The Coast to Coast Walk takes outdoor enthusiasts through the regions of Cumbria and Yorkshire. Both of these are well-known for gastronomic pleasures and local specialities. Walking through such a robust rural area translates to having access to high-quality, locally sourced produce that you can find in restaurants, cafes, and pubs along the route.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of this excellent local produce that you should look out for while on the route. In addition, we’ll also suggest some places located along the way where you’ll be able to replenish the much-needed energy.
Local Produce to Look Out For
The first half of this world-famous long-distance route takes place in Cumbria, which is well-known for its local gastronomic specialities. One of these is the Cumberland Sausage – rare are the people in the United Kingdom who have never heard of it. And what better place to eat the Cumberland Sausage than in its homeland?
Generally speaking, the quality of Cumbria’s meat is unmatched. Besides the Cumberland Sausage, another local speciality worth checking out is the Salt Marsh Lamb, which is in season during the summer months. What gives this meat such a delicate, unique flavour is the fact that here, the sheep consume grass that grows at the edge of the sea. You’ll see the Salt Marsh Lamb and the Cumberland Sausage advertised in many eateries and both dishes are undoubtedly worth a try.
Away from meat, another of Cumbria’s claims to fame are sweet treats. In production all the way from 1918, Kendal Mint Cake is something you should definitely pack in your bag for a day on the Coast to Coast route. Thousands upon thousands of trekkers have treated themselves with this sugar-based confection for more than a century – it’s a minty, high-energy treat that you should definitely give a try.
Another treat worth checking out is the Sticky Toffee Pudding. This exceptionally sweet dessert has its origins in this region and can be found in many of Cumbria’s restaurants and pubs. Another traditional recipe to keep an eye out for is the Grasmere Gingerbread, which can be found only in the village of the same name and nowhere else on the planet.
Yorkshire, which is the other region that the Coast to Coast route goes through, has its own list of must-haves. One of Yorkshire’s most famous dishes is the Yorkshire Pudding, a universally beloved batter that is often served together with roast meats. As delicious and simple as it gets!
Yorkshire is also well-known for its ginger meals and beverages. In fact, the world’s very first Ginger Beer was produced in this region. Another thing to look out for is Parkin, which is a treacle honey-eyed gingery cake.
Both Cumbria and Yorkshire are well-known for beers, too. Every pub you decide to pay a visit to will have something you won’t find anywhere else. The craft beer and local gin scenes are very strong as well.
Places to Eat (And Drink) on the Coast to Coast Walk
Kirkby Stephen to Keld
If the weather allows, you’ll probably eat your packed lunch at one of the section’s nine standings. In case of bad weather, on the other hand, you’ll be able to take shelter in the Black Hut. Later on, you’ll be able to move to Ravenseat Farm, where a lot of trekkers enjoy delicious cream teas. Those who arrive too late and find the Ravenseat Farm closed will still be able to use its toilets and sheltered areas.
Once you arrive at Keld, make sure to pay a visit to the Kelt Lodge. Here, you’ll find a menu that features lots of yummy homemade meals. Of course, all of the food is sourced locally and cooked by Kelt Lodge’s skilful chef Adam.
Keld to Reeth
Those who take the low valley route during this section of the route are likely to find themselves in Reeth before lunchtime. If this happens, you’ll be able to choose between The Copper Kettle, a bakery, and three charming pubs.
Those who take the higher route, on the other hand, will have to bring packed lunches. In case of good weather, make sure to pay a visit to Blakethwaithe Ruins.
Reeth to Richmond
While walking through small villages on this section of the route, one of the best places to stop for a meal is Elaine’s Farmhouse Kitchen. While it’s not exactly on the route, you won’t have to worry about getting lost – the signs are very hard to miss.
Richmond to Ingleby Cross
For a small donation, the church in Bolton-on-Swale offers an assortment of refreshments. While you’re there, make sure to use the available toilets and sign the visitor book.
This can be a particularly long day, so it’s highly recommended to bring a packed lunch. In addition, there aren’t many places where you can sit down and have a proper meal, so it’s easy for the morale to dip low. However, the farmers living between Richmond and Ingleby Cross are exceptionally kind, and a lot of trekkers make use of their honesty boxes.
If you’ve never heard of honesty boxes before, these are simple coolers or boxes located along the trail, in which you’ll find various foods. However, if you do decide to take something from one of these boxes, it is expected of you to leave a small donation in return. Pretty cool, wouldn’t you say?
Ingleby Cross to Great Broughton
Once you leave Ingleby Cross, you’re bound to bump into Diane’s Flapjack Stand. Here, you’ll be able to buy delightful flapjacks that will keep your energy high – make sure to take as many of these as you can carry. A lot of Coast to Coast hikers agree that these are the best flapjacks they’ve ever eaten.
Those looking for more substantial food should definitely pay a visit to Lordstones Café. This place offers some of the best dishes on this route, and it does so in genuinely marvellous surroundings. The Lordstones Café offers both deli-style dining and regular restaurant dining, with the latter option being available only in the evening. At the café, you’ll be able to get everything from ale pies and steaks to scones and soups.
Great Broughton to Glaisdale
On this section of the route, winds can be high, and there aren’t many shelters along the way. However, there is one well-known and well-loved place in the area – The Lion Inn.
Here, you’ll be able to eat delicious meals next to an open fire while being surrounded by beautiful, traditional decorations. The meals are served from noon to late evening, and they’re cooked specifically for trekkers, which translates to large, delicious portions.
Glaisdale to Robin Hood’s Bay
On this last section of the route, one of the best places to have a light lunch is undoubtedly the Falling Foss Tea Gardens. As the name suggests, here you’ll be able to enjoy tea and cake under charming, handmade canopies.
An important thing to mention here is that the Falling Foss Tea Gardens do not have card facilities, so you’ll have to bring some cash. You don’t want to miss out on their fabulous teas, delicious treats, and rustic outdoor setting!
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I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.