PW2010 – Planning Update #3

Well it was all going so smoothly as well – too smoothly obviously. I got two emails today that threw the spanner into the works a little bit.

The first one was from the baggage courier – it seems that Brigantes are the only people that will carry your bag the whole length of the route – from Edale to Kirk Yetholm – anyone else that says they can do it either uses taxis part of the way and therefore charges the earth or they start half way and require you to make your own arrangements for the first half – how that works I have no idea.

But Brigantes, in order to make it pay for them – and I’ve dealt with Mike at Brigantes for a while now and trust him – will only start a bag run on certain days – so if you want bags carried you need to start walking on one of those days – or have a party of four or more to make it worth their while starting on a different date. (See the latest list of dates here). Unfortunately they didn’t have a run starting on the day I needed. Bugger. That means I either scrap the baggage courier idea or change my start date. I don’t particularly want to start walking on a Saturday as the theory is that most folk start at the weekend and therefore the path is busier and B&Bs are harder to book. The latter point probably isn’t a problem given how far in advance I’m booking, but the first point is relevant. I have no idea how many people walk the path in May, but I don’t want to be one of dozens walking conga-like across the Pennines – half the draw of the walk is the solitude and “loneliness” of the route.

Then I had an even worse email from Keld Lodge, telling me that in the 24 hours between them emailing me to say they had two rooms free and me emailing back to say I’ll have one – they sold them both! Double Bugger! That really pissed me off for a few minutes and I stomped around the house looking for a pet to kick – but the dog had sidled under the table to avoid me – she knows my moods 🙂 (Obviously for any pet lovers reading this I wouldn’t have kicked her – honest!)

The loss of Keld Lodge is a big blow – that was the one place I really wanted to stay at. They offered me a double – but at £60 it was a luxury too far – or their other concern in the village Butt House – but I had my heart set on the Lodge, so I’m now considering changing the start date. Which of course means contacting 6 B&Bs and trying to shuffle forward three days – great!

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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5 Responses

  1. RamblingPete says:

    Can’t you drop a bag off further up the line at one of your stops, or do they want to carry the bags all the way? At least you’d have a change of clothes and a bit less to carry….or you could carry on walking in the same kit. Now that would keep the flies off…..everyone else come to think of it

    • lonewalker says:

      I’ve been thinking about that – I need to speak to a couple of B&Bs and see how receptive they are to the idea. Your missus isn’t free is she 😉

  2. Peewiglet says:

    Wow, that’s busy…

    So, no gear carrying, then! I’m sure you’ll still have a great time. The bag doesn’t have to be heavy. Bring on the gear discussion 🙂

    It’s great fun to read about your preparations. I’m rather envious 🙂

  3. lonewalker says:

    Because Brigantes essentially own Keld Lodge and Butt House now; their accommodation service books all the rooms in Keld – especially on a Saturday – which is the day you arrive in Keld if you’re on a 17 day schedule, which their accommodation service is. So Butt House and Keld Lodge are full nearly every weekend in May – already!

    If I start midweek, as my original plan was, I avoid that bottleneck and I can get into Butt House. I don’t have to change all my bookings but I do have to carry my gear – but you’re right it won’t be too heavy as there’s no tent or other camping gear. I should manage I think.

    Thanks for the advice so far – it’s been very useful 🙂

  4. Peewiglet says:

    I’d go for the Butt House, if I were you. There isn’t a better place to stay in Keld, other than Keld Lodge. And I bet they’ll tell you you can eat at the Lodge, even if you stay at the Butt House. And, of course, the Butt House has all that fabulous history behind it.

    As for the route being busy, I don’t think the PW is truly busy at any time of the year, these days. Unless you’re seeking true solitude I can’t see starting on a Saturday being a problem.

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