going to take a day off hiking, then you might as well do it at a place where there’s plenty to do. The following suggestions are all worth considering:


Black Sail YHA

The Coast to Coast is very busy and in the Lake District in particular, it can be very hard to find accommodation. Advance booking is pretty much essential if you’re walking in the summer.

Doreen Whitehead has been publishing an accommodation guide for the route for over 15 years and it is updated annually, and a print copy is available for £5. A free online version is also available.

Whilst Doreen’s guide provides excellent coverage, it is not exhaustive and you may need to search online for alternatives.

Hostels and bunkhouses

With one exception, all of the hostels on the Coast to Coast sit firmly in the Lake District. The hostels on or near the route are:


Many people who walk the Coast to Coast do so with a tent and the trail is very well served for campers. There’s some campsites, but many pubs and farms offer space for walkers to pitch up and there’s a few camping barns too. Doreen’s accommodation guide (noted above) includes information on camping.

There’s no legal right to wild camp in England, although it is tolerated in some areas, especially in the Lake District which has a plethora of excellent wild camping spots. However unless you’re an experienced wild camper, we’d recommend staying on proper facilities.

Getting to/from the Coast to Coast

Arriving at St Bees Railway Station

Because the route takes you from one side of the UK to the other, the most sensible way to arrive and depart is by public transport. St Bees in Cumbria is on the Cumbrian Coast Line which is a bit slow although rather nice – trains run from Carlisle or Lancaster – the route Lancaster route is, I’m told, the most scenic. Both Carlisle and Lancaster have excellent rail links with the rest of the country.

Robin Hood’s Bay no longer has a railway station, however there’s hourly buses to Whitby or Scarborough operated by Arriva North East. Whitby is nearer although there are more trains from Scarborough and the bus journey is not much longer. Scarborough trains go via York, which also has excellent rail links.

Alternatively if you have a car, the Coast to Coast Packhorse runs daily minibuses from Kirkby Stephen and they have car parking facilities at there. Some B&Bs may also allow you leave your car there for a fee.

Guide Books and Maps

Welcome to Yorkshire. Now pick your path

The popularity of the Coast to Coast means that there’s a huge number of guide books, in several languages. The following are our recommendations.

The obvious book to mention when talking about the Coast to Coast is the original A Coast To Coast Walk by Wainwright himself. It’s the book that started it all off and we carried a copy with us at all times. It’s full of history and information as well as detail of the route, set out in Wainwright’s handwritten style complete with his line drawings and occasional doodles.

The Second Edition of the book was updated by Chris Jesty, and published in 2010.

Although Wainwright wrote his pictorial guide in such a way that you can navigate using it, you’ll probably want to plot your route out on a map as well. We tended to use Wainwright in the evenings to see what we’d done, and it does make a great memento of the trip.

Most people prefer to use a more modern guide book for day to day navigating and the popularity of the route means that there are many.

Based on previous experience we recommend Aurum Press’s The Coast to Coast Walk (Recreational Path Guide) by Martin Wainwright (who is no relation).

The Aurum guides are clear and interesting reads, and always include Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale mapping. They also show a good area around the route, just in case you get lost.

If you prefer just to use maps, then there are two options. Firstly, there is the A-Z Adventure Series Coast to Coast Map book.

The excellent A-Z Adventure Series includes Ordnance Survey mapping for the whole route (at the 1:25,000 Explorer scale), as well as an index to help you find places. The book is a similar size to a map and will fit neatly in a map case, and is a lot easier to fold in wind! It has a small, compact size.

Alternatively you might want to consider Harvey’s two maps of the route. These are traditional paper maps, with Harvey’s own mapping at a scale of 1:40,000, so are less detailed than the A-Z maps.

There’s two covering the route, split in to East and West.

Finally, if you’d prefer to take a stack of Ordnance Survey maps with you (and it will be quite a stack), you will need the following maps. Note that the Coast to Coast is not specifically marked on Ordnance Survey maps.

On a lighter note, if you’ve got a Kindle, you can get a copy of A Coast to Coast Journal, by Catherine Redfern. It explores the Coast to Coast in cartoon form, complete with guides of what to do with walking poles! Oh and it stars me too.

Want to watch the Coast to Coast and see what it’s like from the comfort of your living room? Well you can. In 2009 Julia Bradbury walked the whole trail and had a camera crew with her as she did it. On her way she sees the sights and talks to those with a connection to the route.

Originally broadcast on BBC Four, Wainwright Walks: Coast to Coast is available on DVD.

If that’s enough, in 1990 Wainwright himself was persuaded to star in a TV series about his own creation. Presented by Eric Robson, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk was released on DVD in 2004, giving you insights to the trail from its creator.

Finally, such is the fame of the Coast to Coast that there’s even been a film made about it. Well, about four middle aged men walking it. Released in 2014, Downhill describes itself as a “road movie on foot”.

If you’re expecting pin-point accuracy on locations, and lavish helicopter shots of the route, you may be disappointed. For starters it was recorded on one of the wettest Junes in recent history, and there’s several bits that clearly were recorded on other paths (probably for practical reasons.) However if you want a subtle and rather understated British comedy then this is for you.

For an added bonus, watch it after you’ve done the walk yourself, and see how many similarities there are between the main characters and people you saw out there!

Know how to use a map and a compass

Homemade footpath sign

As the Coast to Coast is a completely unofficial route, waymarking is variable. The Wainwright Society has waymarked much of the route, and some community groups and individuals have placed their own signs to help the walkers. However the Coast to Coast is not a trail that you can navigate using just waymarks alone.

As such you will need a guide book with good quality maps in it (such as the Aurum guide book detailed above), or you will need maps. You’ll also need to know how to use a compass.

The importance of this cannot be underestimated. Whilst we were walking the Coast to Coast we saw some people who were woefully unprepared. Don’t be the man we saw who was navigating through the Lakes with a laminated A5 card that showed next to nothing other than a wiggly line with some place names. Had there not been other people around, chances are that he would have got very lost. There’s not a year that goes by when local mountain rescue teams don’t have to rescue lost Coast to Coast walkers.

Make sure you have a good map and compass, and know how to use them. So if you, or one of your party doesn’t know how to use a map and compass together, I’d learn. Better still, make sure everyone in the party knows. You will need those skills.

There are several online guides like How To Use A Compass, and you may also find training courses in your area – many YHA hostels host such events.

Knowing how to use a map and compass together will really help you and will (hopefully!) stop you getting lost. And if you do get lost, you’ll stand a chance of finding your way again.

And finally, and any questions

Blakethwaite Lead Mine

Hopefully now you’re now raring at the bit ready to go so there’s little to do other than offer you some sage advice. Take some good, comfortable, well broken in boots and some good breathable waterproofs – it’s often wet in the Lake District especially.

And where it’s wet, wet boots inevitably follow. A tip which many walkers don’t seem to know about boots wet inside is when you take them off, fill them with balls of newspaper. The newspaper soaks up the water from inside the boot, thus drying them out. It works a lot faster than letting them air dry. Try checking and replacing the newspaper after a few hours to help.

On a related wetness note, if there’s one thing you should pack, it’s waterproofing wax for your boots. Waterproofing on hiking boots does wear off (something people often don’t realise) and we had problems with boots getting soaked inside because of it even though both pairs were relatively new (that said, they had gone in many bogs and things…)

At the outdoor shop at Kirkby Stephen the owner recommended Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather. From experience it works very well, and you can apply it even to soaked boots. I tend to slap it on every few days just to make sure – it does work, and maintains the boot’s breathability if the boot is lined with something like Gore-Tex. If you don’t have leather boots, consult your local outdoor shop as similar products exist for other boot types.

Still it doesn’t always rain. Take your suncream and insect bite cream as well and you’ll be covered for all occassions! And if you are thinking of doing it, why not let me know in the comments box below? Also don’t hesitate to ask any questions too. However please note that I can only advise on “normal” walks – I have no knowledge on walking the Coast to Coast in two days, or any other more “challenge based” itineraries.

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Your Comments

Kaye Ferguson

14 June 2011 at 7:57 pm

My friend and I are walking ( hopefuly) the C2C in July/ August 2011, we have been in training for months but as we live on the south coast we have only been able to do the Southdown Hills, I do hope it will have been enough, time will tell, wish us luck

Andrew Bowden

1 July 2011 at 5:06 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying but I’ve been away. Walking!

There’s a few larger fells at the beginning but nothing too serious (there’s various options in the Lake District, so you can always take the easier ones) but after that it’s generally good going.

I do a lot of my training on the South Downs myself, and I was fine!

William Hardcastle

4 October 2011 at 10:21 pm

Hi I completed the c2c last months over 14 days with two rests in- between I was hoping to attempted it next febuary over ten days or less . Do you think it would be possible ?

Andrew Bowden

4 October 2011 at 10:38 pm

Well 10 days would be an average 19 miles each day. If you’re happy doing that I’d say it’s doable. The only concern I’d have is the possible weather conditions – if the snow is out you’ll struggle!

Andy Hagerty

9 January 2013 at 1:45 pm


My partner and I did the C2C in 2008 (crikey how time flies). For the hell of it we decided to do it east to west.
Plus points.
1. You are starting off easily, leaving the harder (but best) bits till last. By the time you get to the Lakes you will be far fitter than when you start.
2. You meet plenty of people coming towards you. You can stop for a chat, but are not stuck with them all day.
3. Walkers coming towards you pass on info/tips about the path ahead.
Minus points
1. You will be walking into the wind/weather, however we did not find this a problem, as the weather was good to us.

Andrew Bowden

9 January 2013 at 2:35 pm

I spoke to someone once who had walked part of the West Highland Way from north to south, and described to me how he once looked up and saw about 300 people all heading towards him, and sighed as he knew he’d have to say “hi” to each one of them!

Must have been a very busy day, but I guess it depends how social a walker you are. If you travel in either direction, there’s so many people that you’ll end up talking to people a lot! It just depends what kind of conversations you want.

That said, only on the Pennine Way have I ended up sat in a pub dinning room eating a meal with a couple I’d only met a few hours earlier!

Vanetta de Frece

11 March 2013 at 10:10 pm

Would anyone have any suggestions for myself & my mother we have 9 days and would like to do the C2C starting at St Bees & finishing at Robin hoods bay but obviously missing some sections out! we are fit enough to walk about 15 miles each day, and would catch a bus or train to cover some of the route if this is possible! Any suggestions PLEASE?

Andrew Bowden

11 March 2013 at 10:45 pm

Hi Vanetta. Got to be honest, I personally think what you want to do will be very difficult – if impossible – using buses or trains. The bus and train routes just don’t tend to follow the Coast to Coast route, and when they do there’s not actually that many buses in a day. Certainly on the western section in the Lakes (where I know the public transport situation best) it’s extremely difficult.

However if you were to use taxis instead, it would become a lot easier. My personal suggestion would be to base a plan on the 12 Day itinerary shown above, but skip the Shap to Kirkby Stephen section, and then the two days of Reeth to Ingleby Arncliffe. That gets you down to 9 days.

The reason I’ve picked those is that you’ll be able to find local taxis reasonably easy for those, and they are probably the least interesting sections.

The other option would be just to do half the walk – perhaps the western section – and stop at Kirkby Stephen, perhaps spending an extra day or two in the Lakes. It would certainly be easier as you wouldn’t need to organise taxis.

alison r

1 September 2013 at 8:10 am

Hi, I have a week’s holiday spare and would like to do a week’s walking somewhere in the UK. I live in the UK but at the moment do most of my walking holidays in France – doing the GR 10 across the Pyrenees one week at a time – fantastic!). Anyway I was wondering about doing a week of the Coast to Coast. I would be doing this one on my own which I thought would be OK (not yet done a walking trip on my own, and not that keen on complete solitude, but I guess I would meet lots of people along the way). However, navigation and map reading are not my strong points, and having looked at your site, this seems like a key skill for this walk. Any suggestions about linking in with a group? Many thanks!

Andrew Bowden

1 September 2013 at 9:28 am

Yes, being able to navigate is important. The Coast to Coast is sporadically waymarked. In some areas it is very clearly done, but in others, such as the Lake District in particular, it’s very important. All you need is the cloud to come down and you could easily get lost.

I don’t know if people self-organise groups to walk in, but there are a couple of companies that do guided tours of varying sizes, such as Footpath Holidays and Northwestwalks.


15 November 2013 at 8:35 pm

A friend and I walked the C2C in 2011 and are doing it again next summer.
Despite having the trailblazer book and being fairly experienced walkers we got lost a couple of times which severely affected our timings – not to mention the stress caused when night is starting to fall and you’re stuck on a moor!
Are there any well detailed, day by day maps with the route clearly marked available anywhere?
Thank you.

Andrew Bowden

18 November 2013 at 3:56 pm

Hello Lynne – best bet would be an Ordnance Survey map. The Aurum Press guidebook by Martin Wainwright has OS maps in it, and there’s also the A-Z Adventure Series map book for the Coast to Coast, which also uses the OS maps. The A-Z map book covers a wider area around the route, so is more useful.

Links to both further up the page!


21 November 2013 at 11:47 am

For anyone who wishes to part walk and part bus ride the length of the C2C, Sherpa now run a bus service across the entire C2C route. You have to book tickets in advance (I don’t know how much it costs as it is not a service I need) and details are on their website. Hope that helps :)

David Marsden

8 January 2014 at 11:55 am

Hi Andrew,

I completed the C2C in March 2013 in atrocious conditions that also made (a lot of) my walk achingly beautiful. I can’t emphasize enough (as you have) how important it is to have ordnance survey maps and a compass. I used the latter many, many times – often when visibility was down to just a few yards and the path hidden by snow. But summer walking is no guarantee of clear, sunny weather, of course. .I met a chap who completed the walk in August 2012 and had non-stop rain for 14 days. Grim.

I’ve only just found your website – good work. I have some reading to do!


Chris Doherty

1 April 2014 at 10:21 am

Hi, I am attempting to run/walk the c2c in 6days for charity. This has been 18months of hard work and even harder planning. Any other tips you could suggest? P.s I start it this coming Sunday 6th April… (Just found you site)

Andrew Bowden

6 April 2014 at 6:57 am

As I’ve been holiday, this is probably a bit late but good luck. Can’t think of any tips for running it – just be careful with the weather in the Lakes!

marie howe

15 April 2014 at 12:34 pm

hi.,in aug my 10 yr old son and his dad are running the c2c.we need a good route as they want the end of it to be at the has already started,and it needs to be 26-30miles long. what is the best books to tell us the distance. thank u

Andrew Bowden

17 April 2014 at 2:21 pm

Hi Marie – this page is about Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in the north of England. I’m presuming from your mention of the Lizard that you’re referring to Cornwall. If so, I’m afraid that’s not a question I can answer.


25 April 2014 at 11:52 am

2012 we 2, 70 year olds walked the C2C, loved it, 2013 walked half The Camino in Spain, what walk would you suggest for our next one. We live in Australia so have to make the most of doing a long walk over about 18 days. We are looking at West Highland Way or Southern Upland Way. Your comments would be appreciated.

Andrew Bowden

26 April 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hi Dorothy. Both the West Highland Way and Southern Upland Way are great walks, although the West Highland Way is a relatively short walk. I did it in a week, plus an extra day at the end to do Ben Nevis. What you could do is the West Highland Way and then follow the Great Glen Way or East Highland Way from Fort William. As I’ve not done either of them, I can’t say what they’re like.

On beauty I’d say the West Highland Way beats the Southern Upland Way – it goes through some stunning places – however it’s a very busy walk. Just like the Coast to Coast in fact. The Southern Upland Way is the complete opposite. You’ll barely see any walkers at all.

Having done them both, it’s difficult to chose. They both have their merits and drawbacks. But I’d probably go for the West Highland Way if I was to do either of them again. It really was so stunning.


3 May 2014 at 10:59 pm

Hi Andrew, myself and a couple of friends are looking to cover the C2C wainwrights way in 8 days early September, covering about 20 miles in the bumpy sections and up to 30miles on the flatter ones. Would you have a plan you could share and do you know a good book or guide that provides the route with mile markers to aid planning. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Andrew Bowden

5 May 2014 at 8:09 pm

Hi Tim – I used the Aurum Press book, shown in the page above. It includes a mileage guide in the front with distances between towns and villages. I found it to be all I needed. That said, the route doesn’t always go through many places so there’s only so many ways you can cut it up! Good luck.

Mike Fleet

11 May 2014 at 10:32 pm

My wife and I both completed the walk in July 1998 and I still remember every step of the way like it was yesterday. We backpacked and camped wild most of the time, but thankfully the weather was just incredible. It rained on the very first day, but was glorious sunshine thereafter for the next 11 days! Just thought I’d share the memory. Great times.

Rachel Evans

16 June 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hi Andrew, I don’t know if you will be able to advise me, I am due to set off on the western section of the C2C in 3 weeks’ time but I’m a bit worried that I won’t be fit enough. I do regular exercise and walking / hillwalking from time to time but generally only up to about 8 or 9 miles or less. Last week I did the Keld to Reeth section, followed by local walks of 6/7 miles on the next 2 days, and I was aching all over! Aching legs, lower back, sore toes etc. Now I’m wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, so to speak……I have planned in the extra night in Grasmere, plus a rest day in Patterdale, but am still concerned that I may end up having to give up long before I reach Kirkby Stephen. I really want to do the walk (I’m hoping to get sponsorship for charity too) but I’m apprehensive that the aching muscles will be my downfall. Any thoughts?

Andrew Bowden

16 June 2014 at 1:16 pm

Hi Rachel – one of things that’s worth saying is that doing a long distance walk like this, is different to doing day hikes. Walking on one day at a time is one thing, but doing a week of walking adds in extra challenges and lots of extra strain for your body to get used to.

The good news is that most people will find their bodies will adapt after a few days. The second – and sometimes third day – can be difficult. We call it “second day syndrome” in our house because we’ve had it several times! What looks like it should be straightforward on paper, can be amazingly difficult! But I’ve always found my body gets over that hill, and I would hope yours will too. Aches and pains will probably always be with you in some respect, and it’s worth checking on whether your boots have enough cushioning in them, and how the weight of your rucksack is distributed (if you’re carrying your stuff) as they can all impact how you feel. Walking poles sometimes help as they spread weight around and reduce the stresses on your body.

My best tip though is to carry some Ibuprofen Gel. It does wonders for aches and pains, very quickly too.

Good luck and I do hope you get to Kirkby Stephen

Rachel Evans

19 June 2014 at 3:11 pm

Thanks for the encouraging words Andrew. I guess it would be a bit defeatist to give up before I’ve even started so I will turn up at St Bees and take it from there! The Ibuprofen gel sounds like a good idea, I will make sure I have some with me. I’ll let you know how I get on.


5 July 2014 at 10:32 am

Just to say thank you for this website – at the beginning of the year I decided I wanted “get out more” and to “go hiking” but didn’t really know where to start and I stumbled across this little gem. It’s been a real inspiration and has led me from my first “baby steps” day out (from Alfriston to Eastbourne) just to see if I was going to like this “hiking lark” (I loved it btw) to buying a decent pair of boots and then walking most of the South Downs Way followed by a chunk of the Wye Valley and then I thought “sod it” – and went for the biggy and did the coast to coast at the beginning of June. It was tough but I had a brilliant time and there’s no way I would have even known about it – never mind done it – without you setting out so clearly and helpfully what is involved and how to plan it. So thank you very much and keep up the good work x


8 July 2014 at 6:09 am

Hi Andrew, I walked The Pennine Way in 1994 with a good friend and now, 20 years later, my husband and I are fulfilling my dream of walking The Coast to Coast. We leave Monday morning, August 18 and finish Sunday night, August 31. We just got our OS maps in the mail and I got a little panicked. I remember The Pennine Way being so well marked on the maps and The Coast to Coast is not, I guess because it’s not an official national trail. Anyway, I’ve ordered a guidebook ( which I know will help make sense of the maps, but I’m feeling a little intimidating which is why I’m writing to you. :) Do you think The Coast to Coast is much harder to navigate than The Pennine Way? I have a compass and used it on The Pennine Way, but only for general directions (once, in the mist, we just went West because we knew we’d eventually hit a road, which we did – and found we were only steps from the path). Should we be okay with our OS maps, a guidebook, and the ability to find N, S, E, and W with a compass or do you think we need more advance compass skills? Thanks so much! By the way, we’ve read some of your Coast to Coast blog and it’s a riot! Thanks for your good works! Amy

Andrew Bowden

19 July 2014 at 8:58 pm

Hi Amy – personally I’d say the two walks are roughly similar in navigation. Both have tricky bits, and both have areas where it’s pretty easy. For the most part, the route is usually pretty obvious and there’s a fair amount of waymarking, although not always when you need it! That said, I read that they’ve increased the waymarking since we did it. If you have OS maps and a guidebook, you should be fine. Good luck!

Rachel Evans

20 July 2014 at 3:41 pm

Hi Andrew, just wanted to say thanks again for your earlier post, and to let you know that I did make it to Kirkby Stephen! It was not as hard as I’d been imagining (although there were some long and tiring days – most notably Patterdale to Shap) and having great weather and meeting lots of friendly people helped take my mind off the occasional aches and twinges……Now just trying to work out when I can find enough time to do the eastern section. Best wishes. Rachel.


23 July 2014 at 5:32 am

Thanks, Andrew! That’s very encouraging. I got our guidebook in the mail the other day and felt immediately reassured. We can do this. And we are SO excited. Will report back afterwards. Thank you! Amy


23 July 2014 at 10:28 pm

Hi Andrew,
I contacted you a while and thanks for advice. We are at the detail planning stage and trying to find somewhere to stay near Carlton Bank at about 148 miles in. Do you, or anyone on the site, know of any B&B’s at this point in the route?
Thanks for any help.

PS- I found this link which gives point to point distances at the base of the page very useful in planning day to day distances.

Andrew Bowden

23 July 2014 at 11:01 pm

I don’t know of anything in the immediate vicinity I’m afraid. However a few miles on is Clay Bank Top. If you go north from there up the road, there are B&Bs in the village of Great Broughton. Go south and there’s a village called Chop Gate (pronounced Chop Yat) which has a nice pub called the Buck Inn which does accommodation, and there’s B&Bs round there too. Have a look at Doreen Whitehead’s accommodation guide for more details. Bit of a trudge down the road either way – there was a bus from what I recall, but I can’t find any details of it so maybe it no longer exists.

vicky reynolds

31 July 2014 at 11:03 am

Hi Andrew
My mum passed away recently from Brain Tumours and myself and my dad have decided to walk the coast to coast for charity however we are training to complete it within 5 days we are looking to complete this challenge next July 2015 i was hoping you may be able to give us any advise or tips you think would help us with our planning etc. We are planning to sleep rough under the skies most nights with maybe a couple of b&bs to maybe break it up….

Any advise would be appreciated

Many thanks Vicky x

Andrew Bowden

1 August 2014 at 9:44 am

That’s some commitment – averaging 40 odd miles a day. Having never done anything like that all I can say is make sure you have good boots and good socks, and that you’ve worn them in well because you certainly don’t want blisters. Also, pack Compeed blister plasters (just in case – they’re amazing) and some Ibuprofen gel. The latter is great if you have muscle problems, especially with the knees.

Debbie Ryman

2 August 2014 at 9:54 pm

Great site – very encouraging – thank you very much!!
My husband and I are planning this walk for next year – probably May – thought it might be worth posting a comment to say if anyone will have done it by then and fancies selling their maps on, we are in the market for second hand ones!

Andrew Bowden

3 August 2014 at 12:38 am

Debbie – may I suggest the A-Z Coast to Coast Adventure Atlas? All the Ordnance Survey maps you need, in one handy book at a reasonable price!


21 September 2014 at 8:01 pm

Hi Andrew
I’m in the detailed accommodation planning stage and have it mostly sorted out. But the last section seems really long. I want to stay at Glaisdale but am concerned that from there to RHB might be just a bit too much after all that has gone before. Can you recommend any sensible halfway point between Glaisdale and RHB for an overnight B&B?
Thanks in advance.

Andrew Bowden

22 September 2014 at 9:23 am

Stewart – the most obvious place on the Coast to Coast itself is the village of Grosmont as it has pubs, shops, B&Bs and a steam railway. Although it’s only about four miles or so from Glaisdale so perhaps only useful if you want to spend a day on the railway.

About half way between Glaisdale and Robin Hood’s Bay is tiny Littlebeck which has a B&B. The only other option is to head a couple of miles north up the A169 to Sleights.


27 September 2014 at 7:49 pm

Hi Andrew,

Me and a friend are planning on walking c2c in 7 days over Christmas/News years for charity, we intend to camp every night.

Other than the weather being a limiting factor, do you have any advice or tips for us.

Thanks in advance, Dan.

Andrew Bowden

28 September 2014 at 8:46 pm

Dan – my advice will be to walk very very fast and set off at first light. At that time of year you’ll not have much daylight to work with and you’ll need every bit of it. Also, Compeed blister plasters are very good.


28 September 2014 at 10:10 pm

Andrew, I’ve booked into the B&B at Littlebeck. Thanks for the tip. I really dont want to be rushing the last day in my mind I’ll be walking the cliff tops and taking beautiful photo after beautiful photo. Given that I’m a Yorkshireman, though, I know that having plenty of time for the cloud and rain to pass over is a good idea! Thanks again for your help.


28 September 2014 at 10:26 pm

Hi Dan,
A friend and I did it in 8 days early Sept run / walking, well my mate did and I pulled out injured at 110miles. My only suggestion would be to try to get beyond Black Sail and to the Honnister pass on the first day to give you a chance of getting beyond Patterdale on the 2nd day. We set off at 9:15 from St Bees and were comfortably at the far end of Ennerdale Water by 4, with a decent stop at Ennerdale bridge, it was then a full 2nd day, 12 hours including 1 hrs breaks, to get from Ennerdale to Patterdale, but most days were between 6 & 7 hours to cover 24 to 28 miles and we reckoned we tokk about 2/3rds the advised times by run walking. Once you are heading into Shap there’s only really 1 big climb a day and you can make good time. The paths in the lakes are rocky when on the mountains which we covered at a quick walk rather than risk running with a backpack.
We also had great weather which helped massively with navigation and we took quite a few of the lower routes.
I would say 7 days is definitely a challenge at the time of year and heed the advise from Andrew to make the most of daylight hours. Goodluck, there are some stunning views and you’ll get a great sense of achievement.


17 October 2014 at 11:11 pm

Hi Andrew,
I begining to look into walking C2C but via Hadrians wall, Pennine Way and then on to C2C, any thoughts or suggestions ?

Philippe de Renzy

8 November 2014 at 2:33 pm

Hi Andrew….I was thinking of doing the C2C (the first half to Keld) in December. Is that completely crazy?


8 November 2014 at 7:38 pm

I’m planning on doing the c2c with my daughter in july 2015 . We would like to take our campervan to stay in overnight but obviously have the problem of how to move the campervan on each stage. I wondered about getting a taxi back to collect it each day… Any other suggestions please?

Andrew Bowden

11 November 2014 at 12:50 pm

Philippe – As long as there’s no snow, then it should be possible as long as your walking speed is good enough to ensure you’ll finish before the sun goes down. If you do it, do carry a torch with you just in case!

Andrew Bowden

11 November 2014 at 12:53 pm

Deb – taxi is about the only way I can suggest. Public transport on most of the Coast to Coast is pretty minimal.

Dale Sleightholme

24 November 2014 at 4:35 am

Will be starting the C2C around Sept 6th 2015. Do you need to book every stop well ahead of time or is it possible to find a place to stay on arrival or a day prior.


Andrew Bowden

24 November 2014 at 3:17 pm

Hi Dale – in September you may be okay to book something close to time, although it may not always be directly on the toute. The Coast to Coast is a very popular walk, which means there’s a lot of competition for beds.

Guy Avis

17 January 2015 at 1:24 am

Thanks for the website. Great responses. I did the C2C about 8 years ago and broke it up in to 4 segments as I live in Canada. I was borne in Yorkshire and really enjoyed the Yorkshire scenery and the hills of the Lake District.
Really found useful. Garmin gps with the c2c software. Borrowed nail clippers from a fellow hiker! Note to self next time take nail clippers.
Get quality 2 piece rain trousers and top. Used Packhorse for half the trip. Great service but you have to meet up with your luggage at the end of the day.Get good quality waterproof hiking boots and take a hiking pole. Ankle deep in mud is not unusual. Notable B and B’s were Low Cock Farm and Intake Farm. Book ahead for b and b’s so as not to be disappointed.
I am sure there are other pointers but that’s it for now.
Cheers, Guy

Dianne Larsen

1 February 2015 at 3:22 am

Hi We are interested in walking c2c in 2016 and then heading south to walk the Camino de Santiago ! Is it best to avoid school holidays ( July to Sept) on the c2c or is the weather supposedly better at this time ?

Andrew Bowden

2 February 2015 at 3:52 pm

Dianne – the weather is likely to be at its best during July to September, but it should also be good in June as well. But then this is British weather we’re talking about so frankly nothing is ever guaranteed.


12 February 2015 at 12:27 pm

going to do the coast to coast walk next year. had 3 heart attacks in the past if I pace myself will I be ok. got the mrs coming with me as well.olso going for the 3 peaks this year all being well

Andrew Bowden

12 February 2015 at 9:30 pm

Well I can’t give medical advice Ian, but if you keep the distances sensible, you should be fine I’m sure.

Gary Goodridge

20 February 2015 at 6:47 am

I did the c2c solo in 14 days over May/June 1997. No map/compass skills to start but how I did learn! Had first day of rain and then beautiful sunshine for most of next 13 days. I was in decent shape but not great. Wore LL Bean Day Hiker boots (Maine, USA) with poly sock under and wool sock over. I never had a blister. Injured my knee on the 3rd day and limped for over 60 miles and then I just walked it out and was fine. Would love to do the walk again with my wife. In Michigan.

Jim Capes

23 February 2015 at 10:56 am

Hello Andrew
My C2C is kicking off about 12 March 2015. Obviously the weather is the main factor but which part of the route requires special care in bad weather? Please don’t say all of it! Thanks Jim.

Andrew Bowden

23 February 2015 at 1:37 pm

Hi Jim
The big one will be the Lake District as paths can be indistinct in poor weather. There may also be some snow coverage up there, so probably best to keep to the lower level options rather than take Wainwright’s high level routes.

Andrew Thomas

26 February 2015 at 7:08 pm

Hi I’m planning to do the c2c in the last two weeks of April. Although I plan to camp some nights should I book B&B ‘s at that time of year in advance? I see some people wild camp. Is this possible in a lot of places on the route ?
Great site but the way, very helpful

Andrew Bowden

1 March 2015 at 7:16 am

I haven’t walked the Coast to Coast in April so don’t know exactly how busy it is then, but my guess based on other walks is that it will be easier to find B&Bs on spec then it would at other times of the year. There is scope for wild camping on a lot of the route, although legally in England you need the landowners permission.

Lorraine Hobson

3 March 2015 at 8:47 am

We will be leaving our vehicle in St Bees walking east for 1 possibly 2 days. We will need to return either from Ennerdale Bridge or Rosthwaite, how can we get back to our vehicle?

Andrew Bowden

3 March 2015 at 8:46 pm

Lorraine – taxi is about your only sensible bet.

Cheryl king

23 March 2015 at 11:59 pm

I’m doing c2c in June. We will take 15 days. Since I’m from Australia I’m very concerned about what to pack. Do you have a list? We are staying at bnb with our main luggage being ported to our next bnb.

Andrew Bowden

24 March 2015 at 9:26 am

I do have a list for my use, but it’s not really in a publishable format. However you might find inspiration in London Hiker’s How to pack your rucksack in 5 minutes. It’s aimed at weekend walkers but is easy to adapt.

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