When – 4 May 2013
Where – St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge
Distance – 15 miles
Walking with – Annette & Eleanor
Home for the night – The Stork
Weather – Some sun. No rain!
An utterly brilliant first day on the Coast to Coast walk, starting with the obligatory dipping of the walking boots in the Irish Sea. It would be nice to think that’ll be the last time they’ll get wet until Robin Hoods Bay. But clearly that kind of thinking would be delusional.
It was fairly easy walking today for the most part, starting with a pretty walk along the South Head and North Head above pretty St Bees. There was great visibility today (sounds like tomorrow may be a different story) so we had clear views over the Irish Sea to both Scotland and the Isle of Man, until the route swerved off in the mainly easterly direction we’ll keep heading in until we get to the North Sea.
Some road & track walking took us through the villages of Sandwith and Clearor (the latter of which, we’d been warned, had the last food shop of any kind for ‘many a mile’). A good climb took us up on a soggy track through Blackhow Wood, where we were surrounded on both sides by a thick, high forest before following the line of a moss covered wall most of the way up our major climb of the day – Dent Hill.
The views from Dent Hill were pretty 360 degree spectacular but blimey it was cold up there so it was good to totter down the steep decent of Raven Crag and wander along the sheltered sun-filled valley by Nannycatch Gate. It was a happy half hour or so following the stream and ‘aaahing’ at the lambs. A nice man even let me look through his binoculars at a cuckoo he’d spotted. It was all most satisfyingly pastoral…
We met quite a few people today who are also walking the Coast to Coast over the next two weeks, so we’ve been making friends. Although I don’t know if Steve the recently retired biology teacher really did forgive me for not telling him he was going the wrong way…
One of the best things about long distance walks is the absurd amount of calories you burn. Fitness Pal seems to be suggesting I could eat a small house for my dinner tonight and still be within my calorie allowance, so I think it’s time to go check out the bar menu. ¡Hasta Mañana!