Martin Windle goes Coast to Coast
(Friday 29th April to Wednesday 11th May 2011)
In a moment of questionable reason over a couple of drinks one evening last November, I agreed to take on, with two friends Mick Smith and Ali Watson, the challenge of the Coast to Coast long distance walk between St Bees in Cumbria and Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.
The Coast to Coast is a route of approximately 200 miles linking the Irish Sea to the North Sea ( C2C ! ). The route crosses three National Parks, the Lake District National Park (from Ennerdale to Shap), the Yorkshire Dales National Park (from Kirkby Stephen to Richmond), then over the Vale of Mowbray to the North York Moors National Park (from Ingleby to Robin Hood’s Bay).
The C2C was devised by Alfred Wainwright and the route we will be following will be his route with minor modifications that have evolved over the years.
The C2C route does not have the status of a national trail. The route crosses many local authority areas with no single body taking responsibility for it.
Way marking is very variable and there are places where there are no signs at all and accordingly navigation in some sections can be, lets say, challenging! This will be especially heightened if the weather is unkind to us.
We are taking advantage of the additional days holiday courtesy of the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton and aim to be setting off from St Bees around 8 am on Friday 29th April.
Our itinerary and approximate daily mileages and hostelries for the evenings are as follows:-
Fri 29th Apr - Day One:- St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge – (14.5 miles)
In line with C2C tradition, we will baptise our boots in the surf, pick up a small pebble to drop into the North Sea at the end of the walk. Then it’s up the steep climb to the cliff top beginning of the C2C path with fence on one side and 300 foot drop on the other!
Then on to St Bees Lighthouse; Cleator; Dent Hill and Raven Crag then through the pretty Nannycatch Valley and Hickbarley Forest to the Shepherd’s Arms (01946 861249) in Ennerdale Bridge.
Sat 30th Apr - Day Two:- Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite in Borrowdale – (14.5 miles)
(via the Ennerdale Valley, along the southern shore of Ennerdale Water through the Ennerdale Valley Plantations along the River Liza to Black Sail Hut youth hostel; up the almost vertical Loft Beck near Grey Knotts to the slate workings at Honister Pass to Seatoller) (Gillercombe B&B Rosthwaite – 017687 77602)
Sun 1st May - Day Three:- Rosthwaite to Patterdale – (16 miles)
(via Stonethwaite Greenup Gill to Greenup Edge; Easedale; Grasmere; up to Grisedale Tarn; over Grisedale Hause pass down Grisedale to Ruthwaite Lodge and Grisedale Bridge to Patterdale – White Lion Inn (017684 82214))
Mon 2nd May - Day Four:- Patterdale to Shap – (16 miles)
(via Rake Crag; Stoney Rigg; Angletarn Pikes; Angle Tarn; Satura Crag, the Knott; Kidsty Pike (at 2,560 the highest point of the walk); along the northern shore line of Haweswater to Burnbanks; Shap Abbey and Shap – The Greyhound (01931 716474))
Tue 3rd May - Day Five:- Shap to Kirkby Stephen – (21.5 miles)
(via Crosby Ravensworth Fell; Houghton Scar; Sunbiggin; Ravenstondale Moor; Smardale Bridge to Kirkby Stephen – Redmayne House (017683 71441)) - (21.5 miles)
Wed 4th May - Day Six:- Kirkby Stephen to Keld – (11 miles)
(via Hartley; Birkett Hill; up to the summit of Nine Standards Rigg and across the peat bogs down to Ravenseat and Cotterby Scar - our arrival in Keld signifies us reaching the half-way point of the Coast 2 Coast walk and this is where the route crosses the Pennine Way – Keld Lodge (01748 886259))
Thu 5th May - Day Seven:- Keld to Reeth – (10.5 miles)
(a day of walking amongst numerous Victorian lead mines and old abandoned workings via Crackpot Hall; Swinner Gill Lead Mines onto Lownathwaite Lead Mines, across Gunnerside Beck and up onto Melbecks Moor and Old Gang Mines down into Hard Level Gill and Old Gang Beck and around Calver Hill to Reeth – Black Bull (01748 884213))
Fri 6th May - Day Eight:- Reeth to Richmond – (10.5 miles)
(via Marrick Priory; Marrick; Marske; Applegarth and Whitecliffe Wood down into Richmond – Black Lion Hotel (01748 826217))
Sat 7th May - Day Nine:- Richmond to Danby Wiske - (14 miles)
(via Holly Hill; Colburn Hall; under the A1 at Catterick Race Course; to Bolton-on-Swale; Streetlam and on to Danby Wiske – White Swan (01609 775131))
Sun 8th May - Day Ten:- Danby Wiske to Ingleby Cross passing East Harlsey (10 miles) (Blue Bell at Ingleby Cross – 01609 882272)
our lowest daily mileage of the route!!
Mon 9th May - Day Eleven:- Ingleby Cross to Great Broughton - (12 miles)
(via Arncliffe Woods; Gold Hill; Carlton Bank and Gringle Moor – Dromonby Bridge Farm B&B at Kirkby – 01642 712226))
Tues 10th May - Day Twelve:- Great Broughton to Egton Bridge – (20 miles)
(via Round Hill to Cockan Head; crossing the Cleveland Way and onto Farndale Moor; High Blakey Moor; Danby High Moor; Glaisdale Rigg; Glaisdale and East Arncliffe Wood above the River Esk to Egton Bridge – Horseshoe Hotel – 01947 895245))
Wed 11th May - Day Thirteen:- Egton Bridge to Robin Hood’s Bay – (19 miles)
(via Grosmont up to Sleights Moor; to Littlebeck; Midge Hall; Sheaton Low Moor; Hawsker to the coast at Maw Wyke Hole and then south along the cliff tops into Robin Hood’s Bay.
On arrival in the bay, all that remains is to remove the boots and dip the feet in the sea and liberate the pebble carried from St Bees beach and then toast our achievement and sign ‘the book’ in Wainwright’s Bar at the Bay Hotel !!
The charitable benefactor of the challenge:-
Derian House Children’s Hospice, Lancashire
I am delighted to confirm that on the back of this challenge I am looking to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice, Astley Village, Chorley PR7 1DH and which has an enviable reputation in setting new standards of excellence in children’s hospice care. Indeed, much of the palliative and respite work initiated by Derian House, since it opened in 1993, is now emulated throughout the UK.
Since the concept of establishing Derian House began, the vision has always been that it should be a happy place, a home from home, rather than a simple alternative to a Hospital, that vision has certainly become a reality.
Despite its role, it is a place where life is for living and where laughter and tears are to be found in equal measure. Visitors to the Hospice are often surprised and moved by the strength of purpose and determination shown by children and young people who, in many cases, know they have only a limited amount of time left with their families.
They are currently supporting more than 250 families who have a child with a terminal or life threatening illness and a further 200 receiving bereavement support.
For them Derian House is a lifeline in helping them cope with the highs and lows of their child’s illness and its aftermath.
The high level of specialised care and support costs in excess of £1.65 million per annum of which virtually the whole amount is raised through the efforts of the Hospice and their supporters and the generosity of their friends in the community.
For the convenience and security of supporting this very worthy cause, I have set up my own site on the “Just Giving” website. This also has the facility for opting to Gift Aid any donation/sponsorship monies thereby effectively increasing the value of the donation to Derian House.
Alternatively, you can send a cheque payable to “Derian House Childrens Hospice” and forward it to me at Napthens Solicitors St Andrews House Wellington Street Blackburn BB1 8DB.
Thank you very much indeed for any support that you may decide you wish to provide.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
So please dig deep and donate now.