Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, England, UK

Let me take you back to 1995, if not a little earlier than that, when my mate Colin and I had the ‘idea’ to do the English Coast to Coast walk, created and made famous by the great Alfred Wainwright, from St. Bee’s in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. Our plan was to run the 182 mile (293km) route in relay, over the space of 4 days, with one person on the route and the other driving a car to a prearranged changeover point. This way we could travel light, leaving the rest of our gear in the boot of the car, and we’d overnight in B&Bs or, preferably, Inns. 🍻👍😊

But we soon realised that there was a flaw in our grand idea – What if one of us got lost or was injured? (Remember, this was when mobile phones were still evolving even into those early ‘bricks’). Answer therefore: Recruit another two mates, called Pete and Tim, so that we’d have 2 on each leg, for a second opinion on any tricky route finding and someone to run for help, just in case. So it was that the 4 of us lined up in traditional fashion, with our toes dipped in the Irish Sea in April 1995. (See pic 1).

The event went so well, the following year we did the Offa’s Dyke Path (this time with Liam included) and in 1997, the West Highland Way (in 2 days). These were followed by The Wold’s Way (1998), where Dave was added to our happy band of runners, the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path (1999) and a trip to southern Ireland in 2000, to do parts of the Dingle Way and Beara Way, plus a hike up to the top of Carrantuohill (which scared the living daylights out of Pete. It was only then that we discovered he suffered from vertigo).

Wind forward a few more years and, after St Cuthbert’s Way (2005), Glyndwrs Way (2007) and the Dales Way (2009), in 2010 we decided to re-visit the best route of them all – the Coast to Coast (C2C). But this time in a more leisurely 5 days (well, we were 15 years older) and with all 6 of us present. (Pic 2).

Below, we have a small selection of my photos from that event. But, because we were doing it in relay format, even after doing the C2C twice I still haven’t done it all. Due to the way we rotate the groupings each day and the different stopover points, some of the legs I covered the second time around were the same or similar to the first and I still haven’t had the joy of bog-hopping near Nine Standards Rigg. (Or maybe, as one of the main organisers of these events, I deliberately avoided that leg? 😉)

17 thoughts on “Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, England, UK

  1. Hi there. It has been such a long time since I have talked with you. I hope things are going well. I see you are staying active and out there. I ran into some roadblocks on my blog, but I plan to continue on beginning today. I did manage to complete 3 triathlons last year, and one this year, before the COVID-19 stuff started. I’ve been somewhat sidelined since.

    Anyway, I’d love to catch up. See new posts starting soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for getting in touch. I often wonder what happens to people who seem to drift away from the blogosphere. I’m sure when I decide to pack it in I’ll post something to tell everyone. I’m glad to hear that you’re OK and still active. 3 Triathlons is 3 more than I’ve ever done or ever will do! (My younger brother is the one who actually likes doing Ironman events!) I think I’m still following you. I did a clear out a few months ago. But if not, I’ll add you back in. 😊 Take care!


    • Yes, we’ve had a few adventures over the years. In the early days we used to keep a log book, so that we we could each note down what happened on our leg. There was always a lot of banter between the two groups of runners as to who had had the better or harder day – all over a few beers of course! And we’re still doing similar events, though no longer in relay format* – like the SW Coast path Pete and I did recently. (He’s also coming over here in September, virus permitting).
      *It got more and more difficult to organise at least 4 (despite 4 of the 6 being retired now), so Pete and I tend to do our own thing, more often than not. Though Tim has been in touch to say he’s up for another event, so watch this space… 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What adventures! So many inspiring long distance routes to think about. Always something that has intrigued me, but have yet to take the plunge and set off on one. One day it’ll happen. Thank you for the inspiration and a wonderful post. Mei 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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