Trip Details

 

Cross England on foot, trekking from the Irish Sea to the North Sea through three incredible national parks. Immerse yourself in the mystical landscapes of the Lake District, where gemlike lakes reflect England’s highest mountains and poets like William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge drew their inspiration. In the Yorkshire Dales—James Herriot country—hike to storybook villages filled with half-timbered cottages and warmly lit pubs. Then climb into the wild, heather-covered highlands of the North York Moors. Along the way, discover ancient stone circles, medieval castles and monasteries, and the legendary charm of northern England. This is a moderate to strenuous 137-mile hike designed to take in the most beautiful and historic sections of Alfred Wainwright’s famous 190-mile Coast-to-Coast walk.

Trip Highlights

  • Set out on one of the ten best long-distance hikes in the world!
  • Step back into England’s fascinating history as you explore sites from prehistory to the Roman era to the Tudors and beyond.
  • Visit the home of poet William Wordsworth in the enchanting Lakeland village of Grasmere.
  • Stay in picturesque inns that exemplify the character and charm of the region.

Itinerary - 13 Days

Day 1 — Penrith, England/Ennerdale

Arrive in London and take the train to Penrith in northwest England. Your trip leader will meet you at the station for the transfer to our charming hotel in Cleator. After a trip briefing, gather for our welcome dinner.
Ennerdale Country House Hotel (D)

Day 2 — St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

Our journey kicks off early this morning with a Coast to Coast tradition, dipping a toe in the Irish Sea. Then set off along the sandstone cliffs of St. Bee’s Head, keeping an eye out for puffins, kittiwakes, and guillemots. Turning inland, we’ll pause for a typical pub lunch on our way to Ennerdale Bridge, nestled at the foot of the Lake District mountains. (14 miles hiking, 8 hours)
Ennerdale Country House Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Ennerdale Bridge to Honister

Today, we’ll walk into spectacular Lake District National Park, where glass-like lakes reflect mountains that rise abruptly from their shores. Our splendid ramble traces the southern edge of Ennerdale Water, the park’s most westerly lake—and one of its most remote. After lunch near the Black Sail Hut, climb a 2,000-foot pass and take in the vista of peaks, lakes, and sheep-speckled pastures. We finish in Borrowdale, a short transfer from our hotel. (10.5 miles hiking, 7–8 hours)
Inn on the Lake (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Grasmere to Glenridding

Take a short drive to Grasmere, where the great poet William Wordsworth wrote some of his most renowned works. Visit the poet’s home, and stroll through the village where he found inspiration. Then climb over Grisedale Hause (1,936') enjoying views of Helvellyn, England’s third-highest peak. Hike down the valley toward Lake Ullswater and spend the night in Glenridding. (9 miles hiking, 5 hours)
Inn on the Lake (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Lake Ullswater to Shap

The day begins with a scenic cruise on Lake Ullswater to Howtown. From here, we cross a historic Roman road on our way to Bampton. Hike to the 12th-century Shap Abbey. A short transfer takes us to our hotel in the quintessential English village of Ravenstonedale. (12 miles hiking, 6-7 hours)
The Black Swan (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Shap to Orton and Ravenstonedale

Today we trek across a limestone plateau dotted with prehistoric settlements, stone circles, and burial mounds. In the charming village of Orton, we’ll stop for lunch and visit the chocolate shop and factory. Continue the hike or transfer back to Ravenstonedale for a wander along the riverside or to try a pint of local ale. (8 or 15 miles hiking, 4–9 hours)
The Black Swan (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Ravenstonedale to Richmond

Follow a lovely trail across rolling hills to the market town of Kirkby Stephen. After a lunch of fish-and-chips, drive to the hamlet of Keld in the heart of Yorkshire Dales National Park. Hike along the River Swale, discovering waterfalls and enchanting hamlets tucked in among the dales. Pause for an afternoon cream tea in Muker before walking on to Gunnerside. A short bus ride brings us to Richmond, the market town of the Swaledale region. (12 miles hiking, 7 hours)
The Kings Head Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Reeth to Richmond

A short transfer brings us to the village of Reeth. From here, continue through the Yorkshire Dales, hiking along fascinating stretches of limestone on the way to historic Richmond. Here, we’ll explore an 11th-century Norman castle. (10 miles hiking, 5–6 hours)
The Kings Head Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Richmond to Lord Stones

Our path takes us along the River Swale past the remains of Easby Abbey, founded in 1152. In Catterick Bridge, we’ll hop on our bus, heading through the Swaledale plain to Ingleby Cross. After lunch, venture into the ruins of Mount Grace Priory, an important 14th-century Carthusian priory located at the edge of North York Moors National Park. Explore the ruins, and after lunch, we’ll hike toward the Cleveland Hills in the heart of the moorland. Return to Richmond for free time to explore. (4.5 or 11 miles 2–7 hours)
The Kings Head Hotel (B,L)

Day 10 — Clay Bank Top to Blakey Ridge

A short transfer takes us into the North York Moors national Park, where we begin hiking across the sometimes bleak, often dramatic landscape of the Moors. Our high level route allows us to enjoy far-ranging vistas as we hike towards our home for tonight, the 400-year-old Lion Inn. (9 or 12.5 miles hiking, 5–7 hours)
The Lion Inn (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Blakey Ridge to Grosmont

From the Inn, we descend to Great Fryup Head, an important region during the 19th-century iron ore boom. Continue to Glaisdale where we’ll see Beggars Bridge. Then hike along an old trade route to Grosmont—or opt to ride the bus. (9 or 14 miles hiking, 5-8 hours)
Mallyon Spout Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Littlebeck to Robin Hood’s Bay

Starting out at the hamlet of Littlebeck, our walk takes us back into the Scarry Wood, past a legendary cave, and up to the gorgeous waterfall of Falling Foss. Walk along the cliff-top to the picturesque fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay, and bathe your feet in the North Sea. (15 miles hiking, 9 hours)
Victoria Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 13 — York/U.S.

After breakfast, depart from York to London for your return flight home.
(B)

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About Adventures

National Geographic Adventures are unique, active itineraries for intrepid travelers that combine spectacular places, cultural interaction, and physical challenge. You'll explore fascinating, off-the-beaten-path places with top guides, and wherever possible, meet National Geographic experts in the field.

Dates

2014
  • Sep 14 - 26, 2014
2015
  • May 10 - 22, 2015
  • May 24 - Jun 05, 2015
  • Jun 07 - 19, 2015
  • Jun 21 - Jul 03, 2015
  • Jun 28 - Jul 10, 2015
  • Jul 05 - 17, 2015
  • Jul 12 - 24, 2015
  • Jul 19 - 31, 2015
  • Jul 26 - Aug 07, 2015
  • Aug 02 - 14, 2015
  • Aug 09 - 21, 2015
  • Aug 16 - 28, 2015
  • Aug 30 - Sep 11, 2015
  • Sep 06 - 18, 2015
  • Sep 13 - 25, 2015

Trip Cost

2014

$5,295

2015

$5,695

Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $600. International airfare to/from London or Manchester is not included in the adventure cost.

GROUP SIZE: 8–16

See special terms and conditions for this adventure.

Activity Level

Moderate to Strenuous

We will be hiking 4 to 9 hours per day (7 to 15 miles) on moderate to steep grades at low elevations. During hikes, vehicle support is provided at various points along the way, and participants always have the option to rest a day and ride to the next hotel. We will stay 12 nights in ideally located inns and hotels that reflect the local character.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

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