Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Set out on one of the ten best long-distance hikes in the world, trekking through three national parks: Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and North York Moors.
  • Step back into England’s fascinating history while exploring sites from prehistory to the Roman era to the Tudors and beyond.
  • Visit the home of poet William Wordsworth in the enchanting Lakeland village of Grasmere.
  • Enjoy a lakeside ramble with a ranger from Wild Ennerdale, and hear about the partnership’s efforts to return the valley to its natural state.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Cross England on foot, trekking from the Irish Sea to the North Sea through three incredible national parks. Immerse yourself in the mystical landscapes of the Lake District, where gemlike lakes reflect England’s highest mountains and poets like William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge drew their inspiration. In the Yorkshire Dales—James Herriot country—hike to storybook villages filled with half-timbered cottages and warmly lit pubs. Then climb into the wild, heather-covered highlands of the North York Moors. Along the way, discover ancient stone circles, medieval castles and monasteries, and the legendary charm of northern England.

This is a strenuous 128-mile hike designed to take in the most beautiful and historic sections of Alfred Wainwright’s famous 190-mile Coast-to-Coast walk.

Day 1: Penrith, England/Cleator

Travel on your own to the Penrith train station in Northwest England. Your guide will meet you at the station for the transfer to our charming hotel in Cleator. After a trip briefing, gather for a welcome dinner.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:Ennerdale Country House Hotel
Day 2: St. Bees/West Cumbria

Kick off the journey early this morning with a Coast to Coast tradition: dipping a toe in the Irish Sea. Then set off along the sandstone cliffs of St. Bees Head. Turning inland, pause for a typical pub lunch on the way to Ennerdale Bridge, nestled at the foot of the Lake District mountains. (15 miles hiking, 8 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Ennerdale Country House Hotel
Day 3: Lake District National Park

Walk into the spectacular Lake District National Park, where glass-like lakes reflect mountains that rise abruptly from their shores. Meet a ranger from Wild Ennerdale—a wilderness partnership dedicated to returning the valley to its natural state—and set out together on a splendid lakeside ramble, tracing the southern edge of Ennerdale Water. After lunch near the legendary Black Sail Hut, climb a 2,000-foot pass for views of peaks, lakes, and sheep-speckled pastures. Finish the hike in Borrowdale. Tonight, we are joined by a National Geographic–affiliated climate scientist for dinner and a discussion. (11 miles hiking, 7–8 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Inn on the Lake
Day 4: Lake District National Park

Drive to Grasmere, where the great poet William Wordsworth wrote some of his most renowned works. Visit the poet’s home, and stroll through the village where he found inspiration. Then set out on a hike over Grisedale Hause (1,936') accompanied by a climate scientist, who’ll talk about the record-breaking rains that occurred in the region in December 2016 and point out how some of the Lake District’s landforms have changed over time. We'll also hear about the scientist's work with the National Geographic–supported ICEMELTS project. Enjoy views of Helvellyn, England’s third-highest peak, and climb down the valley toward Lake Ullswater, ending at our hotel. Before dinner, enjoy lively stories and songs by a local storyteller. (9 miles hiking, 5 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Inn on the Lake
Day 5: Lake District National Park

The day begins with a scenic cruise on Lake Ullswater to Howtown. From here, cross a historic Roman road on the way to Bampton. Hike to the 12th-century Shap Abbey. Take a short transfer to our hotel in the quintessential English village of Ravenstonedale. (12 miles hiking, 6–7 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:The Black Swan
Day 6: Westmorland/Yorkshire Dales National Park

Trek across a limestone plateau and enter Yorkshire Dales National Park. In the charming village of Orton, stop for lunch and visit the local chocolate shop and factory. Continue the hike, or transfer back to Ravenstonedale for a wander along the riverside or a pint of local ale at the village pub. (6 or 15 miles hiking, 4–9 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:The Black Swan
Day 7: Yorkshire Dales National Park

Drive to the hamlet of Ravenseat in the heart of Yorkshire Dales National Park. Hike along the River Swale, discovering waterfalls and enchanting villages tucked in among the dales. Enjoy an afternoon cream tea in Muker, then meet a local shepherd and witness a sheepdog trial. (5 miles hiking, 3–4 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:The Black Swan
Day 8: Yorkshire Dales National Park

Transfer to the village of Reeth, and continue hiking through the Yorkshire Dales. Walk along fascinating stretches of limestone on the way to historic Richmond, where we’ll explore an 11th-century Norman castle. (10 miles hiking, 5–6 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:The Kings Head Hotel
Day 9: Vale of Mowbray

Our path takes us along the River Swale past the remains of Easby Abbey, founded in 1152. In Catterick Bridge, transfer by bus to Mount Grace Priory and venture into the ruins of this important 14th-century Carthusian priory. After lunch, hike toward the Cleveland Hills in the heart of the moorland. Return to Richmond for free time to explore. (7 or 14 miles hiking, 3–7 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:The Kings Head Hotel
Days 10-11: North York Moors National Park

Transfer into North York Moors National Park and begin hiking across dramatic moorlands. The trail here affords spectacular views across the region’s iconic heather, which deepens from a lush green in early summer to purple in August. The next day, we’ll descend into Great Fryup Head, an important region during the 19th-century iron ore boom. See Beggar’s Bridge in Glaisdale, then hike an old trade route to Grosmont. Guests who would like the day off from hiking can relax at the hotel. (Day 10: 9–13 miles hiking, 5–7 hours; Day 11: 12 miles hiking, 6–7 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Mallyan Spout Hotel
Day 12: North York Moors National Park

Begin today’s walk in the hamlet of Littlebeck, then venture into the Scarry Wood to see the gorgeous waterfall of Falling Foss. Trace a cliff top to the picturesque fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay, and bathe your feet in the North Sea to mark your triumphant finish. (12 miles hiking, 7 hours)

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Victoria Hotel
Day 13: York

After breakfast, transfer to the train station in York and begin your journey home.

Meals Included:Breakfast