The Coast to Coast routes are very popular and accommodation is limited in the small villages along the routes. Many walkers and cyclists resort to carrying heavy camping gear but independent hostels are a great alternative, providing company in the evenings, self catering kitchens, drying rooms and a great resource of information from staff and fellow travelers. There are lots of cycling and walking routes however the most famous are Wainwright’s Walk from St Bees Head in the Lake District to Robin Hood Bay on the Yorkshire Coast and the Sea to Sea ( C2C ) coast to coast cycle route from Whitehaven, Egremount or Workington in the Lake District to Tynemouth or Sunderland on the Durham coast. This article shows the location of the many independent hostels along both routes and suggests an itinerary for completing the walk and ride using independent hostels for your accommodation. The maps in the article only shows hostels and bunkhouses which are easily reached from the routes. Details of all the hostels and bunkhouses in the North of England are available on our Lake District, Yorkshire, North Pennines and Northumberland and Tyneside maps.
Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk
Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk, generally walked from West to East, starts on the Cumbria coast at St Bees Head.
Location of accommodation on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk (West to East).
(See text below for links to each hostel/bunkhouse)
LOW GILLERTHWAITE FIELD CENTRE straddles Wainwright’s path at Ennerdale, 4 miles east of Ennerdale Bridge.
HIGH HOUSE is a 1.7 mile detour off the route, leaving the Coast to Coast walk at Rosthwaite for a walk along Borrowdale.
GRASMERE HOSTEL on Wainwright’s route at Grasmere at the base of the climb up to Grisedale Tarn.
THORNEY HOW INDEPENDENT HOSTEL adjacent to the route at Grasmere.
NEW ING LODGE on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast path in the village of Shap.
SHEPHERDS CROOK BUNKHOUSE is in Patterdale five minutes walk from the route.
KIRKBY STEPHEN HOSTEL is in the centre of the village on the Coast to Coast route.
DALES BIKE CENTRE just off the Coast to Coast Walk half a mile East of Reeth. Leave the route at Low Fremington and rejoin at Grinton Bridge.
NOW CLOSED : Richmond Camping Barn, was on the route 3 miles west of Richmond.
BROMPTON ON SWALE BUNKBARN on Wainwrights Coast to Coast route 3 mile east of Richmond.
COTE GHYLL MILL three quarters of a mile from the route. Leave route at Mount Gracie Wood two miles west of Ingleby Arncliff
BANK HOUSE FARM HOSTEL one mile from Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route leaving the route one mile west of Glaisdale.
SCARBOROUGH YOUTH HOSTEL accessible by Bus from Robin Hood’s Bay.
Suggest itinerary for walking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in 12 days staying at Independent Hostels
Day One. The first day’s walk of 14 miles is typically completed at Ennerdale Bridge. Following the independent hostel itinerary, you need to walk a further 4 miles along the Coast to Coast route to reach the small isolated hamlet of Ennerdale, making a first day of 19 miles. This extra effort is well rewarded at Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre where an evening spent by the open fire or enjoying a BBQ in the stunning isolation of this valley. LOW GILLERTHWAITE FIELD CENTRE straddles Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk and welcomes individual walkers and groups, there are small bunk rooms and self catering facilities.
Day Two starts 4 miles ahead of the normal itinerary making a 10 mile walk to Rosthwaite, the normal stop over for night two. Here small parties and larger groups can make a detour off the Coast to Coast Trail along the popular valley of Borrowdale for 1.7 miles to the isolated High House, giving a total days mileage of just under 12 miles. HIGH HOUSE provides self catering and small bunkrooms. It has an over night charge of £145 which covers a group of 1 to 26 people !
Day Three Rosthwaite to Grasmere is 9 miles, add on the detour at the start of the day to get to the Coast to Coast walk from High House and this makes a total mileage for the day of just under 11 miles. There are two independent hostels to choose from at Grasmere. GRASMERE HOSTEL at the base of the climb up to Grisedale Tarn has en suite rooms, private and dorms, and is self catering with breakfast packs available for walkers. THORNEY HOW INDEPENDENT HOSTEL adjacent to the Coast to Coast path provides B&B style accommodation in the main house and small bunkrooms in the bunkhouses, it also has a bar and cafeteria. Both hostels are a short walk from Grasmere village centre.
Day Four begins with the climb up to the saddle above Grisedale Tarn and descent along Grisedale Valley to Patterdale, a total of 8 miles. SHEPHERDS CROOK BUNKHOUSE is in Patterdale five minutes walk from the Coast to Coast route.
Day Five from Patterdale to Shap is 16 miles and usually takes about 6-8 hours. Walkers and mountain bikers are rewarded at the end of the day by a stay the very comfortable NEW ING LODGE in the village of Shap. New Ing Lodge, high up on the Cumbrian fells, has warm carpeted rooms, log burner, bar and delicious evening meals. A great place to relax and exchange stories with other walkers.
Day Six from Shap to Kirkby Stephen is 20 miles, a longer walk then the previous day but over much easier ground. KIRKBY STEPHEN HOSTEL is in the centre of the villages and provides a warm welcome to Coast to Coast walkers. It has rooms for 2 to 8 people and a range of restaurants, cafés, pubs and take-aways on the doorstep. There are also food shops to stock up and self catering if you would rather stay in and enjoy the hostel chatter.
Day Seven Kirkby Stephen to Reeth (21 miles) then stay on the Coast to Coast Walk for a further half a mile beyond Reeth to Low Fremington. Here join the road to Fremington where the DALES BIKE CENTRE provides excellent hostel style accommodation. Depending on which guide book you read Dales Bike Centre is either exactly on route at Fremington or 100 metres off route if looking at the footpath near Grinton. The next morning you can rejoin the Coast to Coast route just down the road at Grinton Bridge. Total days mileage is 22 miles.
Day Eight is 18 miles to BROMPTON ON SWALE BUNKBARN 3 miles east of Richmond and less than half a mile from the path. Brompton on Swale Bunkbarn provides duvets and sheet sleeping bags can be hired. Cooking facilities are available (bring £1 for the meter). Ideal for the lightweight walkers. Please note that Richmond Camping Barn, which was siturated 3 miles west of Richmond is now closed.
Day Nine has a total distance of 23 miles and ends with a three quarter mile diversion from the route to reach the next Independent Hostel at COTE GHYLL MILL (also known as Osmotherly Youth hostel). Follow the Coast to Coast route to Ingleby Arncliff then walk a further two miles along the route to Mount Grace Wood (above NT Mount Grace Priory). Using careful map reading leave the Coast to Coast at a hairpin bend in the path at Mount Grace Wood and take a three quarter mile diversion via Chapel Wood Farm towards Osmotherly. Turn left when you reach the road and look out for signs for Osmotherly Youth Hostel.
Day Ten. Rejoining the Coast to Coast Walk north of Cod Beck Reservoir, a further 26 miles will take you to a location one mile before Glaisdale where, using careful map reading, you can leave the Coast to Coast route to take a one mile diversion to BANK HOUSE FARM HOSTEL. Bank House Farm Hostel have also offered to collect you from Glaisdale and deliver you back the next day for free, if you eat in The Arncliffe Arms in Glaisdale. The total mileage for this day is getting on for 28 miles including the walk to the Coast to Coast from Cote Ghyll Mill and the walk off the route to Bank House Farm. This is the second long day in a row and some might like to spend a rest day at Cote Ghyll Mill before embarking, exploring the delights and cafés of the pretty village of Osmotherly.
Day Eleven, Back up onto the Coast to Coast Route for a mile, and then continue to Robin Hood’s bay 19 miles away. Buses from Robin Hood’s Bay are available taking you to SCARBOROUGH YOUTH HOSTEL. Check the time tables !
Sea to Sea ( C2C ) Coast to Coast Cycle route.
The Sea to Sea ( C2C ) coast to coast bike route, which starts in Whitehaven, Egremont or Workington in Cumbria, covers 136 miles over the Pennines finishing in Sunderland or Tynemouth on the North Sea Coast. This coast to coast cycle ride, developed by Sustrans and it’s partners, has been open since 1994 and is one of England’s most popular cycle challenges. The route utilizes National Cycle Network Routes 71, 7 and 14 which travel along unused railway line, purpose built cycle paths, unmade roads and quiet lanes.
Location of accommodation on the Sea to Sea C2C coast to coast cycle ride (West to East).
SWALLOW BARN CAMPING BARN is right on the Sea to Sea ( C2C ) cycle route.
DERWENTWATER INDEPENDENT HOSTEL on the Sea to Sea route 2 miles south of Keswick.
DENTON HOUSE on the Sea to Sea C2C cycle route in Keswick
HAWSE END CENTRE Accessible via launch from Keswick on the C2C cycle route
THE WHITE HORSE INN BUNKHOUSE On the Sea to Sea (C2C) cycle route at Scales 6 miles beyond Keswick.
BLAKEBECK FARM CAMPING BARN On the C2C Sea to Sea cycle route at Mungrisedale 8 miles beyond Keswick on the C2C route.
ST JOHNS IN THE VALE CAMPING BARN and CARLISLE DIOCESAN YOUTH CENTRE are both ten miles south of the C2C Sea to Sea cycle route, east of Keswick.
WAYFARERS INDEPENDENT HOSTEL On the C2C Sea to Sea cycle route in Penrith
GREENGILL BARN is 6 miles south of the traditional C2C Sea to Sea cycle route and is included on the Wiggo’s Loop extension of the C2C.
NEW ING LODGE 9 miles from the C2C Sea to Sea cycle route at Shap.
HAGGS BANK BUNKHOUSE & CAMPING on the C2C Sea to Sea cycle route in the North Pennines
ALSTON YOUTH HOSTEL on the C2C Sea to Sea cycle route at Alston
MILL COTTAGE BUNKHOUSE On the C2C Sea to Sea cycle route at Nenthead.
NINEBANKS youth hostel approximately 7 miles from the Sea to Sea cycle route in the North Pennines
BARRINGTON BUNKHOUSE on the C2C Sea to Sea bike route at Rookhope.
EDMUNDBYERS YOUTH HOSTEL AT LOW HOUSE HAVEN On the C2C cycle route at Edmundbyers
ALLENDALE BUNKHOUSE approx 10 miles from the Sea to Sea cycle ride in the North Pennines
HOUGHTON NORTH FARM ACCOMMODATION. North West of the C2C as it approaches Tyneside.
ALBATROSS Close to the end of the Sea to Sea C2C route in Newcastle.
Suggest itinerary for cycling the Sea to Sea C2C coast to coast route in 5 days (West to East)
Starting on the West Coast this challenging route begins in the North Lake District passing Bassenthwaite Lake if you travel the northern route or Loweswater on the southern route. It is possible to get to Workington by train (Use National Rail Enquiries Plus Bike service to book your trains). For those who fancy a first night close to the start, SWALLOW BARN CAMPING BARN is right on the C2C route.
Day One Keswick is a great first night stop off after around 30 miles. Two mile south of Keswick on the C2C route is DERWENTWATER INDEPENDENT HOSTEL a perfect overnight choice. The HAWSE END CENTRE is accessible from the C2C route in Keswick via a regular Lake Launch and DENTON HOUSE on the C2C route in Keswick itself. Six miles beyond Keswick on the C2C route is the THE WHITE HORSE INN BUNKHOUSE. A couple of miles further along the route is BLAKEBECK FARM CAMPING BARN on an idyllic lakeland farm with stunning views over Blencathra and full bedding and breakfast provided for cyclists.
Day Two Sea To Sea Day two takes you the 20 miles to Penrith where WAYFARERS INDEPENDENT HOSTEL is set up to welcome C2C cyclists, with secure bike storage and bike repair facilities. If you are cycling with a group GREENGILL BARN is only 6 miles away and is on the Wiggo’s Loop of the C2C. The award winning NEW ING LODGE is 9 miles of the coast to coast cycle route at Shap.
Day Three is 22 stunning miles through to the “Roof of England” up into the North Pennines AONB. After this hard day of cycling the wonderfully isolated HAGGS BANK BUNKHOUSE & CAMPING, right on the C2C route, will provide a comfortable bunk and safe cycle storage, whilst ALSTON YOUTH HOSTEL on the C2C route at Alston has private rooms and MILL COTTAGE BUNKHOUSE on the route at Nenthead sleeps up to six in its cosy bunk room as is a short walk from the Miners Arms for evening meals. If you fancy going little further from the C2C route try NINEBANKS Youth Hostel (approx 7 miles) or ALLENDALE BUNKHOUSE (approx 10 miles).
Day four starts out with an ascent to the NCN’s highest point of Black Hill on the Cumbrian / Northumberland border. From then on the route begins to descend to Rookhope (22 miles) where BARRINGTON BUNKHOUSE provides a continental breakfast and meals are available in the nearby Rookhope Inn. EDMUNDBYERS YOUTH HOSTEL AT LOW HOUSE HAVEN is five miles further along the coast to coast cycle ride on the C2C route and has private rooms or camping.
Day Five The last day of the Sea to Sea route is the mostly off road former railway track route to Sunderland or via Newcastle to Tynemouth. (43 miles). Accommodation is available in Newcastle at ALBATROSS Backpackers or you can venture Northwest of the city to HOUGHTON NORTH FARM ACCOMMODATION.
Mountain Bike Coast to Coast. MTB trail Coast To Coast – The Tim Woodcock Route.
This 207 mile route from St Bees (Egremont) on the Cumbria coast to Robin Hoods Bay on the Yorkshire Coast, uses bridal ways and mountain bike trails to take a slightly different route from the Coast to Coast walk. Exploring wild ground, with total of 23,000 feet in climb, the route earns the glorious views over wild landscapes. You can find the GPS for the route here.
Location of accommodation on the Mountain Bike Coast to Coast (West to East)
LOW GILLERTHWAITE FIELD CENTRE, Ennerdale. Close to the start of the Mountain Bike Coast to Coast. A few miles off route.
ELTERWATER HOSTEL, Elterwater. On the Mountain Bike Coast to Coast route
RYDAL HALL YOUTH CENTRE, Rydal. Group accommodation on the MTB C2C
AMBLESIDE BACKPACKERS, Ambleside. On the MTB coast to coast.
MAGGS HOWE CAMPING BARN, Kentmere. Camping Barn and B&B on the Mountain Bike C2C route
NEW ING LODGE, Shap. Provides meals, beer and accommodation on the MTB Trail Coast to Coast.
KIRKBY STEPHEN HOSTEL, Krikby Stephen. In the centre of the village on the Mountain Bike Coast to Coast route.
DALES BIKE CENTRE, Fremington. Half a mile East of Reeth on the Mountain Bike Coast to Coast
Now Closed: RICHMOND CAMPING BARN, was 3 miles west of Richmond.
BROMPTON ON SWALE BUNKBARN, 3 miles east of Richmond.
COTE GHYLL MILL, Osmotherly. On the MTB Trail Coast to Coast.
BANK HOUSE FARM HOSTEL, Glaisdale. One mile from the Mountain Bike Coast to Coast and route one mile west of Glaisdale.