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Holidays

Self Guided Walking: Coast to Coast. St Bees to Kirkby Stephen

England
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
MODERATE MODERATE

Savour all the Lake District highlights of one of the world’s most iconic long-distance trails, the Coast to Coast

Trip Code: MCC8
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self Guided Walking: Coast to Coast. St Bees to Kirkby Stephen

Highlights
  • A punch-filled week’s self-guided walking, covering the Cumbrian section of the Coast to Coast
  • Enjoy 5 days of moderately challenging walking in the Lake District National Park, surrounded by its magnificent scenery
  • Visit the quaint Lakeland villages of Rosthwaite, Patterdale and Grasmere, immortalised by Wordsworth
  • From high on mountain passes, feast your eyes on the beauty of the park’s lakes – Ennerdale, Buttermere, Grasmere, Ullswater and Haweswater
  • Discover the rolling moorland and extensive limestone escarpments of eastern Cumbria and charming Orton with its famous chocolate factor
  • Extensive route notes, recommendations for local meals, daily luggage transfers and B&B in local guesthouses included in the holiday price

At a Glance
  • Self-guided
  • 7 days walking
  • Average of 19km per day walking
  • Packed lunches available on request
  • Recommendations for excellent local meals
  • Join In St Bees / Ends in Kirkby Stephen

Accommodation & Meals
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 8 nights Guesthouse
Overview

Packing a mighty punch, this one week self-guided walking covers 83 miles of fantastic Cumbrian countryside, including an east to west traverse of the Lake District.

You’ll spend five days amidst the splendour of the National Park surrounded by the panorama of some of the park’s most famous mountains – Great Gable, Helvellyn and the Langdales and its most beautiful valleys – Borrowdale, Ennerdale and Patterdale. This is a moderately challenging trail and you’ll find yourself in some of the wildest parts of the Lake District, traversing mountain passes at Honister and Grisedale tarn with the most remote day of walking leading from Ullswater over Kidsty Pike. During the last two days as you head to the finish at Kirkby Stephen, you’ll find a lesser-known side of Cumbria with undulating moorland and limestone scarps and the charming village of Orton. An unforgettable week’s walking holiday.

The trip includes all accommodation, breakfast and full luggage support meaning you can travel light and concentrate on the dramatic highlights of the Lake District.

We offer a range of itineraries depending on your preferred daily walking distance ranging between 5 days walking and 7 days walking. We also offer the full Coast to Coast walking between 12 days and 17 days walking and the second part of the Coast to Coast ending in Robin Hood’s Bay.

Is this holiday for you?

The first half of the Coast to Coast is a lot more demanding than the second half as this trail has some remote and mountainous sections. It is, however, completed by thousands of ordinary people every year. A degree of walking fitness, the right equipment and common sense should get you there! Terrain: The walk passes over some of the high fells of the Lake District and, in a couple of places, t …

The first half of the Coast to Coast is a lot more demanding than the second half as this trail has some remote and mountainous sections. It is, however, completed by thousands of ordinary people every year. A degree of walking fitness, the right equipment and common sense should get you there! Terrain: The walk passes over some of the high fells of the Lake District and, in a couple of places, the path is not particularly well defined. At other times the paths are muddy, wet, rough and steep (although not often all at the same time!). What’s it like underfoot? Varied! Much of the route is on well defined paths, tracks, and country lanes, but there are sections that can be muddy, wet, rough, and steep (although not often all at the same time!) How Much Up & Down? Quite a lot in the Lake District. Be prepared for a considerable amount of ascent and descent. Signposting: Some but by no means comprehensive. You will need to use your map and guidebook and be able to navigate with a compass Weather & Navigation: Bad weather can be encountered, even in the summer months, so the ability to navigate is essential. You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views. Although you must always be prepared because the weather can change quickly.

Why KE?

We operate this trip in collaboration with our sister company Mickledore Travel, which is also based in Keswick in the Lake District. Mickledore have a long tradition of operating self-guided walking holidays along some of the finest trails in England, Scotland and Wales. Route notes, maps, luggage transfers and bed & breakfast accommodation in the best B&Bs, guesthouses and inns along the way are all included. Recommendations are also made for the best places to find delicious local meals at each night stop.

Mickledore have a near perfect customer satisfaction score (99%), and we have no doubt that you will find their knowledgeable and friendly team able to answer even the most detailed of questions.

Different durations of this holiday are available on request.

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Itinerary

Arrive at the your accommodation in St Bees.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

The route starts on the shores of the Irish Sea in the village of St Bees. After climbing the impressive sandstone cliffs of the headland, the path turns inland and over agricultural land and foothills to Ennerdale Bridge and the start of the Lake District.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

797 M

Distance

23 KM

The path continues up through the Ennerdale valley beneath the magnificent Pillar Rock before climbing up to Brandreth, high in the fells with fantastic views over to Great Gable and down into the Buttermere valley.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

686 M

Distance

24 KM

The route then drops into Borrowdale via Honister with another day of climbing as the trail heads up the remote Greenup Gill and then down either the valley of Far Easedale or over the Lion and the Lamb, to Grasmere. This is a memorable day with views of Lakeland fells in all directions.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

600 M

Distance

14 KM

From Grasmere there is more climbing, either over the pass at Grisedale tarn or, for the more adventurous, via the summit of Helvellyn, England's third highest mountain, before dropping down to Patterdale on the shore of Ullswater.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

631 M

Distance

14 KM

The remotest walking of the tour leads from Ullswater over Kidsty Pike, with a tremendous viewpoint of the Lakeland fells before descending to Haweswater and onwards to Shap.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

1095 M

Distance

26 KM

Having left the Lakes, the route between Shap and Kirkby Stephen is undulating rather than mountainous, following limestone scarps and moorland paths.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

275 M

Distance

11 KM

The path now passes the delightful village of Orton and travels onwards past numerous prehistoric sites to the market town of Kirkby Stephen.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

B

Ascent

373 M

Distance

21 KM

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your accommodation. Depart after breakfast.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes
  • Luggage Transport OPTIONAL EXTRAS
  • Packed lunches
  • Off road parking (available at most locations)
  • Arrangement of return transport

  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Transport to the start and away from the finish
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

This holiday is operated by our sister company, Mickledore Travel. KE is not acting as an agent, but is marketing the holiday on Mickledore’s behalf. All bookings and payments will be processed by Mickledore, and you will enter into an agreement directly with them under the terms of their booking conditions.

You will be posted your self-guided holiday pack once we have received the balance (normally around 8 weeks before the start of your holiday).  We supply one holiday pack per booking and this will be posted to the person that made the booking. Extra packs can be purchased at £30 per pack. Please contact us a minimum of 6 weeks in advance if you require an extra pack. 

Your holiday pack comprises of:

  • Your itinerary with details of each night’s accommodation; information on your evening meals, as well as luggage transport and transfers, (where applicable).
  • Directions and detailed maps to each accommodation
  • A guidebook that describes the route in detail, and covers the whole route with a series of maps, as well as providing a wealth of background information.
  • Map(s) which cover the entire route(s).
  • Luggage Tags (if luggage transport booked) which the luggage courier will use to identify your bags.
  • Information on local facilities, such as cafes and other recommended places to eat, cash points, taxi companies, etc.

As part of the standard charge we will issue the following:

  • 1 guidebook and map for up to 4 people
  • 2 guidebooks and maps for 5-7 people
  • 3 guidebooks and maps for 8 people or more

You may purchase extra copies from us at a discounted price.

This holidays starts at your accommodation in St Bees. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you.

Detailed instructions on getting to your first night's accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.

This holiday is on a B&B basis. Packed lunches are available on request, and we have many recommendations for excellent local meals.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.


Pack lunches can be provided on this holiday for an additional cost, from £55 . We recommend this as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

One of the great features of our Coast to Coast path holidays is the quality of the accommodation, including small country house hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts and farm house accommodation. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms, for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday (especially if the booking is made at short notice) but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.

Single Rooms: We are happy to book single rooms on this walk but cannot normally book more than 2 for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

Where luggage transport is included in the price, this will be a standard of 1 piece of luggage per person, usually up to 20kg in weight. On some routes the weight limit may be less, but we will advise you if this is the case. If you leave your luggage at your accommodation in the morning, it will be waiting for you on arrival at the B&B that evening. Any extra bags can be transported (at an additional charge) as long as they are pre-booked.

On certain holidays we also offer a storage service for extra luggage not needing to be transported for the holiday. Please contact us for for information on which holidays and a quotation.

All you need to carry is a small day sack to hold your waterproofs, personal items, packed lunch, map, guidebook and camera. You should be prepared for all weathers, at all times of year.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Walking boots – need to be comfortable and well broken in
  • Several pairs of thick walking socks
  • Mittens/gloves
  • Warm hat and/or sun hat
  • Raincoat: (waterproof and windproof with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Thermal long-johns & thermal top
  • Jacket
  • Fleece tops
  • Fleece or polypropylene trousers (no denim or cotton)
  • Spare clothing for the evening
  • Shorts and t-shirt (ideally made from synthetic fibres)
  • Map case
  • Compass
  • Torch: with spare batteries
  • First aid kit: insect repellent, sunscreen, blister kits, pain relief and assorted bandages
  • Water bottle
  • Walking poles (if you already use these)
  • Small day sack (20-30L) for carrying your personal items
  • Day sack liner / black bin bag / day sack waterproof cover
  • Camera and memory card
  • Phone and charger
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Whistle
  • GPS (if you already use one)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES
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