Basically I want to walk the Wainwright coast to coast route in a week (7-8 days). I want to go solo and I plan to bivvy and/or wildcamp so that I'm nice and flexible about how much mileage I can get under my belt each day. But after having a light google I can't seem to find much evidence of others having done the route in a similar timescale, although there must be loads who have.
Really I'd just like to get an idea of how do-able it is in a week. I haven't done a great deal of proper/distance walking before (the Torres Del Paine 'W', a few munros and the obvious UK mountains), but I'm reasonably fit (run 20-25 miles a week for the last year or so) and I've got a couple of months to train up before I'd want to attempt the walk. I appreciate I won't be able to properly take in my surroundings and enjoy the experience to the full but really I look on it more as a challenge than a pleasure!
I did it in 8 days, it was tough, we did one 32 mile day but the nav/terrain isn't hard so you can move quick enough and if you do it in summer and get an early start you can do it in daylight. You should be able to plan a schedule which gets you to a pub most nights so you don't have to carry too much food. We went as far as Blacksail on the first day then I think the following,
1 - St Bees to Blacksail hut,
2 - to Patterdale
3 - To Shap
4 - to Keld
5 - To richmond
6 - To Ingleby Cross
7 - To (don't remember)
8 - To Robin Hoods Bay
That sounds like a do-able schedule, although having to manage a 32 mile day or similar is a little daunting. But that is the aim of the game I guess! And if pubs are placed regularly enough then I will certainly attempt to frequent as much as possible.
Thanks for all comments, good to know I'm not being unrealistic and has given me a bit more confidence that I can manage it (although backwards is a challenge too far!).
Any recommendations for maps at all? Currently have the Trailblazer guide book but would like something a bit more detailed for navigation.
In reply to Joemanglerocks: that's 30 odd miles every day for a week while sleeping under a tarp?
Call me a wuss but I'd plan the route to suit b&bs plus hostels so you can have a warm shower, dry you clothes and have a good meal and a pint plus a good nights sleep. It also means you can travel lighter and be less fatigued.
I have not walked it but did the mtb route in 1995 in 7 days using the above approach and that was fairly tough.
The two Harvey maps are very good. Looked at many guides, usually like Cicerone but for the C2C preferred one by Paul Hannon published by Hillside. Pages 136-139 are full of squashed flies in my copy, a trying couple of hours!
When you put it like that I think I'm inclined to agree with your 'wuss out' options!
I figured wild camping (tent not tarp I think) would give me the freedom to walk as far as I wanted each day without having to limit (or stretch!) myself to hitting a pub/BnB every evening. But I guess with a bit of planning and forethought a few nights under a roof would be sensible. But I do want to camp most nights, it's part of the appeal really. Appreciate that doesn't get away from the carrying of lots of gear, but again, part of the fun. I think...
Thanks all for the map recommendations, will do a bit of shopping tonight!
Did it when I was 18 in much the manner you describe although I took ten days and was pretty rough when I finished, however being heavily steeped in the DofE way of doing things I seemed to bring more or less everything but the kitchen sink with me (in a large green rucksack).
A few comments if I may...
Firstly, being able to walk 30 miles in a day is one thing. Being able to do it again the next day...and the next...and the next...is quite another. It's also worth bearing in mind that the final Commando test for the Royal Marines is a 30 mile route march in 8 hours. Not easy, 30 miles.
Secondly, besides the practicalities of eating and sleeping, you will want to consider how much water you can carry with you and when you can replenish it. A litre of water weighs a kilo but it doesn't take many bottles before it starts to feel like a real dead weight.
Similar to the above, being 'mountain fit' is a different sort of fitness to being 'running fit'. Especially if you plan on carrying much weight. Practise walking with a light load then increase it as you are able. Condition your legs and back to help with the increased demands you'll be placing on them. Finally, look after your ankles. Do some balance work and strengthen them as a twisted or rolled ankle at any stage on that walk would seriously spoil your day.
> I figured wild camping (tent not tarp I think) would give me the freedom to walk as far as I wanted each day without having to limit (or stretch!) myself to hitting a pub/BnB every evening.
This was my plan when I did the c2c a few years back, I took 11 days although the last day was an easy stroll down to Robin Hoods Bay from Littlebeck for lunch.
I ended up spending a couple of nights in non-tented accomodation, but didn't book anything, just rocked up "on-spec", this was in September and I didn't have any problem although it might be a different matter in the Lake district itself.
Thanks a lot for that, certainly food for thought. Quite aware that my fitness is in no way tuned to long distance walking so will def need plenty of specific training. And the multi day aspect is of definite concern
But comparison with the Marine requirements is a bit of an eye opener! Maybe attempting it in 8 days is a lot to ask. I guess I'll get training and see how I go. Might need to be a bit more realistic!
Do it east to west. That way you get a few days of conditioning for the Lakes. If the weathers great it is a nice walk. If not, it's nothing special apart from the Lakes bit. I think we camped once. BnB'd once. Bunkhouse a couple of nights and YHA the rest. 11 days. Go light. There is only a couple of bits where you can't buy food, get water, etc.