Coast to Coast walk from St Bee’s to Kirkby Stephen
This beautiful walking path was originally designed by Alfred Wainwright and has a total length of 293km. It passes through three contrasting national parks; the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park.
The first section of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk will take you from St Bee’s on the Cumbrian coast and the Irish Sea through the Lake District to the foot of the Pennine’s and the market town of Kirkby Stephen. Initially, you will follow the coast along the cliff tops before making your way to the Lake District National Park. The Coast to Coast walk is one of the most popular of all the long-distance walks in the UK, and it was named the second-best walk in the world in 2004 according to a survey of industry experts.
This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
St Bees Head
St. Bee’s Head is a headland on the North West Coast in the English county of Cumbria. This Site of Special Interest rises at 90 meters above the sea level. The red sandstone bluff is one of the most dramatic features of the Coast to Coast walk. The cliffs are composed of red Permian and Triassic sandstone ages about 200 million years old and offer a stunning view of the sea Also, it’s the only spot where you can view the only colony of Black Guillemot in England!
Invented in 1854 by Sarah Nelson, a Victorian cooker, who mixed and baked a spicy-sweet chewy concoction inside her cottage. The Grasmere gingerbread is a worldwide known treat! It’s not a biscuit, it’s not a cake, it’s something else. An amazing taste brings tourists of each county of England into her shop. Today the business is run by the third-generation!
This Premonstratensian monastic house, also known as Abbey Church of St Mary Magdalene or Shap Abbey, was founded in 1199. The Abbey was closed in 1540 and was sold to the Governor of Carlisle. Most of its ornament was robbed for the built castle or market hall. Today you can see the large tower of the monastery, an impressive rock.
St Bees to Kirkby Stephen
Preferred Month & Year
Number of people
Additional Information / Request
How should we contact you?
Bed & Breakfast
Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
24/7 Customer Service
ST BEES (Arrival)
The walk starts from the coastal village of St Bees on the Cumbrian coast. The village has a large sandy beach which is the perfect place to dip your feet before the journey. Just north of the village are the looming red sandstone cliffs of St Bees Head and the largest seabird colony in north-west England.
Day 2 22km
The starting point for today’s walk is at the Mile Zero Monument beside the RNLI hut facing the Irish Sea. Be sure to get a photo at the monument to capture your start! A bracing walk around the cliff tops of St Bees head will give you the opportunity to see the Isle of Man on a clear day. You will go through charming Cumbrian villages and farmland before arriving at Ennerdale where you can enjoy an Ennerdale beer.
Day 3 24km
Today you will walk through the Lake District National Park. Pick up some supplies for a picnic lunch, as there are no amenities along the way. Passing by the lake of Ennerdale Water which feeds the River Ehen, you have two options, an easy one or a more visual one with three summits to climb. Just before the end of your day, you will pass through the National Trust Village of Seatoller with its stone houses. Your final destination is Borrowdale. Set in the middle of the valley this village is typical of the Lake District with its slate-roofed, whitewashed homes.
Day 4 14km
This section of the Coast to Coast, although not long, provides you with a real taste of the Lake District. Starting in the valley heading for the towering Eagle Crag, you will ascend to Greenup Edge and find you are now looking back down on Eagle Crag. After walking along the high-ridge walk and descending into the valley, you will walk through Lancrigg Woods. And then you will reach Grasmere, a lovely town full of charms and history where you can have a treat eating a piece of the gingerbread!
Day 5 14km
Leaving Grasmere you will climb up to the pretty mountain lake of Grisedale Tarn before heading down into the grassy valley. This is where you enter the National Trust’s, Glenamara Park. The park offers views over Patterdale and beyond, to Ullswater, before you drop down into the village of Patterdale. We would recommend making the most of the Lake District by taking one of two high-level routes today. They allow you to climb the peaks of Helvellyn & Striding Edge or St Sunday Crag.
Day 6 24km
The walk today is longer than the last two days and has a relatively long ascent and descent. Take your time, pace yourself, and have plenty of provisions with you for snack breaks and a picnic lunch. Climbing up to the Kidsty Pike, then dropping steeply to the shore of Haweswater reservoir, you will continue along the undulating hillside of the reservoir till the village of Burbanks. You will be walking through flat grassy fields, leaving behind the Lake District, and arriving at Shap where you can visit the Abbey. After this demanding day, rest!
Day 7 13km
After the arduous walk of yesterday, today’s walk will be easy and pleasant, across gently rolling grassy fields. Leaving Shap you will head for the small walled village of Oddendale. Continuing on, you will head over limestone pathways before gently descending into the village of Orton. The Kennedys chocolate factory is open all year round and has a coffee shop where you can indulge in a slice of warmed luxury chocolate cake with homemade vanilla ice cream and Kennedys Hot Chocolate – a chocoholics dream on the Coast to Coast!
Day 8 21km
More grassy fields and heather moors will greet you today. You will head to the foot of the peat-sodden and the stunning Pennines, and the market town of Kirkby Stephen. Nestled between the Lakeland District and the Yorkshire Dales, there are stunning views wherever you look. Watch the ducks or keep an eye out while you wander around the town for parrots! Treat yourself to some local specialties such as Cumberland sausages or salt marsh lamb and wash it down with some locally brewed ale or bitter!
After breakfast we bid you farewell.
Alternatively, you can carry on from here along the second leg of the Coast to Coast walking holiday. The next section walks from Kirkby Stephen to Robin Hoods Bay through unique British landscapes. In the end, you can dip your tired feet in the North Sea, completing Wainright’s walk.
Get Your FREE Walking Holiday Tips
Sign up for our weekly newsletter and be the first to hear about new products, events and exclusive offers.