Monday, June 20, 2011


So its been a little over a week since I finished my Coast to Coast. My feet feel great, my back loves me again, and its strange to wake up each morning and NOT have to face at least 8 miles of walking.

I do however, wake up around the same time though, which makes Tom happy because I usually have the kettle on whilst he is in the shower getting ready for work. For all the ladies out there: key to a British boy's heart: the teapot :)

I even spent the last weekend in Poole, meaning in three weeks I have visited England's three coastlines. I am amazed how diverse they all are from each other, with rolling beaches to staggering cliff lines. All of them though are breathtakingly gorgeous.

My favorite part of the Coast to Coast: The Lake District

I am sure this is most people's favorite part of the walk. It is just full of huffing and puffing and your reward is exhilarating views of Fells (hills) and Tarns (lakes). Most of the towns were tiny and of course everyone friendly. If I did the walk again I would spend more days in the Lake District, ticking off a bit more peaks like Helvellyn and Scarfell Pike.

My worst part of the Coast to Coast: The flats

I hate to say the 'worst' because I found the entire walk enjoyable. However the Vales of Mowbray were just so... flat. And after the Lake District I thought the flats would be a welcome change. However, my feet did NOT enjoy the monotony of it, and therefore made it the most painful part. It also got a bit tedious seeing nothing but fields of wheat and whatnot.

My suggestions:

  • Be talkative - There were so many different varieties of people on the walk. Retired people, singles, couples, large groups, young students on holiday. See the walk from another person's perspective!
  • Go local - go to the local pub rather than a chain restaurant, and be sure to try a beer you never would have seen if not for being in the area. Also the pubs source food from the local area, like Cumbrian Sausages, or Yorkshire Chicken Parmesan (nothing like its Italian cousin!)
  • Be respectful - If the sign says do not traipse on the Moors, don't do it. These areas are home to lotsa critters, be nice to mother earth, just this once :) Also, don't be loud and obnoxious, especially if staying in a hostel, your fellow bunk mates will appreciate it
  • Check your map! - Do not trust the people walking ahead of you to be going the right way! Near Kidsty Pike a lot of walkers got lost as they went on the High Road (old Roman Road) which eventually got a walker near the end of the Haweswater Resevoir, however it was not obvious at some junctions. Without a map, people got lost and frustrated, and many ended up turning around and going the Kidtsy Pike route (which they DID have mapped)
  • That being said, I strongly suggest having a map with the surrounding area and contour lines as well as having a guide book. This way if you get a bit sidetracked, you can still figure out where you are and then which way you need to go to get back on track
  • Compass. Duh.
  • Keep it in perspective - Try not to think about the 20 miler you gotta do, think of it in sections. Take a lunch break at 8 or 10 miles in, giving you and your feet a well needed rest.
  • Think happy thoughts - It IS a long trip, sometimes after walking in the rain or after stepping in a bog its hard to keep positive outlook every moment of the walk. However, it is worth every penny in terms of memories and experiences for next trip. Also, it is always great to commiserate with other walkers at the pub in the evening :)

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