Trip created by Rachael Gavan
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Travel from on foot across the width of England. Journeying from the Irish Sea to the North Sea you’ll pass through 3 national parks on this 128 mile trek. Hiking the most spectacular sections of Alfred Wainwright’s epic trail, you’ll follow in the footsteps of literary giants through the dramatic fells of the Lake District, the green rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales and the sweeping expanses of the North Yorkshire Moors.
Lead by an expert guide, you’ll discovery the incredible history of the area as you pass medieval castles, historic houses and sites and standing stones, the scenery changing as you go. Relax each evening in handpicked accommodation and enjoy fresh local produce. A challenging but incredibly rewarding hike that showcases the best of the English scenery and heritage.
Today make your way to Penrith on the edge of the Lake District, where you’ll meet your guides and fellow travellers at the train station. You’ll transfer to the village of Cleator in the western Lake District and settle into your accommodation for the next two days. Before dinner your guides will deliver a welcome brief and you’ll chat through the adventure ahead and you’ll get an early night ready for the first day of hiking tomorrow. (D)
We’ll start our journey this morning by the shore of the Irish Sea at St Bees Head. We’ll leave the sandy shore behind as we take to the tops of the red sandstone cliffs, with seabirds wheeling in the sky around us. After four miles we turn inland and head east for the first time, passing through fields and country lanes with some road sections. After stopping for a pub-lunch at Cleator we tackle our first hill of the trip, walking up and over the bald crown of Dent (352m). We’ll enjoy views of the fells of the Lake District which wait on the horizon before finishing for the day at Ennerdale Bridge. We’ll transfer back to Cleator and the accommodation with a great first day behind you. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 15 miles
We transfer back to Ennerdale Water where we start our hike today, enjoying gorgeous views of the the Lakeland Fells as we go. The first couple of miles take us along the lake shore, before continuing on through Ennerdale Forest, gradually hiking further and further up the valley into the heart of the hills. We’ll arrive at Black Sails Hut, a remote youth hostel in the hills where we will enjoy our packed lunch. From Black Sails we climb steeply up alongside Loft Beck. Although one of the steepest ascents of the trip, it’s usually managed in about 30 minutes, and the views back down to Ennerdale make it well worth the effort. Descending this afternoon to Honister Slate Mine where we’ll meet up again with the support team and transfer to the next hotel by the beautiful shore of Ullswater at Glenridding. (B, L, D)
We’re now in the heart of the Lake District National Park, and today’s section will start from the home of one of England’s most revered poets – William Wordsworth. We’ll visit his old house at Dove Cottage to learn about his life and love of the Lakes before taking to the hills in his footsteps. We hike a high pass up and over Grisedale Hause, then down into Grisedale Valley where the crags and hills stretch out above us. The last section of the hike crosses a low hillside providing a superb view over Ullswater. We finish by walking back to the door of our hotel in the gorgeous village of Glenridding, they’ll be the opportunity to stop in at some the local village shops. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 9 miles
A relaxed start to today’s journey, as we board a refurbished historic steamship for a scenic cruise across Ullswater with the Fells of the Lakes spread out behind you. The boat will drop us off on the far shore, and we start walking south along the banks of Fusedale Beck, a small river that winds through the moors and hills. An assent from here allows up to take our last look back at the Lakeland Fells. We finish the day at the at the ruins Shap Abbey, founded in the 12th Century we will finish the day by exploring the historic ruins including the 15th Century tower. A short transfer will take us in to the Yorkshire Dales and to the picturesque village of Ravenstonedale, our home for the next three nights. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 12 miles
This morning we’ll head back to Shap today to pick up the hike where we left off. As we venture further in to the Yorkshire Dales National Park the scenery changes. The hills become rounder with the limestone plateaus, rolling meadows filled with wildflowers and miles of miles of traditional drystone walls. We’ll stop for lunch for lunch in the little village of Orton and visit the family run village chocolate shop. This afternoon you can continue the hike with your guide and end up back at the hotel this afternoon. Alternatively, you can transfer back to the hotel to spend the afternoon relaxing at your accommodation or enjoying exploring Ravenstonedale and the surrounding countryside in your own time. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 6 or 15 miles
Today we’ll cross the spine of England as we reach the halfway point of the trip. Set out on foot from Ravenstonedale hiking through the fields, crossing styles and drystone dykes arriving in the market town of Kirkby Stephen where we break for lunch. A short transfer then takes us across the Pennine hills to the stone hamlet of Keld. From here we’ll set out to hike the Swaledale Valley, one of the most picturesque areas of the Dales. Following the winding river you’ll pass through fields of wildflowers as sheep dot the hills on either side. We’ll arrive at the village of Muker where we’ll enjoy a traditional afternoon tea before hiking to the village of Gunnerside where we end the day. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 5 miles
This morning we’ll transfer to the town of Reeth where we pick up the trail again at the east end of the Swaledale Valley. Along the hike we’ll pass through native forests and past the 12th century Marrick Priory once home to a small community of Benedictine nuns. In the early afternoon we reach the historic and beautiful town of Richmond, still dominated by the towering keep of Richmond Castle, one of the finest and most complete 11th century fortresses in the country. We’ll enjoy a visit to the castle before settling into our hotel overlooking the town’s market square. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 10 miles
From Richmond, we start with an easy walk along the River Swale past the ruins of Easby Abbey to Catterick Bridge. Here we meet the support van and transfer to the ruined 14th century Mount Grace Priory, which sits at the foot of the Cleveland Hills. Here we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch and a look around the ruins before resuming the walk, setting off into our third national park of the trip – the North Yorkshire Moors. We ascend to the top of Beacon Hill, providing an excellent viewpoint of the moors that lie ahead. We descend from the hill and cross the heather covered moors looking out for the bird life that makes this area home. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 7 – 14 miles
A good breakfast today sets you up for the challenging day ahead. We traverse several low hilltops, ascending and descending along a section whimsically known as the ‘rollercoaster.’ We’ll continue across the moor before we pick up the line of the long disused Rosedale Ironstone Railway which was constructed in 1858 to link mining operations in the area. We’ll follow the railway through wild landscape of the moor to Blakey Ridge and the famous Lion Inn, located at the highest point on the Yorkshire Moors where we’ll enjoy a welcome drink to toast the end of day. Afterwards a short transfer to our hotel in the village of Goathland. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 11 miles
Beginning from Blakey Ridge we set out across the moor again, and then descend into the beautiful and wonderfully-named dale of Great Fryup. We make for the village of Glaisdale and Beggar’s Bridge which was built by Thomas Ferris in 1619 and is now a Grade II listed structure. We’ll stop to learn the history here and then make our way on to Grosmont and lunch. At Grosmont, we then jump aboard a heritage steam railway and enjoy a short ride through beautiful scenery to famous Goathland Station, used as a location in many films and TV shows including Harry Potter. Disembarking, we walk up through the pretty village back to our hotel. This afternoon there will be the opportunity to wander round the village and the local shops. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 12 miles
Our final day of walking starts from Littlebeck, where we walk through gorgeous woodland to the waterfall of Falling Foss. From there we strike out for the coast, which is now just a few miles away. We reach our lunch stop at Hawsker, and can tuck in knowing that there is not far to go. From Hawsker a short hike takes us finally to the coast and the last few miles are along the beautiful sea cliffs, until we reach Robin Hood’s Bay. We’ll walk through the village and to the water where you can dip your toes in the North Sea, having hiked coast to coast across England. We’ll enjoy a celebratory drink at the Bay Hotel Bar, before heading to our lovely hotel at the top of the hill to relax and enjoy a celebration meal together. (B, L, D)
Walk details: 12 miles
After a relaxed final breakfast you’ll leave the coast today and you and start the journey home. After a last look out at the North Sea, your guides will transfer you to the train station in York where you will say goodbye to the group. From here you can start your journey onward to home taking the memories of your adventure with you. (B)
Our accommodation partners are carefully chosen according to a number of factors – charming locations, very good facilities and a reputation for providing excellent hospitality.
For solo travellers: Accommodation is based on sharing a twin room with another solo traveller of the same gender. A limited number of rooms for single occupancy are available on a first come first served basis, subject to a single supplement of £490. Please enquire for availability.
Great food is of paramount importance on all Wilderness Scotland trips and we will enjoy excellent regional cooking throughout this all-inclusive trip.
On this trip we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.
Your Guide will meet you at Penrith Railway Station at 2:00pm on Day 1 of your trip
You will be returned to York Railway Station at 11:00am on the final day of your trip
|Trip Dates for 2021||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|30th May - 11th Jun 2021||10 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£3,495||Book Now|
|13th Jun - 25th Jun 2021||10 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£3,495||Book Now|
|1st Aug - 13th Aug 2021||7 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£3,495||Book Now|
|22nd Aug - 3rd Sep 2021||9 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£3,495||Book Now|
|5th Sep - 17th Sep 2021||10 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£3,495||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
Rachael is a true gem and we regularly receive feedback thanking her for designing inspiring itineraries and for being such a pleasure to chat to. In many cases the people Rachael designs tailor made trips for, actually become friends and she’s had more than one invite to far off lands as a result. Rachael has a passion for only the highest levels of customer experience and service and the National Parks of the UK trip is an embodiment of that passion as you explore these wild and beautiful parks across the UK.
- Rachael GavanAsk Rachael a Question
Blue Graded Walking Holidays
Blue graded walking holidays are suitable for fit and experienced hikers. We walk at a good pace and you can expect to be out for 6-8 hours a day. You will not always be on a path and the terrain underfoot can be rough and boggy, including boulder fields and mountain tops. Some of the daily walks will involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. Daily distances will be typically up to 16km but may be longer occasionally. Daily hike details are available in the itinerary.