*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided full written turn by turns to aid you on your walk from St Bees to Ennerdale today. Whilst, the Coast to Coast is waymarked it can be featureless and off the beaten path at some sections so we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***
0.00km – Once all the necessary initiations are complete, start at the ‘Start of the Coast to Coast’ Monument beside the Lifeboat Station, also known as ‘Mile Zero’. Walk towards the headland on the gravel path, keeping the caravan site on your right and the sea on your left. To get to Mile Zero from St Bees Village, you can follow the road signposted to the ‘Beach’ beside the train station.
0.14km – Proceed over a bridge and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to climb the steps ahead and walk along the cliff-tops.
0.54km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through the kissing gate, heading uphill and walking with the fence on your left.
0.90km – The gate on your left is an old coastguard lookout point. BEAR RIGHT to continue following the cliffs and keeping the fence on your left. On a clear day, the Isle of Man is visible on your left from here. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON for 1.7 kilometres, walking parallel to the coastline and passing through four kissing gates.
2.60km – With Fleswick Bay, the small inlet, just ahead, BEAR RIGHT through a gate to head downhill and away from the sea on a set of steps and gravel slope. After 100 metres proceed through a second gate and then immediately BEAR LEFT to continue through a third gate, and head uphill and back towards the sea on the other side of Fleswick Bay. This is where you cross from South Head to North Head, the two sections which comprise St Bees Head.
2.80km – Once at the top of the steps CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON keeping the fence and cliffs on your left, and continuing through a gate directly ahead to cross from one field to the next. Over the next kilometre, you will pass by three gates through the fence on your left; each will take you to a bird hide where you can observe birds nesting in the cliffs. The path is a mixture of a mud track and trampled grass, but it is generally easy to follow.
4.00km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON across a paved path and through a kissing gate into a field. Ignore the paved path which takes you to St Bees Lighthouse. After 300 metres you will proceed through a gate; for this next section there is no fence on your left, but just the exposed cliff-line. Be careful not to stray from the path.
4.60km – After the exposed cliff-top section, proceed through the gate and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON following the yellow footpath arrow on an upright stone pillar. The path goes uphill steadily and then curves slightly left to pass through another gate, where you will once again have an exposed drop on your left.
5.50km – As a grassy path forks off to the right, towards a gap in the drywall and a mast, BEAR LEFT to remain on the muddy path along the cliff-tops.
6.30km – After passing the quarry on your right TURN RIGHT onto a paved road, following the Coast to Coast public footpath sign towards Sandwith and immediately passing a house on your right. After 500 metres TURN LEFT at the T-junction. You have now left the sea, and apart for a few distant views from the mountain peaks, won’t see it again for 180 miles!
7.50km – When you reach Sandwith at the T-junction with a telephone box, TURN LEFT onto the main road. After 200 metres BEAR RIGHT to remain on the road as it curves beside a pub. Walk on the right-hand side of the road facing the oncoming traffic.
8.00km – At the crossroads CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to follow the narrow lane past several houses on your right, and after 100 metres it will lead onto a grassy track. There is a wooden footpath sign towards St Bees Via Demesne.
8.40km – TURN RIGHT to walk along the vehicle tracks headed towards a farmhouse, ignoring a farm gate on your left and a footpath gate on your right after 20 metres. After 300 metres BEAR LEFT to follow the path through the courtyard of the farm. Once through the courtyard, TURN RIGHT onto the paved road to pass barns on your left and stone houses and a big silo on your right. There are Coast to Coast Footpath signs at this junction.
9.10km – At the crossroads near the ‘Welcome to Whitehaven’ sign CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross over the paved road, following the public footpath to Stanley Pond. By now the hills of the Western Lake District are beginning to form and loom large directly ahead. After 200 metres, having just passed a house TURN LEFT and follow the gravel path.
9.40km – After passing a cattle grid on your left and with a house directly ahead, TURN LEFT to pass through a gate and head downhill. Once through the gate, continue downhill along the gravel road. After 100 metres the path forks and from here you can see three gates. BEAR RIGHT to head beside the fence and to the right-most gate in the corner of the field.
9.70km – TURN LEFT to head downhill on the vague grassy tracks towards the train tracks, following the arrow on a wooden post.
9.80km – Once through the gate at the bottom of the field BEAR LEFT to head downhill towards the rail tracks, keeping the barbed wire fence on your left. You will soon cross through a tunnel under the train tracks.
10.10km – Once under the train tracks and immediately across the stream, BEAR LEFT to head diagonally across the field on the vague grassy track. You are heading toward overhead lines and a gate in the corner of the field. Pass the gate and immediately cross over a bridge, then CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON walking along the mud path that meanders beneath the overhead lines. When the overhead lines bend right, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON keeping the fence on your left as a guide.
10.70km – With the woodland directly ahead, TURN LEFT by the stile to walk keeping the fence and stream on your right. After 100 metres ignore the gravel road and gate on your right.
10.80km – As the path forks BEAR LEFT to follow the vehicle tracks away from the fence and towards a gate. After 200 metres cross a stile (steps over a fence or gate) on the left of the gate and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON towards the woodland ahead.
11.20km – Cross a set of stepping stones over a stream and after 50 metres TURN LEFT to cross a stile and head through a tunnel. Once through the tunnel immediately TURN RIGHT to squeeze between two stone pillars and then TURN LEFT to walk along a cycle track toward Moor Row and Cleator Moor to follow the ‘Alternative Coast to Coast Route’ which avoids a busy road. Continue along this cycle path for 1.7 kilometres ignoring all side paths. Bear in mind that you are sharing the cycle path with cyclists, so be prepared to step aside to let them pass.
12.90km – As the cycle path forks BEAR RIGHT towards Moor Row, ‘Coast to Coast Alternative’ and Hadrian’s Cycleway Route 72, and then BEAR LEFT as it immediately forks again. After 200 metres CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON over a bridge.
13.70km – 20 metres after passing a swing gate on your right, TURN LEFT as the cycle path makes a sweeping right turn. Head downhill on stone steps, cross over vehicle tracks and then pass through a swing gate to CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON across a field towards a gate on the far side. There is a Coast to Coast arrow on the first gate.
13.80km – Once across the field proceed through a gate and then TURN RIGHT onto the footpath.
14.10km – This footpath will lead onto a paved road. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as you pass a cricket club on your left, and football fields and a church on your right.
14.50km – At the T-junction in Cleator, TURN LEFT to walk beside the pebble-dashed terrace houses and then TURN RIGHT onto Kiln Brow after 50 metres.
14.70km – TURN RIGHT onto Millers Walk, and then BEAR LEFT onto the footpath as it crosses a bridge over a stream. Once across the bridge TURN LEFT and walk along the stony path ignoring gates and stiles on both sides.
15.40km – As the path reached a barn, BEAR LEFT to enjoy a flatter section between barns and a house. After 100 metres with a house immediately on your left, and a gate ahead, TURN RIGHT to walk between barns and houses towards a paved road.
15.60km - CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON across the paved road and through the footpath gate into the woodlands. Once through the gate BEAR RIGHT onto the gravel road following the sign for ‘Coast to Coast Permissive Path’. This is the start of the uphill climb toward Dent Hill; ignore all sidetracks.
16.40km – After a long uphill, as the path appears to begin to flatten out, BEAR LEFT at the fork which will bring you out of the woodland and continue steadily uphill. The path will curve to the right keeping the woodland on your left and dry-wall on your right.
16.60km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON over a stile and head uphill with a fence and the remains of a dry-wall on your right. When the barbed wire fence eventually makes a right-hand turn, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON beside the dry-wall remains.
17.30km – Two cairns mark the top of Dent Hill. From here you can enjoy great views; in one direction you can see the sea, where you began today, and in the other, you can see the mountains that lie ahead. There are also lots of villages nestled in the pockets between a patchwork of fields. From the summit CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON. There is a slight downhill followed by a slight rise before you head downhill towards woodland. The path is fairly well-worn and easy to follow, but this area is featureless, so in cloudy conditions be sure to check the map regularly to ensure you stay on track.
17.90km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through a kissing gate into an area that has been recently replanted. After 300 metres of downhill, you will reach a section of more established, older woodland. TURN LEFT and then BEAR RIGHT keeping this older section of trees on your right.
18.50km – TURN LEFT onto a wide gravel road towards a tall A-frame stile. After 100 metres TURN RIGHT at the stile to cross into the field. There is a makeshift gate a few metres further which is easier to cross than the stile, and then CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through the field on a muddy track. Initially, this path is flat but then it becomes the infamously steep Raven’s Crag Descent. This downhill is very steep, and when wet the grass can be slippery so be careful on this section. Walking poles will be an enormous aid here. Utilise the ruts from other people’s footsteps. If necessary, zig-zag down the slope to reduce the steepness.
19.10km – At the bottom of Raven Crag TURN LEFT onto the flat path that shares a small valley with a stream. You will cross a bridge over this stream after 100 metres, and a second bridge after 200 metres.
19.50km – Once through a gate TURN RIGHT onto a well-established path keeping the dry-wall on your right. A stream tinkles through the valley beside you and you must cross it several times at stepping stones; be careful as these rocks may be slippery when wet.
20.50km – Immediately after crossing a stream BEAR RIGHT as the path forks, keeping that stream on your right, and crossing over it after 100 metres and a second time after another 100 metres.
20.70km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON ignoring the sharp right turn.
21.10km – TURN RIGHT onto the narrow paved road. There is a big boulder with ‘C2C’ painted on and with an arrow pointing right. After 100 metres TURN LEFT onto the wider road to pass the 40mph speed limit sign and a cattle grid. Be careful on the cattle grid.
21.30km – TURN LEFT once across the cattle grid to join a footpath that parallels the road towards Ennerdale Bridge, 1¼ miles away.
21.70km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON crossing over a driveway and resuming the footpath on the far side.
22.40km – After passing a house on the right, the footpath crosses over the road and then BEAR LEFT to keep the road on your left. After 100 metres CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON over a paved lane and continue keeping the road on your left.
22.60km – As you meet a road the footpath continues on the far side, just to the right of the Old Vicarage.
22.90km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON walking on the road towards Ennerdale.
23.50km – Finish in Ennerdale Bridge, on the bridge over the River Ehen. Why not go to a local café to get a coffee?