Sunday, 12 June 2011

Another coast to coast

Yay we have decided to do the wainwrights coast to coast again next May, we have booked in at the lion inn at blakey ridge for 18th May we couldnt get in there this time and we have decided not to do any camping just bunk houses and pubs  :-)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

new adventures

so we survived the coast to coast and now iv got the bug, a few of the people we met along the way told me about another walk they thought i would enjoy called Offa's Dyke 177 miles so iv looked it up and im up for it but think it will have to wait till next year.
 The next one i wanted to do is Haidrian's Wall and sean has agreed that we can do it so we're thinking of August as its only 84 miles it will only take 4 days, im excited already, looks like a great walk :-)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

check out our coast to coast pics

Click the link above to see a slideshow of our pics.

Thank You to everyone

Me & Sean want to say a big thanks to everyone who supported us before, during and after the walk and a huge thank you to everyone who sponcered us and supported francis house childrens hospice,, to our parents for taking us to st bees and for the finacial help, to adam and lisa for coming to pick us up at robin hoods bay and the certificate and plaque they got us, and to all the wonderfull people we met along the way,  we had an amazing time, tho some of it was absolute hell because of the weather, honestly couldnt have done it without everyones encouragement xx

Day 12 Glaisdale – Robin Hoods Bay 19 miles

us at the finish

We were all up early today, 6am and we were all mulling about making brews and getting ready for the day ahead, a sense of excitement in the air about hitting Robin Hoods Bay today!

After packing up the tent and a breakfast of sausage beans & corned beef hash (strange but nice) we were on the march again for our final day, me, Sarah, Sharon, Kerry, Pedro and Martin were now on our way to Robin Hoods bay. We walked through the village of Glaisdale past the station and through the woods, the weather was light drizzle, the light stuff which soaks you though so it was murky start.   The first part of the day was mainly good bridle tracks and road side walking and we arrived in Grosmont for just before dinner time.

Grosmont is a lovely place and the huge & surprisingly noisy steam engines were in Grosmont station so we stopped for a while and took some pictures, the light rain was beginning to ease a little also which was nice to see.

After a short stop in Grosmont we moved and wow, what a shock the really steep climb out of Grosmont is to the system, it must have been a 33% climb and bloody felt like it along the road side. Once at the top of the climb and once on the moors we noticed what looked like a shorter path on the OS Maps, which turned out to be far from it and we got a little disorientated and lost the paths, after following our compass bearings we ended up back on track and by now the skies were clearing and temperature was rising as we moved ever closer to the bay, the North Sea now a permanent feature on the horizon.

After getting lost again as we approached the sea, which was not something we done much of during the whole walk you could tell the excitement and anticipation and arriving at the bay was distracting from our route mapping, we soon found the route again after regaining our composure with a quick brew, a bite to eat and took some of the layers of as it was now a beautiful day, the nicest day so far it would seem.

We arrived at the coast and a sign states Robin Hoods Bay 2.5 miles, but don’t be fooled we had another 4 miles to walk following the Wainwright route across the cliff tops. It has to be said we were completely shattered by this point, the last day is a long day with some really steep climbs along the way, and the conditions were now hot. But on a day like today the walk across the cliff tops was something else, an unforgettable walk with amazing views as we moved towards the Bay, the village now visible in the distance. My dad called me to check our progress as we approached the bay and Adam and Lisa our friends were waiting for us with a cold beer at the Bay Hotel.

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Me and Sarah walked into the bay together, as we stared the walk. And as we approached the end of the walk I could see Adam and Lisa waiting, a great moment for us both, the weather was stunning and the tide was in so we didn’t have to walk any further to throw the stone in the sea we collected from St Bees, or to dip our boots. The lovely weather for our arrival in Robin Hood's Bay made up for some of the terrible weather we had experience across the walk.

We had a great afternoon outside the Bay Hotel, with a few drinks and chatting about our walk to Adam, Lisa and other walkers. Adam and Lisa also bought us a certificate and plaque for the wall at home to remember our achievement, what a nice surprise!

Before we headed of for a shower in our hotel prior to heading for dinner we said our good byes to our friends we’d met along the way. And I think that’s when it hit us.

The Coast to Coast was over…….we’d walked over mountains, through valleys, suffered injury & pains, had ups and downs, but I think it was only as we finished we realised what an amazing walk this was We’d met some great people over the last 12 days, and some strange ones it has to be said. But they say you find out a lot about yourself on this walk, and each other and we did just that, how tough Sarah was and how resilient we both were, through some pretty terrible conditions at times. Raising some money for Francis house was another good outcome and we’d like to thank everyone who supported us with that also, without the words of encouragement from friends back home and people we’d met we may not have got there, and once again thanks to you guys.

But the Coast to Coast is much more than a walk, it’s an incredible journey, one we’d love to repeat one day, and certainly one we’ll never forget.

Now for a nice meal and a few beers………………………………….Sarah and Sean’s Coast to Coast.

Day 11 Beakhills Chop Gate to Glaisdale 20 miles

We were up early at 6am today after a good nights sleep, we wanted to get the tent packed away before breakfast as we has a long 20 mile day planned today after our nice short day yesterday. We sat down for a full English at Beakhills farm “the works” and as with some other places in this blog, Beakhills farm is recommended as a nights stopping point, very nice couple and a great breakfast.

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We were on the march to Glaisdale for just before 8am and soon had an early wake up call with a steep climb up to Hasty Bank, there is then a steep decent before another climb, albeit a worthwhile one to the Wainstones, we were lucky to have excellent conditions in terms of visibility to view the Wainstones and the views from them. They really stand out from the rest of Carlton Moor, the rocky stones jolt in to the sky, scared by years of folk climbing on them with two more this morning, I was pleased to be here and made sure we got a few good pictures, a land mark moment on the coast to coast.

us with fat betty

Still, we had about 19 miles walking ahead of us not too much time could be lost here despite how nice it was so on we pressed across the long walk over Live Moor using the disused rail track. The weather held out and we had a really good pace about us, overtaking other walkers we went, we arrived at the Lion Inn Blakey Ridge bang on target for lunch, we got a seat and I headed to the bar and got us a pot of tea for two, Martin and the rest of the gang were in there already and enjoying pint! We resisted the temptation and stuck to the tea for the time being. After a bit of lunch and a team photo we pressed on across Danby High Moor heading for Glaisdale.

We walked with Sharon, Kerry and Martin for the rest of the day as we were all booked in at the same place tonight, Hollins Farm. There was quite a moment that afternoon as we descended to Glaisdale, and for me it really brought home how much I now loved this walk, a view of the North Sea!!! Whilst it was a pleasing moment, and brought a sense of achievement I couldn’t help thinking our journey was nearing it’s end, the aches, pains, down moments, rain and wind for a moment were all forgotten, and all the great places and people we met came to my forethoughts………..still some way to go yet though!!

We arrived at Hollins farm after a long walk that afternoon and we were please to be there as the legs had signalled to me they’d had enough for today. There was a notice for everything at the farm, don’t do this, don’t do that, no noise after 10pm none before 7am, no walking here or there………you get the picture. We were only there one night and it was a good job as we were bound to slip up and break a rule, despite that it was a lovely place, very pleasant and we had a nice stay. Paul very kindly drove us to Whitby so we could use a cash machine and get some supplies, as Glaisdale was pretty limited in that respect.

Martin Enjoying the heat
Once back Sharon and Kerry cooked up an excellent curry and I settled in the farm barn with a dodgy tuned TV set to watch the Manchester United v Barcelona Game, but the less said about that the better, it was not going to spoil my trip that’s for sure and the others sat around the camp fire they were forced to use.

We headed for bed after a bit of a chat and about our final day tomorrow and how and when we were going to arrive in Robin Hoods bay, and another day came to an end……….tomorrows the last day and I fell asleep hoping for good weather and a great last day.

Day 10 Ingleby Cross to Beakhills Farm – Chop Gate 9 miles

The evening before Sharon had asked us to join them for breakfast which we gratefully accepted, and I have to say Kerry is a genius, cooking scrambled eggs, outdoors, no microwave, on a stove to perfection in the rain……brilliant. So with a good breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, beans and bread we set off for Beakhills farm near Chop Gate, a nice short 9 mile day planned today.
We set off walking at 09:10 and soon began to climb up through Arncliffe wood, and although it was quite a steep climb it was a welcome one after the rather boring flat lands of yesterday. Sarah and Sharon were soon off in to the distance and me and Martin walked together, stopping to take some picture of the amazing views back across the Vale of Mowbray as we reached the top of Beacon Hill, the visibility today was fantastic with great views to match.

As we walked across the moors we continued to get excellent views, although we also noticed some rain showers moving in our direction, although a few miles away as yet we kept one eye on the situation. The four of us walked across the moors and sure enough the rain did catch up with us and the water proofs were on once again, although it was only a short but heavy shower.

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After a really enjoyable walk across the high ground we descended steeply and were soon at the much talked about Lord Stones Café, and we could see why, Martin rightly pointed out “this is what I thought every day on the coast to coast would be like” nice walk in the morning, not much rain followed by tea and cake at a café about an hour or so before the end of the day. But no, today was the shortest day of the whole walk and we made the most of our relaxed afternoon.

the view from our camp site
 Me and Sarah were booked to stay at Beakhills Farm tonight, while Martin, Kerry, Sharon and Paul were booked in Great Broughton, so we soon went our separate ways after a certain amount of piss taking from Martin, convinced we were booked in to a hell whole. However when we arrived at 15:30 and Beakhills farm was very nice indeed and we were invited in for tea and biscuit’s while the grass was cut on our camp. We then set up the tent in a wonderful setting over looking the Beakhills valley and we cooked a pasta Dolmio stir in meal for tea on the stove.

After tea the farmer offered to run us to the local pub and collect us afterwards, which was really nice as the nearest pub was 3 miles away. Once at the Black Bull Inn were pleased to see Joyce and John again and so had a nice evening chatting to them before being picked up at 9 and retuned to our camp. We confirmed our breakfast for 7am with the farmer, got the kettle on for a brew and turned in for the night, another day over on this amazing adventure we now found ourselves on, and looking forward to seeing the Wainstones in the morning which I was looking forward to, we were set for the night.

Day 9 Colburn to Ingleby Cross 22 miles

We awoke in our tent pretty early, I was up and about for around 6:30 and made us a cup of tea, and this was also a chance for me to test my toaster attachment to the stove Sarah bought as we’d picked up some muffins in Richmond yesterday, so it was ham tosties for breakfast. Then we packed up and headed for Ingleby Cross.

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The weather started overcast but once again cleared to be a nice morning, it wasn’t long before we met up with Martin who was walking with Paul today as Sharon had damaged her ankles the day before and had swapped roles for the day. The first part of the day we continued to follow the river Swale before heading off across the very flat grounds of the Vale of Mowbray, as Wainwright states in his book, “those who believe the world is flat are mightily encouraged by this stage of the walk” or a little dull is another way of putting it. But it was a good chance to tick of some miles and plod on we did, through field, after field after road…… may be flat but it’s the longest section on the whole coast to coast route and felt like it.

Honesty Shop

We passed an honesty shop some kind folk had set up out front of their farm, offering chocolate, cake and drinks! So we all treated ourselves and left payment in the bucket of course.

We all plodded on trying to ignore the black clouds, rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightening creeping up behind us as we passed through the village of Streetlam. However we couldn’t ignore it any longer and along came the pretty heavy and relentless rain which stuck with us for the rest of the day.

I have to say this day seemed to go on forever and the driving rain did not help, the fields were now becoming very muddy and my gamble of wearing walking trainers instead of my boots today had well and truly backfired and my feet were soaked.

As we approached Ingleby Cross we were all getting a little down and damp and were suddenly faced with the challenge of crossing the A19, which looked pretty much like a motorway to me. After over 20miles walking behind us we just didn’t feel like we had a turn of pace in our locker to get across this road, but we managed to dig deep and ran across to safety….phew!!

We arrived at the Blue Bell in where we were camping for the night and set the tent up wet, got in wet, and so set for a wet evening. But at least they had a warm shower which was something I was really looking forward to.

chillin out
After freshening up we had our tea in the Blue Bell Inn, and a few drinks with Kerry, Sharon, Martin & Paul, tea was ok but not the best we’d had. Joyce and John were also in the pub so it was nice to catch up with them also.

Day 8 Reeth to Colburn Village via Richmond 15.5 miles

After a good nights sleep in the caravan it was flap jacks for breakfast and we headed over to the village store to pick up some lunch and we set off for Colburn at around 09:00. The weather started overcast but cleared to good sunshine as the day went on. Not long after we left Reeth we noticed in the distance that our path was blocked by a rather strange looking animal, as we got closer it was a breed of sheep,  however quite a bit taller than the usual type and looking quite agitated as it wanted to get past us. Sarah did the obvious and hid behind me prodding me in its general direction, but we all got past each other without too much of a problem.

By lunch time the weather was great and after passing through Marske we stopped for lunch at Clapgate Beck. The views were excellent and not wanting to tempt fate we even splashed some sun cream on and whipped the sun glasses out for a while, the knee was holding up well and Sarah was still setting the pace. We had to tiptoe round a heard of Bulls through the next stage which surprisingly seem to have free roam around these parts, however Sarah used the original tactic of sending me first armed with my walking pole. Although I am not sure how effective this would be against over a tonne of solid muscle and horns, thankfully we didn’t need to find out.

We arrived in Richmond for around 15:00, and the weather was still good, the walk down into Richmond is a fine one with great views of the castle on a good day like today. It was quite something to be in a busy town again as the coast to coast route is very remote, being able to go in a shop, buy a coffee, use a cash machine and have a phone signal was something of a novelty for us. We bought some more tent pegs and some sleeping bag liners to keep warm as it was back to the tent for us tonight and also some lunch for tomorrow.

And after about an hour enjoying the civilisation of Richmond we set off on the 2 mile walk to Colburn where we were staying tonight. After losing my way in my guide book we followed the compass and some rather dodgy some directions from a passer by and somehow ended up in Catterick Bridge that afternoon, about a mile further on than we should have been. So noticing a local taxi number, having no idea where we were and not wishing to add any more needles miles to our day we got a taxi back to Colburn Village at the Hildyard arms where we were booked to camp, we arrived about 17:30 however the pub was closed until 7pm so we had to wait until someone turned up so we could get out bags and pitch our tent. After initially thinking our bags had been stolen we eventually got the tent pitched for around 18:30 and our pre booked meal was served promptly at 7pm.

I think the best way to describe the Hildyard arms is odd, very odd. One poor Chap Steve who we’d met walking that day waited until 10:45pm to get in to his room as Rupert the owner was not on site, me and Sarah for once were glad we were camping, even if there were no showers or water points outside. Luckily the locals were very welcoming and we had a good laugh chatting to them and generally making light of poor old Steve’s situation who I have to admit took it all very well and had a great sense of humour…………which he needed.

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Day 7 Keld to Reeth 11.2 miles

Another reasonably short day planned for today so we had a bit of a lay in, we had a nice relaxed breakfast of bacon rolls, and with a packed lunch from Heather we set off around 10:00am set for the small village of Reeth.

The day started much better with no rain, although over cast. Me and Sarah walked with Martin whilst Sharon headed off to run the route today, with just over 11 miles to cover and better conditions we were in confidant mood and Sarah’s feet problems now seemed a thing of the past as she was starting to pick up and set the pace. We were in the zone which Martin called “the golden hour” after a good sleep, an hour or so after breakfast and the daily dose of 600miligams of Ibuprofen was kicking in we felt good.

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 We got some great scenery as we followed the very swollen River Swale through the Swale Dale Valley. We decided to avoid the high route again as the forecast was again poor. We arrived in the village of Muker after about 2 hours walking, although very nice there was not much to offer the passing walker and after a few photos we pressed on to the slightly bigger village of Gunnerside with the hope of a tea room on offer.

We arrived in Gunnerside to find the tea room opening times were the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 6 – 7:30pm, great, so it was a coffee from the flask once again. Kerry, Paul & Pedro the dog Martins support team arrived and we had some lunch in Gunnerside none the less.

As we pressed on after lunch to Reeth my knee started to play up again and right on cue arrived a rumble of thunder from behind us as thunder showers chased us down the Swale dale valley toward Reeth. Myself and Martin arrived in Reeth in a bit of a state as my Knee was now causing me real worry, and likewise Martins knee was also playing up, it was like a scene from dawn of the dead as we hobbled in to Reeth & now well and truly out of the “golden hour”.

the lovely caravan the nice man at orchard holiday park let us use
We checked in to camp at the orchid caravan park, only to find the very nice chap Peter who ran the park said we could use one of the old caravans instead of camping owing to the poor weather……fantastic!! It may not have been much but it meant the world to us, and for just £5pp we were very grateful, another example of the amazing kindness and people we met along this walk.

With no tent to set up Sarah worked out the Kripton Factor puzzle of converting the caravan sofa in to a bed and we then freshened up and walked into the village. We were glad to see Joyce and John, and so had a pint and a catch up with them on a very much weather orientated chat in the Black Bull Pub. After I rustled us up some chicken and spicy rice back at the caravan for tea, Paul and Martin invited us over to their caravan to watch a DVD on Paul’s portable DVD player, armed with a few cans of beer for me and rose wine for Sarah we headed over for a good laugh and chat, good times to look back on I was beginning to feel.

Day 6 Kirkby Stephen to Keld 12.75 miles

We had a great Breakfast at the nice B&B Fletcher’s House which set us up for the day. We set off at 08:45 for our walk to Keld which we were both a little apprehensive about given the forecast, so it was water proofs on and off we set. There are 3 routes over to Keld and we opted for the green route which is recommended in poor conditions, this unfortunately meant we would miss the nice standards rigg today.

As we left Kirkby Stephen we started to climb up past the quarry up Hartley Fell, as we did the wind and rain began to become more aggressive to the point where we took shelter behind a dry stone wall, and we were both becoming more concerned not only for safety but navigation as we had not seen any other walkers at all so far this morning which was unusual for the coast to coast route. But we pressed on after Sarah had somehow managed to have a cigarette to calm the nerves in possibly the wettest conditions outside the sea!  We had someway to go and had to climb to 1600ft before the green route would descend to the B6270 road, as we trudged on we noticed two figures walking behind us, relief, as I could just make out it was Joyce and John, we were quite pleased that we were no longer alone in what could be best described as hellish conditions, and I had more confidence in my navigation skills once again.

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 The four of us continued checking our maps regular as to get lost in these conditions were not something we wanted to contemplate. As we finally found the B6270 road we knew we could follow this all the way to Keld, so soaked right though to our smalls that’s what we did, by this time the wind was so strong the rain was hurting our skin through our coats as walked.

We descended in to Keld for 14:30, with no picture taking, or stopping for lunch we’d actually made really good time. We arrived at Park House Bunk House and Heather who ran the bunk was really nice and made us feel welcome showed us round, it was heaven, lovely bedrooms to ourselves, the best drying room ever, they did food and they even had a licence to sell alcohol………..result. And even better we were sharing the living area with Martin, Kerry, Sharon and Paul so had great company also. After a tea of chip buttie for Sarah and chillie con carne for me we spent the night sharing stories of the horror weather we’d all walked through that day, but walk through we did, unless your Sharon and ran it!!
And here we were in Keld day 6 done, and now half way. Sharon noticed my limp from my knee and offered to help, this involved the “rolling of my IT band” lets just say it worked, but it was pain on a whole new level………

We’d have to say Park House Bunk Keld was our favourite accommodation of the trip, do not miss this place if you walk coast to coast, a real gem.

the view from the bunk house

Day 5 Shap to Kirkby Stephen 20 miles

the M6 footbridge

We woke up after a good nights sleep and had our breakfast of cereal, toast and tea, both preferring to avoid the full English option before a days hiking and set sail for Kirkby Stephen and saying goodbye to the Lake District, and I can say we were quite glad, as nice as it is those crags, rocks and climbs had taken there toll on my knee and Sarah’s feet.

We set off at 08:45 and once we crossed the M6 foot bridge navigation had to be closely watched as the exposed heather moor had no obvious path, and I have never walked outside the lakes on this walk from now on, the rain and wind stuck with us for the morning and we soon caught up with Martin who was studying his map with Sharon near a small forest.

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 Martin and Sharon split off and headed for Orton to check in with their support team Kerry , Pedro and Paul, while we decided to press on over Ravenstonedale moor, as we did the weather improved and the rain and wind seemed to back off somewhat. As we stopped for lunch Roe and Hayden arrived and we chatted for a while and stuck with them for the remainder of the day. It was a pleasant but long walk on to Kirkby Stephen that afternoon as the sun even came out around 15:00 and we got a view of the nine standards rigg on the horizon.

a very welcome sight at the end of 20miles

We arrived in Kirkby Stephen at 17:15 after another long days walking, but in good sprits. We checked in to our lovely B&B Fletchers House and were shown around by Gillian the owner, we were offered tea and cake and had our own on suite, great stuff, Sarah was over the moon!!  We then popped out to wash some clothes at the laundrette.

Sean, Roe & Hayden
We ate at the Black Bull Hotel which to be honest was a little disappointing, in particular Sarah’s duck looked like it had been cooked for a week on a BBQ and was about as dry as a duck could get, whilst the potatoes would have looked more at home orbiting earth as meteorites.  We met up with Hayden and Roe for a few drinks afterwards in the Kings Arms which was nice, although also a little sad as our walk plans meant we would not see them again after today as they were pressing on a few more miles than us in the morning. So we ensured we had contact details so we could keep in touch, they also sponsored our charity Francis House which was extremely nice of them, thanks guys!!

The forecast for the next day was……….yep, you guessed it, storm force gales and heavy rain…great. So once again we changed our accommodation plans and upgraded to bunk house for tomorrow night, and felt quite lucky to be able to get in somewhere at such short notice.

Day 4 Patterdale to Shap 16 miles

We woke refreshed after a good nights sleep in the youth hostel and had breakfast of cereal for me and yogurt for Sarah, strangely my appetite had not what it normally is for the past day or so.

We set off at 09:15 and called at the Patterdale village store for some lunch and very nice short bread cake first thing. The nice couple who run the store warned us about the wind forecast and advised us of another low level alternative route around Kidsty pike standing at 2559ft & the highest point on the coast to coast it was going to be blowey up there, however we decided to press on over the planned route as it was dry and didn’t want to hang around too long. The views climbing to Kidsty Pike were fantastic back to Patterdale and the rain was holding off, even if the wind was gaining strength as we climbed. We met up with Hayden and Roe as we climbed Kidsty Pike and got to the summit for just after mid day, the highest point on the whole coast to coast walk and a great moment for us, Hayden took a picture of me and Sarah together at the top.

We pressed on as the wind seemed to be getting stronger and staying on our feet was getting more difficult, as we descended down to Haweswater I discovered my first blister starting on the bottom of my foot, but managed to get a compeed on it before it got any worse. As we made the long walk along Haweswater toward Shap the heavens opened and stayed open until we arrived in Shap at 17:30, by this point my knee was really sore and we were both soaked through. We were staying at New Ing lodge in Shap which was really nice, and we were made to feel more than welcome by Scott who was running things there, the fire was roaring away and it was great to dry off and instantly felt better.

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We noticed Martin was camping out back with the rest of his team at New Ing lodge, Sharon who was running the coast to coast, Kerry and Paul who was the support driver for their team and Pedro the guide dog. I went out for a quick chat then we headed of for dinner.  And as the wind and rain continued we were sure we’d made the right choice to upgrade and had a lovely meal at the Crown Inn in Shap, Steak and Ale pie with chips umm umm ummmm. Martin, Kerry, Sharon and Paul arrived and ate there also, we would recommend the New Ing lodge and the Crown Inn highly, very nice. We also met another nice couple over dinner, Joyce and John, again some new friends we would keep along our journey to Robin Hoods Bay, and we were starting get a real good feel and atmosphere to this walk now

Day 3 Seatoller to Patterdale 17. 75 miles

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We woke up to low cloud and windy conditions after a much better nights sleep in Seatoller and after a brew and cereal bars for breakfast again we had packed up and were on the march again for 08:00. And with the early low cloud we were pleased with our decision to wear the water proofs as rain set in after about 20 minutes walking and stuck with us all the way as we climbed Greenup Gill and up the very steep climb up lining crag, we were almost scrambling up here at times it was that steep.

When we got to the top of lining crag we were getting pelted by heavy rain and strong winds as we attempted to navigate across Greenup Edge down to Grasmere, we had lost sight of Hayden and Roe in the distance which did worry us, however we were pretty sure we were going on the right direction armed with my compass and guide maps.

sean in Grasmere
We arrived in Grasmere as the sun came out and Sarah patched up her blisters which we were starting to worry about. We met Hayden and Roe who had mistakenly taken a high route over Gibson knott influenced by other walkers which Hayden was cursing himself over, however we all arrived safely which was the main thing. I bought a water proof map holder in Grasmere and we had a really nice lunch, tuna and ham cheese tosties with tea, very nice indeed, albeit it not cheap at £16.90.

We set off to Patterdale after briefly mentioning the words “Bus and Patterdale” in the same sentence given how sore Sarah’s foot now was. As we began to climb tongue gill the sun was now fully out and the layers were off again and sun cream on. It was a long and tough walk as we ascended tongue gill and descended thorough Grisdale valley to Patterdale. We walked the last few miles with a nice guy called Martin who was walking the coast to coast for charity, guide dogs for the blind. Martin was also struggling with blisters and the 3 of us arrived in Patterdale at 19:15 well and truly knackered, Martin was also to become a good friend as the walk progressed.

Our spirits were lifted as we had booked to stay in the very nice youth hostel in Patterdale so no tent needed tonight yippee! We had dinner with a few drinks in the White Lion with Hayden and Roe and reflected on a tough but great days walking.

With the weather forecast showing storm force gales and rain for the next two days I called ahead and changed tomorrow nights accommodation from camping to bunkhouse in Shap, it proved to be a very wise decision……..

Day 2 Low Cock How Farm Ennerdale to Seatoller 19 miles

After only a couple of hours sleep, a brew and cereal bars for breakfast we were off again set for Seatoller. The day started overcast but soon cleared to be a nice morning with some great views across Ennerdale water in to the Lake District. The walk past Ennerdale water and through the forest to black sail youth hostel seemed to take forever and the layers were soon off and sun cream on. We stopped at black sail youth hostel for lunch and met the couple from New Zealand once again after briefly meeting them earlier walking near Ennerdale water. We also met a group of people who looked in the 60’s who were nearing the end of their trip walking the coast to coast east to west, this gave us confidence and was nice to chat to them for a short while.

Ennerdale Water
After lunch we had the really steep accent up loft beck and at the top we stopped to navigate with two other coast to coasters Hayden and Rose (Roe) who we were to become good friends on the walk, before the long decent down to Honister mines where my knee and Sarah’s feet were given their first problems of the walk.

We arrived in Seatoller at 17:30 suitably dishevelled and limping to find our bags left outside Seatoller farm with no one around to speak to. After searching around we found the chap who ran the farm who directed us 500 meters down the road with our suitcases to the camp, and with showers back up at the farm and limited facilities at the camp I was a bit disappointed in Seatoller farm to be honest.

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After pitching the tent with a collection of pegs found at the site after leaving our pegs in Ennerdale we had a mile to walk to Rosthwaite for something to eat as the only pub in Seatoller closed at 6, which was also the village shop & tea room! This was my first real low moment of the walk as I began to panic we would not get any food this evening after a really tough second day and it was Sarah who kept up the spirits on night 2, helped with chicken & chips in a basket and a couple of beers at the Scarfell riverside bar in Rosthwaite! J

Day 1 St Bees to Low Cock How Farm Ennerdale. 14.5 miles

the cliffs @ St Bee's
Day one arrived and we awoke at the B&B Out Rigg House in St Bees to a lovely breakfast of Cumberland sausage, beans, egg and toast, not to heavy and just right, we would recommend Out Rigg House to anyone very nice.

We had been dropped off in St Bees by my Dad the night before and so had a chance to walk down to the coast to check out the start point to ensure a confidant start in the morning. So at 08:30 after dipping our toes & collecting our stone from the beach to throw in the sea Robin Hoods bay, followed by few pictures we were off, & now officially Coast to Coast walkers!

The weather was clear and sunny and made for an excellent first days pictures and great walk across the cliffs at St Bees head. We noticed some other walkers starting the walk also and spoke to a mother and daughter who were walking the route in 18 days, which did make us briefly doubt our rather tight 12 day plan, but hey, no turning back now. We got our heads together with another couple walking the route who were from from New Zealand to navigate around Stanley pond which was a bit tricky and then stopped for lunch just after Cleator, a good chance to air the feet out and get the socks off. The first disappointment of the walk for us was the tea room marked in my guide book had closed down since, and so it was coffee from the flask.

elevation profile

After the steep climb up dent hill and the really steep decent down raven crag the first test of the knees & ankles was complete and we arrived at the very nice with good facilities Low Cock How farm in good time for 16:00 and got the tent pitched. Unfortunately, we had a note from Sherpa van our baggage carrier telling us our bags were overweight and so had to sacrifice some weight and send it on to our final stop in Robin Hoods bay. But after cooking tea and fixing my already broken rucksack we settled for the night in our tent, although did not get much sleep as we were both freezing all night and started to worry about our decision to camp for large sections of the walk.