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England: Coast to Coast, Summer 2010
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James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
England: Coast to Coast, Summer 2010 on 09/15/2009 15:14:44 MDT Print View

I'm beginning to plan for a coast to coast hike in (ye olde) England next summer. Will be a party of two - my brother & I. We're thinking 8 days lightweight (176 miles) unsupported/no resup.

I've got the Wainwright book, but have never actually walked any parts of this route, and won't be able to scout it out, since it will be arrive by plane, train to St Bees, one night in a B&B then onto the trail...

Anyone have experience doing this hike? What are some things to look out for?

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Coast to coast on 09/16/2009 02:47:43 MDT Print View

Are you planning on camping or staying in B&B?

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
C2C on 09/16/2009 11:19:47 MDT Print View

Camping is not allowed in most areas, so we're going to try to plan our hike to finish days in places where we can camp, or so far out that we can "rest" in our bivies for a few hours! The route is mostly set up for B&B hiking, I think. Do you know of anyone who has tried to do it camping all the way?

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Hiking in Britain on 09/18/2009 16:56:59 MDT Print View

I have hiked a lot in Britain, for example parts of the C2C and the entire Pennine Way. Almost all over Europe stealth camping is legally forbidden, but it is doable and mostly tolerated if you are discreet and follow "leave no trace". You are on the right track with "resting in a bivy..."
But there is one specialty in Britain and this is why I asked that question: There is hardly any forest in Britain! In the rest of Europe it is easy to "disappear" in a forest, but if there is none?
Having said that I want to add that I have hiked the entire Pennine Way and stealth camped every night without any problem. I just wanted you to be aware of the fact that there are not many "hiding" places. If in doubt, ask the farmer for permission. Europeans have a different mental concept of "private property" than Americans, so you will not encounter many problems. There has been an interesting thread about this topic on this forum:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=12601
Enjoy your hike - I always loved hiking in Britain.
Christine

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
C2C Stealth Camping on 09/22/2009 20:39:05 MDT Print View

Christine:
Thanks. I'm a Brit living in the US, so it is a bit like a trip home for me. Very exciting. I've never stealth camped in England, so that's pretty exciting too! I checked the maps for the hike and you're right, there's no major forest, but there are wooded areas and lots of remote sections if we're careful planning our overnight stops and, of course, practice LNT. Thanks for your advice. I'm thinking it'll be a cool trip. ;-)

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: England: Coast to Coast, Summer 2010 on 09/26/2009 18:40:22 MDT Print View

I did this hike about 9 years ago in two weeks time. This is where learned about going light-weight, especially in the low-hiker shoe department. St Bees is a tiny town, and the train to it is more like a commuter train with personality. Just make sure the person driving the train doesn't pass by your stop. I flew into Manchester and then took multiple trains.

I did do it with a group, and glad I did because nothing is marked. There's sections of road walking ( 24 miles of it in one day). The only place to stay up in the moors is a tavern. You can book ahead. I went thru a company called Sherpa based in the UK. They can reserve the spots for you to stay. A GPS might be very helpful.

I loved the entire hike. We had only a few rainy days, mostly in the Lakes District. Great hiking...hard on the knees going down the fells.

The end at Robin Hoods Bay has a bus system that will take you to the train station which goes directly to the airport. Things may have changed since then.

There really isn't any place to camp. The pubs have rooms, as well as B&B's in most towns. Some towns are very tiny, so plan well. Nothing like walking into a warm pub, good food and rest after a cold damp day of hiking.

One of my favorite B&B's had a huge rock in the middle of the living room. They built the house around it.

Edited by leadfoot on 09/26/2009 18:44:43 MDT.

Brett Upton
(bupton)
C2C Stelth on 10/02/2009 12:48:13 MDT Print View

I finished a backwards C2C May 09 with pack in 10 days. I mostly stayed in B&B's and hostels but did camp two nights at Clay Banks and Keld. The previous writers are right, there aren't open woods they way there are in the US, but I saw plenty of good places to quietly set up a tent. I don't think there would be much of a problem clean camping and moving quickly.