Leaving the Dales and approaching the North York Moors

The Coast to Coast Walk is a 192 mile self-guided cult walk over an non signposted footpath, across the North of England. It leads the walker from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. I did it my way and it was one of the most self-satisfying things that I have ever done. Words cannot describe the grandeur of the Lake District. The softness of the rolling hills of the Dales. And the North Yorkshire Moors…oh the moors. “I love the moors.”

Alfred Wainwright, in 1973, devised a walk across the north of England whereby the trekker could travel the entire width of England, from St Bees, in the west, to Robin Hood’s Bay, on the North Sea, and across three National Parks: Lake District, the  Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

Wainwright loved the lake country and his deep-felt affection is so patently contagious that he has drawn countless other walkers. People like me are keen to savour the unique landscape and to follow in his footsteps; alongside a lake, over a meadow and atop a mountain.

This walk is becoming more popular every year and has been described as one of the finest walks in the world. It takes the walker past old English villages, with quaint pubs and tea rooms, ancient abbeys, Neolithic monuments and medieval ruins.


Part 1, the western half, from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen; the Lake District and  the Eden Valley. The great walk begins at St Bees Head, a mirror image of Robin Hood’s Bay on the opposite coast. This quintessential English walking excursion leads the trekker into the Lake District where the scenery is at its most rugged. Then before long the Lake District National Park is behind and the landscape of the Eden Valley offers a softer look with no great climbs or descents and glimpses of the moors in the distance.

Part 2, begins atop the Pennine Range, on the border between Cumbria and to the North Yorshire Moors. The views are most panoramic. The River Swale leisurely glides along, leading the way, growing in size as it heads towards the North Sea. The Swaledale region is a land shaped by glaciers, comprising grey limestone crags and great gills looking down on green sweeping valleys interlaced with stone walls and dotted with stone barns. Copses of thickly grown trees stretch up to another boggy rise. This region sets the pulses racing for those who revel in solitude.

Wainwright once said, “The hills are eternal. Always there will be a lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest. Always there will be the exhilaration of the summits.”

Download 51 minutes “Part 1 Coast to Coast – Trekking England the Wainwright Way
Download 54 minutes “Part 2 – Coast to Coast  Trekking England The Wainwright Way

Visit: Wyntersea Productions for the documentary: Coast to Coast Walk

The Yorkshire Dales
Robin Hood’s Bay