Coast to Coast Walk: How not to get lost...


One way of not getting lost would be to do a guided walk.  Then someone like me would look after you, lead the way, point out things of interest and you can just relax and enjoy your walk.  If you prefer to go it alone here's a few tips on guidebooks, maps and some spots to watch out.


Wainwright's Guide
Alfred Wainwright's masterpiece is a carefully planned walk and his usual painstakingly detailed and
quirky guidebook. The problem with the guidebook is that, for all it's charm and beauty, it's not much good to navigate by.  That said, the mile markers given on the maps are useful for gauging your progress.  Worth getting a copy for nostalgia, nice pictures and to get into the head of the man behind the walk.

Coast to Coast Path: St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay

Trailblazer Guide
The trailblazer guidebook is incredibly useful. They have hand drawn maps at a scale of 1:20,000 that show exact details of the route.  The maps are also pretty useful for estimating timings.  There are also up to date details of accommodation options, food options and public transport arrangements.

There are other guidebooks available and some of them are better for chat and historical information.  From the perspective of navigation they are not as useful as the mapping tends to be too large a scale (1:50,000 in the Cicerone guide for example) to be much use on this walk, and following a written description of the route is less helpful.


Harvey maps have pulled off a neat feat by designing maps specifically for walkers.  The C. to C. maps are split in to "east" and "west" sections so you'll end up not getting much change from £30. The map punches above it's scale, 1:40,000, and the cartography is simplified to be clearer and of more use to walkers. Each section of the walk is split into panels so the whole walk is condensed into two lightweight maps.  The maps are also waterproof apparently.

A to Z
A number of year's ago the Ordnance Survey let other people buy the rights to their maps to create unique products. A to Z have been particularly ingenious in creating OS atlas books for interesting places in their "adventure" range. A book is actually a handy form for walking a long distance route and having 1:25,000 OS maps is fantastic. If it's raining it fits neatly into a map case. My only gripe is that the book is a bit flimsy and mine is starting to fall to bits after two C. to C.s. But then it was only about £8. You'd need about eighty quid's worth of Explorer maps (and the added volume) to equate.  With a bit of sticky back plastic this flaw can be rectified. I've also added approximate timings and mile marks to mine to make it all I need to follow the route precisely.

Common spots to go wrong...
Because of the way it was conceived, the C. to C. is not an official long distance trail. As such the signage is inconsistent, poor, or (as in the Lakes) non-existent.  Here's a few places people often walk off in the wrong direction.

Black Sail YHA
You want the faint trail towards Tounge Gill, not the obvious track.

Angle Tarn
After passing Satura Crag you want to follow the wall down to the clear track towards Sulphury Gill. There is an obvious track up Rest Dodd a lot of people follow by mistake.

The Knott
Having made it past Rest Dodd, make sure you make the sharp left hand turn to Kidsty Pike just after the Knott.

I offer guided walks and walking holidays in Northumberland, the Pennines, the Lake District, Scotland and further afield.

I'm always keen for outdoor adventures to help people learn the skills to explore! My particular focus is mountain skills such as navigating with a map and compass and wild camping for expeditions.

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