Coast to Coast Walk

I wonder how many members on this forum have done the Coast to Coast Walk? I would be interested to hear their experiences.
Started my first C to C on 16th May 1998. I had bought Wainwright’s book and kept looking at it and wondering whether I should or even could do it with virtually no experience of walking in the high fells. Anyway, on that day I started from the sea wall at St. Bees with excitement and trepidation. The next 12 days were the most memorable in my life. It was even tougher than I had imagined but when you reach the North Sea the sense of achievement was wonderful.
I did half the walk as a leader for HF Holidays in 2001 (Robin Hoods Bay to Keld) and the the whole walk again in 2005.
I was surprised how many people I met on the walk were from the USA and Europe and the camaraderie with fellow walkers meant you would often meet up in a pub in the evening.
What other holiday can you have daily; a gigantic English Breakfast, a good packed lunch and a large pub evening meal with a couple pints of beer and lose a stone in weight!


And I thought this was coming from someone in the US…:sunglasses:


The day after retirement in 2010 we were on the train to St Bees. Yup a marvelous experience going across so many landscapes. Two weeks only rained once - torrentially for an hour on the N York moors so maximum exposure.

So many great pubs and good beer. Pub grub was just right.

Only down moment was watching the England Germany game on a baking hot afternoon in
a pub in the middle of Wainwright’s Slough of Despond (Danby Wiske).

There were a few (loud) Americans and a Canadian lady who kept being accommodated miles off the trail and would pitch up the next day in a cab/bus/water taxi. I do recall an American couple from the prairie lands who had no idea what they were letting themselves in for and had to give up after day 2.

We have walked on parts of the trail since (including where the Cleveland Way intersects) and the preponderance of Americans and Aussies was very noticeable.

I pat myself on the back if I achieve a mile nowadays.

A different perspective.


30 years ago I started this walk from St Bees with my then girlfriend.

It hammered down with rain that day and all night.

In the morning she got her mother to pick her up.

(Despite this, we remained together for a few years, and even went on a long hike in the Monsoon to the Everest region of Nepal.)


Think our coasts are too close together!



A postcard I picked up on route. Of course I used OS maps for navigating!

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Done a few English long-distance paths, but Hadrian’s Wall is still on my list, waiting to be done.

There are many great long distance paths. I enjoyed the Cumbria Way, Cleveland Way, North Downs Way, South Downs Way. Others I have partly walked that I enjoyed were the Cotswolds Way, Wolds Way, Greensand Way amongst others. But it is difficult to beat the C to C.

Nine Standards Rig was a fascinating place with an eerie walk across glutinous bogs,;

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Eee bye gum, what about the Lyke Wake Walk, flower ?


It does overlap for 20 miles or so but I haven’t done the whole route in one go. When I was a leader for HF Holidays I did a lot of walking in that area of the North York Moors. One of my favourite areas for hiking.

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Done that! This was over 40 years ago, though… and the Three Peaks as well.
But those are challenge walks, not long distance walks.

I’ve walked from the Pacific coast to the Sea of Japan a couple times. It’s a grueling twenty minute treck.


Did the Coast to Coast with my father and brother in law nearly 30 years ago in early May and it literally pissed it down for most of the trip, we didn’t camp like the real hardy soles but did stop in some lovely farmhouse b&b’s.I can honestly say I was glad to make it to the end as there was nothing worse than waking up in your lovely warm bed and hearing the rain bouncing of the slate roof knowing you were going to have to spend the day in the wet again.

Booking the B&B’s and hotels well in advance means you take pot luck with the weather. I had generally good weather although the first walk had exceptionally high temperatures which was quite taxing carrying a two stone backpack. As a leader with HF you had to carry a survival bag, emergency tent and extra medical equipment which made it a bit harder. Keeping the group happy was harder than the navigation. When we were staying in Osmotherly I was put up in a comfortable single room in a pub and most of the rest of the group were in a guest house. When we met up next morning I was met with angry faces as they told me their fire alarm had gone off five times during the night and how was it that I had bagged a cushy room in the pub! Of course I had no say in the room as they were all arranged by head office and I took whatever was allocated to me. Later in the holiday an American lady fell into some barbed wire and had to be taken later to Penrith Hospital. Fortunately, my St John ambulance training was not tested as another lady in the group was a nurse.

Out of interest I used the two OS 1/27,777 strip maps which were brilliant but which ceased publication in 1991. Harvey’s does a current 1/40,000 strip maps which incorporates changes to the recommended route. I would still use the OS map as the larger scale is easier to navigate with. The OS maps are difficult to get hold of but there is one on eBay for a very reasonable price for anyone interested. They are a great read as in addition to the route there are extracts from Wainwright’s C to C book.

Done that aged 16 in 1977. Set off at midnight, finished at 4pm next day. 42 miles ?

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