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Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk Sponsored by: Contours Walking Holidays
Coast to Coast Walk Map

West to East

This is the direction Alfred Wainwright designed the walk to be done. He said "you are best doing the walk with the prevailing wind at your backs". This way takes you straight into the Lake District with the hardest work done in the first four days. If you would like to get the hardest work out of the way first then this is the way for you. I did the route this way in 1999 in the company of my dear friend Deke Lawrenson from Knaresborough. Also accompanying me on parts of the walk were Jez and Chris Clapham as well as many new friends we met on the route including Chris and Zarina Brewer. I shall always treasure the 12 days in July 1999 when I walked the Coast to Coast from west to east and I will also treasure the extra 13th day which I took to continue walking and which resulted in me enjoying a coastal walk from Robin Hood's Bay to Scarborough where Lil was waiting for me with a bottle of Champagne.

Follow my Tracks with free route downloads!

You can follow the entire route I took on this Coast to Coast journey by downloading the Memory Map Route (.mmo) files that are available for free on each stage report webpage. In some instances I've plotted out an alternative route should you choose to divert from the path I took. Whichever way you choose I hope you enjoy the Coast to Coast walk as much as I did.

View my photographic journal of the 1999 Coast to Coast walk

East To West

This is the course I first took on the Coast to Coast walk and it is the direction I prefer as it provides a splendid Lake District finale. The route helps you 'walk yourself in' to the journey by tackling the North York Moors first, a good challenge but not as severe a start as the other way. And I never found the prevailing wind a problem during my east to west journey. I did this 'other' way walk of the Coast to Coast in the first twelve days of May 1994 in the company of my brother Dave and my good friend Steve Scott. We had many thrills on the way and one painful memory for me as it was the first walk in which I suffered from terrible blisters and some other ailments caused by fatigue and stress on my unaccustomed body. Despite the pain I suffered it could not detract from a wonderful life changing experience which has resulted in a passion for walking and for the creation of the Walking Englishman website.

Follow my Tracks with free route downloads!

You can also follow the entire route I took on this first Coast to Coast journey by downloading the Memory Map Route (.mmo) files that are available for free on each stage report webpage. Again, in some instances I've plotted out an alternative route from the path I took and once again whichever way you choose I hope you enjoy the Coast to Coast walk as much as I did.

View my photographic journal of the 1994 Coast to Coast walk
This classic long distance walk was devised by Alfred Wainwright in 1972. It is a classic and quite rightly has become one of the most popular long distance walks in the British isles. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the walk has distinct starting and finishing points as it starts on the west coast of Northern England and finishes on the east coast of Northern England. Hence the obvious title 'Coast to Coast'. Secondly, the walk makes its way through three of the finest national parks in the country, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. All three parks are distinctly different. The Lake District is rocky with the highest hills and largest lakes in England. The Yorkshire Dales are covered in a mixture of limestone and gritstone with challenging hills of its own albeit on the scale of the Lake District. The North York Moors are predominantly heather moorland with rolling hills with dales of lush greenery.

The Coast to Coast is about 190 miles long depending on the variations chosen on some of the legs. It is designed to be walked in 12-14 days. Accommodation on the walk is readily available as the popularity of the walk has encouraged the growth of guest houses, bed and breakfast, bunk houses and camping facilities along the route. I think it is a fantastic walk, so much so that I have done it twice, the first time from east to west and then again 5 years later from west to east. If you are going to do one long distance walk and you have not decided which to do then I recommend you choose this one. It will give you the drive to do others.

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