2 friends and the coast to coast walk

Our Journey So Far. by theshed
August 23, 2008, 8:47 am
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Hi All,

We’re now in Kirkby Stephen and we’re having a well earned rest day.  I think it’s 83 miles we’ve covered so far and we thought we should give you an abridged version of what we’ve been doing.  We’ll write up our journey with pictures and everything when we get back and have recovered.

So…so far here’s what we’ve done…

Started off in St. Bees on Monday, after meeting our Australia chums Wayne and Lyndly, and headed straight out over St Bees Head.  Luckily we dipped our toes in the Irish Sea the night before because when we set off it was raining cats and dogs.  That first walk was very very wet and boots were leaking in, unsurprisingly given the condition, within 20 mins.  There was some brilliant scenery but the best bit was looking out over what was to come, the Lake District.  We got into Low Cock How Farm to find the log burner on and a cottage to ourselves.  The boots never did dry properly though.

Setting off from Low Cock How we picked up a pasty for lunch from The Shephards Arms in Ennerdal Bridge.  From Ennerdal bridge we walked round the lake whcih is one of the best bits of walking we’ve done so far.  Then it was onwards to Black Sail Hut for a cuppa.  After black sail hut the adventure started.  As we walked into the clouds and completely lost our bearings.  There we’re 7 other folks who had done the same so we stuck together as a group and eventually found our way down, surprisingly to the spot where we should’ve been.  Got into Stonethwaite very tired.

Next day was Stonethwaite to Patterdale.  When we set off the going was tough, not the uphill bit but just the bogginess of the ground.  It ground our pace to a near halt.  So we ended up doing 8 miles in 6.5 hours and got into Grasmere about 3:30 pm.  Still with a long way to go and another very big climb ahead of us we thought for safety’s sake we should skip the last bit so we shared a taxi to Patterdale with our Aussie chums.  Very chilled stay in Gramsere but slightly annoyed we didn’t make the whole way.  We will be back!!!

Patterdale to Shap was a long slog, especially down Shap high street which must be the longest village in the world (25 mins from one end to the other!)  In the middle though we headed up and down Kidsty Pike which was a deffinite highlight.  If you look at our pic on arriving in Shap you can see Kidsty as the first peak to the right of the bus stop sign.  At 780m it’s just about our highest point on this walk.

Shap to Kirkby Stephen was good.  We set off from our absolutely brilliant B&B (thanks Margaret) and put down a fair old pace to Orton.  We didn’t see another soul on our walk and it turns out it’s because most people got the bus for the first bit.  Cheeky beggars!!  Up then down then Shetland ponies then sheep and eventually we are here, in Kirkby Stephen.

Now we are going to have a bit of a mooch and generally rest our weary bodies.  It should be a few easy days now until we leave Richmond and then there’s a few long ones as we push for the end.

Despite the wet soggy feet, Sid’s 3 blisters, Michelle’s 1, getting lost and walking up peaks higher than you can imagine we are still having a wicked time.  We’ve met some fantastic people along the way so far and even now we’re going to be sad to see it end.

Cheers for reading and hopefully you’ll get another brief update in Richmond.

Right…where’s that foot spa??

Sid and Michelle.


Follow us on Twitter by theshed
August 15, 2008, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For those of you who don’t know what Twitter is I go into detail on my other blog but in short it’s a web site that give you 140 characters to tell people what you are doing.

Since I’ll be trying to enjoy the scenery on our walk I doubt either of us will be very verbose so Twitter is ideal for keeping people up-to-date on our progress.

If you fancy checking where we are and what we’re doing you’ll find it on my Twitter profile.

Off to a false start! by theshed
August 15, 2008, 11:46 am
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We’ve been planning this walk for days now.  Over the last week we’ve been knee deep in maps picking out routes and where we can go for a wild swim if the weather is good enough.  All our clothes and walking stuff has been laid out in the spare room ready to pack.  Generally it’s been like a military operation with Michelle making lists left right and centre and me squaring things away before we leave.

So we got up this morning and whilst Michelle was a little on edge I was strangely serene.  I knew we’d planned everything, there’s nothing we’d forgotten.  So we packed up, got everything in the car and headed off to work ready to head for my mam’s house straight after work.

We always forget something when we go away so it came as no surprise when Michelle messaged me saying she’d left her watch at home.  Oh well.

What came as more of a surprise was when I realised we’d left our walking boots at home.  Pretty essential bits of kit if you ask me!

So we’ll be having a little detour back to our house to pick them up.

I wonder what else we’ve left?

Windy Lyminge by gleavem
August 11, 2008, 12:44 pm
Filed under: exercise, training, weather | Tags: , ,

Yesterday was our final training walk before we begin the C2C.  We plotted a circular route from Lyminge, via Stowting, Rhodes Minnis and Elham. It’s a lovely area we’ve walked in once before (Barham-Elham Circular), its got some hills (by Kentish standards anyway), nice scenery and plenty of little village pubs for lunch or refreshment! The only down side to this walk was the wind, and as Sid reminded me frequently, he HATES WIND!

We started by taking the Elham Valley Way (EVW) south out of Lyminge, until we met the North Dows Way (NDW) at Swingfield radio station.  We than followed the NDW past Postling, through some very undulating access land to Hempton farm.  From here we continued on the NDW to Stowting, where we had a delicious lunch (NB: Sid is never again to have Lasagne whilst walking) at the Tiger Inn.  Taking a small path north out of Stowting we passed some noisy nosey geese and encountered our first major navigational challenge. 

Let me pause here to fill you in a little on a recent purchase: Pete Hawkins’ book on map and compass skills. I’ve just finished reading it and Sid is nearly at the end, all I can say is why oh why didn’t we read this years ago!  Those of you who are regular readers will knpw that we often face some navigational challenges, and don’t quite know exactly where we are at all times…well not any more!  As well as being our last training walk, this was our chance to try out our newly learnt navigational skills; we made a route card, we took bearings, we adjusted for magnetic variation, we took back bearings, we “ticked off” and consequently we didn’t get lost!!

To continue the story we came into a field of broad beans; the path through them strted on roughly the right bearing, but fizzled out to nothing about half way across the field.  Surrouded by above head-heigh beans, we were forced to forge our own path to the boundary! On exiting the field we were obviosuly unsure whether it was us of the field that was in the wrong; by a couple of bearings soon told us that we were where we should have been but the path was missing! 

Anyway, we continued up Stowting Hill (a bit of a slog after lunch) to reach Highfields farm, where we headed east through the woods to Rhodes Minnis and onwards to Elham. After a refreshing diet coke, we rejoined the EVW for a plesant low-level stroll back to Lyminge.

Highlights of this walk: lots of friendly dogs, good views, nice lunch & our superb navigational skills!

Coast to Coast Calories by theshed
August 9, 2008, 3:34 pm
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One of the reasons why we’re doing the coast to coast is because I wanted a challenge.  Sometghing to help me lose a little bit of weight and get me a little fitter.

In that vain I decided a long time ago to take my heart rate monitor with me on the walk so I could measure how many calories I would burn.  So the question is, how many calories do you think I’ll burn in the whole walk?  I’m not wearing it 24/7 so I’m talking about from door to door walking.

I’m going to go for about 40,000 calories.

Our Full Itinerary by theshed
August 8, 2008, 6:37 pm
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I know we put up a proposed itinerary a fair while ago but I just thought I should put up the full itinerary now that we’re getting close.  For those who are walking at the same time and happen to be in the same area then it would be great to say hi.  For those of you not walking then give us a call and see how we are doing.  We’ll probably relish the opportunity to talk to other people.  Also, if you don’t hear from us when we get back then feel free to send out Mountain Rescue!  Actually, don’t, we shouldn’t mess around with that stuff.  We’ll actually be leaving route cards with our B&Bs and calling ahead and letting our next B&B know we are coming.  Much better to be safe than sorry.

So here it is:

  • Friday 15th August
    • Drive from Kent up to Willington to see my family and chill out a little bit.
  • Saturday 16th August
    • Chill out a little bit at home.  I think I’ll be going with mam to scatter my gran’s ashes.  Michelle will hopefully be making some flapjacks and other goodies to take on the walk! 🙂
  • Sunday 17th August
    • We’ll be travelling to St. Bees.  A big thank you to my little sis Amy for driving us.  We just decided that it was too expensive to drive ourselves and pay for parking and taxis from the start and end of the walk.  We’ll be staying in Stone House Farm on Sunday night.
  • Monday 18th August
    • The big day, the start of the walk.  We’ll be heading from St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge.  We’re not going to make it as far as Ennerdale though as we’ll be staying in Low Cock How Farm.
  • Tuesday 19th August
    • Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite staying at Langstrath.
  • Wednesday 20th August
  • Thursday 21st August
    • Patterdale to Shap staying the night in Brookfield.
  • Friday 22nd August
  • Saturday 23rd August
    • The first of two rest days and by then we’ll probably thoroughly deserve it.  I’m guessing our feet will be a bit weary and will no doubt enjoy being out of the walking boots for a day.  Not sure what’s happening yet with this day.  We’ve had a few people say they might visit and keep us sane but we’ll see what happens.  I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people around.
  • Sunday 24th August
    • Back on with the walking socks and boots to head from Kirkby Stephen to Keld to stay the night in Butt House.  Apparently Doreen and Ernest have moved on which is a shame becuase I’d heard some good things about them.
  • Monday 25th of August
    • From Keld to Reeth staying the night in Old Temperance.  We haven’t got a website for those guys since they seem to play it old school.  We do have a lovely letter from the owner though.
  • Tuesday 26th August
    • Reeth to Richmond and our second rest stop to stay in Willance House for a couple of nights.
  • Wednesday 27th August
    • Rest day in Richmond.  We’ll be chilling and depending on the clothing situation we may be doing some washing.  Hopefully my mam will make it down for a visit with our chocolate labs.  I wish I could have a dog, they’re so cute.  Of course that means Michelle would have to have a cat!
  • Thursday 28th August
  • Friday 29th August
  • Saturday 30th August
  • Sunday 31st August
    • The final day, Glaisdale to Robin Hoods Bay.  😦  No doubt we’ll be excited and sad at the same time.  One thing is for sure, that beer at the end will be the best beer in the world. We’ll be resting and smiling the night away in The Villa. (Their website is actually www.thevillarhb.co.uk but it seems to be down. I hope the house is still there!)
  • Monday 1st Sept
    • Probably going to be a terrible day.  We’re getting picked up and we’ll head back to Willington to pick up our car, which will hopefully still be in one piece if we let my little sis drive it.  Then from there it’ll be the 6.5 hours drive back down to Kent.  No doubt we’ll be shattered, good shattered, when we get back and all too soon the reality of work the next day will sink in.

Hopefully on the way along we’ll be taking photos and if I get a chance I’ll download them and blog a little bit.  As a minimum I should be able to make some very brief updates depending on what my phone reception is like.  For very short updates you’ll be able to follow me on Twitter.

When we get back and recover we’ll download all the photos and geotag them so people can get a good idea of what to expect where.  Shell is also planning on keeping a diary so look forward to that.


Planning Overdrive by theshed
August 8, 2008, 5:46 pm
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It seems like Shell and I have gone into planning overdrive in the last couple of days, getting our routes sorted, writing a list of what we need to pack and generally just getting rediculously excited.

So here’s what I’m taking for our walk…

  • Clothes (not for walking)
    • 14 pairs of pants
    • 12 pairs of socks
      • 6 dress socks
      • 6 trainer socks
    • 8 t-shirts
    • 1 pair of jeans
    • 2 pairs of shorts
    • 1 pair of swim shorts (for when we find a cool wild swimming spot)
    • 1 hoody (for snuggling)
    • 1 travel towel
    • 1 pair flip-flops
    • 1 pair trainers
  • Clothes (for walking)
    • 6 walking tops
    • 4 walking bottoms (shorts and trousers)
    • 8 pairs of walking socks
    • Walking hat
    • Waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers
    • Gaitors
    • Fleece
    • Woolly hat
    • Little gloves to keep my little hands warm on those big hills
  • Day bag
  • Walking Pole
  • Water sac
  • Head torch
  • Dry sac
  • Book
  • Flannel (for mopping sweat off my brow)
  • Sunglasses
  • Phone
  • Wallet
  • Toiletries
    • Soap
    • 2 in 1 Shampoo
    • Deodorant (a big necessity for me!)
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Sunscreen
    • Cotton wool buds
    • Aftersun

That’s about it for me.  I wonder what I’ve forgotten.

To share between us we have:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Compass
  • Guide Book
  • Maps
  • Map Case
  • Route Cards

Michelle has just got to do her list now and we’ll be sorted.  At least we’ll be sorted to the point of needing to go and buy a few things at the shop.

Planning this is getting me so excited.  I did think that work would’ve taken a back seat by now but I am churning through stuff like there is no tommorow just in the hope that the walk will come round a bit quicker.

I can’t wait! 🙂