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.
Travel on your own to the Penrith train station in Northwest England. Your guide 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 various birdlife such as kittiwakes or 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)
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 miles hiking, 7–8 hours)
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. 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)
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)
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. (12 miles hiking, 7 hours)
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)
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 and transfer to Mount Grace Priory. Venture into the ruins of this important 14th-century Carthusian priory located at the edge of North York Moors National Park. 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)
A short transfer takes us into the North York Moors National Park, where we begin hiking across the 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)
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)
Mallyan Spout Hotel (B,L,D)
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. (12 miles hiking, 7 hours)
After breakfast, depart from York 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. 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.
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.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
We will stay 12 nights in ideally located inns and hotels that reflect the local character.
Call to speak with an Adventure specialist about this trip.