Alpha at SS Alban & Stephen Catholic Church in St Albans
Coast to Coast Walk, 11th -28th May 2012 Walk for Tshwaranang
It had always been a big ambition of mine to do the Wainwright Coast to Coast
Walk. 192 miles across the north of England from St Bees by the Irish Sea
to Robin Hood Bay by the North Sea. After two months of various foot
problems whilst training and wondering if I would be capable of the walk
I decided to give it a shot and do it as a sponsored walk for the Tshwaranang
Aids Hospice in South Africa.
On 11th May I travelled North with 6 friends from St Albans Ramblers. On
12th May we started our walk in the traditional way – a paddle in the sea
(in our boots), then pick up a pebble from the sands to carry to Robin Hood
Bay. Each night we stayed in either a Youth Hostel or Band B and our luggage
was transported for us. The weather for the first 10 days was a mixture of
rain, hail, some snow and very strong winds with a couple of dry days thrown
On the second day of the walk we had to climb up Loch Beck,
a long rocky incline by Black Sail Youth Hostel This is the loneliest and
most remote youth hostel situated in a wonderful surround of mountainous
country. As we left the Youth Hostel and set off up Loch Beck the fun began!
The winds that had been fairly strong previously gained a greater strength
and we were buffeted by gales of 60 miles an hour gusting to 85 miles an
hour. Every time a gust of wind hit us we crouched against the rocks until
we were able to continue onwards and upwards. When we eventually reached
the top the heavens opened and we now had to contend with torrential rain
as well as gale force winds. What an experience!
The walk took us past beautiful lakes, very boggy moors and included lots
of climbing including Kidsty Pike which is 2560ft. This was done on our longest
day of walking -19 miles- and was pretty exhausting. We walked in the Lake
District for 6 days then passed through the Westmorland Plateau, the Pennines,
the Vale of Mowbray, the Cleveland Hills and finally the Yorkshire Moors.
The sun did come out for the last 6 days of our walk and one beautiful day
as I was having lunch high up on the Yorkshire Moors looking down over beautiful
panoramic scenery I thought I must be in Heaven.
After 16 days of walking and 214 miles (the extra miles
included getting to and from our accommodation each day) we arrived at Robin
Hood Bay. We went down to the beach had a paddle, threw our pebbles into
the sea, had a group hug then off to Wainwright’s Bar for a very welcome
I would like to thank all those who have sponsored me for my walk. You have
been very generous. Money can be left in the Presbytery in an envelope marked
Helen Bassill sponsored walk. To hear more about the walk and see some
more of my photos please join me for a social evening in the Hall at 7pm
on Saturday 22nd September.