Planning a Coast to Coast walk

Last updated 19 September 2016

Follow the green fence like

If you’ve been reading my Coast to Coast posts, there’s a possibility that you’ve been inspired to walk it yourself. Either that or you’ve watched that Julia Bradbury do it on the telly and thought “that looks great!” Or maybe you’ve just picked up the book and decided to have a go.

Whichever way you’ve come to the Coast to Coast doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’ve thought “Yes, I could do that! Sign me up! How do I do it then?” You have, haven’t you?

You have? Great! So what do you need to know to plan your trip walking from one side of the west of England, to the east?

Inside This Guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The Roue
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the Coast to Coast
  6. Guide books and maps
  7. Know how to use a map and compass
  8. And finally, and any questions

What is the walk like?

Tackling the route to Patterdale

It has been on TV and was created by a walking superstar, so the Coast to Coast is quite a famous route. And it’s popular. And that means people sometimes think it’s going to be easy – like walking in the park.

It’s not. It’s 190 miles long, and there are some difficult bits, especially in the Lake District. And if the weather is bad, well it can be very difficult indeed. And I’m saying that as an experienced walker who has been up to his knees in bog on the Pennine Way.

I don’t want to put people off doing the Coast to Coast, because it’s a very rewarding route and in many parts it’s nice and easy going. I’ve heard of those who in their 70s and 80s who have done it. So if you’ve done some hill walking you should be fine.

However do not underestimate the Coast to Coast. To do it successfully you will need to be fit, have good walking boots and be very competent with a map and compass. Preferably you’ll have done some long distance walking before too.

That said, what should you expect? Well the Coast to Coast is an amazingly varied route, and no two days are the same. There’s fells, moorland, fields and mining history. In creating the walk Wainwright really went out to make it interesting. It really does seem to cover everything you could ever possibly want in a long distance walk.

If you’d like to know more, you can read about my own Coast to Coast journey.

The Route

The Coast to Coast goes from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. You can see the route using the map above. Using the controls you can scroll around, zoom in and explore the route. Note that this map is a guide only, and should not be used for navigation.

The Coast to Coast has a number of options and variations over the course of its route. This is especially true in the Lake District. All Wainwright’s variations are included on the map above.

Planning an itinerary

On a rock

Unless you’re camping, you need to work out your itinerary in advance and get it booked. As the Coast to Coast goes through many small villages, and is a very popular route, accommodation is very limited and booked up early.

The Coast to Coast could be walked all year round, however navigation and conditions can be difficult in poor conditions. As such, it is best walked in the period of May to October.

There are a couple of different possible itineraries and I have listed three: 12 days, 14 days and 15 days. Based on my experience I recommend the 15 day one. The 12 day version includes some very long distances and is recommended only for fit and experienced walkers.

The towns and villages listed in the itinerary below have been selected as they all have facilities – every one has a pub, and most have shops too. Where there are no shops, pubs and B&Bs will be able to provide packed lunches. Locations with a railway station are marked with a *.

12 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 St Bees * Ennerdale Bridge 14 22½
2 Ennerdale Bridge Rosthwaite 14 22½
3 Rosthwaite Patterdale 17 27¼
4 Patterdale Shap 15 24
5 Shap Kirkby Stephen * 20 32
6 Kirkby Stephen * Keld 11 17¾
7 Keld Reeth 10½ 17
8 Reeth Richmond 15 24 [1]
9 Richmond Ingleby Arncliffe 23 37 [1]
10 Ingleby Arncliffe Clay Bank Top 11 17¾ [2]
11 Clay Bank Top Glaisdale 18 29
12 Glaisdale Robin Hood’s Bay 19 30½
14 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 St Bees * Ennerdale Bridge 14 22½
2 Ennerdale Bridge Rosthwaite 14 22½
3 Rosthwaite Patterdale 17 27¼
4 Patterdale Bampton 11½ 18½
5 Bampton Orton 11½ 18½
6 Orton Kirkby Stephen * 12½ 20
7 Kirkby Stephen * Keld 11 17¾
8 Keld Reeth 10½ 17
9 Reeth Richmond 15 24 [1]
10 Richmond Ingleby Arncliffe 23 37 [1]
11 Ingleby Arncliffe Clay Bank Top 11 17¾ [2]
12 Clay Bank Top Lion Inn 9 14½
13 Lion Inn Grosmont * 12½ 20
14 Grosmont * Robin Hood’s Bay 15½ 25
15 Day Itinerary
Day From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 St Bees * Ennerdale Bridge 14 22½
2 Ennerdale Bridge Rosthwaite 14 22½
3 Rosthwaite Grasmere 9 14½
4 Grasmere Patterdale 8 13
5 Patterdale Bampton 11½ 18½
6 Bampton Orton 11½ 18½
7 Orton Kirkby Stephen * 12½ 20
8 Kirkby Stephen * Keld 11 17¾
9 Keld Reeth 10½ 17
10 Reeth Richmond 15 24 [1]
11 Richmond Ingleby Arncliffe 23 37 [1]
12 Ingleby Arncliffe Clay Bank Top 11 17¾ [2]
13 Clay Bank Top Lion Inn 9 14½
14 Lion Inn Grosmont * 12½ 20
15 Grosmont * Robin Hood’s Bay 15½ 25
  1. As a big town, Richmond is an obvious place to stay overnight. However doing so means a 23 mile slog the next day. To avoid this, from Richmond continue walking the 4½ miles to Brompton-on-Swale. Then either stay overnight in Brompton or catch the regular bus to Richmond and return on it the next morning. The next day you will be seriously thankful you did.
  2. Clay Bank Top is simply a road pass and there are no buildings here. Accommodation can be found in nearby Great Broughton (2½ miles north up the road) and at Chop Gate (2 miles south.) The road is busy but if you ask nicely and in advance, B&Bs and pubs may pick you up and drop you off.

Breaking the walk up for several trips

If you haven’t got time to do it all in one go, you can break the Coast to Coast up in a few ways.

The most sensible place to split the route is half way at Kirkby Stephen which is on the Settle to Carlisle railway link.

Alternatively you can do it into three sections by breaking at Shap and Richmond. Neither have a railway station, however local bus routes connect both with railway stations. Buses run from Shap to Penrith, and from Richmond to Darlington, both of which are served by mainline services.

Due to limited public transport services on other parts of the trail, there are no other easy ways to split the Coast to Coast up.

Rest Days

Walking 12-15 days consecutively may sound a lot, although if you keep your daily mileage reasonable, you’ll find it easier than you may think. However you may want to plan in some places where you can have a day off.

If you’re going to take a day off hiking, then you might as well do it at a place where there’s plenty to do. The following suggestions are all worth considering:

Accommodation

Black Sail YHA

The Coast to Coast is very busy and in the Lake District in particular, it can be very hard to find accommodation. Advance booking is pretty much essential if you’re walking in the summer.

Doreen Whitehead has been publishing an accommodation guide for the route for over 15 years and it is updated annually, and a print copy is available for £6. A free online version is also available.

Whilst Doreen’s guide provides excellent coverage, it is not exhaustive and you may need to search online for alternatives.

Hostels and bunkhouses

With one exception, all of the hostels on the Coast to Coast sit firmly in the Lake District. The hostels on or near the route are:

Camping

Many people who walk the Coast to Coast do so with a tent and the trail is very well served for campers. There’s some campsites, but many pubs and farms offer space for walkers to pitch up and there’s a few camping barns too. Doreen’s accommodation guide (noted above) includes information on camping.

There’s no legal right to wild camp in England, although it is tolerated in some areas, especially in the Lake District which has a plethora of excellent wild camping spots. However unless you’re an experienced wild camper, we’d recommend staying on proper facilities.

Getting to/from the Coast to Coast

Arriving at St Bees Railway Station

Because the route takes you from one side of the UK to the other, the most sensible way to arrive and depart is by public transport. St Bees in Cumbria is on the Cumbrian Coast Line which is a bit slow although rather nice – trains run from Carlisle or Lancaster – the route Lancaster route is, I’m told, the most scenic. Both Carlisle and Lancaster have excellent rail links with the rest of the country.

Robin Hood’s Bay no longer has a railway station, however there’s hourly (half hourly in summer) buses on route X93 to Whitby or Scarborough operated by Arriva North East. Whitby is nearer although there are more trains from Scarborough and the bus journey is not much longer. Scarborough trains go via York, which also has excellent rail links.

Alternatively if you have a car, the Coast to Coast Packhorse runs daily minibuses from Kirkby Stephen and they have car parking facilities at there. Some B&Bs may also allow you leave your car there for a fee.

Guide Books and Maps

Welcome to Yorkshire. Now pick your path

The popularity of the Coast to Coast means that there’s a huge number of guide books, in several languages. The following are our recommendations.

The obvious book to mention when talking about the Coast to Coast is the original A Coast To Coast Walk by Wainwright himself. It’s the book that started it all off and we carried a copy with us at all times. It’s full of history and information as well as detail of the route, set out in Wainwright’s handwritten style complete with his line drawings and occasional doodles.

The Second Edition of the book was updated by Chris Jesty, and published in 2010.

Although Wainwright wrote his pictorial guide in such a way that you can navigate using it, you’ll probably want to plot your route out on a map as well. We tended to use Wainwright in the evenings to see what we’d done, and it does make a great memento of the trip.

Most people prefer to use a more modern guide book for day to day navigating and the popularity of the route means that there are many.

Based on previous experience we recommend Aurum Press’s The Coast to Coast Walk (Recreational Path Guide) by Martin Wainwright (who is no relation).

The Aurum guides are clear and interesting reads, and always include Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale mapping. They also show a good area around the route, just in case you get lost. The most recent edition was published in 2016.

Now in its seventh edition, Trailblazer’s Coast to Coast guide contains detailed information of where to stay, eat and drink, so is ideal for anyone planning a walk. There’s also extensive information on public transport along the route, complete with bus numbers and operators. There are detailed hand-drawn maps, although I’d recommend that a proper map is used in conjunction with the book, and ultimately its planning rather than navigation in which the Trailblazer series truly excels.

If you prefer just to use maps, then there are two options. Firstly, there is the A-Z Adventure Series Coast to Coast Map book.

The excellent A-Z Adventure Series includes Ordnance Survey mapping for the whole route (at the 1:25,000 Explorer scale), as well as an index to help you find places. The book is a similar size to a map and will fit neatly in a map case, and is a lot easier to fold in wind! It has a small, compact size.

Alternatively you might want to consider Harvey’s two maps of the route. These are traditional paper maps, with Harvey’s own mapping at a scale of 1:40,000, so are less detailed than the A-Z maps.

There’s two covering the route, split in to East and West.

Finally, if you’d prefer to take a stack of Ordnance Survey maps with you (and it will be quite a stack), you will need the following maps. Note that the Coast to Coast is not specifically marked on Ordnance Survey maps.

On a lighter note, if you’ve got a Kindle, you can get a copy of A Coast to Coast Journal, by Catherine Redfern. It explores the Coast to Coast in cartoon form, complete with guides of what to do with walking poles! Oh and it stars me too.

Want to watch the Coast to Coast and see what it’s like from the comfort of your living room? Well you can. In 2009 Julia Bradbury walked the whole trail and had a camera crew with her as she did it. On her way she sees the sights and talks to those with a connection to the route.

Originally broadcast on BBC Four, Wainwright Walks: Coast to Coast is available on DVD.

If that’s enough, in 1990 Wainwright himself was persuaded to star in a TV series about his own creation. Presented by Eric Robson, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk was released on DVD in 2004, giving you insights to the trail from its creator.

Finally, such is the fame of the Coast to Coast that there’s even been a film made about it. Well, about four middle aged men walking it. Released in 2014, Downhill describes itself as a “road movie on foot”.

If you’re expecting pin-point accuracy on locations, and lavish helicopter shots of the route, you may be disappointed. For starters it was recorded on one of the wettest Junes in recent history, and there’s several bits that clearly were recorded on other paths (probably for practical reasons.) However if you want a subtle and rather understated British comedy then this is for you.

For an added bonus, watch it after you’ve done the walk yourself, and see how many similarities there are between the main characters and people you saw out there!

Know how to use a map and a compass

Homemade footpath sign

As the Coast to Coast is a completely unofficial route, waymarking is variable. The Wainwright Society has waymarked much of the route, and some community groups and individuals have placed their own signs to help the walkers. However the Coast to Coast is not a trail that you can navigate using just waymarks alone.

As such you will need a guide book with good quality maps in it (such as the Aurum guide book detailed above), or you will need maps. You’ll also need to know how to use a compass.

The importance of this cannot be underestimated. Whilst we were walking the Coast to Coast we saw some people who were woefully unprepared. Don’t be the man we saw who was navigating through the Lakes with a laminated A5 card that showed next to nothing other than a wiggly line with some place names. Had there not been other people around, chances are that he would have got very lost. There’s not a year that goes by when local mountain rescue teams don’t have to rescue lost Coast to Coast walkers.

Make sure you have a good map and compass, and know how to use them. So if you, or one of your party doesn’t know how to use a map and compass together, I’d learn. Better still, make sure everyone in the party knows. You will need those skills.

There are several online guides like How To Use A Compass, and you may also find training courses in your area – many YHA hostels host such events.

Knowing how to use a map and compass together will really help you and will (hopefully!) stop you getting lost. And if you do get lost, you’ll stand a chance of finding your way again.

And finally, and any questions

Blakethwaite Lead Mine

Hopefully now you’re now raring at the bit ready to go so there’s little to do other than offer you some sage advice. Take some good, comfortable, well broken in boots and some good breathable waterproofs – it’s often wet in the Lake District especially.

And where it’s wet, wet boots inevitably follow. A tip which many walkers don’t seem to know about boots wet inside is when you take them off, fill them with balls of newspaper. The newspaper soaks up the water from inside the boot, thus drying them out. It works a lot faster than letting them air dry. Try checking and replacing the newspaper after a few hours to help.

On a related wetness note, if there’s one thing you should pack, it’s waterproofing wax for your boots. Waterproofing on hiking boots does wear off (something people often don’t realise) and we had problems with boots getting soaked inside because of it even though both pairs were relatively new (that said, they had gone in many bogs and things…)

At the outdoor shop at Kirkby Stephen the owner recommended Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather. From experience it works very well, and you can apply it even to soaked boots. I tend to slap it on every few days just to make sure – it does work, and maintains the boot’s breathability if the boot is lined with something like Gore-Tex. If you don’t have leather boots, consult your local outdoor shop as similar products exist for other boot types.

Still it doesn’t always rain. Take your suncream and insect bite cream as well and you’ll be covered for all occassions! And if you are thinking of doing it, why not let me know in the comments box below? Also don’t hesitate to ask any questions too. However please note that I can only advise on “normal” walks – I have no knowledge on walking the Coast to Coast in two days, or any other more “challenge based” itineraries.

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Your Comments

Kaye Ferguson

14 June 2011 at 7:57 pm

My friend and I are walking ( hopefuly) the C2C in July/ August 2011, we have been in training for months but as we live on the south coast we have only been able to do the Southdown Hills, I do hope it will have been enough, time will tell, wish us luck
Kaye

Andrew Bowden

1 July 2011 at 5:06 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying but I’ve been away. Walking!

There’s a few larger fells at the beginning but nothing too serious (there’s various options in the Lake District, so you can always take the easier ones) but after that it’s generally good going.

I do a lot of my training on the South Downs myself, and I was fine!

William Hardcastle

4 October 2011 at 10:21 pm

Hi I completed the c2c last months over 14 days with two rests in- between I was hoping to attempted it next febuary over ten days or less . Do you think it would be possible ?

Andrew Bowden

4 October 2011 at 10:38 pm

Well 10 days would be an average 19 miles each day. If you’re happy doing that I’d say it’s doable. The only concern I’d have is the possible weather conditions – if the snow is out you’ll struggle!

Andy Hagerty

9 January 2013 at 1:45 pm

Hi

My partner and I did the C2C in 2008 (crikey how time flies). For the hell of it we decided to do it east to west.
Plus points.
1. You are starting off easily, leaving the harder (but best) bits till last. By the time you get to the Lakes you will be far fitter than when you start.
2. You meet plenty of people coming towards you. You can stop for a chat, but are not stuck with them all day.
3. Walkers coming towards you pass on info/tips about the path ahead.
Minus points
1. You will be walking into the wind/weather, however we did not find this a problem, as the weather was good to us.

Andrew Bowden

9 January 2013 at 2:35 pm

I spoke to someone once who had walked part of the West Highland Way from north to south, and described to me how he once looked up and saw about 300 people all heading towards him, and sighed as he knew he’d have to say “hi” to each one of them!

Must have been a very busy day, but I guess it depends how social a walker you are. If you travel in either direction, there’s so many people that you’ll end up talking to people a lot! It just depends what kind of conversations you want.

That said, only on the Pennine Way have I ended up sat in a pub dinning room eating a meal with a couple I’d only met a few hours earlier!

Vanetta de Frece

11 March 2013 at 10:10 pm

Would anyone have any suggestions for myself & my mother we have 9 days and would like to do the C2C starting at St Bees & finishing at Robin hoods bay but obviously missing some sections out! we are fit enough to walk about 15 miles each day, and would catch a bus or train to cover some of the route if this is possible! Any suggestions PLEASE?

Andrew Bowden

11 March 2013 at 10:45 pm

Hi Vanetta. Got to be honest, I personally think what you want to do will be very difficult – if impossible – using buses or trains. The bus and train routes just don’t tend to follow the Coast to Coast route, and when they do there’s not actually that many buses in a day. Certainly on the western section in the Lakes (where I know the public transport situation best) it’s extremely difficult.

However if you were to use taxis instead, it would become a lot easier. My personal suggestion would be to base a plan on the 12 Day itinerary shown above, but skip the Shap to Kirkby Stephen section, and then the two days of Reeth to Ingleby Arncliffe. That gets you down to 9 days.

The reason I’ve picked those is that you’ll be able to find local taxis reasonably easy for those, and they are probably the least interesting sections.

The other option would be just to do half the walk – perhaps the western section – and stop at Kirkby Stephen, perhaps spending an extra day or two in the Lakes. It would certainly be easier as you wouldn’t need to organise taxis.

alison r

1 September 2013 at 8:10 am

Hi, I have a week’s holiday spare and would like to do a week’s walking somewhere in the UK. I live in the UK but at the moment do most of my walking holidays in France – doing the GR 10 across the Pyrenees one week at a time – fantastic!). Anyway I was wondering about doing a week of the Coast to Coast. I would be doing this one on my own which I thought would be OK (not yet done a walking trip on my own, and not that keen on complete solitude, but I guess I would meet lots of people along the way). However, navigation and map reading are not my strong points, and having looked at your site, this seems like a key skill for this walk. Any suggestions about linking in with a group? Many thanks!

Andrew Bowden

1 September 2013 at 9:28 am

Yes, being able to navigate is important. The Coast to Coast is sporadically waymarked. In some areas it is very clearly done, but in others, such as the Lake District in particular, it’s very important. All you need is the cloud to come down and you could easily get lost.

I don’t know if people self-organise groups to walk in, but there are a couple of companies that do guided tours of varying sizes, such as Footpath Holidays and Northwestwalks.

Lynne

15 November 2013 at 8:35 pm

A friend and I walked the C2C in 2011 and are doing it again next summer.
Despite having the trailblazer book and being fairly experienced walkers we got lost a couple of times which severely affected our timings – not to mention the stress caused when night is starting to fall and you’re stuck on a moor!
Are there any well detailed, day by day maps with the route clearly marked available anywhere?
Thank you.

Andrew Bowden

18 November 2013 at 3:56 pm

Hello Lynne – best bet would be an Ordnance Survey map. The Aurum Press guidebook by Martin Wainwright has OS maps in it, and there’s also the A-Z Adventure Series map book for the Coast to Coast, which also uses the OS maps. The A-Z map book covers a wider area around the route, so is more useful.

Links to both further up the page!

Lynne

21 November 2013 at 11:47 am

For anyone who wishes to part walk and part bus ride the length of the C2C, Sherpa now run a bus service across the entire C2C route. You have to book tickets in advance (I don’t know how much it costs as it is not a service I need) and details are on their website. Hope that helps 🙂

David Marsden

8 January 2014 at 11:55 am

Hi Andrew,

I completed the C2C in March 2013 in atrocious conditions that also made (a lot of) my walk achingly beautiful. I can’t emphasize enough (as you have) how important it is to have ordnance survey maps and a compass. I used the latter many, many times – often when visibility was down to just a few yards and the path hidden by snow. But summer walking is no guarantee of clear, sunny weather, of course. .I met a chap who completed the walk in August 2012 and had non-stop rain for 14 days. Grim.

I’ve only just found your website – good work. I have some reading to do!

Dave

Chris Doherty

1 April 2014 at 10:21 am

Hi, I am attempting to run/walk the c2c in 6days for charity. This has been 18months of hard work and even harder planning. Any other tips you could suggest? P.s I start it this coming Sunday 6th April… (Just found you site)

Andrew Bowden

6 April 2014 at 6:57 am

As I’ve been holiday, this is probably a bit late but good luck. Can’t think of any tips for running it – just be careful with the weather in the Lakes!

marie howe

15 April 2014 at 12:34 pm

hi.,in aug my 10 yr old son and his dad are running the c2c.we need a good route as they want the end of it to be at the lizard.training has already started,and it needs to be 26-30miles long. what is the best books to tell us the distance. thank u

Andrew Bowden

17 April 2014 at 2:21 pm

Hi Marie – this page is about Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in the north of England. I’m presuming from your mention of the Lizard that you’re referring to Cornwall. If so, I’m afraid that’s not a question I can answer.

Dorothy

25 April 2014 at 11:52 am

2012 we 2, 70 year olds walked the C2C, loved it, 2013 walked half The Camino in Spain, what walk would you suggest for our next one. We live in Australia so have to make the most of doing a long walk over about 18 days. We are looking at West Highland Way or Southern Upland Way. Your comments would be appreciated.

Andrew Bowden

26 April 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hi Dorothy. Both the West Highland Way and Southern Upland Way are great walks, although the West Highland Way is a relatively short walk. I did it in a week, plus an extra day at the end to do Ben Nevis. What you could do is the West Highland Way and then follow the Great Glen Way or East Highland Way from Fort William. As I’ve not done either of them, I can’t say what they’re like.

On beauty I’d say the West Highland Way beats the Southern Upland Way – it goes through some stunning places – however it’s a very busy walk. Just like the Coast to Coast in fact. The Southern Upland Way is the complete opposite. You’ll barely see any walkers at all.

Having done them both, it’s difficult to chose. They both have their merits and drawbacks. But I’d probably go for the West Highland Way if I was to do either of them again. It really was so stunning.

Tim

3 May 2014 at 10:59 pm

Hi Andrew, myself and a couple of friends are looking to cover the C2C wainwrights way in 8 days early September, covering about 20 miles in the bumpy sections and up to 30miles on the flatter ones. Would you have a plan you could share and do you know a good book or guide that provides the route with mile markers to aid planning. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Andrew Bowden

5 May 2014 at 8:09 pm

Hi Tim – I used the Aurum Press book, shown in the page above. It includes a mileage guide in the front with distances between towns and villages. I found it to be all I needed. That said, the route doesn’t always go through many places so there’s only so many ways you can cut it up! Good luck.

Mike Fleet

11 May 2014 at 10:32 pm

My wife and I both completed the walk in July 1998 and I still remember every step of the way like it was yesterday. We backpacked and camped wild most of the time, but thankfully the weather was just incredible. It rained on the very first day, but was glorious sunshine thereafter for the next 11 days! Just thought I’d share the memory. Great times.

Rachel Evans

16 June 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hi Andrew, I don’t know if you will be able to advise me, I am due to set off on the western section of the C2C in 3 weeks’ time but I’m a bit worried that I won’t be fit enough. I do regular exercise and walking / hillwalking from time to time but generally only up to about 8 or 9 miles or less. Last week I did the Keld to Reeth section, followed by local walks of 6/7 miles on the next 2 days, and I was aching all over! Aching legs, lower back, sore toes etc. Now I’m wondering if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, so to speak……I have planned in the extra night in Grasmere, plus a rest day in Patterdale, but am still concerned that I may end up having to give up long before I reach Kirkby Stephen. I really want to do the walk (I’m hoping to get sponsorship for charity too) but I’m apprehensive that the aching muscles will be my downfall. Any thoughts?

Andrew Bowden

16 June 2014 at 1:16 pm

Hi Rachel – one of things that’s worth saying is that doing a long distance walk like this, is different to doing day hikes. Walking on one day at a time is one thing, but doing a week of walking adds in extra challenges and lots of extra strain for your body to get used to.

The good news is that most people will find their bodies will adapt after a few days. The second – and sometimes third day – can be difficult. We call it “second day syndrome” in our house because we’ve had it several times! What looks like it should be straightforward on paper, can be amazingly difficult! But I’ve always found my body gets over that hill, and I would hope yours will too. Aches and pains will probably always be with you in some respect, and it’s worth checking on whether your boots have enough cushioning in them, and how the weight of your rucksack is distributed (if you’re carrying your stuff) as they can all impact how you feel. Walking poles sometimes help as they spread weight around and reduce the stresses on your body.

My best tip though is to carry some Ibuprofen Gel. It does wonders for aches and pains, very quickly too.

Good luck and I do hope you get to Kirkby Stephen

Rachel Evans

19 June 2014 at 3:11 pm

Thanks for the encouraging words Andrew. I guess it would be a bit defeatist to give up before I’ve even started so I will turn up at St Bees and take it from there! The Ibuprofen gel sounds like a good idea, I will make sure I have some with me. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Mike

5 July 2014 at 10:32 am

Just to say thank you for this website – at the beginning of the year I decided I wanted “get out more” and to “go hiking” but didn’t really know where to start and I stumbled across this little gem. It’s been a real inspiration and has led me from my first “baby steps” day out (from Alfriston to Eastbourne) just to see if I was going to like this “hiking lark” (I loved it btw) to buying a decent pair of boots and then walking most of the South Downs Way followed by a chunk of the Wye Valley and then I thought “sod it” – and went for the biggy and did the coast to coast at the beginning of June. It was tough but I had a brilliant time and there’s no way I would have even known about it – never mind done it – without you setting out so clearly and helpfully what is involved and how to plan it. So thank you very much and keep up the good work x

Amy

8 July 2014 at 6:09 am

Hi Andrew, I walked The Pennine Way in 1994 with a good friend and now, 20 years later, my husband and I are fulfilling my dream of walking The Coast to Coast. We leave Monday morning, August 18 and finish Sunday night, August 31. We just got our OS maps in the mail and I got a little panicked. I remember The Pennine Way being so well marked on the maps and The Coast to Coast is not, I guess because it’s not an official national trail. Anyway, I’ve ordered a guidebook (http://trailblazer-guides.com/book/coast-to-coast-path) which I know will help make sense of the maps, but I’m feeling a little intimidating which is why I’m writing to you. 🙂 Do you think The Coast to Coast is much harder to navigate than The Pennine Way? I have a compass and used it on The Pennine Way, but only for general directions (once, in the mist, we just went West because we knew we’d eventually hit a road, which we did – and found we were only steps from the path). Should we be okay with our OS maps, a guidebook, and the ability to find N, S, E, and W with a compass or do you think we need more advance compass skills? Thanks so much! By the way, we’ve read some of your Coast to Coast blog and it’s a riot! Thanks for your good works! Amy

Andrew Bowden

19 July 2014 at 8:58 pm

Hi Amy – personally I’d say the two walks are roughly similar in navigation. Both have tricky bits, and both have areas where it’s pretty easy. For the most part, the route is usually pretty obvious and there’s a fair amount of waymarking, although not always when you need it! That said, I read that they’ve increased the waymarking since we did it. If you have OS maps and a guidebook, you should be fine. Good luck!

Rachel Evans

20 July 2014 at 3:41 pm

Hi Andrew, just wanted to say thanks again for your earlier post, and to let you know that I did make it to Kirkby Stephen! It was not as hard as I’d been imagining (although there were some long and tiring days – most notably Patterdale to Shap) and having great weather and meeting lots of friendly people helped take my mind off the occasional aches and twinges……Now just trying to work out when I can find enough time to do the eastern section. Best wishes. Rachel.

Amy

23 July 2014 at 5:32 am

Thanks, Andrew! That’s very encouraging. I got our guidebook in the mail the other day and felt immediately reassured. We can do this. And we are SO excited. Will report back afterwards. Thank you! Amy

Tim

23 July 2014 at 10:28 pm

Hi Andrew,
I contacted you a while and thanks for advice. We are at the detail planning stage and trying to find somewhere to stay near Carlton Bank at about 148 miles in. Do you, or anyone on the site, know of any B&B’s at this point in the route?
Thanks for any help.
Tim

PS- I found this link which gives point to point distances at the base of the page very useful in planning day to day distances.
http://www.walkingplaces.co.uk/c2c/itin.htm

Andrew Bowden

23 July 2014 at 11:01 pm

I don’t know of anything in the immediate vicinity I’m afraid. However a few miles on is Clay Bank Top. If you go north from there up the road, there are B&Bs in the village of Great Broughton. Go south and there’s a village called Chop Gate (pronounced Chop Yat) which has a nice pub called the Buck Inn which does accommodation, and there’s B&Bs round there too. Have a look at Doreen Whitehead’s accommodation guide for more details. Bit of a trudge down the road either way – there was a bus from what I recall, but I can’t find any details of it so maybe it no longer exists.

vicky reynolds

31 July 2014 at 11:03 am

Hi Andrew
My mum passed away recently from Brain Tumours and myself and my dad have decided to walk the coast to coast for charity however we are training to complete it within 5 days we are looking to complete this challenge next July 2015 i was hoping you may be able to give us any advise or tips you think would help us with our planning etc. We are planning to sleep rough under the skies most nights with maybe a couple of b&bs to maybe break it up….

Any advise would be appreciated

Many thanks Vicky x

Andrew Bowden

1 August 2014 at 9:44 am

That’s some commitment – averaging 40 odd miles a day. Having never done anything like that all I can say is make sure you have good boots and good socks, and that you’ve worn them in well because you certainly don’t want blisters. Also, pack Compeed blister plasters (just in case – they’re amazing) and some Ibuprofen gel. The latter is great if you have muscle problems, especially with the knees.

Debbie Ryman

2 August 2014 at 9:54 pm

Great site – very encouraging – thank you very much!!
My husband and I are planning this walk for next year – probably May – thought it might be worth posting a comment to say if anyone will have done it by then and fancies selling their maps on, we are in the market for second hand ones!

Andrew Bowden

3 August 2014 at 12:38 am

Debbie – may I suggest the A-Z Coast to Coast Adventure Atlas? All the Ordnance Survey maps you need, in one handy book at a reasonable price!

Stewart

21 September 2014 at 8:01 pm

Hi Andrew
I’m in the detailed accommodation planning stage and have it mostly sorted out. But the last section seems really long. I want to stay at Glaisdale but am concerned that from there to RHB might be just a bit too much after all that has gone before. Can you recommend any sensible halfway point between Glaisdale and RHB for an overnight B&B?
Thanks in advance.

Andrew Bowden

22 September 2014 at 9:23 am

Stewart – the most obvious place on the Coast to Coast itself is the village of Grosmont as it has pubs, shops, B&Bs and a steam railway. Although it’s only about four miles or so from Glaisdale so perhaps only useful if you want to spend a day on the railway.

About half way between Glaisdale and Robin Hood’s Bay is tiny Littlebeck which has a B&B. The only other option is to head a couple of miles north up the A169 to Sleights.

Dan

27 September 2014 at 7:49 pm

Hi Andrew,

Me and a friend are planning on walking c2c in 7 days over Christmas/News years for charity, we intend to camp every night.

Other than the weather being a limiting factor, do you have any advice or tips for us.

Thanks in advance, Dan.

Andrew Bowden

28 September 2014 at 8:46 pm

Dan – my advice will be to walk very very fast and set off at first light. At that time of year you’ll not have much daylight to work with and you’ll need every bit of it. Also, Compeed blister plasters are very good.

Stewart

28 September 2014 at 10:10 pm

Andrew, I’ve booked into the B&B at Littlebeck. Thanks for the tip. I really dont want to be rushing the last day in my mind I’ll be walking the cliff tops and taking beautiful photo after beautiful photo. Given that I’m a Yorkshireman, though, I know that having plenty of time for the cloud and rain to pass over is a good idea! Thanks again for your help.

Tim

28 September 2014 at 10:26 pm

Hi Dan,
A friend and I did it in 8 days early Sept run / walking, well my mate did and I pulled out injured at 110miles. My only suggestion would be to try to get beyond Black Sail and to the Honnister pass on the first day to give you a chance of getting beyond Patterdale on the 2nd day. We set off at 9:15 from St Bees and were comfortably at the far end of Ennerdale Water by 4, with a decent stop at Ennerdale bridge, it was then a full 2nd day, 12 hours including 1 hrs breaks, to get from Ennerdale to Patterdale, but most days were between 6 & 7 hours to cover 24 to 28 miles and we reckoned we tokk about 2/3rds the advised times by run walking. Once you are heading into Shap there’s only really 1 big climb a day and you can make good time. The paths in the lakes are rocky when on the mountains which we covered at a quick walk rather than risk running with a backpack.
We also had great weather which helped massively with navigation and we took quite a few of the lower routes.
I would say 7 days is definitely a challenge at the time of year and heed the advise from Andrew to make the most of daylight hours. Goodluck, there are some stunning views and you’ll get a great sense of achievement.

Christ

17 October 2014 at 11:11 pm

Hi Andrew,
I begining to look into walking C2C but via Hadrians wall, Pennine Way and then on to C2C, any thoughts or suggestions ?

Philippe de Renzy

8 November 2014 at 2:33 pm

Hi Andrew….I was thinking of doing the C2C (the first half to Keld) in December. Is that completely crazy?

Deb

8 November 2014 at 7:38 pm

I’m planning on doing the c2c with my daughter in july 2015 . We would like to take our campervan to stay in overnight but obviously have the problem of how to move the campervan on each stage. I wondered about getting a taxi back to collect it each day… Any other suggestions please?

Andrew Bowden

11 November 2014 at 12:50 pm

Philippe – As long as there’s no snow, then it should be possible as long as your walking speed is good enough to ensure you’ll finish before the sun goes down. If you do it, do carry a torch with you just in case!

Andrew Bowden

11 November 2014 at 12:53 pm

Deb – taxi is about the only way I can suggest. Public transport on most of the Coast to Coast is pretty minimal.

Dale Sleightholme

24 November 2014 at 4:35 am

Will be starting the C2C around Sept 6th 2015. Do you need to book every stop well ahead of time or is it possible to find a place to stay on arrival or a day prior.

Cheers

Andrew Bowden

24 November 2014 at 3:17 pm

Hi Dale – in September you may be okay to book something close to time, although it may not always be directly on the toute. The Coast to Coast is a very popular walk, which means there’s a lot of competition for beds.

Guy Avis

17 January 2015 at 1:24 am

Thanks for the website. Great responses. I did the C2C about 8 years ago and broke it up in to 4 segments as I live in Canada. I was borne in Yorkshire and really enjoyed the Yorkshire scenery and the hills of the Lake District.
Really found useful. Garmin gps with the c2c software. Borrowed nail clippers from a fellow hiker! Note to self next time take nail clippers.
Get quality 2 piece rain trousers and top. Used Packhorse for half the trip. Great service but you have to meet up with your luggage at the end of the day.Get good quality waterproof hiking boots and take a hiking pole. Ankle deep in mud is not unusual. Notable B and B’s were Low Cock Farm and Intake Farm. Book ahead for b and b’s so as not to be disappointed.
I am sure there are other pointers but that’s it for now.
Cheers, Guy

Dianne Larsen

1 February 2015 at 3:22 am

Hi We are interested in walking c2c in 2016 and then heading south to walk the Camino de Santiago ! Is it best to avoid school holidays ( July to Sept) on the c2c or is the weather supposedly better at this time ?

Andrew Bowden

2 February 2015 at 3:52 pm

Dianne – the weather is likely to be at its best during July to September, but it should also be good in June as well. But then this is British weather we’re talking about so frankly nothing is ever guaranteed.

ian

12 February 2015 at 12:27 pm

going to do the coast to coast walk next year. had 3 heart attacks in the past if I pace myself will I be ok. got the mrs coming with me as well.olso going for the 3 peaks this year all being well

Andrew Bowden

12 February 2015 at 9:30 pm

Well I can’t give medical advice Ian, but if you keep the distances sensible, you should be fine I’m sure.

Gary Goodridge

20 February 2015 at 6:47 am

I did the c2c solo in 14 days over May/June 1997. No map/compass skills to start but how I did learn! Had first day of rain and then beautiful sunshine for most of next 13 days. I was in decent shape but not great. Wore LL Bean Day Hiker boots (Maine, USA) with poly sock under and wool sock over. I never had a blister. Injured my knee on the 3rd day and limped for over 60 miles and then I just walked it out and was fine. Would love to do the walk again with my wife. In Michigan.

Jim Capes

23 February 2015 at 10:56 am

Hello Andrew
My C2C is kicking off about 12 March 2015. Obviously the weather is the main factor but which part of the route requires special care in bad weather? Please don’t say all of it! Thanks Jim.

Andrew Bowden

23 February 2015 at 1:37 pm

Hi Jim
The big one will be the Lake District as paths can be indistinct in poor weather. There may also be some snow coverage up there, so probably best to keep to the lower level options rather than take Wainwright’s high level routes.

Andrew Thomas

26 February 2015 at 7:08 pm

Hi I’m planning to do the c2c in the last two weeks of April. Although I plan to camp some nights should I book B&B ‘s at that time of year in advance? I see some people wild camp. Is this possible in a lot of places on the route ?
Great site but the way, very helpful
Thanks

Andrew Bowden

1 March 2015 at 7:16 am

I haven’t walked the Coast to Coast in April so don’t know exactly how busy it is then, but my guess based on other walks is that it will be easier to find B&Bs on spec then it would at other times of the year. There is scope for wild camping on a lot of the route, although legally in England you need the landowners permission.

Lorraine Hobson

3 March 2015 at 8:47 am

We will be leaving our vehicle in St Bees walking east for 1 possibly 2 days. We will need to return either from Ennerdale Bridge or Rosthwaite, how can we get back to our vehicle?

Andrew Bowden

3 March 2015 at 8:46 pm

Lorraine – taxi is about your only sensible bet.

Cheryl king

23 March 2015 at 11:59 pm

I’m doing c2c in June. We will take 15 days. Since I’m from Australia I’m very concerned about what to pack. Do you have a list? We are staying at bnb with our main luggage being ported to our next bnb.

Andrew Bowden

24 March 2015 at 9:26 am

I do have a list for my use, but it’s not really in a publishable format. However you might find inspiration in London Hiker’s How to pack your rucksack in 5 minutes. It’s aimed at weekend walkers but is easy to adapt.

adrian riches

3 April 2015 at 12:10 pm

Hi Andrew
I have found your pages wonderful.
I regularly power walk ( 10 miles in 2 hours on flat terrain)here in Australia and at the age of 71 consider myself fit but like many of the correspondents i am apprehensive of this forthcoming walk..
I walked the Keplar and Routeburn and Queen Charlotte track in New Zealand carrying 20kgs a couple of years ago.
I am walking solo in June 2015 and worried about my compass skills which are non existent.
I will learn but wondered if there will be other walkers at this time.
Please give me some encouragement.

Andrew Bowden

4 April 2015 at 10:04 pm

Hi Adrian
In June there should be plenty of other walkers around. For the most part the trail is easy to follow, but there are some patches in the Lake District especially where paths are indistinct and not easy to follow. If you know how to read a map you should be fine though.

Dawn Bonzas

9 April 2015 at 4:39 pm

I am planning to do the Coast to Coast in August 2016 in a guided group situation and just wanted to know do the places that we are likely to stay at have facilities for washing and drying our hiking clothes?

Andrew Bowden

9 April 2015 at 10:15 pm

Dawn – many places will do washing for you if you ask nicely (and are happy to pay a small fee)

Guy Avis

24 May 2015 at 1:41 pm

Just a couple of comments from when I did the C2C several years ago. I split it up in to 4 sections and travelled back and forth from Canada to the UK.
Adrian. Navigation? I bought the Garmin sd software for my Garmin Oregon handheld nav. It helped. Plus I had the Harvey maps.
Better still I travelled with a retired Boyscout leader for a couple of days. I also followed some minor roads. I would walk facing the traffic and climb on to the grass when a car passed me.
If you feel overwhelmed and /or get injured then take a day off or as I did break the trail in to several sections(for me it was 4). After completing one section and going home I was really looking forward to coming back and resuming the trail. Don’t forget it is not a race.

Assuming you take a day pack and have your main luggage transported by say Packhorse(they are very good) then in your daypack I would suggest to include the following:
nail clippers(I got an infected toe from an overly long toe nail).
Good rain gear such as pants and jacket which can breath. eg Goretex gear.
Essential to wear rainproof hiking boots. Wear them ahead of time to make sure fit is right and are worn in.
Food? I bought apples, buns and cheese. These pack well.
My day pack did not weigh more than about 15 lbs.
Laundry? To tell u the truth I cannot remember. No harm in asking them at the b and b.
Best b and b I encountered was Intake Farm at Littlebeck. Exceptional food.
One more thing is a walking pole. Not so much for balance for me but to judge the depth of the mud in a couple of sections!
Enjoy the walk. Keep daily walk distances to recommended distances. Don’t forget you have to connect to your shipped bags at the end of the day(assuming you used Packhorse).
Cheers, Guy

Rob Baynes

27 May 2015 at 11:31 am

Hi Andrew, I am commencing the Coast to Coast on the 28th of June for charity. I am hoping to complete it in 5 day,
St Bees to Patterdale
Patterdale to Kirby Steven
Kirby Steven to Richmond
Richmond to Ingleby Arncliffe
Ingleby Arncliffe to Robin Hoods bay.
I am aware this will be a very challenging test however I have trained for it. I have taken words of advise from all previous comments and intend to use them. I know the 1st stage will be the pivitol part. Hopefully walking into Robin Hoods Bay on the 5th day needing a nice pint, or probably an ambulance lol. Would you have any advice or alternatives to those sections I have chosen.

colin

29 May 2015 at 9:20 pm

Hi I would like to add that anyone who is not competent in compass and map reading In Glenridding at the tourist information notic board there are day courses supplied by the council to learn these skills it is 12 pounds per a person and also can be found on the council’s website.These courses run throughout the year. A great day and don’t feel daft not knowing how to use them.

colin

29 May 2015 at 10:03 pm

Hi rob first off I would like to wish you good luck. My advice from previous experience is do some long mileage on flat if you haven’t already. I like you trained to do the great glen way in 2 days and trained hard and undoubtedly was fit enough for it. However unknown to me the continuous walking on a flat trail was to be my biggest nemesis resulting in stress fractures on my shins. I never gave it a second thought since I could easily climb hills for long distances. But I didn’t anticipate the stress put on small muscles and ligaments from walking flat. I was in alot of pain from this yet was able to climb ben nevis the day after without problems due to using different muscle groups but I was unable to walk flat surfaces properly for sometime. Good luck 🙂

Jo

10 June 2015 at 6:58 pm

I’m getting lots of advice and help from your page, thank you. I am thinking of doing the walk later this summer, some of it I will be joined by my family, but predominantly I will travel on my own. I was wondering what the safety aspect of doing a long distance walk like the c2c is for women, does anyone have any advice on dos and donts and being prepared ? Thank you, Jo

Caitlin

11 June 2015 at 3:30 am

ADRIAN RICHES!

I too am walking the entire C2C in June 2015 alone! I am attempting to do it in 13 days (yikes!)
My first day of walking from St Bees will be June 16. When is yours?

Guy

11 June 2015 at 2:05 pm

Thanks Andrew B for a great website. I seem to be inputting info here even though it is several years since I have done the C2C. Regarding women walking alone? I think that you will find that there are others that you can walk with. There is safety in numbers and sometimes this is helpful with navigation. It does not take long to get the vibes from someone if they want to be alone or if it is okay to walk with them.

Karen

26 June 2015 at 9:29 am

Fantastic website. Thank you.. Can you please tell me though.. Are their any sections where the paths are precipitous? I have walked a lot in the Lakes and been up many mountains but I lose my nerve completely on steep/ slippery paths like Striding Edge or the shaley edge of Great Gable. I am thinking if going with a group and guide and don’t want to embarrass myself! Thanks.

Andrew Bowden

26 June 2015 at 9:44 am

Karen – I didn’t find any particularly slippery paths myself, although it was raining an huge amount when I was in the Lakes, and so that did cause a few problems with paths becoming streams, and things like that. However the Coast to Coast in the Lakes often has variants, some which are harder than others. Just take the easier options and there shouldn’t be any major worries if its dry.

Stewart

26 June 2015 at 6:50 pm

Finished the C2C yesterday, having set out on Wed 10/6. Real mixed bag of weather including sun and heat in the Lakes (!?), mist so thick you couldn’t see more than 10 yds on Kidsty Pike, 50 yds on Nine Standards Rigg and 100 yds on virtually the whole stretch from Clay Bank top to Blakey Ridge. My abiding memory, though, will be the companionship of fellow walkers. I booked the trip solo (with some help and guidance from this site), so meeting and being befriended by others was quite important. Despite the odd bits of bad weather, I had a blast!

mike

28 June 2015 at 8:23 pm

Just completed C2C in 7 days. Legs in great shape, feet in tatters.

Anyone who does it in less time is a Cyborg.

Seriously though, my advice is to take your time.

Travelling through some of the finest country in the world requires time to appreciate it.

7 days is nowhere near enough .

Colin Portman

29 June 2015 at 12:54 pm

My wife and I are walking the C2C in July/August, taking 16 days to enjoy the walk & not rush it. Finishing in Robin Hood’s Bay on my 60th birthday.
Using Sherpa Van to transfer baggage but also get us to the start and return from the end. They run a minibus from Richmond where you can park your car. Much cheaper than getting public transport and more convenient.
Really looking forward to it having done Hadrian’s Wall a few years ago. Great website, lots of useful info and inspiration, thank you.

Grace Woodall

7 July 2015 at 5:15 pm

Great website, lots of lovely hints and tips 🙂 We’re doing coast to coast 18th July 2015 see everyone en route 🙂

Rosemary Nelson

8 July 2015 at 3:26 pm

My husband who is 71 and myself, 68, are starting the C2C on Aug. 1/2015. We have chosen to do it in 18 days plus 2 rest days. My question is how many litres of water should each of us carry, and are there places along any of the trail where you can fill up your bottles? Also, is the trail ‘buggy’? And lastly, what kind of weather has the C2C generally experienced so far this summer?
Thanks!

Rob Baynes

11 July 2015 at 12:15 pm

I recently completed the C2C I intended to do it in 5 days however had to take 6 days. The weather has been rather dry so not that much boggy areas, the route between Richmond and Ingleby Cross was the wettest because farmers have not cleared paths. I had 2 litres of water each day but if doing it over longer period I would say take more than you think you need just in case. Weather like I said was hot so drank more, but local people along the route are all great, maybe have to be a little cheeky and ask them if you can fill your bottle. I loved it but would do it over a longer period next time and use Sherpa service.

Deb Eastwood

8 August 2015 at 9:43 am

Love this site, seems so helpful. My husband and I are hoping to do the C2C probably in 3 blocks over a couple of years starting next year due to work/home commitments. I’ve done 180 miles of the Pennine Bridleway 2 yr ago but that was on 2 shire horses (See Weston Park Pennine Challenge on Facebook if you’re interested) so certainly easier where my legs were concerned! We live in Yorkshire nr Wakefield so will start at St Bees. You’ll probably be hearing a lot from me for advice etc.

James Duckworth

11 August 2015 at 3:52 pm

Hi. Doing the C2C walk soon and was wondering about the safety aspects of the walk and whether it is was better to walk in a tour grup or if it is safe enough to walk by yourself
thanks

James

Andrew Bowden

11 August 2015 at 8:29 pm

Hi James – it’s perfectly safe to walk by yourself.

Edward

21 August 2015 at 6:42 pm

OK, some feedback for others that are thinking of doing this in ‘superquick’ time i.e. < 10 days.

I 'did' St Bees to Richmond in 5 days with a 15kg pack (basically all I needed i.e. tent, food, sleeping bag, stove etc).

D1 St Bees to Black Sail (on from Ennerdale)
D2 Black Sail to Fairfield (on from Grasmere)
D3 Fairfield to Shap Abbey (just before Shap)
D4 Shap Abbey to Nine stones (on from Kirkby Stephen)
D5 Nine stones to Scotch Corner (on from Richmond)

Points/Advice
1. From London get cheap Megabus coach to Carlisle and then local bus to St Bees. Returned from Scotch Corner with cheap Megabus by taking local bus to SC services to catch coach.

2. Boots only needed from Cleator Moor to Haweswater on my trip…trainers/approach shoes are a lot more comfortable and faster/less tiring to walk in.

3. At Kirkby Stephen take Winter route over fells ANYTIME of year..top route is SEVERE bog/massive erosion even in August.

4. AND MOST IMPORTANT, if you want to do this route for pleasure dont try to do it quickly (especially the part in The Lakes) and/or do it lightweight i.e. no 15kg pack like me, stay in Hostels/camping barns/B and B and eat locally…..it would have been far more pleasurable for me to do it with a 5kg bag containing only clothes and a sleeping bag and I estimate with that you could do the whole route in 8 days…but if you have the time, take it leisurely.

Sam S

27 August 2015 at 4:10 am

Hi Andrew
Great site….our fav for C2C without doubt. I have gained so much valuable info from you.
We will be coming over June 2016 from Australia 18 days should do it after all its not an Olympic event.
i take it you are still available for Q/A between now and then.

Regards
Sam S

Neil Tompkins

3 September 2015 at 4:14 pm

Hello Andrew very helpful website…..thank you very much. Walked the C2C in 2000 and thought it a wonderful walk.Like you, I’ve also completed the Pennine Way (1988 and 2009) I think the PW was undoubtedly more demanding than the C2C (both in terms of length and demands on the legs), but I think the C2C is a better walk and, as a fan of the Yorkshire Moors, I think the best bit is at the end! Thinking about the C2C again this October, this time as a solo effort. I know my Nav is up to it…..not sure I can carry a big enough rucksack for all the wet and cold weather gear though. Any thoughts on that? Thanks again great website.

Andrew Bowden

3 September 2015 at 7:42 pm

If you’re walking at that time of the year, you’ll probably be wearing it more than carrying it!

Steve Watson

4 September 2015 at 2:10 am

Hi

I completed the French GR5 in Juy this year , Lake Geneva to Nice without any trouble so I think I am fit enough for the C2C.

But the GR5 was very well marked & I understand that the C2C is not well marked in places. Harvey’s sell a digital map of the walk for mobiles , with this digital map & the locator pin on the the mobile will this be enough. I also have purchased the Cicerone book for the walk. Thanks for your advice.

Andrew Bowden

5 September 2015 at 9:13 pm

Steve – I’ve never tried the Harveys digital maps, however I would assume they are similar to the print maps Harveys do. If so, they will cover the route fine. A map is essential. Although the waymarking has improved, it’s still a route you need to have a map for.

Steve Watson

6 September 2015 at 7:28 am

Andrew

Thanks for advice on the trailing markings & maps.

I live in Sydney , Australia & to make my trip to the UK worthwhile I plan to walk the Coast to Coast and the Pennine Way in mid 2016. Do you think it matters in which order I complete the walks ? Plus advice on which month to complete the walks ? My draft plan is to start in late June & finish in late July , early August. Thanks.

Andrew Bowden

7 September 2015 at 9:45 am

Steve – it doesn’t really matter which order you do them in, but if it was me I’d probably do the Pennine Way second as it’s quieter.

Joan Hawkridge

13 October 2015 at 9:35 pm

Hi all we are in the planning stages of doing the C2C next year with our dog, We are hoping to wild camp on an odd couple of nights and was wondering if anyone can suggest any suitable points to do this

Laura Jane

24 October 2015 at 4:57 pm

Hi there,
I am planning my coast to coast trip for May 2016 and will be doing it solo. I live in the Highlands and I am used to walking, navigating and camping alone so really looking forward to it.
I have planned my itinerary on which campsites I plan to use, do you tend to book pitches or is it a first come first serve basis? I really like to have as much planned as possible and would hate to turn up somewhere after a long day walking to be turned away.
Any other tips for a solo traveller? Thanks

Guy

27 October 2015 at 1:38 am

Hi Joan,
I witnessed two young men wild camping near Patterdale. I came across them in a pub in Patterdale and briefly discussed this with them. You might want to do some research as to where else this can be done.

Guy

27 October 2015 at 1:41 am

Laura I would suggest booking camp sites to avoid disappointment.
However the couple of nights I camped it was not busy.

Rachel Evans

5 November 2015 at 11:44 am

Hi Andrew, I’m not sure if you already know about this, but there is a petition to get a footbridge to take the C2C safely over the A19 at Ingleby Arncliffe. Having recently done that stretch I know from personal experience what a dangerous road crossing it is (the most dangerous section of the C2C by far!!)

The petition is at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105379

Any chance you could publicise this on your site, to get some more support?

Thanks. Rachel.

Mark ingham

6 November 2015 at 9:34 pm

Did the CtoC about 10 yrs ago and can honestly say it’s the best walk I have ever done .
Did the normal W to E route and completed in 10 days with a double brandy at Robin hoods bay.
Plan on doing it again early next year.
Would defo recommend it to walking enthusiasts.

Adam Hughes

3 January 2016 at 4:57 pm

Hi All,

Happy New Year!

I am looking to do the Coast to Coast in Late August, Early September. Walking East to West. Looking to do it in 9 days and camping, I understand this is highly ambition and I’ve done this on purpose as raising money for charity whilst i do it. Therefore the aspect of having time to take everything in is important but not as important as speed. I am sure after walking it, I will come back with my family to do it leisurely and take everything in more but the charity I am doing for is massively important to me and the more challenging, hopefully the more i can raise.

I am looking for any advice or help as to how I could section off the walk in 9 days, any places to look out for along the route that might be massively time consuming, so I can plan into the itinerary for a shorter walk this particular day.

Many thanks,

Adam Hughes

P.S hope to see some of you along the way.

Chris law

13 January 2016 at 7:47 am

Did the camino Frances in September 2014 on my own and walk regularly back in Australia. I would regard myself as a fit 60 year old woman but just wonder how I would go doing C2C on my own . Is it easy to get lost and will there be people in front and behind me so am never totally on my own ?

Peter

17 January 2016 at 5:00 pm

Hello Andrew
We are looking to support our friends from down under who are looking to walk the c2c in June this year and looking to join them for a day , our question is do you know of any campsites which are close to the walk which accept motorhomes ?
Thq
Peter
Ps nice website ????

Guy

18 January 2016 at 1:48 pm

Hi Peter
Doreen whitehead puts out a handy directory of accommodation and campsites. Google that for info to get it. Alternatively you could for example Google b and b’s and campsites for wainwrights coast to coast and the tel. Info and address should be displayed plus email info. Guy

peter

18 January 2016 at 2:09 pm

Thank you Guy….

Andrew Bowden

19 January 2016 at 2:36 pm

Chris – you need to have good map skills as the route isn’t fully signposted. There are normally people around though – it’s a busy trail.

lee toone

19 January 2016 at 4:52 pm

Ji, Can it be done in 3 days. charity event 20hrs walking per day?

bruce jacobson

24 January 2016 at 6:07 pm

My late wife and I had planned to walk C2C in 2013 however she succumbed to a late diagnosed brain tumor by that year end. Now, as I have just turned 60, I plan to go in May 2016 and cross this off my bucket list. I’ve chosen a 14 day guided walk but anticipate much solitude as I cover the miles.

No particular reason to mention this except to acknowledge that people have many different reasons to attempt the walk

Rob Mather

25 January 2016 at 3:21 am

Hi Andy,

Planning a charity March West to East in June with approx 5 pals…. couple of things… firstly, would you recommend we take a young fit 4 yr old labrador? secondly we want to vary the trip with camping and pub accommodation, so we plan to have a ‘driver’ ghost drive our walk, which gives us extra support options for kit etc, camping equipment etc, whats your advice on both accounts?

cheers,

Rob

Jo

25 January 2016 at 12:13 pm

Message back to Bruce, Great admiration for you to continue with your plans to complete the walk. I walked it with my son last year and loved every minute, the highs were meeting with other walkers at hostels or campsites in the evenings, or at a coffee stop at places like ‘Black Sails’ in the Lake District. You will definitively feel challenged from every angle and I wish you loads of luck.

Rick

25 January 2016 at 5:35 pm

Having completed the Cleveland way in August 2015 I now intend tackling the C2C probably June 2016. plan is to walk solo with as light pack as poss’ IE food water Bivi Bag. Wild Camp as necc. and hostels when possible, (not pre booking) so i can be flexible with daily mileage. At my age (65) i find staying focused is the hardest thing to keep going. Particularly when weather turns bad.

Claire Stewart

6 February 2016 at 11:56 pm

Hi there, myself and my husband are doing the coast to coast walk june 11th to june 25th. This is a personal challenge for me as in 2013 i had a stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukaemia. Since recovering i have been walking practically every weekend, roughly 7 to 9 miles. Recently we have been to the yorkshire dales and walked 25miles over 3 days and we intend to increase our miles every week until we reach around 14 to 18 miles. we also intend to do some hill walking. Do you think training on a cross trainer would be beneficial also? We both have walking boots from mountain warehouse but the fabric ones, do you think these are suitable? As well as a personal challenge we are also doing it for 2 charities close to my heart. Anthony Bone Marrow Transplant, who found me a unrelated donor that saved my life and Bright Red a blood cancer charity, that relies on donations etc for research, education, care and support for Freemans Hospital in Newcastle, where i was a inpatient for 5mths and also all the haematology services around the North East. I have recently found out who my donor is and will meeting her at Robin Hoods Bay, which will be so emotional. If you or anyone else can give us any advice at all, this would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou Claire (Queen Bee)

Jens

1 March 2016 at 11:39 am

Hi there

we are going to do the C2C in early May and have three weeks(!) of time. We split the itinerarie in 17 days.
Is it really essential to book accommodation in advance in may?

Sorry for my strange English (we are Germans)
Thank you!
Jens

Andrew Bowden

2 March 2016 at 9:36 am

Guten tag Jens.

The Coast to Coast is the most popular walking trail in Britain, but is at its peak in the summer. Chances are you will find some accommodation at the last minute in May however inevitably it can’t be guaranteed, especially as the trail goes through several popular tourists areas. Still, if you are prepared to stay a short way from the trail, you should be okay.

Neil Johnson

18 March 2016 at 9:32 pm

Hi Andrew

I’ve done the C2C twice with Army mates, both times in 10 days. I genuinely think the distance is do-able by most people, 10 days proved to be the challenge for a few of them! Last year we had to abort at Shap as our only instructor (an Army prerequisite) picked up an injury so we had to retire (gutted!).

In the year 2016, we will set off with a team of 8, again in 10 days. Bring the challenge, if we don’t do it some French man will…

Neil

Michael

27 March 2016 at 9:15 am

Hi I’ve been planning on walking the C2C in June/July with my wife. A friend is also keen, but can’t go until July/August. My concern is that August is the busy season in the UK. But exactly how busy is it, in comparison?

Guy

28 March 2016 at 3:17 pm

Andrew may chime in later. Yes Michael July/August will likely be busier than June/July. Seeing that I did the C2C mostly in Spring and Fall I can’t say much except that you could try phoning up/emailing the b and b’s that you are likely to stay at and see if they still have accommodation when you need it. If you are camping I would think there is less of a problem but phoning way ahead will prevent disappointment. As a post above says trying accommodation a bit away from the c2c trail could help. Also I would think that pubs and restaurants will be busier in the evening in mid Summer. The plus side is that more people on the trail can provided guidance in directions and there is safety in numbers. When there is a will there is a way!
Trust this helps! Cheers, Guy

Haris Baker

9 April 2016 at 9:46 am

Do we need any permit for the C2C?

Can we do it on our own?

Andrew Bowden

10 April 2016 at 1:10 pm

Hi Haris. No permit is required and you can walk it on your own. Most people do.

Caroline Swain

19 April 2016 at 9:47 am

If there are so many people walking the trail. Is it not likely to be very muddy?
Can anyone tell me of situation regarding mud?

I am going in July to accompany my sister in law

Andrew Bowden

22 April 2016 at 9:20 am

Caroline – if it rains, there will be mud. And up on Nine Standards Rigg, you can expect boggy bits too.

Richard

25 April 2016 at 9:54 pm

I am walking the C2C route in the last two weeks in July. I arrive in St. Bees on July 16th, setting off the next day. I will arrive at Robin Hood’s Bay on Friday 29th. My accommodation is all booked up and I can’t wait to get going. I was very pleased to see your recommendation for Martin Wainwright’s book. It has been my bible ever since last January (2015) when I decided that I would tackle the route. Ever since then I have been out walking most weekends, putting in 12 to 20 miles each time. This weekend I’ll be walking the Dudley Borough Trail 20 mile route. I would recommend a walk of this type for anyone who is training for the C2C. Enough of my waffle. Thank you Andrew for a very informative website.
Can’t wait for July!

Linda B

27 April 2016 at 9:03 pm

Walking the C2C in June this year. Planning to do it in Scarpa walking shoes rather than boots. Shoes have been fine on previous long distance walks. Am I right to assume this will still be ok for the C2C? Great blog by the way!

stewart

27 April 2016 at 9:42 pm

Linda B,

I did it in June last year. In boots. There are quite a few muddy/boggy places where boots were essential. Nine standards rigg being the most obvious. Even on the ‘path’ it is peat bog terrain. And lose the path (as I did in heavy mist) and it will be well over your ankles.

I’d say boots are your best bet.

Andrew Bowden

28 April 2016 at 9:12 am

Funnily enough there’s just been a big fundraising campaign for improvement works on Nine Standards Rigg. The money raised is going to go paving a good chunk of the Nine Standards route as it is suffering from erosion and is a nasty section to walk through.

I’d also suggest boots are great for the Lakes section too, especially when it’s been raining.

Melonie Carideo

10 June 2016 at 11:42 pm

Hello, We can only walk for a week…do you recommend the first half or last half? we have done the Camino di Santiago (last 130km) and The Kerry Way (very difficult terrain)…we are mostly interested in history and nice views so not sure which half is better?
Also where do most people fly into before arriving at starting point we are coming from Tennessee…thanks for advise.

Andrew Bowden

12 June 2016 at 7:06 pm

Melonie – either half is lovely, but the first half goes through the Lake District which is always a great place to be. Easiest place to fly into is probably going to be Manchester – it has better train links for Cumbria than the alternative of Liverpool.

Ben Chambers

29 June 2016 at 10:18 am

Hi. First of all, great site, thanks for your effort.
Planning a solo walk next july, I’m reasonably fit and plan on 14 days.
What do you think of these “packhorse” type deals where they move all your kit for you?
Looks to be around £800 for accommodation and moving your luggage from place to place for you. I imagine this means you can travel very light as lugging 14 changes of socks/underwear/spare boots alone could get very heavy.

Andrew Bowden

29 June 2016 at 4:06 pm

Hi Ben – I’ve always carried my own stuff in the UK – I find on the third day I’m used to the weight, but I did go on a walking holiday in France where they transported your luggage and frankly, it’s great. It is much nicer in many respects to just bounce around with a light day pack. It costs more but many people prefer it. And to be honest, booking all your accommodation that way can save you a lot of time too!

Jens

29 June 2016 at 4:34 pm

Hi Ben

here are the thoughts of a crazy German who did the C2C in May this year.
Nearly everyone – exept me and my wife – used this packhorse and sherpa-van services and for me it looked a bit strange to see these guyes on a long distance walk arriving at cheap accommodations like hostels with really huge trolleys. What did they pack in there? We didn’t find out.
The only aspect for most of them was speed, and they really were faster then we were. But hey, we were on holyday!
They called us “The German purists” and we liked it 🙂
I would always carry my own stuff again.

And by the way: the C2C was one of the greatest things I did in my live, would always do it again!!

Steve & Abbie

20 August 2016 at 5:05 pm

hey Guys, Excellent site and invaluable info, Been monitoring, reading and taking notes for Months now, The Rucksacks are nearly packed, Our Minds are Prepared, Weather Monitored 🙂 2 more sleeps. Arrive Bees Mon 22nd, First steps Tuesday, we ve opted for the 14 day walk, I agree, Loads of Time to admire what we re doing! It shouldnt be a Chore. Booked into a mixture of accomodation, B&B, Camping Barn, Hotels etc, But also opted to wild camp a few nights, Patterdale, Bampton, Kirby Stephen, Clay Bank top & Lion Inn, Hoping to find a nice secluded quiet spot around each area, Pray for dry weather, will keep you informed, Thanks again for the Help

Kate

21 August 2016 at 10:30 pm

Steve and Abbie,

I did the walk with my sister this time last year over 15 days. I am in equal measure jealous it’s not me doing it all again and grateful that it’s not!

Fill your back packs with Ibuprofen and Compeed and have a wonderful time!!

Kate

P.S. If you find yourselves in Kirkby Stephen without a bed, The Old Croft House in the centre of town is brilliant.

Peter Bulpitt

3 September 2016 at 9:22 pm

Hi Steve and Abbie,
Just found this site and saw your comments about wild camping and took note of the places you mentioned.
Be interested to know how these spots worked out and if you have any tips to pass on?

Thanks.

Peter

Ben Chambers

5 September 2016 at 11:15 am

as a postie who pretty much walks for 7 hours, 6 days a week day with heavy bags, what timeframe would you all suggest. doing it alone so don’t really want to spend much time hanging around in villages.

Andrew Bowden

5 September 2016 at 11:41 am

Ben – you’d probably want 12 days. Unless you’re camping, there’s not many options for accommodation stops to reduce it below that. You would have several days that are 15-20 miles with that time frame.

Rupert

5 September 2016 at 10:16 pm

Andrew

A good friend of mine is doing the C2C for a notable charity later this month (September) and due to work commitments sadly I’m unable to participate on more than 2 days but I wanted to contribute something.
As it stands I can do any two consecutive days of Grasmere, Petterdale, Shap & Kirkby Stephen and wondered which would be the easiest given that I will be travelling up from the Isle of Wight by car to get there.
Obviously by your own high standards of walking this part time walk is shameful cop out (!!) but any tips about making this happen and collecting my car during those stop overs would be most welcome.
Would it be possible to stay (and leave my car) in Shap the night before, head back to the previous stop (Patterdale) by cab then complete that leg and do the same from Shap to Kirkby Stephen and then go back to Shap via cabs?
Your thoughts would be most welcome.

Andrew Bowden

6 September 2016 at 9:12 am

Hello Rupert – Shap’s a reasonably large village and I’m sure you’ll be able to find somewhere to park up. It’s also quite convenient for the motorway so it’s probably your best bet. There may not be a taxi company in Shap, but Penrith is nearby and I’m sure you’ll have no problems there. Another option would be to park at Penrith somewhere – you can get buses from there to Patterdale and Kirkby Stephen as I recall.

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