Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk: Accommodation in Hostels and Bunkhouses.

Self catering bunkhouses & hostels
Coast to coast by Wainwright

The Coast to Coast walk is very popular and accommodation is limited in the small villages along the route. Many walkers resort to carrying heavy camping gear but independent hostels and bunkhouses are a great alternative. Hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns provide information from staff and fellow travelers along with self catering kitchens, drying rooms and often private bed rooms. The most famous route is Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees Head in the Lake District to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire Coast. This article shows the location of the accommodation along this routes and suggests an itinerary for completing the walk using them for your accommodation. The map below shows places which are easily reached from the route, details of all the hostels and bunkhouses in the North of England are available on the blue buttons.

Accommodation on Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk
Click markers to view hostels and bunkhouses

 Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk

Self catering accommodation along Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk showing hostel, bunkhouse and camping barn accommodation along the route. The Coast to Coast is generally walked from West to East, starting on the Cumbria coast at St Bees Head and details of the accommodation are given in this order.   Here are links for  details of the C2C Cycle Route and Mountain Bike Route.

New Ing Lodge accommodation at Shap on Wainwright's Coast to Coast route
New Ing Lodge accommodation at Shap on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route

Location of accommodation on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk (West to East).

SUMMERGROVE HALLS is close to St Bees, just over half a mile off route at Cleator Moor and 8 miles from the start of the walk. LOW GILLERTHWAITE FIELD CENTRE straddles Wainwright’s path at Ennerdale, 4 miles east of Ennerdale Bridge.  WILD WOOL is approx 1 mile off the path just north of Ennerdale Water. HIGH HOUSE bunkhouse accommodation, is a 1.7 mile detour off the route, leaving the route walk at Rosthwaite for a walk along Borrowdale. DINAH HOGGUS CAMPING BARN is right on the route on the outskirts of the village of Rosthwaite. GRASMERE HOSTEL on Wainwright’s walk at Grasmere at the base of the climb up to Grisedale Tarn. THORNEY HOW B&B and bunkhouse, adjacent to the  route at Grasmere. NEW ING LODGE B&B and hostel on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast path in the village of Shap. SHEPHERDS CROOK  BUNKHOUSE is in Patterdale five minutes walk from the route. BENTS  CAMPING BARN is accessible from the coast to coast path, 4 miles west of Kirkby Stephen with a detour by footpath. KIRKBY STEPHEN HOSTEL accommodation is in the centre of the village on the route. DALES BIKE CENTRE  bunkhouse style accommodation is just off the path, 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 the route 3 mile east of Richmond. COTE GHYLL MILL  HOSTEL accommodation, three quarters of a mile from the route.  Leave the route at Mount Gracie Wood two miles west of Ingleby Arncliff. BANK HOUSE FARM HOSTEL and bunkhouse 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.

Swapping Coast to Coast stories at Thorney How Hostel
Swapping stories at Thorney How Hostel

Suggested itinerary for walking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in 12 days staying at  Independent Hostels and bunkhouses

At the moment this itinerary is untested. We would love to hear from anyone who walks it.  Get in touch and tell us your news and views on stay@independenthostels.co.uk or use our contact form.

Overnight Base close to St Bees Head. Summergrove Halls on Cleator Moor provide self catering accommodation with private rooms and storage, 4 miles from the start of the walk at St Bees Head.  It is possible to use this as a base for a first and second night. Taking the train from Corkickle (2 miles walk from the accommodation) to St Bees to begin the coast to coast walk and returning to Summergrove Halls latter that day.  Summergrove Halls is a little over half a mile from the route, 8 miles from its start.

Day One. The first day’s walk of 14 miles from St Bees Head 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 (11 miles if you begin the day at Summergrove Halls).  This extra effort is well rewarded at  Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre where an evening can be spent by the open fire or enjoying a BBQ in the stunning isolation of this valley. The centres bunkhouse style accommodation straddles Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk and welcomes individual walkers and groups, there are small bunk rooms and self catering facilities.  Alternative accommodation for your first evening would  be Wild Wool Barn which is closer to  Ennerdale Bridge than Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre, lying just north of Ennerdale Water about 1 mile from the path.

Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre Bunkhouse at Ennerdale on Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk
Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre Bunkhouse at Ennerdale on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk

Day Two starts 4 miles ahead of the normal itinerary making a 10 mile walk  to Rosthwaite where basic walkers accommodation is available at DINAH HOGGUS CAMPING BARN.   Small parties and  larger groups can choose to 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 bunkhouse style 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.  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.

Grasmere Hostel in Grasmere on the Coast to Coast Walk
Grasmere Hostel in Grasmere on the Coast to Coast Walk

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.

Dales Bike Centre accommodation, Fremington on the Coast to Coast
Dales Bike Centre accommodation, Fremington on the Coast to Coast

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.

Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk crosses the North York Moors near Cote Ghyll Mill Hostel
Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk crosses the North York Moors near Cote Ghyll Mill 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 accommodation.   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 !

Bank House Farm accommodation close to the Coast to Coast Path
Bank House Farm accommodation close to the Coast to Coast Path

 Accommodation on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk  gets booked quickly and many walkers and cyclist carry heavy camping gear.  However it is possible to walk the Coast to Coast and cycle using Independent Hostels.  This article shows the location of the hostels and give suggested itineraries for the Coast to Coast Walk.

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