Last year Steve & I didn’t do any long distance walks due to family events, but we did take a few days away in September to Ilkley, Yorkshire. This time we had an extra member of our little select group – Steve’s long standing friend, school pal and fellow Welsh rugby fan, Lynn, from Llanelli in South Wales.
We walked two days on the Dales way; one day Burnsall to llkey, the next Kettlewell to Ilkley . For the final day we walked over and around Ilkley Moor, starting in heavy mist but finishing in brilliant sunshine. Unfortunately for Lynn, we had just left the Swastika Stones on our way back to Ilkey when he stumbled on some steps and fell on his camera. The good thing was that the camera survived but unhappily he was in pain. After an uncomfortable night and the long journey home to South Wales A&E it turned out that he’d broken a couple of ribs. However Lynn enjoyed his time in Ilkey so much that he said he wished to be included in other walks.
During our first evening in Yorkshire, whilst partaking of an aperitif or two, Steve was talking to a small group of walkers who were walking the Dales High Way, one person said they had completed the Coast to Coast last year in two stages, which created a thought in my mind. Over our next three days the idea was played with, and logistics were considered, but nothing concrete was finalised. We discussed it again over another aperitif or two and it was agreed that I would look into the possibility of the C2C for 2015.
After having considered all the dates, along with inviting other interested parties from home, we finally ended up with just myself, (El Capitano as Steve calls me), Lynn (new recruit and head of kitty / purse) and Steve (foot soldier, map case carrier, head of light entertainment).
So the plan was hatched. After making all the necessary arrangements through our trusted travel operator for the fourth time, “Mac Adventure”, we would set off on 1st May 2015 from St Bees walking across the Lake District, to finish at Kirkby Stephen in the Eden Valley at the base of the Pennines.
Preparation / Training
Having made the necessary arrangements between travel operators and Steve sorting the best ever deals he could with trains, emails were flowing back and forth to each other. It was now left to us to get in as much training as we could. This was important as during the first section of the C2C you have to contend with heights as well as distance. The guide books refer to the walk as moderate to strenuous; more on the strenuous side in my opinion.
The walk consists of almost a mountain a day. Knowing this and the daily distances to be covered, in my case not enough training took place.
I had completed several 15 mile walks, but generally along canal tow paths, along with some days cycling about 18 – 24 miles. Steve, a regular walker of eight to ten miles at weekends and going to the gym, is reasonably fit so only topping up training was necessary for him. When Steve & I walked along the River Severn to Hampton Loade and back covering some 20 plus miles, I knew I had the stamina but we hadn’t practised any hill-walking this time, which was my downfall.
Time had run out in our training plans but, with all kit checked / new equipment purchased, it was now left for us to bite the bullet and go for it, hoping that what training had been done was enough to tackle the first stage of the C2C
Part 1 St Bees to Kirkby Stephen – May 2015
Day 1 Travel to St Bees
Day 2 St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge 15 miles
Day 3 Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite 16 miles
Day 4 Rosthwaite to Grasmere 9.5 miles
Day 5 Grasmere to Patterdale 7.5 miles
Day 6 Patterdale to Shap 16 miles
Day 7 Shap to Kirkby Stephen 20.5 miles
Day 8 Homeward Bound
Part 2 Kirkby Stephen to Robin Hood’s Bay – August 2015
Day 1 Home to Kirkby Stephen
Day 2 Kirkby Stephen to Keld 14.5 miles
Day 3 Keld to Reeth 12.5 miles
Day 4 Reeth to Richmond 14 miles
Day 5 Richmond to Danby Wiske 12.5 miles
Day 6 Danby Wiske to Ingelby Cross 10.5 miles
Day 7 Ingelby Cross to Great Broughton 12 miles
Day 8 Great Broughton to Blakley 8.5 miles
Day 9 Blakley to Egton Bridge 12 miles
Day 10 Egton Bridge to Robin Hood’s Bay 17.5 miles
Day 11 Robin Hood’s Bay to Home
Overview of the Coast 2 Coast