A wobbly Coast to Coast path - Rambling Pete's Way 2010

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In 2008 I started to plan my coast to coast crossing – tempting fate I know, but as I was only following Wainwright’s footsteps to Shap, it required some thought. The Lake District route was an easy choice, but I also love the Northumberland landscape and enjoy the path less trodden. So I took out an atlas and did as Wainwright did, and drew a line up to Holy Island on the Northumberland coast (his line of course went over to Robin Hoods Bay). Once I had chosen a rough route, I refined it over the next year and a half, using memory map to join all the map sections up and then viewing it on a large scale roadmap. It seemed to work out ok, although I set myself some long sections and inevitably there is some road work. But most of the roadwork is limited to minor roads, and as some of the WHW route was on an old military road (hard on the feet at times) I was quietly optimistic that the paths and routes would be manageable. A new GPS was the key for me so I wouldn’t get lost up on the Cheviots. The big choice is do I savour the Lake District to finish the walk or do I walk East to finish in the North Sea. It was decided by me after walking the St Cuthbert’s Way path that I was best to turn around and walk the other way, and then I decided to walk from Bamburgh instead of Lindisfarne as I had already done that bit. All that was left over the winter months was to refine the route and book my accommodation for June 2010. The route took in many bits of existing long distance paths - St Cuthberts Way, The Reivers Way, The Pennine Way, the South Tyne Trail, and Wainwrights Coast to Coast path - I'm glad to say I did it my way. The only real problems were booking rooms for the weekends, especially so in the Lake District where most places will only book for 2 night stays – the problem was solved once again by acquiring a chauffeuse to ferry me back and forth from my finish/start points. Some would say that is not in the spirit of long distance walking, not being self sufficient. I would say I’m just using the facilities open to me – that’s what I work for so why shouldn’t I? Last but not least - get to the start in one piece, without carrying an excess of weight in my pack or on myself. I failed on the second count and hope that my knees can take the punishment. I think I might loose a few pounds on this walk.....I didn't, and my feet complained a lot, but I did really enjoy myself

The Geology


The geology along the way. varies considerably. It starts with the Whin Sill in Northumberland made up of hard Dolerite - an intrusive volcanic sill. It provides a very  distinct feature in the landscape of Northumberland. Then I walk across some Carboniferous sandstone before hitting the intrusive volcanics of the Cheviot hills. The Cheviot itself is a great big blob of granite, which is why it’s so boggy up there. There's not much porosity and permeability in granite. Then it’s back to the Carboniferous grits and limestones before hitting the softer Permian-Triassic sandstones as I cross from the Pennines to the Lake District. Into the Lake District and a whole host of volcanics, slates etc – all these changes give our countryside great character and it often changes over very short sections. I’m going to enjoy them all.

The plan


Day Zero:       Leave Manchester early. Train up to Newcastle and onwards to Bamburgh. Walk to the B&B at Budle. 2.9miles. Ascent - 232ft

 Day One:        Leave Bamburgh & walk to Wooler. 16.5 miles. Ascent - 1676ft

 Day two:         Walk from Wooler via The Cheviot, and try to find Barrowburn. 16 miles. Ascent - 3450ft

 Day three:      Amble along to Thropton – good Italian restaurant there. 15.5 miles. Ascent - 2108ft

 Day four:       Tiptoe from Thropton to Elsdon, avoiding the wet patches. 13.2 miles Ascent - 2020ft

 Day five:         An easy day from Elsdon to Bellingham. 11.2 miles Ascent - 1356ft

 Day six:          Bumble on from Bellingham to Burnhead on Hadrian’s Wall. 17miles. Ascent - 2640ft

 Day seven:      Wander along the wall and south to Alston. 15.9 miles. Ascent - 2160ft

 Day eight:       March from Alston to Dufton . 16.7 miles. Ascent - 2988ft

 Day nine:        Stagger from Dufton to Rosgill. 15.8 miles. Ascent - 1477ft

 Day ten:          The lovely lakes from Rosgill to Patterdale. 14.9 miles. Ascent  -3883ft

 Day eleven:    Patter along from Patterdale to Stonethwaite. 16 miles. Ascent -4422ft

 Day twelve:    Run from Stonethwaite to Ennerdale Bridge. 15.3 miles. Ascent -4950ft

 Day thirteen:  Enjoy the last leg from Ennerdale Bridge to the Irish Sea. 15.5 miles. Ascent -2834ft

 Total Ascent at 40,370ft .....Total mileage....222.....Totally Knackered?...a tad fatigued

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