As with any day in the Lakes, the enjoyment of this day's walk depends largely on the weather. We know that on this day, we are heading towards the spot which records the highest rainfall in England; the wryly named "Sprinkling Tarn", receives an average of 185 inches of rain per year. We will plan to have our rain gear at the top of our packs and dress accordingly in thermals and moisture-wicking layers.
We start along the southern side of Ennerdale Water and the path here is easy to follow. We will appreciate that given the fact that weather is bound to be foggy and damp...an easy trail will be lovely. After about 80 minutes, we will clamber over Robin Hood's Chair to enter a mossy, light woodlands near the eastern extremity of the lake. The path along the southern banks of the River Liza has been been washed away in places; caution is mandatory. The remainder of this day's walk is tricky due to criss-crossing routes and no signage to help guide us. We must pay close attention to our surroundings or we stand a good chance of missing the path or choosing the wrong one. We need to make sure we find the right path east to pick up the stiff climb up the side of Loft Beck and from there the path the Grey Knotts from where the long descent to Honister House and Borrowdale begins. The conditions at this section of the walk are ugly. Just plain ugly. We must be prudent when deciding our course - we can climb high or low - and deciding whether or not the weather is safe. This is one of the most difficult portions of our Walk and I am confident that we will win!
This posts leaves out a LOT of details that would bore the average reader...if you're not already bored. Suffice to say that this day will be a significant challenge for me personally. Once we've reached our destination of Seatoller....we trudge through more fields (not on any maps) and hopefully find Seatoller Farm, a working 16th century farm. They will feed us dinner, tuck us into bed, feed us a hot breakfast and pack us lunches. They said that we can walk out their back door, cut through a field or two and be right back on the Coast to Coast first thing the next morning.
This is fun....right?!?!
I do worry about this day. It seems so early on for such demands...no signs, bad visability, fog/wind/rain, multiple trails to confuse us. However, I am confident that we will persevere!
17 Day Itinerary
Our walk begins in St. Bee's on the West Coast of Great Britain at the Irish Sea. Almost 200 miles later, we will find ourselves at the North Sea in Robin Hood's Bay.
Day 1 - Moor Row, 9 miles The Jasmine House
Day 2 - Ennerdale, 8 miles Low Cock How Farm
Day 3 - Seatoller, 14 miles Seatoller Farm
Day 4 - Grasmere, 10.5 miles Town Head Farm
Day 5 - Patterdale, 7.5 miles Grisdale Lodge
Day 6 - Shap, 16 miles Brookfield House
Day 7 - Orton, 8 miles The Westons
Day 8 - Kirby Stephen, 13.5 miles The Black Bull
Day 9 - Keld, 14 miles Keld Lodge
Day 10 - Richmond, 14 miles The Old Brewery
Day 11 - Danby-Wiske, 14 miles Old School House
Day 12 - Osmotherly, 12 miles 32 South End
Day 13 - Clay Bank Top, 11 miles The Maltkiln House
Day 14 - Blakley Ridge, 8.5 miles The Sevenford House
Day 15 - Grosmont, 14 miles The Station Inn
Day 16 - Robin Hood's Bay, 16 miles The Raven House
Of course, these distances don't account for getting lost and doubling back a few times, avoiding an aggressive herd of heifers or navigating the moors.... or wandering off in search of a pint.