The Coast to Coast Walk

St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay

By Terry Marsh

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.



Accommodation along the Coast to Coast walk may be busy in summer and higher, more remote, parts difficult in winter. Spring or autumn is ideal.


St Bees, Grasmere, Shap, Kirkby Stephen, Richmond, Ingleby Arncliffe, Grosmont, Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay


The C2C is a two-week route with total ascent of 6995m (22,825ft). Some remote stretches, especially walking on the North York Moors.
Must See

Must See

The Lakeland fells, Swaledale, Vale of Mowbray, North York Moors, cliff-top walks at Robin Hood's Bay
13 Jan 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
  • Overview
    First devised by Alfred Wainwright, the Coast to Coast Walk has emerged as a favourite among long-distance walkers. The route stretches some 185 miles (296km) from St Bees, an historic seaside village on Cumbria's west coast to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire. It is suitable for most fit walkers and can be comfortably walked in around a fortnight.
    This guidebook presents the full route from west to east in 13 stages of 10½-20¾ miles (16.8-33.2km), with summaries covering the opposite direction. Alongside step-by-step route description, 1:100,000 mapping and fascinating notes about points of interest along the way, a comprehensive trek planner offers a helpful overview of facilities on route, and full accommodation listings and useful contacts can be found in the appendices. There is also a wealth of background information covering geology, history, wildlife and plants, and a list of further reading.
    In addition, the guide INCLUDES a pocket-sized map booklet containing all the OS 1:25,000 mapping needed to complete the route, saving the need to carry numerous bulky maps.
    The Coast to Coast Walk crosses three national parks – the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors – and is characterised by fantastic scenery, varied landscapes and great camaraderie among walkers. This guide is an ideal companion to discovering this captivating route, which was named by Country Walking magazine as the second best walk in the world!
  • Contents

    An unmissable experience
    Planning your walk
    Suggested itineraries
    When to go
    Getting there and back
    Public transport along the route
    First and last nights
    Facilities en route
    Baggage transfer
    Cash management
    What to take
    Planning day by day
    Using this guide
    Waymarking and paths
    Phones and Wi-Fi
    All about the region
    Geography and geology
    Wildlife and plants
    History and pre-history
    The Coast to Coast Walk
    Across Lakeland
    Stage 1 St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge
    Stage 2 Ennerdale Bridge to Borrowdale
    Stage 3 Borrowdale to Patterdale
    Stage 4 Patterdale to Shap
    Into the Dales
    Stage 5 Shap to Kirkby Stephen
    Stage 6 Kirkby Stephen to Keld
    Stage 7A Keld to Reeth (high-level route)
    Stage 7B Keld to Reeth (low-level route)
    Stage 8 Reeth to Richmond
    Stage 9 Richmond to Danby Wiske
    Stage 10 Danby Wiske to Osmotherley
    The North York Moors
    Stage 11 Osmotherley to Blakey Ridge
    Stage 12 Blakey Ridge to Grosmont
    Stage 13 Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay

    Appendix A Useful contacts
    Appendix B Accommodation along the route
    Appendix C Further reading

  • Updates
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    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    July 2019

    p95 and 96

    DELETE from ‘Do not cross Rosgill Bridge…’ to the info panel about Shap Abbey.

    SUBSTITUTE with the following:

    Do not cross Rosgill Bridge, but turn right onto a broad farm track, with the River Lowther off to the left. A short way on, turn onto the track leading up to farm buildings, but immediately go left (do not climb the farm track) on a narrow path beside a wall to a stepped and gated stile in a wall corner. Moving on, roughly parallel to a continuing wall and then a fence across a pasture to pass an area of low crags known as Fairy Crags. Keeping ahead, a few more minutes brings the route to a gate and a delectable corner where Parish Crag Bridge spans Swindale Beck, a tributary of the River Lowther.

    Climb steps above the bridge, and then strike directly across the ensuing field to a group of ruined farm buildings on the skyline. Pass through the enclosure there, and after a gate bear right to meet a minor road at a bend.

    Head up the road for about 200m, and turn left through a gate at a signpost. Cross boggy ground to a gate, and through this cross an ancient earthwork in the form of a water-filled ditch and mound. Now take to an indistinct green path towards a wall. As the wall bears right, follow it briefly, but then pull half-left, crossing the shoulder of a sloping pasture dotted with several small granite erratic boulders. On the brow of the pasture, Shap Abbey appears to the right, not immediately obvious among its ring of trees. Drop to cross a stream and keep on to reach and pass through a wall gap high above the River Lowther.

    Through the gap, bear right and soon strike across a sloping pasture, aiming for the abbey. On approaching the abbey, take to a narrow path (not easily located) that crosses a slight hollow above the river, and climb to a gate in a wall. Through the gate, the route bears left, away from the abbey, to cross Abbey Bridge into a small car park, and then goes forward along an access road to climb out of the river valley.

    DELETE para beginning ‘As the lane bends right…’, and SUBSTITUTE:

    As the lane bends right, go forward on the village lane, and continue to a signpost (on the right) indicating a turning (left) at The Barn. Keep ahead to a field gate. Go along the edge of a pasture but leave it before a fence at the end of the second pasture by bearing left and shortly right towards St Giles Farm.

    Penultimate para. DELETE from ‘On reaching the farm…’ to the bottom of the page.


    On reaching the farm, pass through a gate and go forward past the farm buildings onto a gravel track. As this swings to the right, leave it and descend very steeply, left, beside a fence to the banks of the Swale. Pass beneath the A1(M), and from a kissing-gate on the other side go forward towards a defunct railway bridge. Pass beneath this too, and on the other side circle right at the edge of the racecourse overflow parking area and use steps to climb up to the railway trackbed. Cross the bridge, and then descend steeps to gain a surfaced track that leads forward to the A6055, joining it at Catterick Bridge.

    DELETE last two paras.

    Cross the road with care to a gated squeeze stile giving access to a meadow. Follow the Swale until after passing through an elongated pasture the route is diverted up to meet the B6271. Turn right beside it, walking for about 40m, and then entering a car park for the Scorton Walk. Immediately, turn left through a gate onto a permissive path that parallels the B-road until it joins a right-of-way path at a pair of gates. Now keep forward to arrive at a surfaced track. Follow this southward and take the first turning on the left (Flat Lane), which leads you out to the B6271 at Bolton-on-Swale.

    DELETE from para beginning ‘On reaching May Beck Bridge…to (2 paras later) 700m to a stile on the left (signposted ‘C-to-C’).

    On reaching May Beck Bridge, go immediately left on the road, doubling back and following the rising road to, and beyond, a bend at New May Beck farm. As the road straightens, leave it, right, at a broad footpath that heads out onto Sneaton Low Moor. Ignore the prominent path bearing left onto the moor. Instead, from a signpost, head initially half-right through rushes onto a path that leads to a mid-moor signpost, and then on farther to a gate in a wall, close by a scattered stand of pine. Through the gate, turn left for Hawsker (note the interesting milestone nearby, right), and parallel the wall on a path at times board-walked.
    At a field corner near the B1416, turn right to a gate access onto the B-road. Cross the road to a stile opposite.

    July 2017

    Page 66

    Stage 2

    'The ongoing route from Black Sail hostel to the foot of Loft Beck can be confusing in mist. Avoid the more pronounced path that descends to the bridge spanning Liza Beck, and, instead, look for a higher path striking east that leads to the foot of Loft Beck.' Correct Map route see Map booklet 926 for detailed route.

    Page 155

    Stage 7b

    Keld route, the text is correct, but the map on page 156 is incorrect until you reach Rampsholme Bridge. see map booklet 926 for detailed route in blue.

  • Reviews

    The second best long distance walk in the world

    In a recent international poll, the walk from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay was voted the second best long distance walk in the world (only being pipped by a walk on New Zealand's South Island). Twenty four years on from when his first guide to the Coast to Coast walk was published, Terry Marsh has now brought it right up to date with some changes most notable of which is the avoidance of much of the road walking in the Vale of Mowbray.

    Alongside step-by-step route description there are also fascinating notes about points of interest along the way with information about the local geology, history, flora and fauna to look out for. A comprehensive trek planner offers a helpful overview of facilities on route and full accommodation listings and useful contacts can be found in the appendices.

    Perhaps the most useful part of this new edition, though, is the inclusion of a pocket-sized map booklet containing all the OS 1:25,000 mapping needed to complete the route, which saves the need to carry a rucksack half-filled with bulky maps.

    Caroline Reece

    Waterstones, Kendal

    Everything you need to know to plan and undertake the Coast to Coast walk

    Terry Marsh's Cicerone guide really does provide everything you need to know to plan and undertake it's 188 miles. Possibly the best thing about this guide is the fact you get two for one. There is a separate map book using OS maps, covering the entire route in a scale of 1:25k, which provides all the mapping you will need unless you go seriously off route!

    Trail magazine

    Now into its fourth edition and it gets better every time

    Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk is, almost certainly, the UK's finest long distance trail. Since his guide to the route was published in 1973, it has been Widely hailed as a work of genius, linking west and east coasts via a near arrow-straight line that connects three National Parks, taking in some of England's finest walking country along the way.

    Why would anybody want any other guidebook than the founder's own? Terry Marsh's Cicerone guide first appeared twenty years after Wainwright's, is now into its fourth edition and it gets better every time. Packed with colourful photography identifying it immediately as a very different beast to AW's - and fascinating details of features along the route, it's an excellent planning tool as well as a guide, with itineraries, gradient profiles and appendices stuffed with accommodation providers, useful contacts and further reading.

    Terry Marsh has spent a year on revisions and the new edition is as up-to-date as practically possible: there are references to the prospects of the C2C being upgraded to National Trail status, and seasonal route variations to ease serious erosion on Nine Standards are described, though April's opening of a quarter~mile of stone flag path came too late for inclusion. It now comes with a handily sized booklet which reproduces the route on 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey map extracts. In most cases, these offer sufficient coverage of the surrounding area to navigate away from the trail where necessary; route variants - not all necessarily AW's own - are also highlighted. Separating guide and maps allows you the option of using the map booklet alone, or guidebook with full-size OS maps (simpler maps in the gUide itself have less value for navigating).

    While Wainwright's original looks great on the bookshelf, this modern guide will steer you confidently from sea to sea in the twenty-first century.

    Lakeland Walker

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Terry Marsh

Dr Terry Marsh is a Lancashire-based award-winning writer and photographer who specialises in the outdoors, the countryside, walking and travel worldwide. He has been writing books since the mid-1980s, and is the author of over 100 titles.
Terry holds a PhD in Historical Geography and a Master of Arts degree (with Distinction) in Lake District Studies, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot), a member of the National Union of Journalists, and an Honorary Life Member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.

View Articles and Books by Terry Marsh