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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

frogg toggs

A great big thank you to frogg toggs!!!  They so very generously offered to sponsor our walk by giving us a whopping 50% off any and all products we need for our Walk!  That's incredible.  We're planning to buy waterproof overshoes, rain pants, waterproof backpack covers and my favorite....the chilly pad.

Check it out:

Thanks to the entire staff!!!  Lauren and I appreciate your generosity.

A bit worried.....

I'm starting to worry about my hiking boots.  I've put in over 35 miles and I'm still getting really nasty blisters on my little toes after only 4 miles.  I've wrapped them in bandaids, worn a thin sock under a thick one and still, painful, nasty blisters.  I'm worried that time is running out and these boots aren't going to cut it.

The furthest I've walked in them is about 7 miles.  If I'm getting blisters after only 4...what's gonna happen after 14??  Lauren doesn't seem to be having any problems with hers but then again, she's only walked about 8 miles in hers!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Things are happening!

Wow!  11 weeks from today, Lauren and I fly from Miami Intl into Manchester, UK (and yes, the tickets have been purchased).  It's almost here.  We'll spend the night in Manchester and then hop a train to St. Bee's the next morning (those tickets have also been purchased).  The Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, we'll arrive in St. Bee's around 2pm, giving us ample time to check in, buy last minute provisions for the trail, and pop into the Coast to Coast Pub for some refreshment and morale building.  We may be fortunate enough to bump into other wing nuts embarking on the Walk as well and we can compare notes and strategies.  After a few pints, dinner and a shower, it's off to bed...our walk begins in the am!

Since our first day's walk is only 8 miles and we can't arrive at the farm at which we're staying that night until after 4pm, we don't need a very early start.  It's true that we'll be climbing uphill all day, so it'll take longer to walk 8 miles than it does on our very flat island, but it shouldn't take any more than four hours, including breaks.  That means we can sleep in and take our time christening our boots in the Irish Sea before we head east.  We can't forget to pick up a stone to carry 200 miles and then throw into the North Sea at Robin Hood's Bay - that's a Coast to Coast tradition.

A big thank you to Louisa at Columbia Sportswear, UK!!!  She generously sent us two long sleeved, bug repellent/UV protection T-Shirts, which will come in handy when the midges start biting.  Another heartfelt thanks to Councilman David Purdo for landing us Gore-Tex rain jackets from Bass Pro and long/short sleeved T-Shirts from The Island Grill!  We are so very appreciative of everyone's support and enthusiasm.

We've bought walking poles, base layers, moisture-sucking sucks and hiking boots, which we've been breaking in over the past couple of weeks. (One of us is breaking hers in faster than the other....ahem.)  Our hand-held GPS arrived yesterday...Dougie was playing with it but I haven't touched it yet.  Lauren needs to become as proficient as I need to be on that thing so that if we wander into to too many pubs on any given day, she can take over navigating. We still need rain pants, backpacks, outer layers, first aid kit and waders but we're holding off in hopes of some additional sponsorships.  The chances are slim to none but look at all of the great support we've gotten already!  We are very thankful and happy!

Lauren and I are now off to do at least 5 miles but we should be doing 10.  Before we now it, those mountains of the Lake District will be staring us in the face.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 10 - Keld, 14 miles

If Lauren is still speaking to me at the end of this day, I will be one thankful Momma.  In truth, it will be something of a red-letter day.  We'll cross the Pennines (the so-called backbone of the British Isles) and in doing so, will also cross the watershed on the Coast to Coast.  From the summit at Nine Standards Rigg (a bitch by all counts), all rivers flow eastwards to drain in to the North Sea.

Secondly, we will pass from Cumbia into Yorkshire.  At day's end, we will be halfway through our adventure!!!  But before we claim that achievement, we'll have to negotiate the peat bogs most of the day.  Bring out the waders!  There are actually three routes over the moors that we will chose from depending upon the water level and weather.  No exaggeration that waders are a requirement for the day.  Short of a miracle, we will find ourselves up to our thighs in bogs at least once today!

I'm sure we'll arrive in Keld looking road-weary and in desperate need of a bath.  Keld means "spring" in Norse and the Swale River, dyed brown by the peat, rushes past the village.  There are several impressive waterfalls or cascades (locally known by the Norse word "forces") that I'd like to see but after 14 miles on the trail, it's likely all we'll see in Keld is our dinner table and our bed.

We spend the night at Keld House and we better sleep well because tomorrow.....it's another 14 miles to Reeth!  Come one Lauren!  One foot in front of the other!

Day 9 - Kirkby Stephen, 11 miles

After a wonderful breakfast and packing lunches, we're off to Kirkby Stephen.  About a mile from the village is a stone circle I'm anxious to see and photograph. I'm still researching the significance of it but it's apparently quite large and intact.

This day's walk is full of stone-walled fields full of sheep and heather.  Picturesque to say the very least.  We will stumble upon two more historic sites that archaeologists are fascinated with.  One is named "Giants' Graves" but again, I'm still researching.  More on those.  Suffice to say we'll be slowed down by investigating and photographing.

After 11 miles, we'll wander into Kirkby Stephen (pronounced "Kirby" without the k.)  It is probably the second largest village on the walk but by all accounts still a lovely place with outdoor markets and churches and cobbled streets.  It seems that the most popular tourist attraction is a 13th century church named "St. Hedda". I look forward to sitting by Frank's Bridge, a double-arched stone footbridge, which should be a peaceful place to sit by the grassy riverbank and watch the other tourists feed the nasty ducks.  (Sorry but I've had bad experiences feeding ducks and find them quite a bother.)

This night will be spent in The Black Bull, a pub that doubles as a B&B.  It will be nice to have bath/dinner/bar/bed all under the same roof!  We just might get spoiled.

We wake to a challenging day...14 miles to Keld!!