Our Coast to Coast Walk 2010

192 miles, 34,000 ft of ascent, 54 geocaches in 13 days from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay


Planning

In the autumn of 2009 whilst watching a repeat of one of Julia Bradbury's programmes on the Coast to Coast walk we were reminded that this walk had been one of the things we had been meaning to do but had never managed to get around to. We decided that we would investigate how we might arange to to do the walk during 2010. We needed to plan well in advance so we could arrange for holidays and avoid work travel which might clash.

Our first task was to decide how to do the walk. Camping was fairly quickly ruled as after all this was supposed to be a holiday and rain had to be expected at some point. Bed and breakfast seemed to be the answer and in that case did we want to carry all our clothes or use a baggage company. We looked at what was available and Packhorse provided everthing we could want. Secure parking for the car, baggage transport and could arrange accomodation as well which made everything very easy. The only potential problem is that we would have to complete every section with no way we could decide to shorten a section if the weather was bad or add a rest day if we developed blisters or any other problem. This meant we had to plan an itinerary we were confident we could acheive in bad weather as well as good. We wanted to do all the high routes through the lakes and decided to make those sections as short as possible, forego any rest days and avoid any unreasonably long days.

The plan we finally arrived at is shown below. Note the difference between the estimated times and those we actuallty achieved but these include stops for food and drink, photography and some geocaching along the way. We wern't going to walk passed all those geocaches without stopping!

Itinerary

The final plan and the reality

Day

Start

Finnish

Estimated
Distance
(miles)

Estimated
Ascent
(feet)

Estimated
time
(hh:mm)

Actual
distance
(miles)

Actual
ascent
(feet)

Actual
time
(hh:mm)

Geocaches
found

1

St. Bees

Ennerdale Bridge

14

2972

05:53

15.1

3583

7:23

2

2

Ennerdale Bridge

Rosthwaite

15

2414

05:17

15.2

4150

10:36

2

3

Rosthwaite

Grassmere

9

2319

03:21

9.7

2591

7:58

2

4

Grassmere

Patterdale

10

3703

04:43

9.1

3443

8:07

5

5

Patterdale

Shap

17

3749

06:24

14.5

3607

8:46

3

6

Shap

Kirby Stephen

20

2037

06:33

19.9

2030

9:17

1

7

Kirby Stephen

Keld

12

2139

04:15

12.2

1969

5:57

2

8

Keld

Reeth

11

2116

04:12

12.8

2529

7:39

2

9

Reeth

Richmond (St Giles)

13

1876

04:53

15.4

1813

7:25

4

10

Richmond (St Giles)

Ingelby Cross

20

850

06:00

19.6

1056

8:15

3

11

Ingelby Cross

Blakey Moor

21

4090

07:32

21.4

4985

10:18

8

12

Blakey Moor

Grosmont

14

879

04:18

13.8

896

6:49

3

13

Grosmont

Robin Hood's Bay

16

2329

05:20

15.5

2523

7:38

1

 

Total distance walked turned out to be 192.5 miles. We also found 3 caches on the day before we started around Kirby Stephen.

Navigation

We were confident in out map reading skills but had read tales of people getting lost and walking miles out of their way. We may have gone a little overeboard in our navigational aids! We started with the Harvey strip maps which are great fun and very useful for planning and reviewing the days walk. We used a garmin Oregon GPS unit with mapping of the walk and loaded this with the route we intended to take as well as the geocaches along the way. This turned out to be the most effective navigational tool and we used it all the time. Finally and rather late in the day, we bought the recently updated Stedman guide which was extremely useful. Not only for the route description which is excellent, but for the information about places along the way and places to eat shop etc. We would not have wanted to be without it. We also had a back up GPS device, batteries, compass etc - we were not going to get lost!

Preparation

Mary was of course extremely fit and had comportable footware so needed no preparation. Chris planned a strict training plan which degenerated into some longer geocaching trips and a couple of circuits of Rutland Water in the weeks leading up to the walk. These were intended to break in some new boots but in practice only acheived blisters before the start. A last minute purchase of some waterproof trainers for use on flatter sections saved the day. So, prepared or not, we started out.



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