The majority of the Coast to Coast walk is not waymarked. You may come across the occasional finger post, kindly erected by a local parish or council and you will find many unofficial signs, often preventing you from walking through someone’s garden or field, but on the whole you are going to be relying on a guide book for the route.
Many people transcribe the textual route description from the guide book onto the official Ordnance Survey maps that cover the Coast to Coast (see Other Maps). Depending on your usual walking habits you may find it easier to walk from a map than from a guidebook, however, the choice is yours. You will meet many people walking the Coast to Coast with nothing but a guide book in their hand and many people will navigate this way quite successfully, but we do not recommend this as a sensible course of action.
Take the maps and take a compass or a GPS to go with them. If you are taking a compass make sure you know how to use it – this may sound like a blindingly obvious statement – but lost in the mist on Nine Standards Rigg is not the best place to try and figure out how to use one.
The route descriptions below are based on the traditional Wainwright route, the one described in his guide book (see Guide Books) and they are broken down into the 12 stages he suggested. Each stage is made up of two or more parts and each of these parts is accompanied by an A4 map. A small thumbnail of the actual map is shown alongside the description and you can download all the maps using the link below.
These route descriptions are no substitute for a good guide book, but they will give you a feel for the terrain you will cover and the places you will pass through.
For alternatives to the standard route; perhaps avoiding some of the more mundane sections, or taking a more secluded route then see the section on Alternative Routes.
You can download all maps you see on these pages, in one ZIP file, using the link in the Downloads Section. The file is rather large (approx 17Mb), so please allow time for the download to complete. Note: you will need a program like Winzip to extract the maps from the ZIP file.