Coast to Coast and Challenge Walks

 

These iconic walking holidays are all about challenge and adventure. They demand determination to complete but promise a deep sense of accomplishment as you overcome their vast distances, difficult climbs and overall remoteness.

Don’t forget that any walk can be made more manageable — or more testing — by adjusting the number of days you take to complete it.


Coast to Coast Walks


 

Cross a whole country on foot on our coast to coast walking holidays. You’ll delve through changing landscapes and a wide array of towns on any one of these true adventures. We rate these trips not only for the variety they present but the real satisfaction you’ll find when you reach the shoreline of what was, just a few days earlier, the far sea.

Coast to CoastWainwright’s Coast to Coast

How couldn’t we start with this famous route? Wainwright’s Coast to Coast departs the shoreline at St Bees and charges straight into the iconic fells of the Lake District. Beyond these craggy slopes, you’ll seek out the picturesque Yorkshire Dales and press on to the North York Moors. The far shore awaits at Robin Hood’s Bay.

Choose the Alternative Coast to Coast to steer clear of those challenging Lake District fells.

Hadrian’s Wall Path is more northerly option just as massively popular as Wainwright’s Coast to Coast.

Coast to Coast Routes: Two Moors WayGreater Scottish Coast to Coast

This 256-mile trail scrawls across Scotland from Kintyre to Fife, never troubling itself to seek out any shortcuts. It’s far more interested in detouring to the best sights along the way, and it successfully intertwines a series of sublime views with historic towns, Victorian engineering, a wealth of wildlife spots and the odd castle.

For more castles and a more direct route from A to B, try Offa’s Dyke Path along the Anglo-Welsh border. This lumpy trail follows the ancient earthworks of King Offa and stubbornly forges forward over a host of hills and mountains as it strides from sea to sea.

Great Glen WayGreat Glen Way

The Great Glen Way keeps near water almost all the way from coast to coast. It follows the mighty Caledonian Canal, touring the shores of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness as it goes. Beside these glittering expanses, expect to see a wealth of wildlife, dense forests and mountainous vistas, Ben Nevis amongst them. The trail grows steeper in its second half, so you’ll need real determination to reach that final shore.

For a more level route, try the John Muir Way. Fascinated by local sights like the Falkirk Wheel, this modern walking holiday hosts a more industrial slant than the Great Glen Way. It even explores beautiful Edinburgh, and then goes on to offer more waterside walking along the Firth of Forth.

Coast to Coast Routes: Two Moors WayTwo Moors Way

Also known as the Devon Coast to Coast, the Two Moors Way meanders through Dartmoor and Exmoor between Devon’s two coasts. It’s a demanding route across undulating countryside, crowned by remote views and some excellent pubs within the very walker-friendly villages dotted along the way.

Travel further south and try the Saints Way for a shorter coast to coast experience which enjoys equally welcoming communities.

Love the remote feeling of Dartmoor? Scotland’s huge Southern Upland Way takes that to extremes.


Challenge Walks


 

Maybe a relaxing holiday isn’t quite what you’re interested in. Perhaps you want to really push yourself. If that’s the case, we have several trails that’ll be perfect for you. Whether it’s down to the vast distances they cover or the staggering ascents required to complete them, these walking holidays are going to take some grit to finish.

Coast to CoastBob Graham Round: Most Mountainous

Let’s start with a walk inspired by a hotelier who was tough as nails. Bob Graham set out to climb one of the Lake District fells for each year of his life, one after the other, in one day. He was 41 when he failed, but he wasn’t dissuaded from trying again — with one extra peak to conquer — and finding success at 42.

If you think you’ve got the stamina and strength to clamber those same peaks, follow Bob Graham’s footsteps through the Lake District on the Bob Graham Round. Our itineraries have a little bit more give in them, undertaken over 5-6 days.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Short Break presents a less intense iconic uphill challenge. Or you could try the Snowdon Round Mountain Route and summit the tallest mountain in Wales.

Coast to Coast Routes: Two Moors WaySouthern Upland Way: Most Remote

The Southern Upland Way is a wild and inaccessible route that forges a path against the grain of Scotland with very few facilities along the way. The isolation up here is intense and unusual for a Great Trail. There is every chance you won’t see another walker over the entirety of your walking holiday.

If that inherent exclusivity appeals to you, the Southern Upland Way is a great choice. You’ll need to be exceptionally well-prepared, with kit for inclement weather and great navigational skills, but if you can stare down the relative lack of safety net you’ll soon witness quiet expanses of Scotland few others have enjoyed.

Coast to CoastPennine Way: Most Well-Known

The Pennine Way was the first National Trail in England. The fifty years that have passed since have allowed plenty of time for the route to claim a reputation for being treacherous. The Pennine Way clambers the spine of England to inhospitable heights. Even Alfred Wainwright, author of the Coast to Coast Walk, managed to sink waist-deep in bog up here.

Fortunately for modern walkers like us, the route has been much improved since then, but with its great heights, exposure and vast distance, it’s no less of an adventure. Scale these epic moorlands and conquer the original long-distance walk.

Coast to Coast Routes: Two Moors WaySouth West Coast Path: Longest

At 630 miles long (that’s 1014 kilometres) the South West Coast Path is the longest route we offer. It coils all the way along England’s south-west coast, rising and falling with the arching cliffs of the shoreline. 

The South West Coast Path is part of the growing England Coast Path and we offer several other sections, including the Kent Coast Path and Northumberland Coast Path. More will arrive as the National Trail is completed. String them all together and one day you’ll have circumnavigated England itself!

If vast distances and circling countries appeal to you, we offer much of the Wales Coast Path. Check out our most popular section, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, or the wilder Llŷn Coastal Path.