Coast to Coast

Accommodation

We had booked our accommodation about a year in advance. We had worked out that with Easter being late it could quite conveniently tag onto the May Bank Holiday as well, so requiring less time off work. However, this bought further potential problems. There was the prospect of others thinking the same, plus, we had two bank holidays and certain establishments require more than one nights stay over a bank holiday. In addition Joe public, who had no interest in the Coast to Coast, would be flocking to the tourist hotspots.

We had heard horror stories of booking too far in advance, with bookings being ‘mislaid’ even with deposits having been taken and banked. Having made our choices, paid deposits and so on, we decided to reconfirm in December which was a tip given to us by one of the B&B’s. Some places only make a firm booking when they get the following year’s calendar, even though they tell you otherwise. By ringing round in December it nipped this problem in the bud. However, we did have 2 places that denied all knowledge, albeit in a friendly way, both had taken and banked deposits – so it was just as well we checked! We also checked again about 2-3 weeks prior to setting off. We were generally quite happy with our choices. Nowhere was particularly bad, each had their own little idiosyncrasies which were quite endearing in a strange way. We did have a couple of issues, but none that was that bad it spoilt our stay. However, if I was to do the walk again I would probably find alternatives.

It is worth remembering that there are still quite a few places that only take cheques or cash. Checking in time varies and it is best to make sure that you arrive at their specified times or else risk a frosty reception. On a few occasions we had to hang back slightly so that we didn’t arrive too early. Conversely, if you get delayed and assuming you can get mobile reception, phone ahead to pre-warn them, you could be deemed a no show and your room re-let. Regarding contacting the B&B for whatever reason on the walk, don’t assume that a mobile signal will be available. In a great many places there is no signal at all, on any network. As an example at Clay Bank Top the signal will disappear just as you go over the top of the last hill before descending to the road. If you leave it until the road you will have a steep climb back up to where you have just come from.

Something worth remembering is that some establishments require 2 night stays especially at week ends and some will also charge extra at weekends or bank holidays.

Our accommodation was as follows:

  Day Zero – St Bees – Stonehouse Farm – B&B
Position: Just up from the railway station
Pubs and shop – both 100yrds
Route: 0.5 miles
Positives: Clean and well run business
Breakfast – good variety and quality
Negatives: None really
We were given the wrong room apparently, ours was smaller than it should have been but it was adequate. Ours was a double but was intended for a single person
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 1 – Ennerdale Bridge – The Stork Hotel (Rowrah) – Pub
Position: 3 miles away from Ennerdale Bridge
Free pick up and return that worked very well
No shops and none in Ennerdale Bridge either
Route: 3 miles
Positives: Clean and tidy, good bathroom
Evening meal and breakfast very good. Adequate choice and reasonable prices.
Sandwiches for next day were good
Negatives: None
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 2 & 3 – Stonethwaite – Stonethwaite Farm – B&B
Position: 100 yards from The Langstrath for evening meal
No shop but basic supplies in Rosthwaite about a mile up the road
Route: 200 yards
Positives: Quirky but well furnished rooms
Good breakfast
Negatives: None
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 4 – Grasmere – Chestnut Villas – B&B
Position: Faces on to the busy A591
0.75 miles from centre of village
0.25 from the Travellers Rest pub
Selection of shops in the village
Route:  0.5 miles
Positives: Very friendly
Everything just so, nicely decorated rooms
Negatives: None
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 5 – Patterdale – The White Lion – Pub
Position: Directly opposite shop
Route: On route
Positives: The food was good
Negatives: It is an old pub with small rooms
Decoration is tired, rooms and bathrooms need updating
Only small bar of soap, no other toiletries
Breakfast times need to be earlier as long day to Shap
Stay again: Probably not
   
  Day 6 – Shap – The Greyhound Hotel – Pub
Position: At very end of village
0.5 miles from shop. This is passed on the way to the pub
Footpath behind pub connects to C2C path, handy shortcut
Route: On route if short cut taken, if not 0.5 miles
Positives: Good rooms and good food
Head start for the next day
Negatives: None really but:
It is at the end of the village so when already tired not the best of locations but in reality it is only 0.5 miles further on than most accommodation
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 7 – Kirkby Stephen – White Gill House – B&B
Position: Tucked away just behind main street – 5 mins
Path takes you directly to main street with pubs and shops
Route: 100 yards
Positives: Good position and quiet
Quality accommodation and lovely hosts
Owners are knowledgeable walkers
Good breakfast
Negatives: None really but:
Owners not in when we arrived
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 8 – Keld – Little Birkdale – B&B
Position: 3 miles short of Keld on B6270
Quiet and remote
Route: If a purist, it is off route by 3 miles but by taking the red route and then cutting across fields the main route is rejoined a mile or so before Keld
Positives: Lovely position
Great hosts
Spacious accommodation
Good quality and quantity of food
Negatives: None really but:
It is rustic and some might not like its remoteness
It makes the next day 3 miles longer
Owners not in when we arrived
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 9 & 10 – Reeth – Cambridge Guest House – B&B
Position: 0.25 miles north from centre of Reeth
Route: 0.25 miles
Positives: Well run with good facilities
Lovely owners who know what they are doing
Very good breakfast
Negatives: None
Stay again: Yes, most definitely
   
  Day 11 – Richmond/Caterick Bridge – St Giles Farm – B&B
Position: 3 miles on from Richmond
No pubs or shops nearby
Route: On route
Positives: Quality accommodation and large rooms
Very welcoming hosts
It makes the next day 20 miles rather than 23
Negatives: None
Stay again: Yes
   
  Day 12 – Ingleby Cross – The Blue Bell Inn – Pub
Position: Centre of village
No shops apart from truck stop services 1 mile back
Route: On route
Positives: Good food
You don’t have to walk to the pub after doing 20/23 miles
Negatives: Accommodation very, very basic but clean
Room cold
Stay again: Eat there but stay somewhere else
   
  Day 13 – Clay Bank Top – West Cote Farm – B&B
Position: In the countryside
No shops
Pub nearby – lift required
Route:  A few miles from route
Positives: Jovial and friendly owners
Lifts to and fro to the route and the pub are free of charge
Accommodation was adequate
Negatives: The room was fine but:
The bathroom was very small with angled roofline
Water seemed to leak onto the floor from the shower
Shower was very small and suction accessories in the shower kept falling off
Toilet had a macerator and although it flushed fine, a dark brown/black sludge seemed to trickle back in
Stay again: Unsure
   
  Day 14 – Grosmont – Hollins Lodge – B&B
Position: 0.25 miles from railway line
Shop and pub 0.25miles
Route: 200 yards
Positives: Very good accommodation
Convenient for pub and shop
Negatives: Breakfast quality and quantity not good
Scary Mary
Stay again: Probably not
   
  Day 15 – Robin Hood’s Bay – The Wayfarer – B&B
Position: At the top of the hill
Shop and eating places all nearby
Bus stop opposite
Route: On route
Positives: Quality establishment
Modern and good quality rooms and facilities
Wonderful food, both breakfast and dinner
Has its own bistro
Great place to end and celebrate the walk
We had problems with the macerator but the owners dealt with it very efficiently
Negatives: None
Stay again: Yes, most definitely

 

 

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