I walked the Coast to Coast in May 2006. Devised by the eminent fell walker Alfred Wainwright, the path extends for 192 miles across the heart of England, taking in three national parks along the way. Voted the second best long distance path in the world, it sees tens of thousands of people every year, but it still not officially recognised as a national trail.
I used two guidebooks when walking the path, Wainwright (of course) and Stedman. It should be made illegal to walk the C2C and not carry Wainwright’s book, but the drawings are a little too detailed in places and can be difficult to follow, especially if you’re not used to reading Wainwright’s work. I also carried the Trailblazer book written by Henry Stedman, which is probably the best guidebook to use if you can only take one book.
The Stedman guide is currently in the second edition – a new third edition should be out in time for the 2008 walking season – so make sure you get the most up to date edition. You can buy direct from Trailblazer – it’s sometimes as cheap as Amazon et al.