Trig to Trig 2014

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:

Ravenber Way Guide Book
Ravenber Way Guide Book
Alternative Coast to Coast Guide Book
Alternative Coast to Coast Guide Book

“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:

Ravenber Way on the LDWA and The Alternative Coast to Coast on the LDWA 

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.

Lindisfarne Causeway (photo courtesy of Walter Baxter)

Lindisfarne Causeway (photo courtesy of Walter Baxter from / CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

12 thoughts on “Trig to Trig 2014”

  1. Wednesday,8th January 2014 at 4.38pm
    There is now a 3rd edition of the Ravenber Way. A new website is currently being designed with a link to this long distance walk. This will contain a full description and links to other walks by Ron Scholes. Look out also for a Ravenber completers badge.

    1. Thanks for the update Ron, what is the best way to get hold of the new edition? I won’t be sticking to the Ravenber probably, but it would be good to have the latest guide book – one more for my creaking shelves – even if I won’t qualify for the completers badge 🙂

      Good luck with the new website, please update us with the URL as and when you have it, I’d love to have a browse.

      1. The Ravenber could do with a walkers edition, one you can put in a trouser leg pocket, and one without all the historic info which could go in a reader version. 2nd edition probably the best but bulky. 3rd edition useless for a walker. North swinging around from map to map does not give you a feel for your direction in a landscape which often has no visible path, just tussocks, reeds, rough grazing and bog. Even by the river Till there are sections that look like no one has gone before.

  2. Thanks Stuart. No plans yet for walking in the UK in 2014. I managed the Southern Upland Way and the Two Moors Way in 2013. Next year it will be the Rideau Trail in Ontario and possibly the Heysen Trail in South Australia. But the UK is never far from my thoughts and, in fact, planning has started for my Lands End to Cape Wrath/John O`Groats little ramble in Spring 2015. All the best, Tim

  3. Looking forward to seeing how the plans for this pan out. Please make it look really dull as there is now a danger that you’ll cause me to resurrect my dormant coast to coast walk in place of the Cambrian Way this year. Or maybe I’m going to have to do both, and I’ll know who to blame.

    Assuming you’re going with “proper” accommodation, rather than camping ?

    1. From the sound of your current contract, you’ll deserve a whole year off, so you can do both! You can thank me, not blame me – your wife may blame me though I guess? I’m almost certainly going to do this as a B&B walk, despite the flexibility offered by carrying a tent, I really don’t want the added weight – I imagine this is going to be quite hilly (working on the typical locations of trig points!) so full B&B kit will be enough for me. I did think about carrying a tent for the Lakes section, but I doubt that will happen. As you will have seen, the date that’s pretty much been forced upon me may fit your end of May timetable 🙂

      1. Have to say that the thought of doing both has started to gather momentum. Might be a bit touch and go in terms of your timing though. Working at Easter means pushing out a family holiday to half term and that’s going to have to have priority in order to bank sufficient brownie points to use during the year off. Let’s see what happens. May be able to join you for a section…

        1. Just been looking at the series of fells along the western edge of the Pennines, from Dufton Fell via Cross Fell and on to Cold Fell, it’s a 20+ mile ridge with about 5 trig points on it and I’d love to do that, but without a tent it looks unfeasibly long. If you want to do just a section, that would be a good one, you could bring my tent with you 🙂 I just know I wouldn’t finish if I backpacked the whole thing.

  4. Looks like a plan is taking shape. I rather like the”Trig to Trig 2014″ although it doesn’t convey the coast-to-coast element. But perhaps that is not all a bad thing (it is, after all about the journey and not about the final destination…). Had contemplated walking the Ravenber Way last April but, as you know, we decided on the Southern Upland Way. Looking forward to following your plans and ultimately your walk. Happy Christmas!

    1. Thanks Tim and a Merry Christmas to you too.

      I think attaching the “Coast to Coast” label to any walk makes people automatically associate it with Wainwright’s walk, but I do like the idea of walking from one side of the country to the other and I like the ritual of boot dipping and all that malarkey too 🙂 I wanted to differentiate this trek, hence “Trig to Trig”.

      Any future UK walking plans?

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