coast to coast 2011

coast to coast - day 1

St Bee’s Head to Brackenwray Farm, Kinniside (Near Ennerdale Bridge)

14.44 miles 3,214 feet.
Start: 10:00 Finish: 17:00 Elapsed time: 7:00 Cumulative time: 7:00

What a day, the weather couldn’t have been better and was, if anything, a little too hot for walking. I would soon learn not to complain about the sunshine! I had stayed overnight at Fletcher House in Kirkby Stephen (7/10) and it was there that I met Ash & Ant (from the potteries) who I saw many times over the next few days. We drove to the Pennine View Camping & Caravan site on the edge of Kirkby Stephen where we parked our cars for the duration of the walk and met with Simon from “Packhorse” who drove us to the start of the walk at St Bees. There was a growing sense of excitement and anticipation as we made our way to St Bees and Simon reminded us of the need to make sure that we took the right path up the side of Loft Beck when leaving Ennerdale - this would be more relevant to Ash & Ant on Day 2.

Simon dropped us off just before 10:00 and there followed the ritual boot dipping in the sea, collecting pebbles and taking photographs before the walk commenced. The following pictures show Ash & Ant at St Bees, my boots in the sea, a view of St Bees and a sign showing just how far I had to walk.



Leaving the shore line at St Bees, there was a 300ft climb up to the top of St Bees Head and then a fairly level walk to Moor Row where, after 3 hours of continuous walking, I decided to stop for some lunch. I knew that this was going to be a longish day and needed to refuel for the climb ahead. Leaving Moor Row, I quickly passed through Cleator and on to the ascent of Dent - a steady 900ft climb on well made forest roads and then open fell. The ascent made me sweat but the descent to Nannycatch Beck was something else! It was incredibly steep, forcing my toes against the front of my boots and causing damage which would give me pain and blisters for the next few days. I really should have taken my walking poles with me but thought that I wouldn’t need them. How wrong I was and I would recommend anyone else who is thinking about doing the C2C to make walking poles an essential piece of kit. The walk along Nannycatch Beck came as something of a relief although I was glad when I finally made it to my first overnight stop at Bracken Wray farm (7/10) just outside Ennerdale Bridge. My hosts were most welcoming and even drove me to the community owned Fox & Hounds pub in Ennerdale Bridge for dinner and picked me up again when I was ready to come back. The following pictures show a large stile on Dent and Bracken Wray farm.


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