In my mind the walk as described by Alfred Wainwright (AW) was, and is, an adventure. The first part of our walk from St Bees to Kirkby Stephen was the most strenuous; it felt like every day we had to walk a mountain and cover a good distance. The lesson learnt here was to walk no more than 15 miles per day. The weather on this stage wasn’t as kind as on the second stage, which made life a little challenging, but when the weather was good we had fantastic views. The few people we met on this part of the walk we saw at ‘Blacksail’ YHA and just occasionally on our way to Kirkby Stephen, whereas on the second stage, Kirkby Stephen to Robin Hood’s Bay, we encountered lots of walkers from different countries, which was fascinating. We met up several times during the walk, having a laugh and a chat. By the time we arrived at Robin Hood’s Bay I felt I had a kindred spirit with the other walkers.
We had good weather which meant it didn’t rain during the day, only in the evening. Our hosts and accommodation were brilliant, we didn’t have too many strenuous hill climbs (although there were a few), and everywhere we found friendly local people, which restored my faith in mankind.
Closer to the North Sea a strange feeling develops inside you, it stirs your thoughts. You know the end of your adventure is coming and on one hand you don’t want it to end, but on the other hand you do. You want to share the fantastic experience, yet want to see your family again.
So the walker who wishes to do the C2C must look on it not only as an adventure but also an experience. You are walking from one side of England to the other, 192 miles in total – more if you lose the path!
The walk is not to be taken lightly. Some experience in hill walking, navigation and long distance walking is essential, and training is fully recommended. I also advocate you should walk it with at least one companion. Whether you stay friends after remains to be seen, but it is a true test of friendship.
Would I walk the C2C in reverse from the North Sea to the Irish Sea? This remains debateable, I need to ponder the idea some more.
So reader, if you are thinking about walking the Coast 2Coast I hope this journal helps you to decide………….Enjoy!