Diary - A Coast to Coast Walk

(Click on any image to see a larger version - use your browser back key to return to this page)


  1. St. Bees beach 1990Further information about this hike can be found on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coast_to_Coast_Walk
  2. Another good site to check is Camino Adventures at https://www.caminoadventures.com/blog/coast-to-coast-walk/
  3. We used a guide book by Wainright. Note that this trip was made in 1990. I do not know what guidebook would be best for this walk now, nor how different the route would be from the one we took.

July 18, 1990 (Wednesday)

Took train from Durham to St. Bees head. Nice uneventful but hot trip. The part down to St. Bees was the best. Met two young C to C'ers, Bim and Marius on the train. They are real keeners (only have 9 days). The walk from the train station to Tomlin House B&B was short. We were surprised to see Sheila and Trevor's name in their guest book for June 16th. We left Durham at about 2pm and arrived about 8pm, in time for Lou to have a swim at St. Bees head beach (the Irish sea). Lots of garbage in the beach (no deposit on aluminum cans here).

July 19, 1990 - (St. Bees Head to Ennerdale Bridge. 14.5 miles)

We started at 8:30 with a long diversion north along the coast. Well worth the effort. Very hot weather so the early start was worth it. This was a long day. We arrived at Ennerdale Bridge at 5:30. The high point was Dent Hill (700 ft). The view was potentially wonderful (of Ireland) but the heat mist hid most of the countryside and we couldn't even see the coast we walked on in the morning. Bim and Marius passed us. Our B&B host was Mrs. Springate. We ate at the Fox and Hound - very good. Lou had chicken and I had steak pie. Picked up a B&B guide for the rest of the trip. Feet ache - legs are fine. Tomorrow - Lake country.

Awkward sleep (too much sun?) I think I drank 2 pints of water and 2 pints of beer and didn't pee a thimble full. Will take a little salt - could generate a deficiency at this rate.

July 20, 1990 (Friday - Ennerdale Bridge to Honister Youth Hostel. 11.25 miles)

Lake Country
          1990In desperation I fashioned a hat out of my second white shirt. Worked fine. Met Kathy and Mark from St. Bees. Walked with them for 1/2 a day. Met Bim and Marius again - last time I expect. Past Ennerdale lake and the forest (memories of B.C.) soon to evaporate as we emerge into the barren hill country. The Black Sail Youth Hostel Black Sail
          1990was a bit of a disappointment. Very steep climb to 2000 ft. pass. Made good time and arrived Honister about 4:15. Slept on a bench until 5 when the hostel opens. Quite austere but lots of interesting people to talk to.

July 21, 1990 (Saturday - Honister to Grasmere. 12+ miles)

Great day for hiking! Sun muted by high clouds. We left Honister at 9 and arrived at 4:45, very tired (Lou has a blister). We took a detour "Ridge Walk" recommended in the guide. Very spectacular but aRidge Walk 1990dded a lot of difficulty we could have done without. Staying at the Travelers Rest Pub/B&B. Nice but right on the road so a noisy room. Not that we noticed. After 2 pints of beer we went to bed early and were out in an instant. The proprietor, Monica, was very pleasant. We arranged to mail 9 pounds of stuff to Canada.

July 22, 1990 (Grasmere to Patersdale. 9.25 miles 46.5 to date)

Late start - early finish. We arrived at Noran Bank Farm at about 3:45. A straight forward walk with very pretty waterfalls. Excellent walk. We checked into Noran Bank, had a nap, then hiked 2 miles to the Travelers Rest pub for supper - not open until 7pm of course so waited outside with many other people. Feeling a little edgy but don't know why? Nice view - the first section of tomorrow's walk is clearly outlined. Met a nice old gentleman at the farm, which has animals including 'hare hounds'. Lou chatted with him about fox hunts - very interesting.

July 23, 1990 (Paterdale - Shap. - 22 miles)

Long day from 8:15 to 5:45. Met Bim and Marius again as we entered Shap. Had supper with them at the Greyhound. Also traveled for a while with a father, 2 daughters and 2 sons. Long climb up into the fells out of Patterdale then down to the Hawsbury reservoir. Hawkesbury reservoir 1990Then a long tramp to Shap. Switched to running shoes halfway through the day. May try them again tomorrow. Wonderful breakfast in a glassed in porch surrounded by flowers.

July 24, 1990 (Tuesday, Shap to Kirby Stephen. - 22 miles)

Cruelly long day! Left at 8:15 and arrived at 6:30. At the half way point we bought ice cream at Dent's farm. We met Richard, also Bim and Marius again, also the father with 4 children. We are all starting to get to know each other. Very hot day - nice variation in scenery. Took a picture at Robin Hood's grave (which isn't his grave). A nice feel of accomplishment at the end of the day but too tired to appreciate it. Nice B&B. Had supper at "The Forge Bistro", a vegetarian restaurant. Ran into Bim and Marius there.

July 25, 1990 (Kirby Stephen - Keld. - 12.75 miles)

          Falls 1990Left late after purchasing lunch and refueling our wallets at the local bank. Seemed like a long walk for a short day. Arrived Keld about 4pm. Stayed in a caravan and had supper at the Youth Hostel. The river Swale ran near our caravan with cool brown waters and nice splashing in the waterfalls. Said good-bye to Bim and Marius as they had to go through Keld for their B&B and must catch a bus tomorrow. Many fighter planes practicing nearby. A hot day.

July 26, 1990 (Keld - Reeth. - 11 miles)

Wonderful quiet sleep in the caravan awakening to an overcast cool day. Met and traveled with a nice family, Dan and Margaret and two boys, Andrew and Christopher. Many interesting old mines and lots of ancient stone barns.

July 27, 1990 (Reeth - Richmond - 10+ miles)Stream

We must be crazy - we walked to Richmond then went for a walk around the castle.

This was a short day. I started out feeling a little queasy but recovered after breakfast. Felt very good and much stronger later. Met Don and Margaret again and exchanged addresses. Beautiful walking through farmland and gentle hills. Good-bye Pennines. Enjoyed the short talk on the radio - must recharge the batteries tonight.

July 28, 1990 (Richmond - Ingleby Cross - 23 miles)

          Wiske 1990Lunch at Danby Wisk and my feet already ache. Got lost once (add one mile?) Left at 8:15 and arrived about 6:45 at the Blue Bell Inn - which didn't open till 7 of course. John picked us up. Very long day, very very tired.

July 2, 1990 (Ingleby Cross - Claybank Top)

Short day. We left most of our stuff at John's as they are putting us up for two nights. Nice trip along the banks. Felt good at the end of the day - re-energized for the final two days. John met us at Claybank Top drove us to his home through many special little villages.

July 30, 1990 (Claybank Top -Glaisdale. - 18 miles)

John dropped us off at 9am. Arrived at our B&B at 5:45, a long day but feeling real good. Our B&B is a modernized old farm house surrounded by marvelous flowers. Very quiet except for the sound of sheep of course. Only got lost once this time. We had lunch at the Lions Inn with Brian and Val. They ended their day at the Lion's Inn. Onward across the moors, more ridge walking, then down into the lovely Glaisdale valley.Robin
          Hood Bay

July 31, 1990 (Tuesday, Glaisdale - Robin Hood's Bay)

This was a long day - even cutting off the side trip around the coast. I was very fast or maybe Lou was tired but we seemed to be working at different paces. More hills to climb but mostly this was different due to the extended and lovely forest walks. Robin Hood's bay is unique - narrow - no cars. Got a B&B right in the village. I expected a quiet night due to the absence of cars but got woke up at 4am by the seagulls. Drank too many pints (3) with Richard and other C to C'ers at the Bay hotel.

Aug. 1, 1990 (Robin Hood's Bay - Whitby - 7 miles)

          1990A pleasant HOT day. Breakfast at 9am by our host Peter. Up to town and call Pan Am then Dave. Then onto the Cleveland Way, a wonderful cliff top walk to Whitby. The ocean laps against the cliff below us but foot access is impossible until we get near Whitby. Whitby - first impression is ugly. There is a very visible sewage outfall south of the city. Met Brian and Val  in the Tourist office arranging B&B and spent the evening with them. Whitby was very interesting and charming. Stayed at the Amb??? Hotel - very noisy.

Return to John and Eleanor's Home Page.

  Jun 04/09
Aug 6/14 (larger images)
Oct. 23/20 Added link to Camino Adventures