Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 1 St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge 14 ¼ Miles:

My dad had travelled up to St Bees with us to see us off and take my car back home, so a pleasant evening was had the night before, we had a walk on the beach and selected a stone each in order to keep with the coast to coast tradition of taking a stone from the Irish sea and throwing it in to the North Sea, before heading for a nice meal and a few drinks whilst excitedly chatting about what to expect on our third coast to coast.

After an early breakfast at 7am we said our goodbyes to my dad and set off to the beach to dip our boots in the Irish Sea before officially starting the walk. After a couple of pictures we hit the trail about 7:45 am, the weather was good to begin with overcast conditions, however the sky began to darken as the morning went on. After a fine cliff top walk along St Bee’s head we headed inland and east bound towards Cleator. We stopped at a nice bakery for a Cornish pasty, unfortunately they had no indoor seating area as the heavens opened, still, we sat outside and ate our dinner (very nice it was too!).
As we pressed on towards Dent Hill the weather began to worsen with heavy wind and rain, the top of Dent which had been a visible target for us throughout the morning was now soaked in a low cloud and looking increasingly less pleasant to climb. With the weather in mind we decided to take an alternative route around Dent through the Flat Fell valley to the North, which turned out to be a really nice alternative and kept us away from the worst of the weather.
We arrived at Low Cock Farm in Ennerdale just before 2pm, welcomed by a roaring wood burner, tea and cake! We were also the first walkers to arrive and so could pick our room, selecting the room with the best heating and drying options of course.
After getting showered and changed we stuffed the boots with newspaper placing them next to the wood burner to dry. Other walkers began to arrive throughout the afternoon and evening with the last arriving at 8:30pm having being rescued by the farmer after becoming disoriented and lost on Dent Hill in the poor weather, further confirmation we’d made the correct decision in altering our route earlier that day.
Given the poor weather we decided against going to the pub and ordered a Chinese takeaway for dinner and chatted to other walkers Derrick and his wife about the route and first day’s events. First day complete and feeling pleased with our first days efforts & navigation as we headed to bed, tomorrow we hit the climbs of the Lake District and a good night’s sleep was a must!

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