The Coast to Coast Path

May 2008.
187 miles of sublime walking in two weeks.
Starting in St Bees on the Cumbrian coast, crossing the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Pennines and North Yorkshire Moors to end at Robin Hood's Bay on the Yorkshire coast.
Joined again by Harry and Teresa, we took fifteen days (including a rest day in Richmond), and ended the trip with a special treat - a couple of days of pampered luxury in Whitby.

Day 1 - St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

14.6 miles. Heading north for a couple of miles along the Cumbrian coastline before heading inland over rolling hills and into the Lake District proper.

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Day 2 - Low Cock How Farm to Rosthwaite

16.1 miles. Following the southern shore of Ennerdale Water, then through Ennerdale Forest before climbing steeply beside Loft Beck. From the Brandreth Fence, down to Honister Slate Mine, then a gentle downhill through Seatoller to Rosthwaite.

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Day 3 - Rosthwaite to Grasmere

8 miles. From Rosthwaite, a long ,sometimes steep, haul up to Greenup Edge, then descend via Calf Crag, to Grasmere.

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Day 4 - Grasmere to Patterdale

7 miles. After a quick tour of Grasmere, head up Tongue Gill for lunch at Grisedale Tarn. Continue climbing up to the sumit of St Sunday Crag, at 2756 feet the higest point of our walk, then a long descent into Patterdale. Wonderful views of Ullswater all the way down.

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Day 5 - Patterdale to Shap

16.7 miles. Stunning views back to the Helvellyn range, Patterdale and Ullswater on the way up to Angle Tarn. Continue climbing up towards High Street before heading for Kidsty Pike and views of Haweswater. After following the western shore, the path meanders alongside Haweswater Beck then heads to Shap Abbey and along the long, long High Street of Shap.

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Day 6 - Shap to Kirkby Stephen

20.4 miles. Traversing open limestone moorland, interrupted only by a diversion to the chocolate factory at Orton !

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Day 7 - Kirkby Stephen to Keld

11.5 miles. A quick look around town, then up and over the high moors of the Pennines via Nine Standards. Descend into Whitsundale, following the Beck into the isolated village of Keld. Spend a pleasant hour-or-so sampling the local beer at the Lodge while waiting for a transfer to our accommodation for the night - Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in Great Britain.

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Day 8 - Keld to Reeth

10.9 miles. A reminder of industries long gone. Transfer back to Keld, then after admiring the waterfalls, head up to the "high route", passing the ruins of Crackpot Hall. Walking mostly on broad miner's tracks over the moors, passing several derelict lead mines before descending to the pleasant little town of Reeth.

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Day 9 - Reeth to Richmond

10.4 miles. Leaving Reeth, head for Marrick Priory, then a gentle climb up through bluebell woods and open fields to Marske and beyond. More lovely woods before the distinctive castle and town buildings of Richmond come into view ...

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Day 10 - Free day in Richmond

A lazy Bank Holiday Sunday exploring Richmond and nearby Easby Abbey.

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Day 11 - Richmond to Ingleby Arncliffe

22 miles - our longest day. An early start and we are soon walking high above the River Swale heading for Catterick Bridge and the A1. Thereafter, open fields interupted only by occasional settlements before reaching Danby Wiske for a late lunch, and a well-earned pint. The afternoon becomes a bit of a slog to Ingleby Arncliffe - a shame, because this is quintessential English countryside - but everyone is tired.

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Day 12 - Ingleby Arncliffe to Chopgate

12 miles. Relatively easy in distance, but most of the day is spent walking through low cloud on the North Yorkshire Moors, so we miss out on spectacular views across the Vale of Cleveland. Spirits are lifted by Sonia and Steve who join us late morning to accompany us for the rest of the day, and join us for an evening a meal at our B&B, the Buck Inn at Chopgate.

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Day 13 - Chopgate to Glaisdale

18.3 miles trudging over the moors in very low visibility. Flagging spirits are raised somewhat by a stop for lunch at the Lion Inn at Blakey, then more moor(!)until dropping down into Glaisdale.

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Day 14 - Glaisdale to High Hawsker

14.1 miles. Varied scenery for our penultimate day, ancient woodlands, steam railways and open moorland. Spoiled only at the very end by the double-whammy of losing the trail and being attacked by angry bees...

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Day 15 - High Hawsker to Robin Hoods Bay (and on to Whitby)

4.3 miles. An easy stroll along the North Yorkshire coastline to reach Robin Hood's Bay, the end point of the Coast to Coast. After photos, a celebratory pint, and signing the official log, Steve & Carolyn catch the Sherpa van back to Richmond to collect the car. Harry & Teresa go straight to Whitby to start the weekend early.

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Day 16 - A day in Whitby

A short drive up the coast for lunch at Steve & Sonia's, then a leisurely look around Whitby in the afternoon.

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