27th February Eskdale to Ravenglass 8.5 miles
After a quick march down the Esk valley and through the grounds of Muncaster Castle, I reached the top of a hill, and all of a sudden, there was the sea. What a super place to pop out of the Lake District and reach the coast. Dunes and sandy beaches lay in front of me, sea sparking in the sun. Yes, sunshine again. Two days in a row!
I met Ian in the village of Ravenglass, posed for photos, and that was it. The Coast to Coast journey is complete. We jumped in the truck and are now buzzing down the motorway, en route for home.
I feel very different to the day when I reached John O Groats, 18 months ago. Back then I tried to make my final day last as long as possible. And I was full of joy and emotion on finishing. Today I rushed through my final stage of walking, eager to reach the coast and finish. I’ve enjoyed the walk a lot, and I think simply because it’s nowhere near as far as 1,200 miles, it seems quite straightforward a thing to do. I’m really pleased to have done it though.
It’s taken me 21 days of walking, and the route is 222 miles long. Of course it could normally easily be done in 2 weeks. I took my time so as to ease back into fitness. In that respect it is mission accomplished. I feel loads better than when I started, and have regained confidence in my body.
I have loved the route. Within the 222 miles the variety has been fantastic: the big sky country of Holderness, the rolling Yorkshire Wolds, the flat Vale of York, the pretty market towns, the hills and valleys of the Yorkshire Dales, and then the craggy Lake District. It shows that a linear walk from one’s own house is easy to plan – we are so lucky to have a country that is criss crossed with footpaths.
If you live in Holderness and fancy doing this walk, I’ll be doing another blog post with route details and gpx files. I’d recommend starting from Hornsea (rather than my house).
This morning I pondered about my favourite part of this walk. I’d have to say it was the Yorkshire Dales. I liked walking over 2 of the famous 3 Peaks, I enjoyed the quiet villages and small country towns, and the landscape changes constantly from one valley to the next.
Whilst February seems an odd time to do a UK long distance walk, actually that was also a big plus factor for me. Apart from on Ingleborough and Whernside, or on a dog walking route, I hardly saw a person. Certainly no one else doing a long walk. I like that. The people I did meet en route and in B&Bs were always keen to chat and not rushed off their feet, as can be the case in the summer months. It was cold and a bit wild, weather wise, at times. But amazingly I only experienced about 5 hours of proper driving rain in total. That’s not bad at all for a winter walk.
Thank you for reading, commenting, and encouraging. I always feel boosted along my way by knowing that friends are vicariously enjoying my walks too.