Between the six of us we carried at least one copy of each of the three guidebooks and each of the two different maps. That’s five different resources to point the way. However, small and larger parts of the Coast to Coast route are constantly being changed due to re-aligning right of ways, property interests, the seasonal effects of farming and livestock as well as attempts to avoid over use and erosion. Trail signs are NOT frequently used to indicate new routes or detours. Sometimes having so many resources helped, as one would hold the key to figuring out the best path. On other occasions having so many resources only left us with too many options to make an efficient choice. When in doubt head to the nearest pub. It’s likely that that’s where the trail goes anyway.
A general note on these guidebooks: all three that we used describe the route walking from West to East, the most common approach to the walk. Terry Marsh provides a supplemental East to West description. All three guidebooks are somewhat compact, fitting into large pockets
TRAIL GUIDE BOOKS
- “A Northern Coast to Coast Walk” by Terry Marsh. A very useful book, this comes as a sturdy paperback. Terry Describes provides very legible maps, separates the route description from historical and anecdotal information and presents some alternate routes. The last chapter includes a handbook on planning and an accommodations guide. After the main text, this guidebook presents an additional chapter presenting the key route description from East to West.
- “Coast to Coast Walk” by Paul Hannon. The smallest and lightest of the three, this book provides useful maps and sketches of scenery and objects encountered along the trail as well as a thorough description of the route.
- “A Coast to Coast Walk” A. Wainwright (Revised 4th Edition) This is the definitive treatise by the person who pioneered the route. The text appears in a style resembling handwriting and it only comes in hardbound editions. A great source of inspiration.
- There is a 2 part series of strip maps that focus on the Coast to Coast Walk put out by the “OS” (Ordinance Survey) which is sort of the British equivalent of the USGS (US Geological Survey). They are annotated with information from A Wainwright. These maps are out of print but not impossible to find.
- Footprints (A British guide book company) also publishes a 2 part series of strip maps, based on the OS surveys, but somewhat easier to read. They also contain route descriptions. They are in print, but not that easy to find.
- “Coast to Coast Bed and Breakfast Guide” by Mrs. Doreen Whitehead
- “Walking in Britain” published by Lonely Planet
- “England – The Rough Guide” published by Rough Guides
- “Britain” in the Lonely Planet series
- “British Phrase Book” yep, another Lonely Planet entry
|The UK Ramblers Association||www.ramblers.org.uk||A good general reference to
walking in the UK
|Spotlight Guides||www.coast2coast.co.uk||Good general Coast to Coast info,
plus an accommodations booking service
|BritRail||www.britrail.com||Coordinated Inforamtion and Sales
for Britain’s rail service
|Network Rail||www.railtrack.co.uk||Train Schedules|
|Net Cafe Guide||www.netcafeguide.com||Worldwide Internet Cafe Listings|
|UK Accomodations Guide||www.1st-4-rooms.co.uk/||Accomodations information and
booking service for all of UK
|* Sherpa Walking Holidays||www.sherpa-walking-holidays.co.uk||Baggage handling and trip
|* Brigantes Walking Holidays||www.pikedaw.freeserve.co.uk/walks/||Baggage handling and trip
* On our walk we used “Sherpa” to transfer baggage. They performed flawlessly. Most walkers we encountered who used a baggage transfer service also used Sherpa and we heard nothing but good comments. Brigantes comes recommended from a friend of a friend, although we did not encounter them or have any direct experience with them. A third service is “Packhorse”. I have not listed their contact here, because we met one couple who were using them and midway through their walk had to change companies. They were told that Packhorse was discontinuing their service. This was in September 2002. It was unclear whether it was due to a slow business period or other difficulties. Trail rumors (which should always be taken with that proverbial grain of salt) were that Packhorse was being sold. If anyone has personal experiences good or bad, let me know so that I can update this section and pass them on to others.