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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Like Here Only Different ~ Englands Coast to Coast Trail

We are setting out on a wee adventure.

A few years ago I visited England and spent a day walking on the Cotswold Way.  England leads the pack on national trails that make use of the Right to Roam laws.  Trails are signposted and lead from village to village.  A wonderful tourist and recreation industry has grown around these trails and I am back for more.

Last year I booked a vacation through Sherpa Expeditions.  www.sherpaexpeditions.com  I spent a week in Madeira walking from town to town.  It was a excellent experience and even though I got a virus long the way (from the sickest baby in Portugal who was in seat ahead of me on the plane), I had a good time.

So this year I set my sights high and am walking the Coast to Coast trail in the north of England.


From St Bees on the Irish Sea through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks to Robin Hood's Bay on the North Sea.  Fifteen days walking, total miles about 200.

The first seven days thorough the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales promise to be challenging.  With time change and jet lag the first days 14.5 miles does not come with a lot of altitude gain.  In the days following we will be up and down several highland routes.  My kneecaps and toes will get a good roughing up.  Once over the Pennines the way becomes a bit more open and rolling.

I am following the route first set down in 1971 by Alfred Wainwright, a dedicated Fell-walker.  His humorous books on walking routes; seven over fourteen years, were illustrated with his own pen and ink sketches and packed with wry humor.

His Coast to Coast trail has never been accepted in the National Trail System and as such suffers a bit from sketchy way marking (guideposts) and some rather neglected boggy bits.  It does, however, support a booming industry of Inns, Pubs, B&Bs and Hostels.  There are sherpa services that transport your bags (and on a bad day,YOU) from hotel to hotel. 

My route will take me through the wettest spot in England so I am fully prepared for a drenching much of the way.

My guide book of maps ( Coast to Coast Path , Henry Steadman Trailblazer Press www.trailblazer-guides.com) , places to stay, eat and sights to see along the way ( 200+ pages) will be torn apart, each days maps fitting in a special map case.

No matter the weather, blisters or no, I have wanted to walk these hills since first seeing them on the wonderful BBC series "All Creatures Great and Small"

Some great pictures in these sites below.  I am doing all I can to appease the weather Gods to have fine clear weather for Helvellyn and Striding Edge day.




I am hoping to be able to blog almost every day, the WiFi of each nights stop permitting.

So today, Saturday 22 I say Hello to Summer in London. I start with a noon landing at Heathrow, a tube into town to stay in my dear Cartwright Gardens.  I'll pick up an emergency phone to have on hand then off to the British Museums new Pompeii exhibit.  Dinner at Marquis Cornwallis( beef pot pie, yum!)

 Tomorrow will head by train to St Bees to begin our adventure.


  1. Best of luck on the hike. It should be a great time of the year to do it - long days and hopefully good weather. Look forward to reading your progress and any interesting plants.

  2. How I envy you this hike. We were always so busy when in the UK that we never got much chance for anything other than some day hiking. Have read some of your posts but have it on my list to read them all.

    Just back from Goose Rock and Washington Park. Lots of Piperias and Goodyeras but not much else blooming other than some Indian Pipes. A really poor year for wildflowers.