Coast to Coast, Lake District
Key information: Coast to Coast, Lake District
- This is the western part of the great Coast to Coast trail, crossing west-to-east (or vive versa) one of the world's most beautiful and best-loved places.
- The route has been brilliantly chosen, passing through consistently beautiful landscape as it meanders up perfect valleys and crosses high ground, with magnificent views of the peaks, lakes and valleys all around.
Walkopedia rating(Top 100)
- Walkopedia rating90.5
- Natural interest15.5
- Human interest9
- Negative points0
- Total rating90.5
- Length: 69+km
- 4 days
- Maximum Altitude: 700m (969m if Helvellyn)
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
This is the western part of the great Coast to Coast trail, crossing west-to-east (or vive versa) one of the world?s most beautiful and best-loved places. To state the obvious, it is the region's glacially scoured scenery that sets it apart, with gorgeous lakes winding between ancient, wild hills sporting soft woodland, foaming streams and waterfalls on their lower slopes. You would have a heart of stone were you not moved and inspired by this wonderful region.
The route has been brilliantly chosen, passing through consistently beautiful landscape as it meanders up perfect valleys and crosses high ground, with magnificent views of the peaks, lakes and valleys all around.
This walk takes 4 days (5 if starting from the coast at St Bees).
Day 1: Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwait (Borrowdale) (23km/ 14.5 miles)
A long walk into the heart of the high country, beside lovely Ennerdale Water, then up the increasingly magnificent upper Ennerdale, below craggy Pillow and Hay Stacks, to the great bowl at its head. After a slog up to the high ground to the north, swing round, enjoying ravishing views down onto Buttermere and Crummock Water, to the Honister Pass and thence to Borrowdale, many think the most perfect of all the Lake's valleys.
Day 2: Rosthwait to Grasmere (11.3km/ 7 miles or more)
A relatively easy day, climbing up the stunning eastern head of Borrowdale, crossing the rough high ground of Greenup Edge, before descending into the beautiful Easedale to wind up at Grasemere. If the weather is OK, do take the longer alternative of a tramp along the superb Calf Crag/ Helm Crag ridge to the north.
Day 3: Grasmere to Patterdale (11km/ 7 miles or more)
Another relatively easy day climbing north-east up Tongue Gill to lonely Grisedale Tarn in its scoop below three mountains. Thence the C2C winds slowly down gorgeous Grisedale to Patterdale just above the head of Ullswater. Wild at first, all vivid fields, stone walls and sheep lower down. But you can divert, over St. Sunday Crag to the right, or leftwards up Helvellyn, England's third highest mountain, and the famous knife-edge of Striding Edge to the north ? an unforgettable walk on a good day.
Day 4: Patterdale to Shap (24km/ 15 miles)
A long but fascinating trek up, across the fells east of Ullswater, to the great ridge of High Street, along which run a Roman road, followed by a descent off the last of high Lakeland to Haweswater and thence to Shap. Again, you can divert, this time north along the long High Street ridge, following the course of the Roman road, before dropping down towards Bampton and Shap.
You can stay in pubs/BnBs/hostels the whole way ? there is plenty of accommodation ? or you can camp. And you can carry all your kit, or slackpack, ie have your bags carried to your next night?s stay.
The Lakes have lots of weather. While there are periods of glorious sunshine, come prepared for cloud and rain. Some of the Lakes' most beautiful light is on showery, broken cloudy days, so don't be disheartened by a mixed forecast!
A Northern Coast to Coast Walk - Terry Marsh, Cicerone: as usual an inspiring book, packed with valuable information, including excellent maps and good detail on the route. Recommended. Find relevant books by using our Amazon search function:
See our Lake District and Coast to Coast pages for further photos and general and practical information.
WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk
Day 1 – Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwait (in Borrowdale) ( 23 km/ 14.5miles)
We set out from Ennerdale Bridge in a good mood, partly at being back out on our feet, and partly relief to have apparently missed the forecast terrible weather - although we are under low cloud the whole way up Ennerdale, so the high ground is usually cloaked and the light unsparkling.
We start by following roads through fields and pretty woodland to the lake foot, giving our first real Lakeland view up the valley to the shrouded highlands.....READ MORE
Other accounts: share your experiences
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COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS
Name: Joe Ridge
Posted on: 15/11/2016
Hello. Looking for a guide for this walk. Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
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