Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk

A personal record of my walk in 1999 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 5: Shap to Kirkby Stephen
Google Maps Open Source Maps

Statistics and Files
Start: Shap Finish: Kirkby Stephen Distance: 19.3 miles (31.1 km)
Time: 8-10 hours Climbing: 661 metres Rating: Strenuous
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Shap
Start: Shap Finish: Kirkby Stephen
Distance: 19.3 miles (31.1 km) Time: 8-10 hours
Climbing: 661 metres Rating: Strenuous
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

Stage Report

Note: The daily records are from my diary written during the course of the walk with additional notes in italics.

Crossing the M6 motorwayCrossing the M6 motorway
Erratic boulder on Crosby Ravensworth FellErratic boulder on Crosby Ravensworth Fell

Pain! My left knee had swollen up overnight. I felt it going yesterday between Haweswater and Shap. I could hardly walk last night. Also, my left heel lost a pile of skin so I had to bandage it all up. To cap it all my left big toe swelled up too. All on my left leg! There was no way I could march on this stage so I ambled nearly 20 miles only stopping twice for 10 minute fuel breaks. It was agony and by the time I reached Smardale Bridge I was getting angry with myself. The last five miles we total purgatory. I was hurting bad. After leaving Shap between 9.15 and 9.30am I made it into Kirkby Stephen after 6.00pm making my average speed about 2.5 mph on an easy level ground stage. And that was flat out! Plus factors - The sights were great in areas with panoramic views of the Lakes, Howgills, Teesdale and parts of the Yorkshire Dales. Fair weather kept my pain company during the day and the added bonus of a good deal of sun to top it all. I don't know how I would have coped in the rain. Thank heavens I did not have to face that predicament.

Farmstead near OrtonFarmstead near Orton
Howgills Fells as seen from Crosby Garrett FellHowgills Fells as seen from Crosby Garrett Fell

Due to the pain I was suffering today I walked alone for almost the entire stage. No way could I keep up with Deke so I let him go on. How I was relieved to see Kirkby Stephen at the end of the walking. And what accommodation we had there. Redmayne House, a favourite stop for Coast to Coast walkers is old and enchanting. What a loo - old fashioned. And what a bath - I did not want to get out!

The scene at Smardale BridgeThe scene at Smardale Bridge
Train journeying from Kirkby Stephen to ApplebyTrain journeying from Kirkby Stephen to Appleby

On both this and my earlier Coast to Coast I suffered badly during the middle stages, and I am a regular distance walker. My warning is to be prepared for spells where it will be tough going. During this walk I met people who had to drop out or take rest days. It is a common occurrence for people not used to long distance walking to drop out on a walk of such length. Take plenty of bandages, plasters and the obligatory second skin! You will be glad you did.

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