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Most people tackle the Coast to Coast from west to east, mainly because this allows them to walk ‘with the weather at their back’ (most of the time the winds blow off the Atlantic from the south-west). It’s also usual for people to attempt the walk in one go, though there’s much to be said for breaking it up and not crawling into Robin Hood’s Bay in an Ibuprofen-induced daze.
Part 4 of this book has been written from west to east, but there is of course nothing to stop you from tackling it in the opposite direction (see below). To help plan your walk look at the planning maps (see opposite inside back cover) and the table of village/town facilities (on pp36-7), which gives a run-down on the essential information you’ll need regarding accommodation possibilities and services at the time of writing. You could follow one of the suggested itineraries (see boxes pp34-5) which are based on preferred type of accommodation and walking speeds. There’s also a list of recommended linear day and weekend walks on pp38-9 which cover the best of the Coast to Coast path, all of which are well served by public transport or the Packhorse/Sherpa van. The services table is on pp52-5 and public transport map on p52. Once you have an idea of your approach turn to Part 4 for detailed information on accommodation, places to eat and other services in each village and town on the route. Also in Part 4 you will find summaries of the route to accompany the detailed trail maps.
There are a number of advantages in tackling the path in a west to east direction, not least the fact that the prevailing winds will, more often than not, be behind you. If you are walking alone but wouldn’t mind some company now and again you’ll find that most of the other Coast to Coast walkers are heading in your direction, too. However, there is also something to be said for leaving the Lake District – many people’s favourite part of the British Isles, let alone the path – until the end of the walk.
The itineraries in the boxes on these pages are based on different accommodation types – camping (not including wild camping which opens your options right out), hostels/bunkhouses/camping barns, and B&Bs – with each one divided into three alternatives depending on your walking speed (relaxed, medium and fast). They are only suggestions so feel free to adapt them. Don’t forget to add your travelling time before and after the walk.
- About the Coast to Coast path
- Practical information for the walker
- Using this guide
- Sample route guide: St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge
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