Coast to Coast
It is approximately 200 miles from St Bees on the Cumbrian coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Yorkshire coast. The route passes through three National Parks and has spectacular, varied scenery. There are various itineraries of 12-16 days. We chose to take 16 days as we wanted to enjoy the walk and not to have to cover an excessive distance in a day. This meant we had often finished by early afternoon and had time to look around where we were staying. It also meant that we didn’t need to factor in a “rest day”. Various companies will transport bags, but we chose to carry everything that we needed. Good weather helps and we were lucky enough to have glorious sunshine on every single day. Once the Lake District has been left behind the route is well marked, but a map and guide-book are essential. Accommodation was all pre-booked and there was plenty of it, apart from on Blakey Ridge. Here, the Lion Inn has many rooms but, if it is full, there is nowhere else for miles around. We booked it first and then slotted everything else in around it. St Bees is served by trains and there is a bus from Robin Hood’s Bay to Scarborough (for trains), so travelling up there and back home again is quite easy.
Hardest days Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite
Patterdale to Bampton
Easiest day Reeth to Richmond
Longest day Final day, 16 miles, Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay
Best B&B Kirkby Stephen
Best tea-room Gunnerside, Swaledale
Coast to Coast is not an easy walk. We climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest (and a bit more). If the weather is bad, parts of it would be both difficult and miserable. We were lucky in this respect and had the other issue of making sure we carried enough water to counter the 2018 heat-wave. We met quite a few characters en-route. Everyone was friendly and the camaraderie helped to make the miles go quickly. On reflection, the walk provided us with unforgettable memories and was an incredible experience.
Nicki and John