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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Coast to Coast Cafe’s Pubs and Route Comments and Diversions Pt 1

camp at angle tarn

Sorry – this has to be in two parts cos it does go on a bit. If you fall asleep or otherwise drift off into a reverie, I hope you enjoy it – the dreamy sleepy snoozy times, that is… anyway – Part 1 – The First Half up to Bolton on Swale.
And the other thing is that Livewriter's not working so this post, and probabky subsequent ones are written in Blogger. Which isn't as good.

The Coast to Coast walk starts off well at St Bees by heading roughly West for a bit before finally and, apparently reluctantly turning East. I suppose this is OK because the St Bees Head cliffs are interesting and, maybe, actually the start ought to be at St Bees Head…?
Mile Zero Dog 1 (so an away win for dog, there...)
Me and the dog went along with this oddity and ended up 12 miles later at Low Cock How farm where we camped in a beautiful semi-wild and superbly sheltered garden where we were entertained overnight by the antics of juvenile hedgehogs and the howling of the wind in the trees. 12 miles is more than enough for me on a first day and my alternative plan of camping by Nannycatch beck would also have been all right, but, maybe a touch breezy.

Camp near Black Sail

Pooch hides under a tree as I sort out the tent
The next section goes along the South Shore of Ennerdale Water and then either over the High Stile ridge or along the road past Black Sail Hut and over to Honister and Borrowdale. My plan was to camp near Black Sail Hut. The weather was foul – damp and drizzly and stupidly windy. The campsite owner advised against the South Shore path in view of the wind in favour of a more sheltered North Shore walk. I thought this was a good idea and so did Lucky, so that’s what we did. I was lead to believe that somebody died on the Ennerdale Fells that day (I can;t find any record of this by the way) and that somebody had also died recently on a CtoC walk along the South shore.(unfortunately this, though, is true) In any case, at Black Sail, I could barely stand up against the wind and my proposed camping spot was exposed to the worst, so I retreated back into the shelter of bits of the forest that hadn’t yet been cleared.

On the way to being demolished by the breeze

In the morning, I was blown over three times on the high crossing to Borrowdale, once into the beck and on another occasion the wind removed my specs for me. I took a Northerly route off the top and contoured round through boulder fields to rejoin the path near the drum house. This route was a lot les windy, which is why I did it. Honister mines provided a nice cuppa and a bacon roll to cheer me up.

I camped at Chapel House Farm and dined at the Riverside Bar where some of the staff remembered Lucky and made a fuss of him.
Eagle Crag Borrowdale (I once lost a pipe up there...)
Day three saw me follow the route properly over Greenup to Grasmere where I shopped at the co-op and found a nice camping spot high up Tongue Gill roughly where I’d predicted the otherwise tilted landscape would provide a place.
Angle Tarn camp
And then on Day 4, I followed the low route to Patterdale where the shop supplied a huge cumberland sausage butty, doggy bix and water for the dog and sweeties and whisky for my in-tent entertainment. I camped in a lovely spot by Angle Tarn along with some Taliban and Dave from Stoke. More of the Taliban later.
On the way to Rampsgill Head
Day 5 was a big diversion. I followed the proper path to the main ridge then diverted over Rampsgill Head and High Raise and High Kop, descending to the Haweswater Dam, thus having an easy and wind-assisted walk on springy turf whilst avoiding the rubbly switchback of the Haweswater shore path. Further diversions for speed, ease, and to avoid naughty-looking moo cows involved using the concrete water board road which goes almost to Keld and then by lanes and footpaths to Shap. Here was Dawn who somehow had predicted my Shap approach. The B&B, whom I won’t name for fear of embarrassing her, didn’t take dogs (Dawn had persuaded them to accept Lucky) and thought that Lucky was “smearing” himself on her carpet. Shap is generally very friendly, though, has an excellent chippy providing a high standards of fishy, chippy and mushy peasy delights and a special doggy mention goes to The Crown Inn which is very doggy friendly, where staff made a fuss of the pooch and provided water and where I could have had a meal had I not already been full of Fish and Chips and Mushy Peas. The Crown Inn had been dismissed by our landlady as being “villagy”. Whatever that means. Pah! I liked it. I’ll probably go back.
According to Lucky, this is a limestone pavement. But I meantersay, what do dogs know about carboniferous geology?
Onwards and sideways – next day was a longish stretch over limestone countryside which is a touch on the dull side if I’m honest, for a camp at Smardale. I’d considered bashing on to Kirkby Stephen but Lucky voted for Smardale by curling up and going to sleep there. Its a nice place to camp anyway.
Stone Man. Fluffy dog

Nine Standards
I met Dawn again in Kirkby Stephen but stayed only long enough to shop before cracking on over Nine Standards to Keld. I stayed on Rukins campsite which was heaving with people camping by the river, but, by following Dave from Stoke, we camped in a sheltered spot in an empty field. Rukins sold beer and provided a bacon roll breakfast next morning and let the dog sit with me in the cafe. Ten points for Rukins is what I say. Woof is what the dog says.
Lucky smears himself on the caravan seat

A group of Australian CtoC-ers approaching Swinner Gill
Whichever day was next saw me and Lucky steaming over to Reeth the next day where we rehydrated at the King’s Arms, where they like dogs and are very friendly and the Orchard Caravan and Camping Park put me up in an old, battered but cosy caravan for the same price as camping, which was just as well because it siled down all night. Mrs Pieman attended with fresh undies etc and we dined back at the King’s Arms cos we like it there. There was farmer-style dialect talk of “snaw” on t’fells…. at the bar. (They can’t fool me by talking dialect coz I iz from Yorkshire, init?) (For southerners, the “t” is not actually sounded, but it does have a sort of sound which you can;t detect, but which northerners can, so we know when you’re trying to fake a northern accent see?)
Retrospect to Richmond

Lucky drags me through the wild garlic
There followed a long walk down Swaledale for another meet-up with Dawn and a cafe which let the dog in whilst we had teasted toecakes and tea – and provided water and a fuss for the dog. Unfortunately the name of the place escapes me, but it does have a “dogs welcome on the ground floor” sign outside. After shopping, I accidentally abandoned my walking pole outside the co-op and bashed on to Bolton-on-Swale. A chap walking his dog by the river continued along the riverside where the CtoC route goes off through some mud and up a busy main road and then back to the river, where this chap and his dog turned up again. It seems there’s a route along the riverbank and this would avoid car fumes and cow muck if taken.

More follows shortly…………

lick this clink
Click and give ( a quid will do….)


Laura said...

Sounds brilliant - was thinking of doing it myself sometime - but without a dog...

John J said...

We could all do the tsaoC ot tsaoC......Robin Hood's Bay to t'Lakes. It's a completely different walk y'know. Lucky could come too, that way Laura could do it WITH a dog :-)
Anyone up for it?

Dawn Linney said...

Doing these walkies with a dog makes it a very social occasion, especially if said dog is wearing panniers. How many folk commented on Lucky and his panniers Mike? Cracking write up.

JJ's proposal sounds interesting.

Laura said...

Maybe just do from the half way to the end...?