Coast to Coast walk (part 1)
The Plan........spend 8 days wondering across Cumbria and into Yorkshire, then come back next year and complete.

Part 1

Friday 8th September 2006 : Day 1; Car to Kirby Steven then mini bus to St Bees arriving lunch time then walk to Ennerdale Bridge [make sure pub is open, nowt else there]. This is about 15 miles with 2869ft of height gain. A fairly easy day with 2 "ups". First is St Bees Head and then Dent.

Saturday Day 2; Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite. This is about 15 miles with 2198ft of height gain. Starts with a long flat walk [some scrambling along Ennerdale shore] to Black Sail Hut and then it is a steep scrambling climb up to go over to Honister Pass. All downhill into Rosthwaite.

Sunday Day 3; Rosthwaite to Grasmere. This is only 8 miles with 1900ft of height gain if we take the "low" level, direct route. This all uphill for the first 4m with a little scramble, then all downhill into Grasmere. There is an option to get up onto Calf Crag to do a ridge walk if we fancy it.

Monday Day 4; Grasmere to Patterdale. This is 9 miles with 2210ft of height gain if we take the "low" level, direct route. This is all [seemingly endless] up to Grisdale Tarn. Some scrambling going down. From the Tarn we have options to go over St Sunday Crag or Helvellyn if we want.

Tuesday Day 5; Patterdale to Bampton. This is 13 miles with 2970ft of height gain. An excellent walk up to Kidsty Pike, scramble down to Haweswater and then the "sting in the tail" for today....the walk in along the shore of Haweswater....endless and twatful.

Wednesday Day 6; Bampton to Orton. This is only 11 miles with 1491ft of height gain. A really easy but pleasant day. [make sure the pub in Orton is open, not much else there!]

Thursday  Day 7; Orton to Kirkby Stephen. This is 14 miles with 1269ft of height gain. You will remember this as a pleasant enough walk.

Friday  Day 8; Kirkby Stephen to Muker/Tan Hill. This is 13 miles with 2686ft of height gain. Nine Standards Rigg....need I say more?

Part 2 - June 2007

If you want to see more background about the walk then look at Packhorse

Route: c2c06 day1- Friday
Summary - St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

Route Distance: 12.6 Mi Estimated Time: 6:04 Actual Time 5.33
Total Ascent: 2819 ft Total Descent: 2175 ft distance 13.5

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Pink line = Actual / Blue line = Plan

Bill.. Not a bad start the run to Kirby Steven was perfect arriving at 8.15 and transferring to the packhorse bus to arrive at St Bees for 10am. The lure of a bacon butty and a cup of coffee at the cafe before the start was too much to miss.

So the actual start was 10.30 in brilliant sunshine, dipping the boots in the sea and we were off. The first 4 miles along the coast was pretty before heading off inland to start crossing the country. Then we passed a pub previously closed down was now refurbished and reopened. So with Jim's desire to use the loo in the pub allowed us the opportunity to have a pint.

We arrived at Ennerdale bridge at 5pm happy to share a bunkhouse at Low Cock Farm . A quick shower and off for another pint or two was our next concern.

Den manages to get out of the bus unaided

(L-R) John, Bill, Jim and Den dipping the toe ceremony

This way only passed the pub?

I see no more pubs

so impressed by the big stile we failed to notice the fence was missing

Even Den can reach the ceiling in the bunkhouse

Route: c2c06 day2-Saturday
Summary - Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite.

Route Distance: 15.9 Mi Estimated Time: 7:00 Actual Time 7.00
Total Ascent: 2216 ft Total Descent: 2606 ft Actual Distance 17.5

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Pink line = Actual / Blue line = Plan

John...After being well fed and watered [beered] in the Shepherd Arms we woke to a lovely sunny morning. We set away walking and reached the start of Ennerdale Water where we walked along the south shore. A short rest was called at the east end of the lake and we took in the westward view. The next part of the walk was all forest trail, tedious to say the least. It was all worthwhile though when we got Black Sail Hut for our lunch. A beautiful place on a beautiful day...does it get any better?

After a very leisurely lunch break we then hit Loft Beck, very steep and rocky so another short rest was called for. The rest of the walk was pretty much downhill via Honister Pass, and en route Dennis helped a damsel in distress. She had lost her shades in the grass and he helped her find them - what a guy!

Then on through Seatoller to Rosthwaite. This where Billy's organisational skills fell short of the mark. Something to do with our baggage going to one B&B but we were staying in another one. Our landlady Yvonne came to the rescue with a lift to fetch our bags, now it is time to go and refresh ourselves.

Bill.. Okay I got it wrong , I put Yew Farm and we were at Yew Crag! Never to be forgotten.

Low Cock Farm, was excellent accomadation complete with first rate breakfast

Wait for me, heading for Ennerdale water

this path was endless

And then out of wilderness-Black Sail Youth hostel

You can even make a coffee at Black Sail Youth Hostel

Buttermere and Crummock water in the distance

Route: c2c06 day3- Sunday

Summary- Rosthwaite to Grasmere.

Route Distance: 9.13 Mi Estimated Time: 4:57 Actual Time 5.00
Total Ascent: 3096 ft Total Descent: 3130 ft Distance 9.5 Mi

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Bill....Breakfast at a fixed time of 8am in Yew Farm Craggs gave us the opportunity of a lie in after a early night, the evening of which was spent in the only pub in Rosthwaite.

Another excellent day the weather appears to be getting hotter, We actually added 1000ft height to the walk today to do a ridge walk, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, and Helm Crag [Dennis and John climbed onto the lion's head, see photo] We still arrived in Grasmere before 4, well done all.

The feet were tired tonight, too much pounding and too hot, I even took the trouble to buy more cool socks in Grasmere while the others went for a beer, so that should tell you how bad they were.

During the walk we have each day passes a couple of elderly American ladies going ever so slow, and doing the same walk as ourselves. We talked to them as we passed today to enquire how they felt from the day before and how well they had done. They admitted that after 14.5Miles and 8.30 in the evening a lift had to called upon from honister Pass . But G man what a walk. The walk today however was to involve more of a climb come a all fours scramble. John warned them of what lay ahead (as this was his second time) and she replied what held back and slowed them down was the fact that one off them was registered blind.

While we were having lunch a RAF rescue helicopter was seen going over ahead and dropping down over the ridge out of sight, and our assumption was that this would be the area in which the ladies where. Any walkers that we passed for the rest off the day all said what a gutsy lady but it it was properly just too much for her. We all hopped that she was exhausted and not hurt.

Dennis had wondered if we could find on the internet what had happened. Much to our surprise when at about 9.30pm She walked in the bar and ordered a beer. She even enquired if we knew of the reason for the helicopter. They had arrived at 8.30pm Tired, and had taking the shorter route.

We were about to go to bed we feared the reputation of being out stopped at the bar.

An ready to go shot outside Yew Graggs

The first climb over- Skiddaw in the background

The ridge we walked in the background

The Lion and the Lamb- Look at the shape of the rock

Route: c2c06 day4 - Monday

Summary Grasmere to Patterdale.

Route Distance: 9.48 Mi Estimated Time: 5:20 Actual Time 5.30
Total Ascent: 3606 ft Total Descent: 3362 ft Actual Distane 10.1 Mi

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Pink line = Actual / Blue line = Plan

Bill... tired, but well pleased to have completed Helvellyn via stridding edge. Arriving at the hotel was it by chance that my room was the Helvellyn room. This was a hot day !

John..elated! We started the day a bit late as the breakfast was not early enough for us proper walkers. The day started with low cloud and we sweated buckets getting up to Grisedale Hause. Decision time!! Do we go the sensible low route or think about doing a peak?Helvellyn left, St Sunday Crag right? The cloud was starting to blow away and Jimmy wanted to revisit Helvellyn so decision made, here we go. Down to the end of Grisedale Tarn to climb Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike and on to Hellvellyn.

Rick, from Canada came along with us as he was on a long distance mission to do Striding Edge. We obviously did all of that with no difficult, the cloud did clear and we were blessed with good views. Rick got his photos on Striding Edge and by chance we found a pub beer garden at the end - job done!

Special thanks to The White Lion in Patterdale and Lenka for allowing me to download the website.


Anna and her friend looking fresher at breakfast

John at hand giving out his sweeties to Paul and Victoria

Rick and John approach Helvellyn

Rick Den john and Jim at the top 3100 foot or so

Striding edge is not for the fainthearted

Looking back at striding edge

Had Jim texted for a helicopter

hole in wall - on the map and I thought it was a pub in the lakes

Route: c2c06 day5 - Tuesday (John's day of worry)
Summary - Patterdale to Bampton.

Route Distance: 12.5 Mi Estimated Time: 6:09 Actual Time 6.00
Total Ascent: 2997 ft Total Descent: 2898 ft Actual Distance 13 Mi

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Pink line = Actual / Blue line = Plan

John.. The day started with a good breakfast and everyone agreed that the White Lion is worth revisiting. The packed lunches were outstanding but there was some concern over the weight of them for carrying.

We set away, straight up, to Boredale Hause, on to Angle Tarn, up and round the Knott and on to Kidsty Pike. Today is probably the most challenging for navigation and thankfully we did not hit the cloud until part way up The Knott. As we approached Kidsty Pike the wind got up and kept blowing the cloud through so that we got views from the top.

While we came down from Kidsty the sun came out and it was glorious all the way to Bampton Grange, another day done. The revelation today was Jimmy finding his turbo boost, he was up there at the front all day. Apparently the secret is to take longer strides, you get just as knackered but cover more ground!
Bill..Thanks to the crown and Mitre in Bampton Grange for the help with the mobile connection.

 Patterdale as we climbed away on Route to Kidsty Pike

Angel Tarn was the first delight of the day

Bill & Den at top of Kirsty Pike

It wasn't that funny

An old sign with an old telephone box with 3 old walkers

Bampton grange in the rear was rest and water for the night

Route: c2c06 day6 - Wednesday
Summary - Bampton Grange to Orton.

Route Distance: 11.6 Mi Estimated Time: 4:58 Actual Time 4.45
Total Ascent: 1360 ft Total Descent: 1173 ft Actual Distance 12.1 Mi

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Pink line = Actual / Blue line = Plan

Den..good night last night, although the crown and mitre was a bit seventy's the red wine was fine ,  the only injury so far was jimmy stubbing his toe on the pool table foot . broke out the waterproofs for the first time , which was the first time in 5 days walking , we don't know how lucky we have been still finished the day in sunshine again.  just made it in time for church tonight .

Bill...the skyline was a little disappointing today compared to the previous five. Losing the Lake district was a drag. However the early arrival at the pub was to prove to much of a distraction and the night started early.

Worth a detour - Shap Abbey

not worth a detour - Shap cement works

Crossing the M6 after Shap

Bed for tonight- The George, Orton

Route: c2c06 day7- Thursday
Summary - Orton to Kirkby Stephen.

Route Distance: 13.2 Mi Estimated Time: 5:35 Actual time 4.20 (Rain)
Total Ascent: 1379 ft Total Descent: 1593 ft Actual Distance 13.2 Mi (88.9)

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Pink line = Actual / Blue line = Plan

Bill.. Shame about the rain, which it managed to do for most of the day. The miles were completed quickly today as they appeared no need to stop and stare. The walk was still of a good standard and Kirkby was reached by 3pm.

Leaving Orton in the rain

The camera was rarely out today

Lunch in the rain

The Canadians on a healthy lunch stop

Route: c2c06 day8 - Friday
Summary -kirkby Stephen to Keld


Route Distance: 10.8 Mi Estimated Time: 5:06 Actual time 4.30
Total Ascent: 2190 ft Total Descent: 1704 ft distance 11.5Mi

Elevation Profile

Overview Map

Pink line = Actual / Blue line = Plan

John.. This day takes walkers over another completely different terrain. We were very lucky that the weather had gone back to the beautiful sunny type that we had been blessed with for most of the walk. This allowed us to get some excellent views, east and west, from Nine Standards.  Beyond Nine Standards there is an excellent example of [non-slabbed] peat bogs, great fun if you are prepared to get dirty. I was gutted that they were very much drier this year, an indication of the very dry year that we have had in 2006 and the falling natural watertable - still fun though. From the tops we went down along Whitsundale to meet Swaledale, following the River Swale to Keld, very pretty.


Nine standards was the target today

All over and no pub in sight

The Canadians doing what they they do best

Paul & Victoria travelling light

Sadly it always has to have an end, this has been a fantastic week, one I shall always remember. My thanks to John whom without the motivation it would never have happened, thanks to the rest of the team whom without it would not have made the team.

The strict 3 pints a nights lasted until 8pm on the first night, 7.30pm on the second and then....

My best day was Monday which included Helvellyn. The decent over Striding edge was fantastic if not for the fainthearted. This was completed by the stay in The White Lion at Patterdale this proved to be our best accommodation on route. Even the packed lunch won best packed lunch of tour, even if you couldn't carry it all or eat it all.

Thanks to all who we met on route and helped the evenings pass bye. (how else could we have known what was safe to eat).

John..This was a very enjoyable week in good company. It was different from last year when I travelled alone, and carried everything including tent, sleeping bag, etc. That was more of an adventure but the C2C makes a great walking holiday, over many different terrains, with lots of opportunities for "socialising". The infra-structure with companies transferring the bulk of your luggage really opens it up to many more people. 

To anyone reading this website - Keep getting your boots muddy! 

Was it Hot and Sunny???

Overall distance 100.5 Mi

did we carry all our luggage? Not likely  Packhorsewas the answer

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Part 2