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 was devised by Wainwright and travels from St Bees Head in the Lake District to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire Coast.
Accommodation on Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk
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 path is generally walked from West to East, starting on the Cumbrian 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.
Location of accommodation on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk (West to East).
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. 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 is on the path in the village of Shap. SHEPHERDS CROOK BUNKHOUSE is in Patterdale five minutes’ walk from the route. BENTS CAMPING BARN (Now Closed) was accessible from the 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 miles 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.
Suggested itinerary for walking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in 12 days staying at Independent Hostels and bunkhouses
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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 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 can be spent by the open fire or enjoying a BBQ in the stunning isolation of this valley. The centre’s 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.
Day Two starts 4 miles ahead of the normal itinerary making a 10 mile walk to Rosthwaite, small parties and larger groups can choose to make a detour off the 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 accommodation 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 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 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 village and provides a warm welcome to 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 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 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 situated 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 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 C2C route 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. If you decide to continue to Bank House Farm the next day, this involves are two very long day walks in a row. So you 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 Ten. Rejoining the route 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 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 trail from Cote Ghyll Mill and the walk off the route to Bank House Farm.
An alternative to this mamouth day’s walk is to break for an extra two nights at Bransdale Mill Bunkhouse. This National Trust Bunkhouse provides accommodation for groups of up to 12 at Cockayne for a minimum of two nights. It is a 3 mile walk down from the Coast to Coast path, but is ideally located midway between Cote Gyll Mill and Bank House Farm, providing two 13 miles days and a respite day at the mill in between.
Day Eleven, Back up to the 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 HOSTEL. The X93 from Middlesborough goes via Whitby and onto Robin Hood’s Bay. It then passes through Burniston and Clougton before arriving into Scarborough. Either Scalby or the Scarborough Railway Station stops are good for Scarborough Youth Hostel. In the summer months there are 2 per hour.
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 route using Independent Hostels.
This article shows the location of the hostels and give suggested day by day itineraries. Full details of the route and other resources can be found on the LDWA website. The Walking Engllishman’s website is also very interesting with photographic journals of his two C2C walks. In 1994 he walked it from East to West and in 1999 he walked it again in the opposite direction.