Its all about the miles -Shap to Kirkby Stephen

This rock got in the way so Annie tries to move it...twit

I am beginning to love this walk, everyone knows who I am, they clearly think I am handsome and they want to feed me bits and bobs from their pockets, all good.  I make sure Camilla does not know. 

The adventure today was to be a good 20 mile trot and so I prepared myself with a grand sleep, tried to steal that steak pie but got spotted, disaster. 

We left behind the lakes and moved onto some easy walking…well it would have been easy if some horrid chocolate labrador at Sunbiggin Farm had not lept out of his back yard to attack me.  Can you imagine, why me, I am very easy going and very handsome.  Anyway Sunbiggin folk take charge of your dogs they almost ripped my ear off!  Here is a mug shot of your mate…

Wow, celebrity event, we happened upon Wallis and Gromit’s moon rocket en route.  I could not believe it.

The picnic was an event as always.  Bodge had his usual two pints, much to the disgust/jealousy/amazement of other travellers.  Comment of the day “not only do you drink on the walk but you go so fast…”  Well not quite true this time as having laughed at everyone else walking the wrong way Camilla, for the first time remembering the route she took two years ago charged off in the wrong direction.  Ah ha various of the travellers had spied us going wrong and chose not to alert the team….I do not blame them.

Moon rocket spotted on the way to Sunbiggin Tarn

This is where we got lost...

Its all about my birthday, I am three – Patterdale to Shap

Almost at Shap a detour to an 11th Century ruin

I am three today and I feel a bit peeved, the team have planned a very very long walk.  Yes that is right not a pie, not a few rabbits to chase, not something I would like but a walk up  a mountain, not impressed.  Still no boots either. 

Anyway breakfast was all right as the team have stolen a Cumberland from breakfast for me.  Looks a bit mis outside but rumour has it the weather is going to be fine so yes we have a 16 miler today, straight from Glenridding to Patterdale then up Kidsty Pike, one of the highest of our walk.  

We are off, the team are clearly on a mission the pace is very impressive but they do remember to have a look.  A long trek up a stony path and a bit of a downhiller and we pass Angle Tarn on the way, an absolute cracker, so I take a dip, thought Bodge might come swimming too as a birthday treat but no not even that….have they forgotten,  I want to go home.  (Actually I feel pretty dapper today after yesterday’s shorty but I am not going to make it obvious or they might do a sneaky walk up an alternative Wainwright called Rest Dodd.)

I am going to pass you over to guest writer now as I cannot be bothered to tell you all about the “views” and all that, I know there is a picnic and I might tell you about that later, if it is worth it….

Guest writer here.  Today is an important day as we will make our way to the end of the lakes, a very emotional experience for Wainwright as he describes here. 

“This is farewell to Lakeland, and farewells to Lakeland are always sad.  What follows is anti-climax – level walking instead of up and down, trees and fields lovely, yes, but not excitingly beautiful as the crossing of Lakeland has been stop.  Well, it is not too late to abandon the Coast to Coast idea and stay on in Patterdale.  There is nothing ahead as good, admittedly – the big fault of doing this walk in a West to East direction is that the best comes first.  Anyway please yourself.  Stay if you want to and I will carry on alone and no hard feelings.  You will think of something to tell the folks at home… mind, you might find yourself thinking in the next few days about Shap and the Limestone plateau beyond, and wondering what Swaledale is really like and whether the North York Moors are as attractive as people say.  You could have regrets.  And (lets be clear about this) you cant expect to get your money back for the book if you prefer not to continue the walk….Coming with me?  Good.  I thought you would.”

Guest Writer back.  The walk features some beautiful Tarn’s, a long but not challenging trek up to Kidsty Pike, waterfalls, a resevoir where there used to be a village, some lovely dry stone walls and an Abbey.   No huge challenges on the walk, a little cloud at the top of Kidsty Pike and Bodge almost leaping off, well pretending to and a lovely afternoon of sunshine for our picnic by the resevoir.  Bodge is becoming pretty famous on the walk, almost as renowned as Rufus.  “Ah you are the one that has a few beers at lunch…ah you are the one that puts us to shame by running down the mountains with your pack in one hand, ah you are the one that doesn’t wear a shirt…”  Even back at the Greyhound we had a few comments about “the professional walkers”.

We kept up a pretty good pace and made Shap to time, the Greyhound hotel has a good rep but our room is not of the first order.  We are confident that dinner will make up for that though and we are all so tired a tent and a cup of tea would have done. 

Anyway here are a few pics to keep you entertained.  Camilla will write a more elegant descripton of the landscape when showered!  Bodge is too busy watching the football.

Very misty and cold at the top but we made it so feel chipper

 Bit chilly at the top.  all wearing fleeces.


Picnic and a bit of a Wainwright recital

ALERT ALERT….Rufus here, I have told them once, twice now three times I want boots, I want feeding and I want more fun and fewer walks….Ha Ha well I got em.  Camilla ordered a greedy sized Steak and Ale Pie, as the waitress served it in I went, a stunning move.  Agile, silent and right to the point.  I GOT THE PIE…catch of the day to Rufus.  Well done me.  Happy Birthday handsome.

Rufus nabs Camilla's dinner .....

Its all about England – Grasmere to Patterdale (Glenridding)

Guest writer here, Rufus has passed out for a while!  Grasmere to Patterdale is a stroll in the park for some, well for us as it happens, a nice 7 mile walk with a bit of a steep march up and over to Grisedale Tarn.  Weather was a bit grimbo, very Singapore and a bit Claggy (cloudy). 

We met a lot of fellow travellers on the way which is always a bonus of the C2C trek.  We were accused of being “people that bounded down the hills”, hence everyone makes way for us…, Annie’s knees are in a little pain hero Bodge is fine, as is seasoned walker Camilla.

The Grisedale Valley is pretty awesome, fantastic green due to the typical lakeland bracken on all the hills.  As soon as we hit the valley our grey and humid day changed as the sun came out, it lit the whole scene up as you can see in the pictures.  Our walk takes us between two pretty impressive mountains, St Sunday Crag with a stunning view over our left shoulders of  and the toweriing Striding Edge, following the prettier and less used path on the west side of Grisedale Beck. 

Here are some pics as we are just about to go to bed to prepare for a massive walk tomorrow.  Will put more photos up…thanks for the comments keep em coming.

Its all about picnics and rocks – Rosthwaite to Grasmere

The Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite was a cracker, slate bedroom floor perfect for a cooling my tummy.  Breakfast sausage provided by Camilla, proper Cumberland, fantastic and the walk recommences at the back door after false start, Sherpa Mill again!  Superb. 

Another v v hot day ahead but it is a shorty, around 8 miles.  Annie has hitched a lift to Keswick to get newspapers and lunch, four pints of lager and some pies for the walking hero Bodge and some other good bits and bobs for the rest of us.

First track we come to takes us along a stony path, not good for my already hot feet, get me some big boots guys….don’t worry though I am coping and there are some sheep on this one, what they are doing here I have no idea….look a little sheepish though.  Bah Hah.

Scaring sheep, a bit naughty

Straight up past all chatty trekkers, the team have their walking legs on now, we reach the top of Lining Crag where we met all manner of walkers, loads doing the C2C for charity, what is the C2C by the way?  I tried to nab their lunch but got nowhere and they all took photos of me, I am handsome you know.  We strode on up to Greenup Edge, not very far but very confusing for our guide Camilla and we wandered aimlessly for a good few mins, good for me as it was full of peat bogs which I dove into…grubby or what.  Ace.

Another day in the outside lane everyone seemed to be on a stroller….not us.  We raced down Birks admiring the utterly stunning views, well that is what Annie said frankly I have no idea what a view is all I know is there was nothing to chase, I did find a stick and a few more peat bogs though.  Into the valley and up the other side we took a lefter and made our way to the top of Calf Crag, shortly followed by Gibson Knot and eventually we arrived at Helm Crag, which sits above Grasm ere, aka the Lion and the Lamb   (I saw no Lions but plenty of Lambs).

Funniest moment ever, Camilla told Bodge and Annie they had to climb the rocks in the pic below or they would not bag their  Wainwright…..rubbish a much smaller outcrop further up the hill was the real one.  It was too tough for me but Camilla made it half way, well done Mills.  Annie and Bodge almost got stuck up the top, Dupter please (helicopter to all non Hursts).

Annie has been given my special award of the holiday for the picnic, Harrods aka Booths of Keswick, many cheeses, ham, baguettes and some posh chutney …… mmmm, great combination with cheddar.  Bodge gets a prize too as he shared his porky pie, Toppings, with me what a topper, I also nabbed a few other tasty bits when they weren’t looking.  Ha ha.

Onward swiftly down to Grasmere to meet some friends in the largest beer garden in Europe and a hotel with some potential for a grand sausage for my breakfast.  A sunny evening spent in an England football tent watching Messi followed by some food other than sausages, grand.  A full tummy and tired legs, the pub was brilliant slate floor again so I passed out, eyes open for snacks. 

Pic of me and Camilla at the top of Lining Crag..

Another hot day in the hills, where is the picnic

A quick shot of Bodge, aka four pack or climbing man…good grief!

Good grief this is harder than i thought

Annie got conned

Its all about hills – Ennerdale to Rossthwaite

Pleased to be leaving Low Cock How as they had two fat Rotties who took against me from the minute I arrived, think it was because I am slimmer and better looking.  Anyway another clear and sunny day so the I will be taking advantage of the Haystacks Tarns, I hope.     

We set off early as apparently we are doing four Wainwrights, Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag and Haystacks, whatever a Wainwright is. (Note I had a quarter of one lousy sausage to last me the day and it wasn’t even a Cumberland).    

Half way to Ennerdale Bridge Camilla realises she has left her camera in the flower pot and Bodge realises he has the keys to the room!!!  Brilliant – so we have to trot back, why she couldn’t have left me with Bodge and Annie I do not know?  I am so hungry I can’t tell you and rumour has it the picnic is not worth stealing….I am going to have to keep my wits about me today…so fellow travellers beware.   

Bodge and Annie bobbing on


Amateur walker here…Lo Cock to Ennerdale Bridge, one and a quarter miles of easy trailsand then a two hour schlep to the head of Ennerdale Water.   

A sharp left at the end of the lake across the very beautiful river Liza.  Rufus here, I told you I was handsome see the shot below, ps starving and we have only done two hours.   

It is a very hot day for wooly mammouths


We begin our ascent up to Red Pike a seemingly easy stroll up a meadow, two hours later we hit the summit. Annie did not eat her breakfast and so shamed herself by sitting ten minutes before the summit for an OJ and piece of fruit cake!   Rufus here – EATING enough is important when you are in the lakes….Annie’s brother would call her a wimp and frankly so do I …pathetic.   

Red Pike was a bit of a challenge so we stopped for a boots-off picnic at the top.  Probably the biggest challenge of my walking career to date and clearly Annie’s.   

"What did I do with my stick....?"


From Red Pike we yomped across to High Stiles and High Crag at a serious pace, as ever we overtook all fellow walkers but paid the price.  Camilla assured us that we had nothing more to fear and then charged us down the biggest scree walk imaginable.  Camilla posing at the top of High Stiles below.   

On Camilla's kneee as she is a bit scared of heights...


The end of the scree staircase, we all ran down which was insane, we met the path up to Haystacks, not the worst but plenty steep enough and another hours walk.  Rufus here…..ah ha Haystacks Alfred W’s fave and mine too.  Why?  Because it is usually a top spot for picnics and for tarns….and sure enough a Tarn was with us as soon as we hit the summit.  I have to show you a few shots of me swimming here as I look so good, no grub to be found yet.    

Chillaxing in the calm of the Haystacks tarn


From Haystacks, where Annie and Camilla had a water fight, we trudged on, yes my paws are hurting and my tummy is empty, up another long path to the summit of a great big slate mine, Honister, and then straight down for another three and a half long miles, no food to be seen for miles.  Getting a bit fed up now, it is very pretty and all that but barely a bunny to chase and certainly no buns to be eaten.  Hrrrmph   


Not too much more to say….the team looked so shatterd on the march down to Rossthwaite that someone stopped and offered them a lift, they said no, I could not believe it my paws are so sore, they have big fat boots I have nothing and still no food…walking it is not a dog’s life.

Its all about pies – St Bees to Ennerdale

The first summit of the expedition was topped around 1pm today, Dent Fell, and, at last, the Tomlin House picnic is unveiled and a measly couple of mouthfuls of ham and cheese-and-pickle sandwich are grudgingly shared with me, they got four each…so it’s another second class day is it?  I will get them back and it won’t be nice.  

Ah ha cow poop….hee hee   

Only thing for it is to introduce myself to our fellow summiteers to see if they have some snacks. Futile, so back to basecamp and the fruit cake is out, not that the extra rumpage of all that food was the best idea, five minutes later we all plummeted down a black run, mostly upright, into the heaven on earth that is Nannycatch Beck.  High up on the list of most idyllic valleys with the benefit of a babbling brook to splosh along with plenty of opportunities to lay down to cool off and pose for the inevitable photo shoot, I am after all very handsome.   

Posing for snaps, I am very handsome


Low Cock How Farm looms and it seems my earlier blissful roll in some cow poop has not been wildly received and I am hauled into the shower for a dousing.  Groomed and presentable for dinner (sausages please) I caught forty winks while the team abluted.  

I have asked Camilla to write something tonight as I am a little tired, and VERY HUNGRY.  

Camilla here, the first stage of the Coast-to-Coast route from West to East begins in St Bees, if you stick to the original devised by Alfred Wainwright.  The first stage takes you up the West Coast towards Solway Firth, as we had clear blue skies we got an early view of the soon to be conquered fells.  Black Guillemots nest along the rocks here, however, we saw none, but plenty of Grebes, (all birds are Grebe’s to the Hurst family….they are nuts). 

At St Bees about the start the walk


The first pub we came across was the Dog and Partridge, about five miles from the start.  It was closed, as it was half ten on Sunday morning!!  Bodge was disappointed.  The next town we came to was Moor Row, where we expected to support the local community by buying a coke in the local Post Office, it has closed down.   

From Moor Row we found Wainwright’s Passage right next to the Cleator Cricket Club, a match in full progress, Bodge wanted to nip into the club house for a pint but was to be disappointed, again…  Bodge being a determined character came across a village shop which had NO PIEs but did have pints, and for £3.59 Bodge helped himself to a four pack.  I smiled wryly knowing that we were about to start the ascent up Dent Fell, which was a bit of a thigh burner.   

Moor Row - pies all gone


Reaching the top, I realised we all had a thirst on and so all drank Bodge’s beer with our picnic.  

Note the summit is not the first Cairn you come to with the huge pile of stones but rather a more modest affair a little later, see picture of Bodge with beer at the first Cairn and Rufus at the second.  

Beers from Moor Row




After a one hour lunch break and four hours walking we made our descent, incredibly steep, into Nannycatch Beck, as described by Rufus – see picture in Rufus’ words above.  It is actually one of my favorite parts of the whole C2C walk  

Low Cock How Farm, around twenty minutes walk from Ennerdale Bridge, is at the bottom of this stretch.  On arrival we were met by our host and provided with a cup of tea and chocolate biscuits.  We walked down for supper in Ennerdale, the Shephards Arms Hotel/Pub…which we had tried to book but which was full.

Rufus makes his way to St Bees

Well after much deliberation; maps, hotels DOG BISCUITS, backpacks, wet bags, dry bags….old wind bags…the team are off. C2C T-shirts for all, well except for me. Totally unfair my paws appear on the shirts but I don’t get one, I know all about Human Rights what about Beardie rights. Apawlling.

Off for a quick leg stretcher at 07.40 Bodge and Beam watch out here we come. Pip takes Annie and the bags by car and then off to SOaks station for all of us. Good grief I have to sit on a dirty lino floor what a disgrace. London Charing X cannot come soon enough.
Into a taxi, hee hee, the driver didn’t notice me until we got to Euston, wonder if that meant we paid less? Still sniggering when we arrive at what they call the Piazza and I will now call the Pizza, snacks all over the ground another snacktastic day beckons. Bodge and Camilla have opted for the fat boy breakfast – hot sausage buns, OMG Bodge has had a catastrophe hot sausage fat all over his crisp chinos, hee hee hee what a mess and usually its me!

Coffees, Jelly Babies, Cumberland Sausages and now Annie is off to M and S for even more grub, this lot won’t fit into their clothes by the time they land in Carlisle….
Virgin Train to Glasgow, platform 15, carriage D, seats 1a, 2a and 3a….wait a minute what about me. First no T-shirt and now no blinking seat. They can forget good behaviour this trip I have had enough of this second class nonsense, hang on an upgrade for £15 come on Camilla sort it out.

Anyway here is a picture of me, yes sitting on the floor, look to the seat tho’ that is a bag of Jelly Babies and they don’t think I can get them, want a bet?

Sophie and Georgia, two charming girls from Whitehaven came down for a chat on their way from Carlisle back home, I think.  Which was rather a bonus as beneath their seats I spied a Galaxy wrapper, not supposed to have chocolate so checked Camilla was not looking and snaffled the crumbs straight away. 

The team land at St Bees and Camilla announces we have a mile to walk to Tomlin House, lovely I think Bodge on the other hand, not a wheel anywhere near his suitcase thinks otherwise.  What on earth has Bodge packed…..turns out he has bought a large size bath towel, a smoking jacket (velvet) and a range of other entirely useless things…I may just be a dog but even I could have worked out how to pack a bag for a walk.  Turns out Annie has forgotten her water thingy, her shorts and a whole range of other things.  Camilla is spot on – well she is brilliant after all.

Anyway enough of me, couple of mug shots on the beach and then its off to the pub for dinner.

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