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  1. #1
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    Default England's Coast to Coast walk?

    I'm looking for some backpacking to do in Europe after my work contract here in Morocco ends, but before I return home to the U.S. I'm interested in the Coast to Coast Walk across England. It's 192 miles, which would fit nicely into my time frame, but other than the wikipedia page and a few blogs from several years ago, I haven't found much firsthand information.

    Has anyone here ever done it? If so, did you camp, or did you stay in hostels/pubs? Can you give me an idea of how much to budget for the trip? How does the difficulty compare to the A.T.? Anything else I ought to know?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    You can't "wild camp" in England (there is no camping on public land) but you can utilize campgrounds and pubs and hostels, and farmers will often let you camp if you ask permission.

    I don't know if you've looked at this blog but it might help: https://ramblingman.org.uk/planninga...coast_to_coast

    It sounds amazing. I will be hiking parts of the North Downs and South Downs Way(s) when I am in the UK in June/July. Sadly I wouldn't have time for 190 miles.

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    Dune Eliot's link is the site I checked out while putting this on a life's bucket list a couple of yrs ago with the Peninne Way in the same junket. I have heard of thru-hikers that almost entirely camped. It wasn't a big problem for any who told me this. That's how I'd arrange the thru. I'd want to be checking out the towns it passes, historical sites, doing some day diversions during heavy periods of precipitation, etc along the way so it would be more of a walk about than a super high mileage get er dun hike. I see it mostly as a path that can have it's difficult mucky sections on rocky single track and then have easy stretches. Two different thru-hikers told me they experienced little rain with one saying 1 day in 15 days all day rain and two other days a rain shower. Don't recall the months they did their hikes.

  4. #4

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    Some friends of mine did it a year or two ago. They liked it. Apparently there are reasonable accommodations in the various little towns along the way.
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    I've hiked it and a few others in the UK: the Pennine Way, Hadrian's Wall, Wold's Way, Cleveland Way, etc. (I'm a bit of an Anglophile.) While I wild-camped most the way on each path, it was usually illegally: the old hike late/start early routine. As far as difficulty goes, it's usually only weather-related, though there are a few steep stretches (steps) here and there. Some boggy stuff, some mud, and lots of sheep poo. But you can swing by a pub daily and sit fireside, with a nice warming drink. Depending on time of year, you will almost assuredly NOT be alone. Umbrellas are useless with the winds. A good parka or rain jacket is crucial. Boots are generally preferred over shoes. A solid rain shelter is mandatory. Maps aren't generally required, but they're fun to pour over before or after the trip, and there are a few tricky spots where getting misdirected is easy.

  6. #6
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    "How does the difficulty compare to the A.T.?"
    Serendipitously, I hiked the C2C with my wife after (the same year) that I hiked the AT. They're very different. Here's my one-entry blog post about that trip:
    http://www.postholer.com/journal/Continental-Divide-Trail/2011/brianle/2010-10-18/Hiking-the-Wainwright-Trail/19036

    My wife and I stayed in B&B's and youth hostels, didn't carry a tent. I agree that so called "wild camping" would be challenging; a friend has done it, using sort of typical thru-hiker stealth techniques, but no way was my wife interested in that approach, and I enjoyed the more leisurely pace of stopping at a pub or other venue to have tea, etc. Given the weather we had, it was nice too to stay indoors with a drying room to get gear dry overnight. Another benefit of the slower approach (we took two weeks) is that you're more in sync with other hikers that way, and like other trails, it can be quite a social experience.

    A fun hike. I mostly agree with everything Uriah said except for the part about maps not required. We had a guidebook and I recall referring to it a lot. The C2C is sort of built by someone stitching together a whole lot of local trails, and unless the signage has changed a lot in seven years, there were a lot of places where it wasn't obvious which route was for the C2C. Perhaps Uriah does better than I at sort of understanding the overall route and direction from infrequent looks at the data --- that could well be! For me, and my wife at least --- a decent guidebook felt pretty essential.

    I enjoyed this trip a lot. Similar to some degree to hiking the Camino de Santiago, it's quite "civilized" hiking. Well, the Appalachian Trail is itself somewhat more civilized than our western trails, with easy resupply, lots of hostels and such, hundreds of shelters with privies, etc. But think in terms of yet more civilized/comfortable. I like being trail-spoiled as it turns out! :-)
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    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

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    Thx Uriah. It would be appreciated if I can ping you about your experiences on those hikes in the future?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianLe View Post
    ... Similar to some degree to hiking the Camino de Santiago, it's quite "civilized" hiking. Well, the Appalachian Trail is itself somewhat more civilized than our western trails, with easy resupply, lots of hostels and such, hundreds of shelters with privies, etc. But think in terms of yet more civilized/comfortable. I like being trail-spoiled as it turns out! :-)
    I wasn't going to make that comparison since not having personally experienced both but that was what I was assuming.
    Thx BrianLe

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    Try this one. Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland by the way.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFLC...34uJgd6QR0QUBO

    Good hiking site: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/

    Another source: http://www.andyhowell.info/trek-blog/
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  10. #10

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    As a born-and-raised in the UK Brit/American the best less-rain months for hiking in the UK are July and August. No guarantees but those are usually the driest months, although you'll still likely see some rain.

    And yes, wild camping is legal in Scotland.

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    I like Andy Howell's info and vids. He hikes throughout Great Britain. Pertinent thread addition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuneElliot View Post
    As a born-and-raised in the UK Brit/American the best less-rain months for hiking in the UK are July and August. No guarantees but those are usually the driest months, although you'll still likely see some rain.

    And yes, wild camping is legal in Scotland.
    True about July and August, but that is when the Midges are pretty bad. I loved my 300 miles in May on the Cape Wrath Route and West Highland Way, only experienced about four days of rainy weather. Scotland's Biting Midges are a scourge kind of like our clouds of biting black flies here in Maine. They have to be experienced to be believed.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    I'm looking for some backpacking to do in Europe after my work contract here in Morocco ends...
    Just the UK?
    Have you given any thought to the Camino?
    Several different paths to take to meet your time needs.
    Just a thought.
    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyagooshka View Post
    Just the UK?
    Have you given any thought to the Camino?
    Several different paths to take to meet your time needs.
    Just a thought.
    Good luck.
    I assume you mean the Camino de Santiago, because Camino means path or trail or road. There are many Caminos in Spain: Camino de Santiago, Camino Aragon, Camino Primativo, Camino Camille, Camiono Norte, Camino Del Rey and on and on. I used to drive a Camino and have walked several. Just pulling your leg a bit. Good suggestion, Spain would be an economical hop over from Morocco too.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hillwalker View Post
    ...
    Yes, the Camino de Santiago de Compostella.
    (Which, if I am not mistaken, are all the ones you listed, with the French Way being the most popular/traditional )
    I would say the Portuguese Way or the English Way for timing.
    One takes you due north from Portugal, the other along the Northern coast of Spain.
    Not only more affordable from Morocco, but much less planning, and the trip itself would be cheaper.
    But depends on what a person's looking for.

  16. #16

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    Sign up for a free account here:

    http://www.bushcraftuk.com

    I'm sure they will be able to give you lots of info!

    Use the following links to translate:

    https://www.thoughtco.com/difference...nglish-1212216

    http://www.translatebritish.com/
    Last edited by atraildreamer; 03-13-2017 at 16:32.

    "To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." - T.S. Eliot

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    I haven't done the Coast-to-Coast, but it's on my to-do list. I have walked sections of England's Coastal Path down in Devon and Cornwall. And parts of other paths in Europe. My impression on all these trails is that they're mostly for walking, and people generally don't camp, at least not the way we think of camping on the AT/PCT/CDT etc. I hardly ever see people carrying full packs with tent/pad/sleeping bag. The general idea is you walk from town to town and stay in a pub or hostel overnight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    I haven't done the Coast-to-Coast, but it's on my to-do list. I have walked sections of England's Coastal Path down in Devon and Cornwall. And parts of other paths in Europe. My impression on all these trails is that they're mostly for walking, and people generally don't camp, at least not the way we think of camping on the AT/PCT/CDT etc. I hardly ever see people carrying full packs with tent/pad/sleeping bag. The general idea is you walk from town to town and stay in a pub or hostel overnight.
    Staying in B&Bs gets very expensive, as does the pubbing for food.

    I lived for a wonderful year on Exmoor in North Somerset, teaching up on the moors and along the trails. (Never saw a camping hiker ) So when the thought of doing a good hiking trip was put by my wife into my head, I researched the South West Coast Path that Rafe refers too. It was going to be $68G to get there and do the hike Yikes!

    I'd still love to do the SWCP But !!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traillium View Post
    Staying in B&Bs gets very expensive, as does the pubbing for food.

    I lived for a wonderful year on Exmoor in North Somerset, teaching up on the moors and along the trails. (Never saw a camping hiker …) So when the thought of doing a good hiking trip was put by my wife into my head, I researched the South West Coast Path that Rafe refers too. … It was going to be $6–8G to get there and do the hike … Yikes!

    I'd still love to do the SWCP … But … !!!
    The moment I saw this thread,I thought of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kookork View Post
    The moment I saw this thread,I thought of you.
    So glad I did the Bruce Trail instead and met a real hiker and friend!

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