Small Group Tour along the Wainwright Walking trail

Part of the small group tour of the British isles series, this walking tour goes west to east across England. The tour leader takes you into the national park of the UNESCO World heritage site in the Lake district and the North Yorkshire moors. This trip concludes in York. It is designed for senior walkers seeking authentic experiences.

From $11,629USD



  1. 1. Spend 5 days exploring and walking through the Lake District.
  2. 2. Explore and learn about the Georgian towns in the North of England such as Reeth.
  3. 3. Walk through James Heriot country, Yorkshire Dales national Park
  4. 4. Finish the tour exploring York, settled by the Romans and the Vikings and part of the industrial revolution.
Small Group Tour along the Wainwright Walking trail itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
28 August 2024

Ends 23 September 2024

$11,629 Twin

$13,605 Single

30 May 2025

Ends 25 June 2025

$12,210 Twin

$14,272 Single

31 May 2025

Ends 26 June 2025

$12,210 Twin

$14,272 Single

27 August 2025

Ends 22 September 2025

$12,210 Twin

$14,272 Single

26 August 2026

Ends 21 September 2026

$12,210 Twin

$14,272 Single


Wainwright Walking Trail | Small Group Hike for Seniors

The Wainwright Walking Trail small group program for the active senior has been especially designed for those with the stamina to follow the Wainwright walking trail. This is the best of all England walking tours, the historic coast to coast walk covers some 300 kilometres of often rugged terrain. Your guided trip begins and ends in seaside villages, from St Bees on the west coast of England to Robin Hood's Bay on the east coast. This small group tour walking tour for mature and senior travellers along Wainwright Walking trail also allows, however, for those men or women whether joining as a couple or a solo traveller interested in walking some of the trail, but are unsure of their ability to cover the whole distance, to walk as much or as little as suits their individual interests and ability.

Although we begin our adventure in Carlisle and finish in York, the majority of our time will be spent crossing the country from the west coast to the east coast along a path devised by Alfred Wainwright, early 20th century English fell-walker, guide book writer, illustrator and cartographer.

The landscapes along this trail are spectacular and includes numerous ascents and descents with views across lakes, valleys, moors, rolling hills, the quaint villages, the occasional country house as well as mountain peaks and passes. Your walking experience starts and finishes in beautiful coastal landscapes as we walk from west to east, with the wind typically at our backs. On our walk, which deviates a little from Wainwright's original trail and takes us through three national parks, the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the North York Moors National Park and the Cleveland way.

England walking tours are numerous this though is quintessentially English walk dominated by the three national parks. English history is ever present and makes for a truly fascinating and memorable walk as the local guide shares their knowledge of local flora and fauna, the ancient forests that blanket the rolling hills adjacent to rivers and disused historic sites or a local country house and their stories with the group. As this walking tour for seniors walks over a 27 day period from coast to coast we average between 8 to 14kms/day of walking.

This is not a designated national walking path and the actual route taken may vary with individuals' interests and ability. Finding your way without a local guide can be difficult at times, so our walking tour for seniors includes the services of a local guide.

This program uses four main centres along the path. We stay for up to six nights in each of these centres before moving with all our luggage on to our next destination. Our coach will transport us with our luggage for the day each morning to the point we left off walking in the previous afternoon, and collect us at the end of the day's walk. Those preferring to opt out of that day's walk and rest their feet will be able to explore the local area on their own, or possibly join other non-walkers on an alternative activity such as country house visits of a stroll though the historic Georgian towns or the country lanes that lead into quaint villages such as Reeth, giving you the opportunity to discover hidden gems as you stroll through this part of Northern England. A number of rest days will be built into the program, even for those who intend to walk the whole distance.

This is a guided trip and includes the services of a local guide with expert knowledge of the trail, as well as that of the Odyssey Program Leader. As the weather can be variable, we will rely on the knowledge and planning skills of the local guide for decisions about the desirability of walking on some days. Consequently the exact program and distances walked in each district may vary according to local conditions and the guide's assessment of individual ability.

The local guide's decision on the day's itinerary will be final. The activity level is level 3, moderate to challenging. This link takes you to the activity level guide for Odyssey walking tours for seniors including our England walking tours.

This article published by Odyssey Traveller about the Wainwright Walking trail, which is considered by many commentators as one of the best walking tours in England, may also assist you in preparing yourself for this walk.

Highlights of the Wainwright Walking Trail Tour

  • Walk through stunning scenery in three of England’s National Parks.
  • Take time out to visit Castle Barnard and the Bowes Museum
  • Travel by Victorian steam gondola across Coniston Waters to visit Brantwood, home of John Ruskin.
  • Paddle in both the Irish Sea and the North Sea.
  • Enjoy the service of a knowledgeable local guide.
  • Stay each night in comfortable accommodation.

Articles published by Odyssey Traveller for Walking and Hiking tours for seniors

To help you prepare for any walking program, whether with Odyssey or another company, this list of articles is intended to help you prepare for your holiday.

Articles about Great Britain published by Odyssey Traveller

The following is a list of articles published by Odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Great Britain when visiting;

See all the articles published on Britain by Odyssey Traveller. We also have more information about England you could research.

External articles to assist you on your walk in Britain

Walk with Odyssey Traveller

The Wainwright Walking Trail is only one of many walking tours offered by Odyssey Traveller. These active tours are designed for the mature traveller to enjoy in a small group holiday and learning environment.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.


27 days

Day 1: Carlisle

Accommodation: Carlisle TBA

Arrive in Carlisle by your own arrangements and make your way to the hotel where we will spend the night.
In the late afternoon meet with you program leader for a briefing session before a welcome dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 2: Carlisle - St Bees

Accommodation: St Bees TBA

After breakfast in our hotel we take a guided walking tour of Carlisle, visiting the cathedral and the excellent castle museum.
In the afternoon we travel by coach south to St Bees are, where we spend 3 nights.
Dinner this evening will be at our hotel.

Day 3: St Bees

Accommodation: St Bees TBA

This morning we drive to St Bees Head, where there will be time for a quick paddle in the Irish Sea before our walk begins from the coast.
Today’s walk takes us as far as Cleator Moor, a distance of some 13.5 kilometres. The coach will collect the walkers in the afternoon.
As an alternative to walking, after paddling at the beach and waving off our walkers, those who prefer will drive to Ravenglass and take the steam train journey to the hill-top village of Boot before returning to our hotel.

Day 4: St Bees

Accommodation: St Bees TBA

Those people walking the trail will begin their day after breakfast, with a transfer to Cleator Moor to resume their walk, which will take them to Ennerdale Bridge (walking distance approx 9km)
In the afternoon our coach, having collected the walkers, will take us to the village of Cockermouth with the possibility of a visit to the NT house where William Wordsworth grew up.

Day 5: Grasmere

Accommodation: Grasmere or Ambleside, TBA

Today we walk from Ennerdale Bridge to Gatesgarth, with a walking distance of approximately 14.5km.
In the afternoon we transfer to Grasmere or Ambleside where we stay for the next six nights. There may be time to explore the village on your own this afternoon before a group dinner.

Day 6: Grasmere

Accommodation: Grasmere or Ambleside, TBA.

The walk today is relatively short so the whole group might choose to take the coach back to Gatesgarth on Buttermere for the walk to Borrowdale, with a walking distance of around 7km.
Alternatively, non-walkers will find plenty to amuse themselves in the area near the hotel.
On our way back to the hotel from Borrowdale we will find time to visit and experience the beautifully situated Neolithic stone circle at Castlerigg and Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage museum.

Day 7: Grasmere

Accommodation: Grasmere or Ambleside, TBA.

Today’s walk takes us from Borrowdale to Grasmere. Walking distance 14km.
Those who decide not to take the walk may like to visit Blackwell, the stunning Arts and Crafts house on Windermere.

Day 8: Grasmere - Lake District

Accommodation: Grasmere or Ambleside, TBA.

Today we leave the trail and have a rest day in the Lake District. We go with our coach to Coniston Waters and the catch the NT Victorian steam launch across to Brantwood, the home where influential Victorian critic and writer, John Ruskin stayed. The house is set in beautiful gardens which we will have time to explore.
In the afternoon we will rejoin the coach and return to our hotel via Hill Top, the Beatrix Potter house and museum.

Day 9: Grasmere

Accommodation: Grasmere or Ambleside, TBA.

This morning the walkers set out to walk from Grasmere to Glenridding/Patterdale. Walking distance is approximately 13 km.
Non-walkers have the opportunity to take the coach to visit the NT Sizergh Castle.
In the afternoon we all return to our accommodation in Grasmere/Ambleside.

Day 10: Grasmere

Accommodation: Grasmere or Ambleside, TBA.

This morning the walkers return to Patterdale for their walk to Pooley Bridge via Ullswater. Walking distance 14.4 km.
Non walkers have a free day to enjoy the area on their own.
Dinner this evening is at our hotel or a local restaurant.

Day 11: Kirkby Stephen

Accommodation: Kirkby Stephen, TBA

This morning we travel east by coach to Kirkby Stephen.
Walkers will return to Pooley Bridge, where they left off the previous day, and walk to Bampton Grange, a distance of around 10 km.
The whole group will transfer to Kirkby Stephen where we will spend the next four nights. Dinner tonight in a local restaurant.
Kirkby Stephen is on the famous Settle to Carlisle railway which runs over the Yorkshire Dales through some magnificent scenery. This historic line was constructed in the 1870s but was due to be closed during the 1980s. A concerted effort by local authorities and railway enthusiasts saved the line and it still runs as part of the national rail network.

Day 12: Kirkby Stephen

Accommodation: Kirkby Stephen, TBA

Today we walk from Bampton Grange to Orton, covering a distance of approximately 18km.
Non walkers have a day to explore Kirkby Stephens.

Day 13: Kirkby Stephen

Accommodation: Kirkby Stephen, TBA

Today is a rest day (from walking) with the opportunity to explore the local area by coach and train.
In the morning we will catch the train from Kirkby Stephen to Settle where we will be met by our coach and then drive to view the extraordinary Ribblehead Viaduct from below and to explore the charming little village of Dent.

Day 14 : Kirkby Stephen

Accommodation: Kirkby Stephen TBA

Today’s hike takes us from Kirkby Stephen to the village of Keld. Distance walked 21 kilometres.
Non-walkers might like to do a day’s touring with the coach visiting the Nine Standards Rigg, the village of Askrigg (where much of the TV series All Creatures Great and Small was shot) and Castle Bolton. On the return journey our coach would collect the walkers from Keld.

Day 15: Richmond

Accommodation: Richmond TBA

This morning the coach takes the walkers back to Keld. From there they continue to the village of Reeth, which is situated on a plateau above the River Swale and is surrounded by a great panorama of hills and moors that make up these landscapes. The scenery is beautiful! Walking distance 18 kilometres.
In the afternoon, the group transfers to the town of Richmond where we spend the next five nights. In the evening we enjoy dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.

Day 16: Richmond

Accommodation: Richmond TBA

This morning the coach transfers our walkers back to Reeth for their journey into Richmond, walking around 18km.
Non walkers will have time to explore Richmond at their leisure. They might like to explore the buildings of the castle, check out the waterfalls from the shore of the River Swale and walk to Easby Abbey.

Day 17: Richmond

Accommodation: Richmond TBA

Today provides another day of rest from walking, giving the feet time to recover. After breakfast we transfer by coach to the town of Barnard Castle where we have time to wander around and explore the town before continuing to the Bowes Museum.
The Bowes Museum was purpose built in the 19th century by wealthy business man John Bowes and his French wife, Josephine. The magnificent French-chateau style building houses an amazing collection including art works by Van Dyke, El Greco, Goya and Canaletto.

Day 19: Richmond

Accommodation: Richmond TBA

This morning the walkers rejoin the walking path to cover the distance between Richmond and Whitwell, covering a distance of approximately 15 km.
Non-walkers can take a drive to Middleham Castle, the childhood home of Richard III and the place where his only son, Edward, was born and died.
Dinner tonight will be in a local restaurant.

Day 20: Richmond

Accommodation: Richmond TBA

Today’s walk is a relatively long one covering some 23km between Whitwell and Osmotherly.

Day 21: Grosmont

Accommodation: Grosmont/Egton Bridge area,TBA

Today’s walk takes us from Osmotherly to Clay Bank, a walk of around 18km.
Later in the day we depart for Grosmont area where we stay for the next five nights.
Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.

Day 22: Grosmont

Accommodation: Grosmont/Egton Bridge area,TBA

Our coach will take us to Clay Bank where we start our walk to Commondale, covering a distance of over 17km inside the National Park.

Day 23: Grosmont

Accommodation: Grosmont/Egton Bridge area,TBA

Although our destination is almost in sight, we take another rest day.
We take the coach into Whitby where we have time to wander about the National trust’s amazing Abbey and visit the Captain Cook Museum. We also take the time to wander around the picturesque harbour or follow the coast a short way beyond the buildings of the Abbey to view the amazing coastal scenery.

Day 24: Grosmont

Accommodation: Grosmont/Egton Bridge area,TBA

Today we walk from Commondale to Egton Bridge, approx 20km.
While some walk, others spend the day taking the coach to Durham to visit the city and cathedral.

Day 25: Grosmont

Accommodation: Grosmont/Egton Bridge area,TBA

Our walk today takes us from Egton Bridge to Robin Hood’s Bay, with a total distance of around 20m.
Non-walkers might like to visit Goathland and then join the walkers at Robin Hood’s Bay for reflection at a local inn overlooking the coast.

Day 26: York

Accommodation: York, TBA

With our walks over, we transfer to York via Pickering and the beautiful landscapes and buildings of Castle Howard.
In the evening we have our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 27: York

Our small group tour along Wainwright walking trail concludes this morning after breakfast in York.

Tour Notes

  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 12 walkers and their non walking partners.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 26 nights of accommodation in England, Wales, and Scotland.
  • 26 breakfasts and 10 dinners.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern mini-coach.
  • All entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Detailed preparatory information.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging

Participants must be in excellent health, extremely mobile and live an active lifestyle. Program activities may include up to 6 hours of continuous strenuous, moderate-to-fast paced activities per day on varied terrain.

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28 August 2024


Ends 23 September 2024 • 27 days

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Wainwright Walking Trail

When and how did Wainwright devise the original walk?

Wainwright originally described the route in his 1973 book, A Coast to Coast Walk. The book splits the route into 12 stages-if divided equally, each stage is 16 miles or 25 km-ending in quaint villages each day where walkers can find hotel accommodation. A common way of walking the route is one stage per day, with one or two rest days, which means it would take the walker about two weeks to walk Northern England from west to east following in the footsteps of Wainwright’s quintessentially English walking tour.

Lonely Planet’s guide of Britain describes 14 stages:

  1. St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge – 14 miles
  2. Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite – 15 miles
  3. Rosthwaite to Grasmere – 10 miles
  4. Grasmere to Patterdale – 8 miles
  5. Patterdale to Shap – 16 miles
  6. Shap to Kirkby Stephen – 20 miles
  7. Kirkby Stephen to Keld – 13 miles
  8. Keld to Reeth – 11 miles
  9. Reeth to Richmond – 11 miles
  10. Richmond to Ingleby Cross – 23 miles
  11. Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top – 12 miles
  12. Clay Bank Top to Blakey – 9 miles
  13. Blakey to Grosmont – 13 miles
  14. Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay – 16 miles
However, this is only a guide, and Wainwright himself stated that he did not expect people to follow his route or his pace.

When is the best time to go on the Wainwright Walking Trail?

As with any long-distance travel, some degree of planning is required. In an interview with Coast to Coast Guides, a professional local guide suggested May, June and September as the best months to do the walk, as the days are longer. (Our walking tour commences June and September.) You can also expect less congestion compared to the peak holiday season in July and August.

This also ensures pleasant weather, though note that North England weather can be variable, especially in exposed altitudes in the Pennines, according to Keven Shevels in Walks around Reeth & Upper Swaledale (Trailguides Limited, 2012). Shevels also warns that “[m]ist and low cloud can be experienced no matter the time of year and at times this can roll in quite quickly catching the walker unaware” (p. 8). It is best to check the weather forecast every day before heading out on your walk to know what to expect in terms of temperature, daylight hours, and visibility.

The average temperature for St Bees, where the trail begins, is around 14 to 16 degrees Celsius (May-September high) and 8 to 11 degrees (low).

How should you get ready for the Wainwright Walking Trail?

This walk, depending on the pace you choose, can be physically demanding, so it would be best to get in shape and start walking! It is always a good idea to go for a general health checkup with your GP before embarking on walking holidays or tours that might be a little strenuous. Your doctor will be able to advise you as to your general fitness, and any precautions you should take before heading off on the walk. It’s also worth having a dental exam to ensure there are no unexpected toothaches along the way.

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