After yesterday’s post regarding next year’s long path I did some research and it turns out my idea isn’t new at all. The east coast around Holy Island seems to be the start/end of a couple of recognised (as opposed to official) long distance walks and I even found an interesting discussion on route options from my good friend Matt (Hillplodder) on his excellent blog site. I already knew that Rambling Pete had done his “Wobbly Coast to Coast” based on a start in Bamburgh and a finish in St. Bees in the Lakes, but I had no idea this cross-country idea was so well documented, albeit using different routes between roughly the same spots.
The two routes I found were: “The Ravenber Way” (Ravenglass to Berwick) and “The Alternative Coast to Coast” (Walney Island to Holy Island). Both have guide books and both have entries in the Long Distance Walkers Association path register, although neither one is an exact match for my route. The ACC at least terminates in the same place as I intend to finish. They both go in what I would consider to be the natural direction; west to east, or more accurately, south west to north east, which will take advantage of the usual prevailing winds in the UK and also means you aren’t walking into the rising sun each day. On the downside it does mean starting in the Lakes, probably the most challenging section and coming before the legs have been properly walked in.
The two guide books in question are:
“Coast to Coast on the Ravenber Way: A Walk Across Northern England from Coast to Coast” by Ron Scholes. Published by Landmark Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1858211855
“The Alternative Coast to Coast” by Denis Brook and Phil Hinchliffe. Published by Cicerone Press. ISBN 978-1852842024
You can pick both books up from Amazon for about £5 each. Neither walk seems to have its own dedicated website, but Google comes up with some information and you can find some basic details on the LDWA website here:
So, armed with four GPX files of routes (two from the LDWA, one from Hillplodder and one from Pete) I should have a good basis for picking my own route. Mine will want to divert to as many trig points as possible, so I’m expecting to be cherry-picking and still doing a lot of my own invention, it will still be my walk.
As I want to finish at Holy Island, to bag the trig point there, I need to make sure I can get across the causeway when I arrive at the end of the walk. There are usually two periods each day when the tide is low enough to cross, but I don’t want to arrive and find I’ve just missed one, or I have to wait six hours for the next. So I looked at the tide tables for Lindisfarne, to try and select a day when the passable period coincided with the end of the walking day (ideally between 14:00 and 18:00). This time also needs to fall on a Saturday or Sunday, as I’m expecting this to be a 14-day walk and using the weekends will maximise my annual leave days.
Surprisingly, the tide tables make for grim reading when you factor in these two criteria. There are no dates at all in May and the first date in June that fits the bill is Saturday the 7th, when the crossing is possible between 12:25 and 21:20 – in fact this is the only date in either month that I can use. As a result of this the dates are beginning to firm up, which is unusual as it’s normally the route that comes first and then I pick the date.
The tide tables for Lindisfarne can be found here:
I also need to come up with a name for this walk. Coast to Coast has already been taken, as has the Alternative Coast to Coast, concatenating the start and end point (as with Ravenber) produces AnnaLand or AnnArne both of which sound silly, so I’ve decided to go with “Trig to Trig 2014” and I may come up with a suitable sub-title as time goes by.