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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

6 WEEKS!!!

In 6 weeks, Lauren and will shuttle up to Miami International (otherwise known as Hell On Earth) for a 1:30pm flight to Manchester.  We'll have about a 3 hr layover at JFK, which I'm not really looking forward to. I just wanna get there already!  Once we board at JFK, we have a 7 hr flight to Manchester, arriving at 7:30am.  I highly doubt that the hotel will let us check in that early but hopefully they will secure our bags and we'll just have to wander around town stinking like old goats until our room is ready.  Maybe if we crash on the furniture in the lobby, snoring and making rude noises, they will let us into our room sooner.  That will most likely be our strategy.

The next morning, we are booked on the 10:15am train to St.Bee's.  We'll arrive about 1:45pm and check into The Queen's Hotel:


We'll wander around town and make our way to the Coast to Coast Bar located inside the Manor House:


After a few pints and some fish & chips, we're off to bed to dream about spending the next week walking through the famous Lake District.  At least, that's what I'll be dreaming about.  Lauren, on the other hand, will probably be dreaming of finding a bus to a mall.

Are you getting tired of my countdown?  I'm sorry if you are but I'm so damn excited about this walk.  I may not have shared this before but I first learned of this walk in an article in Islands magazine about five years ago.  That article sparked something and I began thinking about it more and more.  When I first mentioned it to Doug a few years ago he said I was crazy.  I don't think its crazy.  Maybe unusual.  Well, yeah it's unusual but come on!!  Walking Across England!  Who wouldn't want to take that adventure?!   Besides Doug, I mean.

Funny, I've noticed that the majority of my daily walks involve stopping for a beer somewhere along the way.  I've been training so I'll be able to keep up with the locals.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Just discovered that our stay in Grasmere at the Town Head Cottage is well....not the place I thought I booked.    It's a really cool old stone house built in 1688.  Yeah, that's right. 1688!  Amazing.  I thought I booked a completely different place but it's okay.  True, its an impressively old property but old properties are ummm...old!  And old stone properties are old and cold!

It's just a cottage that up to 6 strangers can share at any one time.  The property owner is not on site and breakfast is not provided.  There is a decent kitchen though so we can cook our own dinner & breakfast, provided there's a place to buy provisions nearby.  Haven't figured that out yet.

Here's the biggest surprise of all:  It has one bathroom.  That's gonna be interesting....  It's entirely possible that Lauren and I will have the whole place to ourselves or perhaps we'll be sharing it with other walkers.  Either way, it's gonna be very cool.  Maybe we'll encounter some old English ghosts!!  I hope they bring their own pints.

Getting Out of Robin Hood's Bay

Thanks to some sage advice from previous Coasters, I think we have a plan for getting out of Robin Hood's Bay.  I was directed to a bus schedule that leads me to believe there's a bus every half hour (or so) that goes west.  After about an hour's ride, we'll get off in Scarborough and find the train station.  From there, its about a 3 hour trip to Manchester.  Easy, right?!

Well, that remains to be seen.  By then, we'll be footsore and exhausted but hopefully also exhilarated.  I'm guessing that our abilities to problem solve and navigate will have been be so greatly challenged the previous 19 days that finding a bus to a train station should be a walk in the park.  Hell, if we can successfully navigate our way across the whole of Great Britain, over mountains, through peet bogs, through the desolate moors, then we should be able to find a bus going in the right direction.

I'll have to hold off on the pints that day until we arrive in Manchester.  Or I could let Lauren lead the way....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Is Time Standing Still???

Seems like weeks ago when I posted "only 7 weeks and 4 more days" but it was just earlier this week.  Is time standing still or am I just growing impatient?  As of today, our wonderful adventure begins in exactly 7 weeks!!!

Our waterproof pants, waterproof backpack covers, chilly pads and trail towels arrived yesterday from FroggToggs.  What great people we dealt with.  Will Fowler, their Director of Marketing, was so personable and generous.  He acted like he's known us for years and did everything he could to get us what we needed for free or at a very discounted rate.  Thanks Will!!!  Lauren and I couldn't be more pleased.

I'm learning that I don't have everything as neatly organized as I've been bragging I did.  Discovered yesterday that there's no train station in Robin Hood's Bay (where our walk will end on the North Sea).  We'll have to find a couple different buses to make it back to one of the bigger towns we will have already walked through to find a train that will get us back to Manchester Airport in time for our flight home.  I plan to figure out that mess today.  This just adds more excitement, right?  I mean, after walking 200 miles in 17 days, won't it be more fun if we have to schlep a few different local buses that stop at every farm and take 2 hours to go 25 miles rather than just getting on a train where we're standing that goes directly to Manchester Airport??!  Of course it does.  And I'm a size 4.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm one lucky girl!

7 weeks and 4 days from now, all of this planning and anticipation will become reality.  Holy shit Batman!

Bass Pro delivered our waterproof, windproof up to 100 mile/hr, Gore-Tex rain jackets yesterday.  Black for Lauren and red for me.  These things are really expensive and extremely well made.  I still can't believe they donated them to us.  Unbelievable.

I'm breaking in my new hiking boots that I bought at a super discount, thanks to SCARPA!  The very first time I wore them I did 8 miles.  No problems whatsoever.  Like I've mentioned before, after putting 100 miles on my other boots, I got bad blisters after 4 miles.  Every single day!  I think my little toes will be permanently scarred but at least now I have boots that fit properly and I'm ready to go.

Lauren's boots are getting dusty.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


It's killing me!  Anticipation that is.

We have almost all of our gear and a little more than 8 weeks to go.  I just wish it would get here already because I'm consumed by this damn thing.  It seems to be all I can think and talk about and I'm even starting to bore myself.

We're walking today with canned goods in our backpacks - Lauren doesn't know that yet.  I think it's only fitting that we should walk to a pub to practice drinking a pint every few miles.  I mean, I want to be prepared.

I'm getting all kinds of unsolicited advice from people who've never walked farther than from the parking lot to the grocery store.  I actually appreciate the good intentions behind most of the suggestions but some of the comments made me shake my head and bite my tongue.  Suddenly, the local couch potato population has become experts in training for a 17 day/200 mile walk over mountains and through peet bogs.  Who knew one could accumulate that kind of knowledge sitting on one's arse?

Ahhh..... 8 weeks to go.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

9 Weeks and Counting!

Nine more weeks and I just ordered a new pair of hiking boots.  That might be crazy considering they'll take 3 weeks to get here.  The ones I bought in Feb, and have put 50 miles in, are still causing really bad blisters on the little toe of each foot.  No matter how many band-aids or socks I wear, the result is very large, painful blisters after 6 miles.

SO....I took advantage of the 20% of wholesale sponsorship offer from SCARPA and bought a pair of boots that sell for $260.  I paid $113!  I didn't want to buy another pair but if after 50 miles, I'm still suffering this much then I don't think they're gonna work out.  Check 'em out:


I also bought our backpacks yesterday.  Another great find.  The cheapest I'd seen them anywhere was $99. Found them for $68!!  Here they are:


Now all that's left to do is....walk my fat ass!