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Is This the UK’s Biggest Adventure?

By Kach Umandap June 6th, 2024 Posted in Travel Blog No comments

The UK might be an island, but it has plenty of greenery. With walking paths and national parks spread across the isles, we believe there’s an answer to what the UK’s biggest adventure is.

The Coast to Coast Walk is famed for being one of the UK’s most challenging and scenic routes. Although there are some famous treks in Scotland, this one stretches all the way across northern England.

Overview of the Coast to Coast Walk

Starting at St Bees on the west coast and ending at Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast, the Coast to Coast Walk covers around 192 miles. Most hikers complete this journey in about 18 days, experiencing a variety of landscapes along the way. The route, devised by Alfred Wainwright, takes you through coastal cliffs, rolling hills, dense forests, and country pubs. Each section presents its own unique challenges and highlights, and no two days are the same.

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National Parks Along the Route

The Coast to Coast Walk means you’ll walk through three national parks. The Lake District is the main event for many, with its larger mountains and serene lakes. The Yorkshire Dales offer rolling hills too, along with limestone pavements and plenty of valleys. The North York Moors are known more for their expansive heather moorland and ancient woodlands – plus the dramatic coastal views that you do not get with the others.

Picturesque Villages

As you trek along the Coast to Coast Walk, you’ll encounter what feels like an endless fleet of villages that offer a glimpse into local life. Grasmere is known for its connection to poet William Wordsworth and features quaint stone cottages and charming shops. Many of these have a welcoming atmosphere, like Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales, which has traditional architecture and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Grosmont is another great spot in the North York Moors where you can see a glimpse into the area’s railway heritage with its preserved steam railway.

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Dining along the Coast to Coast Walk is a treat. You’ll find cozy pubs serving hearty meals and locally brewed cask ales. Quaint tea rooms offer delightful breaks with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and regional specialties, such as Cumberland sausage and Yorkshire pudding.

Wildlife

The Coast to Coast Walk is rich with wildlife, but you need to manage your expectations if you’re looking for predators. In the Lake District, you might spot red squirrels, a species that has become increasingly rare in the UK. The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors host a variety of birds, including curlews, lapwings, and skylarks. There are birds of prey but if you’re looking for a wildcat or eagle, you may be better off walking the 8-day West Highland Way just to the north, in Scotland.

Conclusion

The Coast to Coast Walk is one of the UK’s greatest adventures. It’s in close contention with the Highlands, yet it has the achievement of essentially crossing the entire country, from sea to sea. There are ways to divide up this trip if it’s too long, but the real adventure is baked into its ambitious scale.

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.