The day started bright and sunny so for the first time on the walk we decided to wear shorts and t shirts. The only fly in the ointment was that we were informed by the YH staff that it was due to rain by noon, though today was due to be a short day there was little chance that we would complete the walk by then. Having just left the YH we saw a group of teenagers who had spent the night in the YH walking back towards it. They asked if we were C2C ing & if we knew the way, I explained where to go but the chief navigator explained that I was wrong,having walked extensively in the lakes I knew I was right & I told them they were wrong & left them to it.
Borrowdale was as always beautiful in the sun.
We ascended up Stonethwaite valley with great views back to Borrowdale, part way up the valley we were joined by Alex & Andy from the teenagers group who had voted with their feet regarding their teams navigational skills. We ascended past Waterfalls
We climbed up to Greenup Edge & squelched across the top to the path down to Far Easdale, here we decided to take the longer route via Helm Crag as this was a short day. We arrived at the howitzer on Helm Crag which we climbed.
Wee count for the day 3!!
We had a good night in the fox and hounds at Ennerdale bridge with a very comfortable room and good food and great beer, (dad only)
I was woken at 6am by torrential rain which did not bode well for the day, the rain had stopped while we had breakfast but as we checked out the pub it started again and we had to don the water proofs!
The day started with a long pleasant walk along Ennerdale water with good views of the surrounding mountains which improved as the cloud lifted. We passed an American who was walking in some very thin soled climbing shoes, we were told these were great to feel every stone and she had tried them out in Idaho but obviously the paths in Idaho must be coated in soft feel bitumen in case of litigation, as she was really struggling and intended to buy boots in Grassmere (a day and a half away)
We stopped at Ennerdale youth hostel for a warm drink and a piece of chocolate cake! Dad had noticed and felt his trousers were wet, he had recently put his bag down on some wet grass so he assumed it was this, however a few minutes later he went to take a drink from his hydration pouch and no water came out.
We stopped to then realise his hydration pouch had completely emptied!
We then made our way to a busy Black sale where we had lunch!
After lunch we made our ascent up along Loft Beck with Mike leaving me well behind! He calls himself “The Tank” but I prefer “Cocky Little B*gger” but only when I have sufficient breath to say it. Upon reaching the top of the climb we then descended into Honister slate mine on the old tram way for a drink! I bought a coat to coaster after running down!
The final part was along the river derwent where provided chains along the rocks were a helping hand!
Wee count today; 5
To date; 8
The day started cloudy and cool with a pleasant see breeze, the perfect conditions for walking. We wet our feet in the Irish sea and collected our pebbles to take to Robin Hoods Bay. Dad tried to get me to take several large boulders to slow me down however I was having none of it, we walked along the cliffs.
The morning started to clear and views of the Isle of man improved, other than a brief heavy shower the weather was good. After several hours of walking north we finally turned east and headed Robin Hoods Bay! At Moore Row we posed for pictures at the c2c statue!
We then joined a path on a disused railway which took us around Moore Row to Cleator. We briefly tried to find the pub for a drink, but couldn’t find it so we carried on, we had a slight navigation error but a local knocked on his window and pointed to the turn.
The sun finally came out and temperatures rose just as we came to the biggest climb of the day dent fell, the climb through the woods was humid but not as bad as expected and once on the open hill side it was much more pleasant, and we could then look back over all of west Cumbria and see where we had walked
After a boggy walk across the top of dent fell, we undertook a steep decent to Nanycatch and we were glad we were walking west to east! The best way down was to move quickly to minimise the pain on your toes! following a very pleasant walk along Nanycatch Brooke we then descended to Ennerdale Bridge for a well deserved drink.
The bag arrived with no problems despite it excessive weight! And nothing has been mentioned of its weight!
Forgot to mention my wee count of the day is 3!
First thing was to decide when to walk, as Mike is still at school that constrained the situation slightly. Easter looked promising for this year, it coincided with the dryest month (April) on the C2C route and though the temperatures were lower that wouldn’t be too much of an issue & I worried about it being too hot in July / August and so making the walking that bit harder. Writing this at the begining of July I see that this wasn’t a valid concern! The thing that scuppered the easter C2C was that to fit in with Mike’s school holidays we would have to start walking in late March & the luggage movers don’t start until April unfortunately.
I decided that we would start walking on a Sunday as most people start on a Saturday & that can cause problems with booking accomodation & it allowed us the Saturday to get our bags packed etc. Having decided on when to start I then started to book accomodation, as we were walking over 13 days the accomodation cost can be quite significant and so where possible we booked youth hostels as these tend to be the most cost effective accomodation that isn’t a tent. Also they all have drying rooms which may come in handy. The only downside to this was that I didn’t fully consider where they are located and so I ended up with the longest day’s walk of 21 miles (Richmond to Ingleby Cross over the Vale of Mowbrey) being extended by an additional 2.5 miles to reach our YH. My dad was a Yorkshire man and a great walker in his day (walks around his adopted home of Blackpool rather than in the country) & he would have no doubt said that “it’s only another 2.5 miles and it means you save some money so I don’t see what the problem is.” Once the youth hostels were booked I then started to fill in the gaps, for this I used the Sherpa Van website to check up on details of various places & it is a great resource. They offer a booking service for a small fee, but being half Yorkshire I decided to do it myself.
Booking early in the new year meant that we got most of the places that we wanted, the only issue with booking so early was that the worrier in me had to seek confirmation in the weeks before we started the walk.
Fitness to complete the walk wasn’t a big concern as we have a weekend walking in the lakes each month (I’m slowly ticking off the Wainwright fells), so there was no special preparation there. The biggest concern from what I’ve read was regarding our feet and blisters, hence we will have large numbers of Compeed plasters plus ibuprofen!
Welcome to the blog of Martin & Mike who will be walking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in July / August. This blog is to allow you to follow our journey and to hopefully to raise some money for the Children’s Cancer Support Group (CHICS). Please read the page titled Mike’s W2W Fundraiser to see how you can contribute & have a chance of winning a cash prize.
Mike is 15 and watched the Julia Bradbury series on her walking the Coast to Coast in 2009. He was already a keen walker and having seen the series he decided he wished to complete the walk himself (quite an objective for a 12 year old). Early in 2010 we undertook a 30k walk on Cheshire’s Sandstone trail to see if Mike was capable of the daily distances required and whilst he managed the distance with no problems he wasn’t in any state to undertake a similar distance the following day. As a result we decided to defer the C2C until 2012 (holiday plans for 2011 meant that year wasn’t an option).
For those who don’t know the Coast to Coast (C2C) walk was developed by the late Alfred Wainwright, the renowned guide book writer who wanted to create a long distance walk using existing rights of way and visiting some of the best scenery that England offers in 3 national parks. The “official” route is 192 miles long with 24,000 feet of ascent, potentially we will extend this slightly by some diversions on the shorter days & of course any navigational errors may also increase that number. The walk commences in St Bee’s Head in Cumbria & ends at Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire, most people walk it in this direction to get the hardest walking done first and to have the wind ( and rain) on their backs.
The C2C route