Last year, when staycation activities were all the rage, we embarked on the Pennine Way and loved it. Purists might scoff at the fact that we didn’t do it all in one go, but Wainwright himself wrote that this doesn’t really matter. Having a ‘weekend’ approach spreads out the joy and meant we could also walk with different friends in different stages. This year, we’re taking on the Coast to Coast path.
It winds from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. Over 190 miles all the way.
Armed with maps and snacks, we strike off from St Bees to Ennerdale for the first 15 miles. For some reason I thought this Trek would be easy. It’s because you aren’t quite in the Lake District yet. But it was tough. The path starts by climbing up to St Bees Head, the only cliff on this coast for miles around. Heading past the lighthouse, you then turn inland when you reach a quarry digging out red sandstone that’s familiar on many local buildings.
Leaving the Coast, the route heads in to Cleator and then over fields and through a wood until you eventually wind up at Ennerdale. It took us about 8 hours, and on the way we decided to stop at every pub on offer to us. Sadly the first one was shut for a birthday party. But at Ennerdale we enjoyed much needed refreshments to celebrate the first stage. Along this route you’ll pass working and abandoned train lines, a statue dedicated to the long distance path and head down a like passage named after Wainwright, who came up with the idea in the first place.
The only negative thing we came across was the signage. For such a well known and used path, the signs were terrible. Mostly not there at all. It’s an impossible long distance route to follow without good maps, unlike the Pennine Way. But it is a challenge that got off to a great start and one we’re looking forward to getting our teeth into.