Coast to Coast September 2009

If you talk the talk, walk the walk

 Coast to Coast History

While The Coast To Coast Walk is not one of Britain's official National Trails it is one of the most popular long distance paths in the country, walked by thousands of people from all corners of the world every year.

Located in the North of England, the Coast to Coast Walk runs from St Bees on the Cumbria's Western coast, across the country to Robin Hood's Bay on North Yorkshire's Eastern Coast.

It's often referred to as Wainright's Coast to Coast Walk, as it was originally described and defined by the highly regarded travel writer, Alfred Wainright.

The Coast to Coast Walk crosses through some of the most breath taking parts of the UK across three national parks, those being:

  • The Lake District
  • The Yorkshire Dales
  • The North York Moors
  • It has amongst the most spectacular scenery of any of Britain's long distance paths. While the walking is not as demanding as, say the Pennine Way, the Coast to Coast Walk is to be treated with respect - it does have some very challenging sections, especially those in the west as you walk through the Lake District. As such anyone who is considering taking on the challenge, should be experienced hill walkers or at the very least make sure you do plenty of training for the walk before setting out on the route. Your fitness levels should be reasonable at the very least and you should be properly equipped for the walk.

    The Coast to Coast Walk is 190 miles long and were you to cover the entire trail in one go, it's estimated it would take you something like 12 to 14 days to complete. There are some high sections and there are some tricky ascents to negotiate, but there tend to be alternative routes available to avoid the worst of these if you don't fancy the challenge.

    You should also have up to date maps and a compass and be able to use them both. The trail is reasonably well marked most of the time, however some of the sections are not and will rely on you using your map and compass reading skills to find your own way. You can never rely on having good weather in the UK and visibility along the route can reduce at the drop of a hat. Which makes it all to easy to get lost, especially if you are up on the high peaks.

    As with most long distance paths, the Coast to Coast Walk tends to get split up into smaller sections which people often tackle as mini-walks, or which they use to plan anything from a day in the hills to a long weekend. According to Wainright, the route splits into 12 sections, however the going is tough on many of the sections, so you may want to consider splitting the more arduous ones up where feasible. The 12 'official' sections can be found in the my journal section of this site, to give you an idea of what to expect on each section of the route.

    It is highly recommended that you book your accommodation well in advance due to the popularity of the route, each of the individual stop over points are often well catered for by local services, however this cannot be guaranteed. So it is important that you plan your stay over, in the hotels, pubs, Bed and Breakfasts or campsites. If you intend on using one of the baggage carrying services they will often assist you with your planning for the accommodation (at a very small cost).

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