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Wainwright's Coast to Coast (The Sequel)
by Gordie12 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:15 pm
Date walked: 09/06/2019
Time taken: 10 days
Distance: 322 km
Ascent: 10679m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I came in to this walk 5 years older (obviously), less prepared (due mainly to my working hours now), less fit and 4lb heavier than the last time yet intending to take on more climbing.
For anyone thinking of doing this walk and looking for info here was my daily log.
St Bees - Ennerdale Bridge
Miles - 15
Moving Time - 04:58
Stopped Time - 00:23
Moving Ave 3mph
Overall Ave 2.8mph
After a 3:30am rise then a long drive down to St Bees we headed for the cafe at the beach, thereafter Andrea drove home and I headed off to walk to the other side of England.
A good day, warm and sunny with a good breeze blowing.
I took the standard route except that there were forestry commission works ongoing at Dent so instead of taking on my 1st climb of the walk there was a detour on to Nannycatch Lane.
A good distance for a first day with good weather and very little climbing involved.
Ennerdale Bridge - Rosthwaite
Miles - 16.3
Ascent - 4820ft
Moving Time - 07:19
Stopped Time - 01:01
Moving Ave - 2.2
Overall Ave - 2
Quite simply, this was the best single day's walking on any long distance walk I've done since I got in to this in 2011. Rather than taking the normal route down to the car park at Ennerdale Water I took a minor road and a tarmac narrow lane to get over to the other side of the water then I picked up a grassy track that climbed through the ferns before narrowing in to more of a stalkers path as it climbed sharply alongside Rake Beck. Once I was past a waterfall the gradient started to ease and I was at the top of Great Borne. A tough start to the day and I wondered at this stage if I was maybe taking on too much but the walk over to Starling Dodd was straight forward and didn't take long.
Red Pike was next and having seen nobody on the first two hills suddenly there were a few people about. The last part of the climb up to Red Pike is fairly steep but the reward is just fabulous views in all directions. A shortish walk and more climbing and I was on on High Stile and this seemed like a good place to stop for some lunch.
The walk over to High Crag seemed to take a while (probably due to the number of times I had to stop for photographs). The climb was fairly steep but nothing compared to the descent initially on scree and then on steps. I had to take a breather after the descent as it was harder than the climb. Five down, just Hay Stacks to go. This hill is lower than the previous three but it packs a fair old punch and is hard work on the ascent. It's noticeable that there are a lot of people on this top compared with the others. The path then undulates past Innominate and Blackbeck tarns before the first signs of mining can be seen and I know I am starting to get close to Honister.
Just one decision left to take, Fleetwith Pike is off to my left and I swear it is winking at me, just tempting me to take on one more hill. Time to remember there are another eight days to go and I leave FP for another day leaving me with the descent from Honister to Rosthwaite.
A wonderful, wonderful days walking.
Rosthwaite - Patterdale
Miles - 18.1
Ascent - 6450ft
Moving Time - 07:54
Stopped Time - 00:38
Moving Ave - 2.3
Overall Ave 2.1
The weather is turning and the local forecast suggests I should enjoy the morning as the afternoon could be poor. I set off early and the walking is easy then gradually steepens with a sharp climb up to Lining Crag followed by a cairn following walk to Greenup Edge.
It's decision time, the weather is going to deteriorate but it is still good so I head over to High Raise. A fairly wet start (underfoot) but a very easy walk to the top with most of the climbing done on the way to Greenup Edge. My paper maps didn't cover the area beyond this hill so I chose to backtrack to the C2C route then went down the valley towards Grasmere.
By now the wind had picked up and was fairly strong in to my face as I headed up Great Tongue. I thought the wind was strong but when I came over the rise by the side of Grisedale Tarn I was almost blown away so the plans to climb Seat Sandal had to be binned so I've now walked past it three times without climbing it. The walk down the valley to Patterdale was as beautiful as usual and the more height I lost the more the wind calmed.
A good day but the plan had been for a bit more climbing.
Patterdale - Shap
Miles - 16.7
Ascent - 4487ft
Moving Time - 06:32
Stopped Time - 00:37
Moving Ave - 2.5
Overall Ave - 2.3
My final day in the lakes and the weather is awful. It's raining and cold in Patterdale and I can see that the clag is down so it looks pretty poor.
The walk up to Boredale Hause is remarkably quiet, there is simply nobody out this morning. At BH I take my path on the right and walk straight in to the clag. I walked past Angle Tarn and only caught a glimpse of it now and again as the mist lifted briefly then came back in again. At one point I realised I was gaining too much height and was able to drop back down the hill on to my correct route. It had been 5 years since I had been on this path and there were bits I remembered which definitely helped in the poor conditions.
On the climb round the side of The Knott the wind was at it's strongest and it was hard to keep walking in a straight line. I found a little shelter and went to three layers and put on a thin pair of gloves (I'm still surprised I actually took them with me). Once on the Straits of Riggindale the wind seemed to ease slightly but with really poor visibility the decision was taken to skip the group of hills around High Street and turn left for Kidsty Pike. At the top I met a chap sheltering from the wind and we then kept each other company on the way down to Haweswater before he headed off to pick up his car from the car park and I took the path along the waters edge. Now I was down on lower ground the gloves were off and the layers reduced.
Still a few miles to go to Shap but it's now much flatter ground and although muddy in places, the walking is easy. Just as I got to Shap the rain started again and seemed to be on most of the night.
A tough day, hard to believe it was June. The next morning a lot of fellow walkers looked remarkably fresh and raring to go, turns out the local taxi firms did good business yesterday.
Shap - Kirkby Stephen
Miles - 20.7
Ascent - 2493ft
Moving Time - 06:56
Stopped Time - 00:38
Moving Ave 3
Overall Ave - 2.7
It rained all day today. This can often be better than showers as you just stick the waterproofs on with the knowledge that they are on for the day so no messing around.
First milestone of the day, using the footbridge to cross the M6.
This was a bit of a nothing day, mist on the moors so not much to see and just a case of grinding out the miles.Even in poor weather Smardale Bridge is a good place to stop for a break so I watched the river (in speight) as it rushed under the bridge and down the valley towards to Smardale Viaduct. I had a geographical blip before the bridge meaning I went the wrong way round a very large field whilst being closely watched by a herd of cows.
Five days down, five to go and I feel fine. More importantly, despite all the wet days the feet are holding up and are in good shape.
Kirkby Stephen - Grinton
Miles - 24.4
Ascent - 4384ft
Moving Time - 08:40
Stopped Time - 01:09
Moving Ave - 2.8
Overall Ave - 2.5
This was the first of two long days where I would cover just over 52 miles. There was a little light drizzle in KS as I set off and the forecast advised of poor weather in the morning but improving as the day went on.
The climb after Hartley alongside the quarry is fairly steep and the higher I climb the heavier the rain gets and again the visibility deteriorates.
At one point on the climb up to Nine Standards Rigg there is a small wooden bridge over a section of the bog and the water was running over the top of the bridge.
When I was up here five years ago the weather on the day was good and that followed a prolonged dry period. The top of the hill was a bit of an eye sore with the volume of boots that tramp over it annually but the bog was easily manageable. This year the conditions are completely different as it's now pouring down and it follows several days of heavy rain.
At Nine Standards neither the viewpoint dial or the trig point can be seen so I head off in to the gloom. I had read somewhere (and this was confirmed at the B&B this morning) that there were now flagstones down across the top of the hill to help with the erosion so at least I shouldn't disappear in to the bog. After passing the viewpoint dial and the trig point there are some fairly wet areas to contend with but then I reached the flagstones so that should be that. Except, the flagstones run for about 100 yards and the bog is over a mile..................
I reached a point where there was simply no way round the bog and I was faced with a jump (from a standing start) of around seven or eight feet - not even a sporting chance I'm afraid. I select my hoped for landing point and jump, my left foot plants and the water stops just below my knee with my right foot following to more or less the same depth. Having just avoided falling over I then slowly look to move the left foot forward (I'm worried that fast movement will leave the boot in the bog), then the right and I eventually get myself out. The good news is that I am now completely unfazed by the bogs that follow as my feet and legs can't get any wetter so I just march through everything in a straight line. Luckily I am up here on my own and my industrial language is just between me and the odd bird flying past.
A strange thing happened approaching Keld, the clouds dispersed and a ball of light appeared in the sky and I swear the temperature lifted. To celebrate I chose the high level route to Reeth and it did not disappoint. This was a fabulous afternoon's walking as I passed the wonderfully named Crackpot Hall and various other ruins before stopping for lunch at Blakethwaite ruins.
After a few minutes rest I then climbed the zig zag path behind the ruins before dropping down to a 4 way junction and sign. Needless to say my track was the one that went directly up the hill and it was a tough climb before coming out on a wide track which I then followed for a few miles (heading for Surrender Bridge and passing an old ruined smelting mill on the way). Once past Surrender Bridge there was a bit of a bog but also a good track that took me to the outskirts of Reeth before a narrow lane (or as it was that day a stream bed) brought me in to Reeth. It was then a short half mile walk to Grinton.
Horrible morning, more than made up for by a brilliant afternoon.
Grinton - Danby Wiske
Miles - 27.8
Ascent - 1970ft
Moving Time - 08:26
Stopped Time - 00:59
Moving Ave 3.3
Overall Ave 2.9
Today would be my biggest mileage day but certainly not my hardest day as there is very little climbing.
I take a decision early on to take tarmac to Richmond as I can cover the miles quicker and have dry feet for a couple of hours (it's getting harder by the day to stay upright in the fields). The back roads I used were very quiet and I only saw a handful of cars so it turned out to be a really nice morning.
Once I had refueled at Greggs in Richmond I was back on the standard C2C route. I was doing fine till I reached a field of rapeseed. I walked along the narrow foot wide path through the middle of the field and came out the other end like a drowned rat. A few more muddy wet fields and I was fed up with this form of walking so when I went under the A1 I decided to stick to the side of the B6271 which was fine but it added to the distance.
With about forty minutes to go till I reached Danby Wiske the heavens opened and the rain was bouncing off the road it was that heavy. The forecast had been for thunderstorms and I nearly made it before getting caught in one.
Danby Wiske - Clay Bank Top
Miles - 21.5
Ascent - 3644 feet
Moving Time - 07:35
Stopped Time - 00:51
Moving Ave 2.8
Overall Ave - 2.5
I have been looking forward to and dreading this day in equal measure.
The walk from Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top is just a delight (this is my 3rd crossing as I've also walked the Cleveland Way) but it comes after covering 52 miles in the previous two days so the legs will be tired.
The first part of the day is through more wet fields and this time I fail to stay upright but luck was on my side. In a sea of mud I landed on the only available green patch of ground so in a strange way I was pleased with myself.
I was glad to get out of the fields when I reached the A19 and I celebrated with a hotdog in the services. After eventually getting over the A19 I was hit with another thunderstorm that lasted till I reached the junction with the Cotswold Way when suddenly the sun appeared and stayed with me for most of the way to Clay Bank Top.
I had my traditional stop at Lord Stones cafe before my favourite part of the day and the last few hills ending with the Wain Stones. I had been lucky with the weather and I loved the second part of the day.
Clay Bank Top - Glaisdale
Miles - 19.4
Ascent - 1837ft
Moving Time - 06:01
Stopped Time - 00:47
Moving Ave - 3.2
Overall Ave - 2.8/b]
From my last C2C I reckoned this should be my second easiest day (after day 1) and this proved to be the case.
The climbing is all done early on and with that out the way it's a straight forward walk all the way to The Lion.Today was a day of sunshine and showers but the showers never lasted more than ten minutes and weren't as heavy as the previous two days.
I made good time to The Lion and then walked along the roadside to "Fat Betty". Trough House was a good stopping point for some food and shelter from the wind which was still strong and cold when the sun wasn't out.
All that was left was 5 miles of gradual descent down to Glaisdale so an easy and enjoyable day.
Glaisdale - Robin Hood's Bay
Miles - 19.4
Ascent - 2706ft
Moving Time - 06:34
Stopped Time - 00:42
Moving Ave - 2.9
Overall Ave - 2.7
The forecast for today is good with no threat of rain.
The walk through the woods towards Egton Bridge is muddy but no surprise there.
After Egton Bridge there is a good track all the way to Grosmont. As I approached the railway gates in the town they spun in to action and blocked the road for a steam train to enter the station. The gates must have been shut for a good fifteen minutes but I wasn't complaining as I got to watch the train and I remembered the slog ahead of me to get out of the town.
With the gates opened and traffic and walkers released it was straight on to the climb and it was just as I remembered it (never ending and as steep as anything faced in the previous nine days). Eventually I was on level ground and crossing the A169 with views down to Whitby (it now feels like the end is getting close).
The descent down to Littlebeck is steep and hard on the legs and it is then back in to the woods on an undulating path through Little Beck Wood before reaching a car park and picking up a narrow tarmac road. Another couple of wet moorlands are crossed before arriving in High Hawsker.
After a quick sandwich break there is a short section of road walking followed by a walk through a caravan site before reaching the coast and following the Cleveland Way (again) all the way to Robin Hood's Bay.
I reached the end of the walk (The Bay Hotel in RHB) and was having my picture taken by the large plaque on the wall when some guy looked over at me and said "that you pretending you've done the C2C mate??" I took it as a compliment and assumed he meant I looked so fresh I couldn't possibly have walked 200 miles in the last 10 days......................
In summary, the weather wasn't kind but I enjoyed the challenge as much as I did five years ago. I introduced more climbing in to my routes through the lakes and despite the lack of preparation I seemed to cope fine with it.
With not a single blister in ten days I should be putting those boots in the cupboard until my next long distance walk but sadly they have had to be binned as they fell apart bit by bit to the point where I wasn't sure they would make it to the end. They were boots that I only ever took on long distance walks and so in the last three years have covered around 1,100 miles - tis a sad day indeed!
For me, walking is all about memories and I will have many fond memories of this walk.
by LaurenAlexandraAgain » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:29 pm
by Gordie12 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:20 pm
by maldav2 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:50 pm
by Gordie12 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:16 pm
maldav2 wrote:Great read. I plan to add my pics to my WHW report but it seems long winded. Trying to get used to this site. I will definitely be reading your reports 🐾🐾👍
Some research for you ahead of the RRW!!
by raykilhams » Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:05 pm
Loved the report brought back happy memories of when me and Arlene did it a few years ago. Ah, Angle tarn, is it always like that ( our wettest day of the walk) . Over Nine Standards is always boggy, but you can't keep a good walker down.
Thanks for the mems.
by Gordie12 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:04 am
I'm going to leave it a couple of years but I fancy doing the Wolds Way then combining it with the C2C finishing at St Bee's - I seem to need a regular fix of this walk.