We undertook this walk during June 2016. It was similar in length to Offa’s Dyke Path (ODP), and I would be reluctant to claim it as our longest walk thus far. We followed the received wisdom (and the guidebook) in walking from west coast to east. We were blessed with good weather, particularly over the first five days in the Lake District, whereas on the ODP, we had a great deal of the wet stuff to contend with.
I think that the ODP was probably more arduous than the Coast to Coast (C2C), and not only because of the meteorological factors mentioned above. Although ODP never attained the highest point on our C2C – Kidsty Pike at 784m (2,572ft), it was more undulating with very little walking on the flat. Reminiscing about ODP, I remember a fairly flat stretch from Llanymynech to Buttington following the old Montgomery Canal and the River Severn, on days six and seven. This covered about 11 miles, but was easy on the eye as well as the feet, with the looming presence of the Breidden Hills. Although C2C was devised to take us across the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors, days 11 and 12 involved a fairly featureless slog across the Vale of Mowbray for 23 miles. The gray weather didn’t help. On reflection, if I had a fortnight available to walk the C2C, I would be tempted to organise a lift or public transport between Richmond and Ingleby Cross/Osmotherley and spend my 15 days enjoying the remaining 170-180 miles of rambling. If you are a completer/finisher by nature, I would recommend getting up early in Richmond, and whizzing across the Vale of Mowbray in a single day! Ohh! That I could whizz!
One very positive feature on C2C was that it seemed to be very popular! We hence chewed the fat, and shared a pint, with a number of walkers from all over Europe, North America, and Australia. A related plus was that accommodation and replenishment, was generally of a high standard. We organised our trip fairly late; but even so, for the most part, there was a good selection of eateries and places to stay at our disposal.
As is often the case, Julia and I cannot claim to have completed the C2C. Due to my over optimistic assessment of what we could achieve, we finished day 4 in Grasmere, having aimed to finish it in Patterdale! We will have to return to walk the intervening miles. I note that there is a route from Grasmere over Helvellyn to get to Patterdale. This has recently (January 2018) been voted to be the British public’s favourite ramble!
The links below are to the two halves of the C2C, which I have loosely named week 1 (St. Bees to Keld) and week 2 (Keld to Robin Hood’s Bay). The observant among you will note that the first week stretches to eight days, and the second to a gargantuan nine! At last, I’ve got one over on Lennon & McCartney. They never got around to writing, “Nine Days a Week”. And there you are; Julia and I have brazenly walked a nine-day week. Beat that!