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Coast to Coast Walk

Our family spent several weeks in England this summer, part of it in the Lake District. My son, who is an avid hiker, has it in his head that he wants to hike the Coast to Coast walk sketched out by Alfred Wainwright. He wants to do it by himself in a year or two and I was hoping to hear from those of you who have actually done this walk.

I have heard that the route is well laid out, and that there are many places to stay along the way. He'll be 17 next summer when he's thinking of doing the walk. He's a very responsible kid who has good judgement and I would be staying in the Lakes while he walks so I won't be too far if he needs help.

So...those of you who have done this this something that a 17 year old kid would be able to pull off by himself? Are they any portions of the walk that would be "hazardous" or that would make you hesitate with a teenager? Are there any "seedy" areas that the walk goes through or places that should be avoided? I know the Lake District very well, as we have been hiking in this area for years, and this part of the walk doesn't concern me at all...I'm just unfamiliar with the towns and areas along the way east of the Lakes out to the eastern coast. I can't imagine there are too many places in this part of England that would be sketchy but I thought I'd ask those of you who know!

Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!

Posted by
1540 posts

IF you would like to do the walk with a small group.
You can use HF Holidays. They handle your transport and moving your luggage......
I have used them for 2 other hiking holidays in England and enjoyed it.....I'm going back
to the Lake area this spring

Posted by
2846 posts

I haven't done it myself butI know people who have. Nothing seedy about it in the villages, but he might get lonely if going alone. 18 is better than 17. What I would do if I wanted to adviise my son is to checkout various tour company websites and follow their itinerary in terms of miles walked each day and village stays. If he carries a phone he can call you'd need be. Could be an amazing experience for a young person.

Posted by
1829 posts

Have a look at YouTube, there are several videos of the walk. Have not done it myself but having watched several TV programmes about it would not advise anyone to do it solo. Apart from the issue of things like what to do if he gets something like a twisted ankle, the route is not all even pathways, the weather can change rapidly with heavy mists etc. It is very easy to get disorientated in conditions like that.

Having said that it is a popular walk and maybe other walkers would be around to help out should they be needed but the weather issue would be the one I would worry about most.

Posted by
521 posts

The biggest town on the C2C route is Richmond, which is a market town with a population of around 8,000. I expect if you searched hard enough you might find one or two pubs where they would give you a bit of a funny look if you aren't a local, but it's about as far from sketchy or seedy as I can imagine.

The mountain rescue people get called out quite a lot to walkers who take the wrong path around Black Sail, but generally it's a very well-trodden path and in the summer time there will be lots of people doing it, so I wouldn't worry too much - if he's fit, can use a map and compass accurately, knows how to avoid getting into difficulties on the fells (which he should, by the sound of it) then I'd say let him do it. He'll certainly never forget the experience.

Posted by
31522 posts


I'm assuming the town of Richmond that Kevin mentioned is the same one I've been to. It's definitely not sketchy or seedy, but a very pleasant smaller town. That's a very beautiful part of North Yorkshire.

Posted by
2664 posts

You should look at this website could help you a lot. Here is another ~~~~ ~~~ hope these help you. A friend and I are walking the Cotswold Way next year.

Posted by
2664 posts

You should look at this website could help you a lot. Here is another ~~~~ ~~~ hope these help you. A friend and I are walking the Cotswold Way next year.

Posted by
9110 posts

It took me right at eighty hours (lots of rain) of hump time spread over ten days walking west to get the high stuff out of the way early. It was winter and I got it all in between the twilights. I probably could have made it all between sunrise and sunset, but I needed a half say to unmud myself once. I'm an old fart, a youngster should be able to do a lot better.

Going the wrong way, Black Sail wasn't a problem but I came across folks who'd screwed it up walking east.

If he's going to do it in the summer he should probably get a gradient diagram so he can scope out places to stay and maybe make reservations that time of year. (This idea is only a wild guess. I had no trouble finding a place to sleep at the end of the day. )

Kevin's right about the unseedyness - - it's rural England for Pete's sake. Absent rabid rabbits, attacking pheasants, or maundering sheep, there isn't anything to worry about.

I don't know why anybody would want a porter service / tour unless they just didn't want to tote their own junk. I've looked into them in other places and the fare is pretty darn steep.

Also, you can't do it exactly as Wainwright describes it, but it's still probably the best easy walk in Britain.