We wanted to put some final thoughts together that might be useful if anyone who reads this is planning on “doing” the Coast to Coast.
We are all men of a certain age with varying levels of fitness, but we did all do some preparation for the event. No particular workouts, mostly just regular walking to include some hills and some distance work. If you are in general good health you will be able to complete the walk.
We used Sherpa to book the accommodation and to take care of the luggage between stops, they provided us with excellent service throughout.
Timing – we did it in two weeks and a common thought was that we should have tried to average out the mileage a bit more, we had at least two 20 mile+ days which were hard on the feet. A rest day In Richmond might be worth thinking about although some of our group were more than happy to go straight through – again better if the days were at 15 miles in length.
Packing – most of us took too much, concentrate on the walking gear and have the type you can wash as you go along. Change of footware for the nighttime – but comfortable trainers would be right – just to wear around the B&B and out to the pubs etc.
There wasn’t much in the way of drying rooms – we were lucky to have had good weather but lots of rain could present a problem in getting stuff dry for the next day.
Accommodation – try to use a variety of farms, B&B’s Pubs and Hostels it makes the whole thing more interesting. The YHA’s and Independent Hostels were good quality and we would have used them more to get the average mileage days if we’d known. You can’t guarantee wifi or baths so if you need them ring ahead when you are booking. The food is good and in big portions in most places – breakfasts don’t have to be the full english – we had a variety of fruits, cereals poached eggs, haddock, porridge etc. Same goes for a packed lunch – we found you didn’t need them everyday, yes you are exercising a lot but three big meals a day can be too much!
Navigation – we used the Harvey strip maps and the Henry Stedman guide which provides an excellent amount of information and sketch maps – there is a review here on the main Walking Places site. You do need a compass and we did take a GPS (but it was only used once in thick mist to check our position.)
Company – we met lots of people from around the world in particular a mixed group from America and Australia with their guide as well as Ross an Aussie who joined us for several days, and Aurora from Romania who walked with us for most of the route and became part of the team. Just say hello to people you meet and you’re soon making new friends along the way.
This could be a huge list, especially if you included all the local people who were so helpful and friendly.
I must mention Di Swales at Sherpa who was instrumental in the planning and bookings, Tommy, Mary and Dave M for the organising, Mary (again) for her baps! (bacon ones she provided to get us off to a good start).
John and Julie Marsden who took us all up to St Bees and then brought us all back from Robin Hood’s Bay, plus Gill, Chris, baby Adam and Gaynor for the mid walk visit at Tan Hill. All the family and friends who turned up on the Friday night at High Hawsker and came with us to RHB as well as supporting us along the way with phone calls, texts, emails and comments.
Finally, for the blog, Gareth for the photography, and Stuart at Walking Places who set up the blog for us and sent us all the information we needed to get up and running, all in one email!. It made it easy for us non bloggers to blog – you should do it if you possibly can – the feedback from our friends and family was that they felt it kept them in touch and up to date – we had many more comments than we expected. As you can see I really enjoyed blogging!
Thanks for reading