Monday 24 February 2020

Coast to Coast triple crown (Scotland, England, Wales) 2019

*This is one of many trips that didn't get posted when I all but abandoned this blog back in 2015. It's now 2020 and I'm adding in that missing content in a more photo-based blog post, this trip was from 2019*

Because of family health issues I wasn't able to go far or do any particularly long hikes in 2019. However, not hiking for a year wasn't going to be an option so while on The Great Outdoors Challange, a 2 week organised hike across Scotland, I came up with the idea of completing a coast to coast across all 3 mainland UK countries, or the Triple Crown for UK coast to coast hikers. Even better I could do this in 2-week chunks while still fulfilling my home commitments.

The route across Scotland was my own concoction and had been planned 6 months earlier, also I had always wanted to hike the Cambrian Way so there was no decision on the route across Wales. England, however, required a little more thought. The obvious way would have been Wainwrights Coast to Coast but as I'd hiked that twice already I wanted to try something different. Looking at alternatives I came across a route called the Ravenber Way. This looked interesting while being little known, perfect!

I would like to apologise for some missing or poor quality photos in this post. Unfortunately, I lost a number of the original photos and while I managed to find some replacement copies from a Facebook post they are of rather low-quality.

Route Stats

You can download my Scotland route here, England route here and Wales route here.

Scotland (TGOC)

Distance 328km*
Ascent 7198m*
Hiking days 13

England (Ravenber Way)

Distance 352km*
Ascent 8439m*
Hiking days 12

Wales (Cambrian Way)

Distance 517km*
Ascent 19413m*
Hiking days 16

Totals Triple Crown 

Distance 1197km*

Ascent 35050m*

* recorded by Garmin GPS watch

Scottish Coast to Coast (TGOC)

My route across Scotland started in Lochailort and finished, as always for me, in Stonehaven. On the way, I passed through Fort Augustus, Aviemore, Braemar and Ballater. For me, the TGOC is a social hike and that's what's drawn me back, on-and-off, since 2007. My TGOC routes are never the most interesting, nor are they overly challenging. I plot a route across Scotland that will bring me to all the social hotspots on the right days, that's my priority. Up to Braemar I try and hike new routes but after Braemar, I normally follow 1 of 2 well-travelled routes. The problem with the TGOC is the further east you hike the less interesting it becomes and it's quite difficult not to end up with a long road walk. I pick Stonehaven as my finish point purely because it has the least amount of road walking. 

TGOC Challengers waiting for the train,  Glasgow

Lochailort start

Looking back to Lochiolart

Loch Màma
Loch Beoraid

Sgùrr nan Coireachan

Glen Kingie

Loch Ness, Fort Augustus

Glen Markie

Lairig Ghru

Lairig Ghru

Devils Point


Fife Arms

Braemar Castle

Ravenber Way (England)

This is a little known coast to coast route across England with some sections, particularly in the Eden Valley, that clearly hadn't been hiked for a very long time. If you are looking for a quiet coast to coast, well away from the busy Wainwright route, then this might be for you. The basic route isn't particularly challenging but those overgrown sections do make it hard going at times. 

The route starts in Ravenglass and takes you through the heart of the Lake District before descending into, and crossing, the Eden Valley. After climbing high into the Pennines it's onto Northumberland, and the Cheviot Hills, before following the River Tweed to the finish at Berwick-upon-Tweed.

I enjoyed this route but wouldn't necessarily choose it over Wainwrights unless I really wanted the quietness you will find here. Overall, scenically, I think Wainwrights route is still the best coast to coast route across England that I've done.


Roman Baths nr Ravenglass

Muncaster Castle gardens

Whin Rigg, Lake District

Wast Water, Lake District

Wasdale, Lake District

Langdale, Lake District

Elter Water, Lake District

High Street (Roman Road), Lake District

Lowther Castle

Hartley Moor

Hadrian's Wall

Cheviots, Northumberland

Mountooley, Northumberland

Twizel Castle

Final camp, river Tweed


Cambrian Way (Wales)

I was really excited to hike the Cambrian Way as it had been on my list for a very long time. It isn't quite a coast to coast hike as it starts at Cardiff castle but it's very easy to add in a short link section to the sea, which is what I did. From Cardiff, you head north into the Brecon Beacons National Park then onto the Black Mountains (Carmarthen Vans) before taking a lovely route through central Wales and entering the toughest sections through Snowdonia then finally onto the finish at Conwy Castle. There's a lot of hype over the Cambrian Way, revolving around its toughness and beauty, but is it deserved? Well, I can confirm this is a superb hike and probably one of the greatest in the UK. It is challenging, it is beautiful and it's just a bloody good hike!


Cardiff Arms Park

Castell Coch

Black Mountains

Vale of Ewyas

Craig y Cilau

Ogof Fawr (Charist Cave)

Brecon Beacons


Old mines nr Moelwyn Mawr, Snowdonia

Snowdon, Snowdonia

Glyder Fach, Snowdonia

Carnedd Llewelyn, Snowdonia

There's a bit of easy scrambling needed on this route, nothing technical


Conwy Castle