Saturday, August 10, 2013

Coast to Coast (or part thereof) ...

A week away in the Lake District (mostly) doing a large chunk of Alfred Wainwright's "Coast to Coast Walk".  The fully monty stretches from St Bees on the west coast to Robin Hoods Bay on the east - just under 200 miles.  However, with only having six days to play with we settled on getting across to Shap.

Finished work on Saturday ... and straight on the train heading for St Bees, arriving at about 1845.  Stopped over in Queens Hotel (although we drank in the Oddfellows !), before starting out bright and early on Sunday morning heading for Ennerdale Bridge.  Cut a corner off here - missing out the walk up the coast - thus reducing mileage to just over 10 (!) ... a gentle starter if you like - but a few climbs nonetheless (Dent Hill and Raven Crag).  B&B in Ennerdale - but not before a drink or two at the "Fox and Hounds" and the "Shepherds Arms Hotel" !

It started to rain on Sunday night - and was still hammering it down on Monday morning.  By the time we left the B&B the River Ehen had burst its banks ... so within 100 yards of starting we we wading almost knee-deep down the main street - great start !!  By the time we reached Ennerdale Water the footpath was also a river (!) so we ended up taking a lengthy diversion before getting onto the sanctuary of the forest trail. Then it was up, up up (Loft Beck) before hitting the tops in thick mist (still raining by the way !).  Fortunately we had map/GPS and a fair few cairns to follow.  Then - all of a sudden - the mist cleared (it was like curtains opening !) and we could see exactly where we were - viz bloody high up.  And then it stopped raining - so the descent down into Borrowdale was fairly straightforward.  What with diversions etc we ended up doing about 20 miles instead of 15 ... Stayed at "Royal Oak Hotel" (only keg beer - shame !). 

Tuesday began with a long steep slog up Stonethwaite Beck to Lining Crag and Greenup Edge before taking the low-level route down Easedale Beck into Grasmere (we'd done the Helm Crag option a few years back).  After several hours of solitude it comes as a shock when you hit Grasmere - too many people wandering aimlessly in clean clothes.  Fortunately our overnight stop was the "Travellers Rest" - just out of the village and far from the maddening crowds.  A belting place which comes thoroughly recommended - great room, great beers, great food. "Only" 12 miles this day as well ...

Wednesday - off to Patterdale - against starting with a steep slog uphill to Grisedale Tarn.  We had a choice of three options then - Striding Edge/Helvellyn (done it before); Grisedale Valley (low-level - pff !); or St Sunday Crag. We chose number three, climbing to 2750 feet before a joint-jarring descent down towards Ullswater, Patterdale and the "White Lion Inn" - with the detour up St Sunday Crag we reckoned about 12.5 miles.

Thursday was our last walking day from Patterdale over to Shap - two hefty climbs up Angeltarn and Kidsty Pike, a long haul round the side of Haweswater before saying farewell to the Lake District and finishing with a more gentle trek across fields to Shap - another long one (about 16 miles).  Stayed over at "New Ing Lodge" (more good beer !!) - and slept well !!

Train(s) home on Friday ... and that was (a brief resume of) our holiday !  A few pictures at

St Bees to Shap - 4/10Aug13

(Not many from the wet Monday - camera stayed firmly in bag after taking a few pix of the flood in Ennerdale !)

So ... a Saturday off work - a rare treat that normally involves taking in an away game somewhere with a bit of distance on it.  However Forest Green Rovers v Hyde FC is probably a distance too far (!), so it looks like I'll be just popping up the road to see Mossley v Chorley - hey ho !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Me and Mrs Ginger stopped at the Travellers rest a few years ago(pre kids). I experienced my first pint of Sneck lifter here.