As well as getting to the start and from the end of your cross-country walk, this section will give you some options for travel along the route, should your legs need a rest, or you become injured, but want to remain with the rest of your party.
We cannot hope to provide a timetable-type service on this site, but the information here should enable you to plan your travel a little easier.
Using Your Own Vehicle
Some holiday and baggage providers offer a ‘Park & Ride’ style service to walkers, that allows you to leave your car in a secure location. You are then driven to the start of the walk, collected from the end and returned to your car. You will need to check the price and details with the holiday provider, as some will only offer the service if you are booking your holiday with them, others may offer it as a stand-alone service.
Trains to St. Bees
Unless you are lucky enough to secure a lift in a car, the train is probably the way most people get to the start of the Coast to Coast walk. St. Bees has a train station right in the centre of the little village and even if you are carrying a large rucksack or suitcase, most accommodation is within easy walking distance of the station.
The only direct train links into St. Bees however run from Carlisle in the north and Barrow-in-Furness to the south. Carlisle has the advantage of being on the west coast mainline and many commuters will be able to travel direct to Carlisle. Getting to Barrow, on the other hand, will require a change at Lancaster.
Train Tip: Thanks to James Ball for the following money-saving tip – in some circumstances it may be much cheaper to split your ticket to St. Bees by buying one ticket as far as Barrow-in-Furness and then buying a separate ticket from Barrow to St. Bees – James saved £24 on a £40 ticket using this method. The best advice is to shop around.
Trains From Robin Hood’s Bay
Travelling back from Robin Hood’s Bay is a little more complicated, as RHB does not have a train station. The nearest station is in Whitby, about 8km to the north, but this is not a mainline station and getting anywhere from Whitby will be a slow and painful process. You should consider taking the longer bus journey south to Scarborough, which is a mainline station and links quickly to York and most other major destinations.
Booking well in advance will get you the best prices for the journey. Also a ticket with little or no flexibility in the journey will be cheaper, but missing connections and therefore specific trains, may make this less desirable.
Pay particular attention to the train timetable if you are travelling on a Sunday or on a UK Bank Holiday, as restricted schedules are generally in operation for these. You may find that some train services are replaced by buses on these dates, especially on the minor routes like those that run into St. Bees.
All your train timetable needs will be met here: The Train Line.com
Buses From Robin Hood’s Bay
There would be very little reason to catch a bus to St. Bees when the train service into that village is so good, so this section concentrates on the bus services available along the route and those from Robin Hood’s Bay.
Arriva bus company run the service from RHB to Scarborough (at time of writing) and their Number 93 runs every hour from Middlesbrough to Scarborough; one of the stops along that route is Robin Hood’s Bay. The section of the journey from RHB takes about 40 minutes and terminates at Scarborough Train Station, which is perfect.
Any time taken on the bus to Scarborough, above and beyond that on the bus to Whitby will be more than made up by the frequency and speed of the trains out of Scarborough.
Buses Along The Route
In simple terms there are no scheduled bus services that run along the Coast to Coast route. You may be able to join up some towns and villages along the route using one or more bus services, but this will be something you are better able to do at the time, using local information resources. Most villages will have a bus stop and at that location you will probably find a printed schedule fixed to the bus stop itself. Village shops and your B&B proprietor will also have local bus service information.
Thanks to privatisation and the “every man for himself” principle of public transport provision in the UK, there isn’t even a central resource that can assist you in piecing together a bus route along the path. In an attempt to fill this gap, we have tried to find the best links to timetables on the Internet.
The Cumbria County Council web site seems to be the best place to search for specific bus journeys in the Lakes and Cumbria section of the walk. They have a dedicated page for bus timetables: Click here
Keld to Richmond
There is a bus service that runs approximately three times a day between Richmond and Keld, the journey takes about an hour and 15 minutes and calls at Grinton, Reeth, Gunnerside, Muker and Thwaite; all of which could be useful for Coast to Coast walkers. It should be noted that this service does not run on Sundays or Bank Holidays any more. The service details are available here: Service 30
Buses along the eastern section of the route, through Yorkshire, are covered by the Yorkshire Travel website, which has lots of information on all the various bus services that run in Yorkshire.
Other Options Along The Route
There are no “coast to coast” train services across the middle of England any more, certainly none that would support a person walking the Coast to Coast route. After leaving St. Bees, the next train station that would help is in Kirkby Stephen and after that it’s Glaisdale and then Grosmont. The C2C walker therefore, needs to consider other options.
An obvious, but expensive, choice is a taxi. Most village pubs will have the numbers of local taxi firms. You will sometimes pay for the return journey as well though, so check in advance what the price will be for any particular journey. Many taxis in rural areas will not have a meter as city taxi cabs will, so you should always agree the price in advance with the driver.
Some, generally the more remote, sections of the route may be covered by a Post Bus. This is essentially a large Post Office delivery van with seats in the back for passengers. If you want to ride a Post Bus you can flag one down at any point along its journey and it will stop (if it’s safe) and pick you up. You will pay a fare just like a standard bus and this will depend on the route you are on and the length of the journey you wish to take. Full details of all Post Bus routes can be found here: UK Post Bus Service
Baggage Transfer Providers
If you are shipping your main piece of luggage along the route with a baggage transfer provider (see Service Providers) then you may be able to ride in the back with your luggage on days when you can’t or don’t want to walk. You will need to check the details with your specific service provider, some charge for the service and others do not.