Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk

A personal record of my walk in 1994 with written journal and photographs. Tracklogs for GPS units and for use with Google Earth are available for download for each stage.

Journal, Photographs and Download Files

Stage 8: Bent's Farm to Shap
Google Maps Open Source Maps

Statistics and Files
Start: Bent's Farm Finish: Shap Distance: 13.8 miles (22.2 km)
Time: 5-6 hours Climbing: 410 metres Rating: Hard
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Orton
Start: Bent's Farm Finish: Shap
Distance: 13.8 miles (22.2 km) Time: 5-6 hours
Climbing: 410 metres Rating: Hard
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

Stage Report

Crossing Ravenstonedale MoorCrossing Ravenstonedale Moor
Dave suffers the penalty for being happy in OrtonDave suffers the penalty for being happy in Orton

After yesterdays toil of crossing the Pennine watershed this section was easy, predominantly following a limestone plateau. The leg involved walking close to sites of primitive settlement, hut villages, stone circles and tumuli. Examples of such can be found near Crosby Ravensworth and Crosby Garrett. We were fortunate to walk the entire length of today's leg in brilliant sunshine and we were now all fit to the challenge of the walk and the anticipated fells of the Lake District, now just a day ahead. The walk on the limestone is nicely easy underfoot as you keep on the paths of velvety turf until you sometimes take the fun of bounding over the outcropping limestone itself. Spectacular views of the Dales, Howgill Fells and Lakes are afforded to you in the distance. With these views available plus the walking it is, as was with us a great walk on a sunny day. Features apart from these and the historical sites include Sunbiggin Tarn, Orton village, Robin Hood's Grave, the secluded hamlet of Oddendale and The Nab. It's a fantastic leg of the Coast to Coast Walk.

An old lime kiln on the climb up to Orton ScarAn old lime kiln on the climb up to Orton Scar
Limestone Pavements of Orton ScarLimestone Pavements of Orton Scar

The walk from Bent's Farm was done in serenely peaceful conditions apart from the noise of military training jets. I was in walking heaven. Almost everything was good today and the boys and I had a fantastic day's walking in superb spring weather. We enjoyed a small diversion to Sunbiggin Tarn where we took our first break of the day before pushing on to Orton for an ice cream. After Orton we enjoyed ourselves walking on super limestone pavements at Orton Scar. Then it was on towards Shap. The only bugbear today was when we neared the hamlet of Oddendale. A familiar noise began to penetrate the air eventually reaching a crescendo on the final push into Shap. The noise in question was from traffic making its journey along the west of England's arterial motorway, the M6. We crossed the motorway less than one mile from the end of today's stage, Shap. The noise was soon gone again. Oh, how I felt good today. The feet pains were now definitely behind me.

The Nab just before crossing the M6 into ShapThe Nab just before crossing the M6 into Shap
Celebrating the walk in our bunkhouse in ShapCelebrating the walk in our bunkhouse in Shap

Note of interest - The village of Shap is a notable point on the A6 trunk road and featured in many news reports of the 50's and 60's during spells of bad weather as a notorious obstacle to the hauliers and travellers of bygone days when traffic was less reliable and winters where long cold snaps were the norm. The villages pubs, hotels and boarding houses served many a time as a refuge for stranded travellers. However, the coming of the M6 spelled the end of the boom for Shap as can be evidenced by the relative austerity of the place today in comparison to neighbouring towns and villages. Farming, the local cement works and cottage industry are all that remain to keep the place going today. It is a sleepy place. Still, for the weary Coast to Coast walker it is home for a day, and for us a night of celebration in the prelude to our Lake District leg of the trip across the country.

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