Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk
We accidentally did the Coast to Coast in September 2000 when there was a bit of a petrol crisis, its was handy as you can get to either end by public transport.
We were more than surprised by how good it was. It still rates as one of the best walking holidays we’ve ever had (and we’ve had a lot) and it is much much better than other similar routes such as the dredful Pennine way.
We took 10 days to do the 190 miles; this was completely stupid, even by our standards, and we would suggest you take the full two weeks+ to do it and include a couple of shorter rest days or you will be VERY tired towards the end.
Wainwright does the route west to east, to have the prevailng weather to your back – however this means that most everyone does it west to east. We did it east to west which we think has some significant advantages.
- the landscape / terrain gets progressively more interesting east to west – North Yorks Moors, Yorkshire Dales then Lake District. We think it might be progressively dissapointing to do it the other way round.
- you meet lots of new people every day, rather than being stuck with the same group of people doing it on a similar schedule as yourself. As most pople start on a Saturday this gives huge waves of people crossing West to East every seven days or so. If you get stuck in phase with a weirdo you might end up being quite miserable.
If you can afford to use Youth hostels and B&Bs, with pub meals as well – do so, as the weight of camping equipment can detract from the walking. We used http://www.coast2coast.co.uk/ to reseach accomodation. If you’re really soft there are also bag transport services available.
Both OS & Harveys do a great pair of maps to show the whole route on just 2 maps – this really helps to keeps the weight down but can limit your options for re-routing.
Travel light, many B&B’s / YHAs we used also do a packed lunch service and some even did a laundry service!
Author: Phil Newby