The English Coast to Coast hike is an absolute classic in the world of long distance walking. The traditional route as proscribed by Alfred Wainwright heads across northern England from the Cumbrian coast in the West to Yorkshire’s dabble with the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.
A walk right the way across the country, taking in landscapes of radically different character, with exposed craggy ridges, woodland canopy and open rolling moorland following on each other’s heels. If the craggier bits aren’t your flavour, alternatives are suggested.
Wainwright’s feeling was that he was recording the route he enjoyed so that if anybody else cared to go and take a look, they would enjoy it too. Really though, he always intended it to be an inspiration to go and discover the “thousands of long distance routes for walkers that have never suffered an official blessing”. However, although only ever intended as a suggested route – and still never enshrined in the officialdom of the National Trail network – Wainwright’s Coast to Coast has nevertheless achieved the status of a classic pilgrimage, with thousands of walkers yearly following the now very well trodden series of paths.
The paths are well trodden with good reason though: the surroundings are continually and multifariously beautiful, even in less than clement weather.
View Wainwright’s Classic Coast to Coast Walk Route in a larger map
Coast to Coast: A full run-down of the challenge
Coast to Coast Diary: What it’s like to cross the breadth of a country on foot.