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.
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)
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)
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. (13 miles hiking, 7-8 hours)
Inn on the Lake (B,L,D)
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)
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. After a break at a village pub, 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)
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 miles or 16 miles hiking, 4-9 hours)
The Black Swan (B,L,D)
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 Reeth, once the capital of the Swaledale region. (12 miles hiking, 7 hours)
The Buck Hotel (B,L,D)
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. (12 miles hiking, 7 hours)
The Kings Head Hotel (B,L,D)
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. A short transfer returns us to Richmond to enjoy a free evening and the opportunity to catch a play. (9 miles hiking, 5 hours)
The Kings Head Hotel (B,L)
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. (11 miles hiking, 6-7 hours)
The Lion Inn (B,L,D)
From the Inn, we descend to Great Fryup Head, an important region during the 19th-century iron ore boom. Enjoy a picnic in Glaisdale and then hike along an old trade route to Grosmont—or opt to ride the bus. (9 or 14 miles hiking, 5-8 hours)
Inn on the Moor (B,L,D)
Starting out at the hamlet of Littlebeck, our walk takes us back
into the Arncliffe Wood, past a legendary cave, and up to the
gorgeous waterfall of FallingFoss. 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)
After breakfast, depart from York to London for your return flight home.
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.
Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $600. Airfare is not included. Round-trip economy air between New York and London is estimated from $880.
GROUP SIZE: 8–16
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Trips rated as MODERATE to STRENUOUS are designed for travelers seeking both MODERATE and STRENUOUS trip activity levels. Trips rated MODERATE to STRENUOUS typically have moderate rated walks/hikes/paddling with options for more strenuous activity levels on some days.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.