I had long shunned the Coast to Coast.
I’ve owned a copy of Wainwright’s ‘A Coast to Coast Walk’ since the ’80s and over the years, have often picked it up … and put it down again. As much as I admire AW, I can’t say that his walk, as a whole, grabbed me.
I had walked some of the sections that did appeal: most of the St Bees to Patterdale section and I’ve also twice completed the Cleveland Way with which the C2C coincides for some miles.
But I had little burning desire to wade through Pennine peat bog (Kirkby Stephen to Keld), little interest in industrial ruins and a landscape marred by mining (Keld to Reeth), and the 23 miles trudge across the Vale of Mowbray didn’t set me all aquiver. And also it is a long walk – only 70 miles shorter than the Pennine Way – and consequently expensive in both time and money.
And yet … and yet, over the years, I kept on thinking about the C2C and reading accounts by people who had walked it. And overall they seemed to have loved it (though a few most certainly didn’t) and some were coming back to do it again and again. Perhaps I ought to see what all the fuss was about.
And so, for March 2013 (little knowing that I’d be walking into the worst March weather for 60 years), I booked my train ticket to St Bees and another home from Scarborough 13 days later.
Here is an account of my walk:
(A brief description of this walk appears on my other blog. You can read it here – ‘The Anxious Gardener’).