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from £1059
A hike across the Lake District from St Bees on the coast to Kirkby Stephen on Cumbria's eastern border covering the western part of Wainwright's famous Coast to Coast.

Guided Walking Holidays - Wainwright's Coast to Coast - The Western Route

The 200 mile Coast to Coast walk from St Bees on the Cumbrian coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea shore has attracted hikers looking for a long distance challenge with the added attraction of three national parks and some of the country’s most inspiring scenery. Despite its fame, this route remains unofficial and has only experienced some minor adjustments since being devised by Alfred Wainwright 40 years ago.

This holiday tackles the western section of the trail crossing the Lake District from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen in seven walking days of 9 – 15½ miles a day. We'll be walking, on average, just under 13 miles a day throughout the walk with our longest days being 15½ miles.

We’ll walk from inn-to-inn staying in B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels with your baggage being transported for you each day leaving you to carry only what you need on the trail each day.

The route starts with a spectacular clifftop walk before heading inland towards Ennerdale and the first of the lakes encountered on this walk and the first mountain pass beyond. Before leaving the Lake District National Park you’ll have experienced some of the best high level hikes, lake shore walks and spectacular views England has to offer...

Intended route (with approximate daily walking distances):

Day 1 Overnight St Bees  
Day 2 St Bees - Ennerdale Bridge (15 miles)
Day 3 Ennerdale Bridge - Seatoller (14 miles)
Day 4 Seatoller - Grasmere (10 miles)
Day 5 Grasmere - Patterdale (9 miles)
Day 6 Patterdale - Burnbanks (11½ miles)
Day 7 Burnbanks - Orton (12½ miles
Day 8 Orton - Kirkby Stephen (13 miles)
Day 9 Depart after breakfast  

You might also be interested in walking the Eastern Section of the trail or walking the Whole Route from coast to coast.

Holiday Highlights

  • A challenging 85 mile walk across the Lake District National Park and beyond…
  • Great panoramic views throughout
  • Your bags transported for you!

The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Accommodation in hotels and B&Bs throughout.
      Breakfasts and dinners each day.
      Any necessary transport between overnight accommodation and daily walks.
      Baggage transport between your accommodations each day.

Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 6/P

  1. Day 1

    Independent travel to The Seacote Hotel in St Bees. Check in is from 3pm. Meet your tour leader at approximately 6.30pm in the hotel for a briefing before dinner.

  2. Day 2

    St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge. From the sea front at St. Bees, having wet our boots and collected a pebble, we follow the coastal, cliff top path before heading inland across farm land and through villages before crossing our first Lakeland hill, the outlying Dent Hill. We will continue to the village of Ennerdale Bridge.

  3. Day 3

    Ennerdale Bridge to Seatoller. The majority of today we will spend walking of the length of Ennerdale, known as the remotest valley in the Lake District. Initially we will follow a small path along the southern shore of the Water and then onward through the Ennerdale Forest to Black Sail Youth Hostel. As we walk we are under the shadows of some of the highest mountains in England, Great Gable and Pillar and we pass close to Hay Stacks. On climbing out of Ennerdale, we will make our way to Honister Hause and descend the old road to Seatoller in Borrowdale.

  4. Day 4

    Seatoller to Grasmere. Following a pleasant stream or two we will gradually ascend to Greenup Edge the slopes of High Raise where we have a choice of two routes. Dependent on the weather, we can tackle the ridge walk to Helm Crag, or else take the more direct, lower route, and descend alongside Easedale Gill as we make our way to the delightful Lakeland town of Grasmere.

  5. Day 5

    Grasmere to Patterdale. We will walk on lanes and a bridleway to Great Tongue, and on the toss of a coin fork to the right or the left, the paths meet later and take us to Grisedale Tarn which nestles under the shadow of Helvellyn. Crossing the outflow from the Tarn we can either follow the beck as it tumbles downwards or climb up to walk the St Sunday Crag ridge before descending into Patterdale.

  6. Day 6

    Patterdale to Burnbanks. On leaving Patterdale we will begin our ascent for the day, passing Angle Tarn, the slopes of Rest Dodd and The Knott crossing the course of the Roman road and to the highest point on the walks; Rampsgill Head and Kidsty Pike (780m/2,559ft). We walk down the East ridge before a steep descent to reach Haweswater. A path, which improves as it goes, takes us the whole length of the lake, and we will then walk into the hamlet of Burnbanks originally built.

  7. Day 7

    Burnbanks to Orton. After the rigours of the Lakeland Fells today’s walk will seem more leisurely, as we follow paths and lanes to the ruins of Shap Abbey, through the now quiet town of Shap and then continue over and around gentler, limestone hills to the village of Orton.

  8. Day 8

    Orton to Kirkby Stephen. With limestone scars above us to the north we complete our journey on lanes and paths over gritstone, and limestone moors, some heather clad, as we make our way past the Iron Age enclosed field systems of Severals Settlements, across Smardale Fell, looking out for a wonderful Victorian rail viaduct, to the market town of Kirkby Stephen.

  9. Day 9

    After breakfast, we say our farewells and depart Kirkby Stephen. Check out of the Black Bull Hotel by 10am.

Travel Details

Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included.

Your baggage is transported (one bag per person, maximum weight 20kg) from inn to inn for you.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

We stay in a variety of accommodation close to or along the route with private facilities.

The group may be split between different B&Bs or guesthouses at some overnight stops.

Occasionally we may spend more than one night in the same accommodation; if this is necessary, we include transport to return you to the trail.

Half board is provided with breakfasts and dinners taken at the hotel or local restaurants. Picnic lunches are not included.