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The Coast to Coast Path is to become a National Trail

The Coast to Coast route stretching from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hoods Bay in the North York Moors National Park will become a National Trail, it was announced today.

Natural England will work alongside partners to improve the popular route, with £5.6 million committed to upgrade the 197-mile path. This includes funding set aside to develop a community engagement programme, and maximise economic and health benefits for local people and businesses.

Today’s announcement, which delivers on a Government commitment to develop the route, will also ensure long-term support for the National Trail.

Natural England will work alongside the Lake District, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks as well as Cumbria and North Yorkshire County Councils to improve the path. Enhancements will be undertaken over three years with the upgraded path expected to open in 2025. It is intended that the new National Trail will closely follow the existing route.

New National Trail status awarded for popular Coast to Coast route

  • 197-mile walking route will improve access to nature for all
  • £5 million upgrade will offer new opportunities for walkers and local businesses
  • National Trail will be well-maintained, waymarked and accessible for different users
The Coast to Coast Walk - Front Cover

The Coast to Coast Walk

St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay

£17.95

Guidebook to the Coast to Coast long-distance walking route from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire. At 190 miles (300km), this popular long-distance route can be walked in 2 weeks. With clear route description, maps, trek planner and accommodation guide. A separate 1:25,000 map booklet is included with the guidebook.

More information

The upgrade to National Trail status will see the route recorded on Ordnance Survey maps in its entirety for the first time. The route was first devised by Alfred Wainwright, a renowned fell walker and author, with his guidebook to the route published in 1973. The route immediately gained a strong following, becoming one of the UK’s most popular long-distance walks.

Today, the long-distance route noted by Wainwright for its scenic beauty passes through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors crossing through three National Parks and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

On the Coast to Coast path walkers can traverse through high fells, heather moorland and heath. The route also encompasses some of England’s richest history – from iron age hillforts to medieval castles and the village of Ingleby Cross, which is thought to date back to the 10th century.

Natural England has worked closely with the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park authorities and Cumbria and North Yorkshire County Councils to develop proposals and secure approval for the National Trail. Natural England and partners will begin to engage with local communities as work begins on the path. It is estimated that work will be completed by 2025.

“The Coast to Coast route passes through some of our most spectacular countryside, villages and natural habitats so I’m delighted to approve these plans and deliver on our manifesto commitment to develop the route into a new National Trail.

“With over £5 million of new funding to upgrade the path, local business and communities will be able to secure real benefits from the sustainable tourism this route offers. I look forward to seeing the route go from strength to strength and leave a lasting legacy across the North of England.”

— Lord Benyon, Minister for Rural Affairs

Benefits of being a National Trail

There are significant benefits to the Coast to Coast becoming a part of the internationally recognised National Trails family, including meeting the National Trail Quality Standards with investment to ensure:

  • The path is made more accessible for people of different abilities. This could include measures to remove stiles and using accessible gates where possible
  • High quality signage, waymarking, path surfaces and infrastructure are provided consistently across the whole route
  • Circular paths and link routes are developed to make the trail more accessible for those interested in taking shorter walks
  • The route is well promoted including being featured on the Visit Britain and National Trail’s website to create new opportunities for international and domestic tourism
  • Work with local businesses to ensure they are aware of the potential economic opportunities of the route
  • A long term commitment to funding to help the local authorities maintain the path

“I'm so pleased that this well-trodden route is to become an official national trail.

“Having walked the walk (and talked the talk!), and promoted its virtues on TV and in print, I know exactly why it is one of the great Alfred Wainwright's most popular routes. Taking in the magical Lake District, to the heights of the Peaks and the rolling landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales and Moors - it is just stunning.”...

I hope that this improved path and more local routes will inspire everyone to get walking and enjoy it in all its glory!”

— Julia Bradbury

“The designation of Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk as a National Trail has long been one of the Society's ambitions. [T]his is a very exciting and important step and we look forward to working with partners along the route to establish the C2C Walk as one of the UK's great National Trails. As Alfred Wainwright said of the walk he devised: "Surely there cannot be a finer itinerary for a long-distance walk!"

— Eric Robson OBE DL, Chairman, Wainwright Society