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The Coast to Coast Walk: St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay (Cicerone) Paperback – 15 Jan 2017
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The Photos are excellent, and the OS map inserts are highly practical. He (the author) includes a tremendous amount of interesting facts along the way. The walking directions are additionally given from east to west. The Aitchison-Jones Walker's handbook 2007 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Dr Terry Marsh is a Lancashire-based award-winning writer and photographer who specialises in the outdoors, the countryside, walking and travel worldwide. He has been writing books since the mid-1980s, and is the author of over 100 titles.
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The guide, bad first...does not include accomodation lists or camp sites or pubs(which the Amazon write up says it does) It refers constantly to interesting things to see but does not indicate where they are on the map. Why it does not include information on where to get water baffles me. We were despirate on one occasion. Do they drive the route by car or is Terry a camel?. Why not tell about the shower you can have for 50p next to the Tourist info centre in Richmond? or for that matter where toilets are on route?
The Good ... directions are very clear and accurate. The write up on things to see are well written and just the right length. The book is pocket sized and well bound.
The directions were not always accurate. We only used the book when we needed more help than the map, but on more than one occasion the book said left when it actually meant right. This caused much confusion and wasted time and energy, on long days we could not afford this. Directions were also very vague in places, eg a 'corner of woodland' was mentioned but no idea given of how far away it was. With plenty of trees about this was not very helpful.
The supplementary historical etc information was useful, but there are better books. Most people we met on the route were using Stedman and were very happy with it being very accurate and up to date. This was not available when we bought our guide and I am not sure if it gives directions east to west as well.
Over the years, this walk has been completed by thousands, if not millions of walkers and in a recent international poll of long distance walks was voted the second best walk in the world, only being pipped by a walk on the South Island of New Zealand.
Throughout the last forty-five years, minor changes to Wainwright’s original route have been made either on grounds of environmental sustainability for example over Nine Standards Rigg, or those made available as a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
Terry Marsh, the author of this new guide, has many walking books to his name, mainly in Cumbria, The Lake District and The Yorkshire Dales. He wrote his first guide to this walk in 1993, a year before Chris Jesty revised Wainwright’s original guide for Frances Lincoln, the publishers of the Wainwright series. Now, twenty-four years later, Terry has brought this up to date with a number of changes. The most striking of these is the avoidance of much of the road walking in the Vale of Mowbray and a small detour off-route to Osmotherley to give a comfortable 13-day itinerary for the walker with an average of 14 miles per day. Accompanying the book itself which contains a step by step guide each day, is a 98-page route map booklet on a scale of 1:25,000, the scale to be found these days for all Explorer maps.
The route guide is clear and concise and traverses the walk from West to East which is the most common way of completing the Coast to Coast Walk. Some people I know prefer to walk in the opposite direction in order to finish with the Lake District section last. However, most travel West to East in order to have the prevailing winds behind them. For those travelling in “the opposite direction” Terry has included a couple of pages at the end of each stage with the East to West route annotated.
As well as the 187 pages of route descriptions (1 page for each mile) the guidebook also contains sections on Planning your walk, Planning day by day, All about the region (Geography and geology, Wildlife and plants, History and pre-history), Useful contacts, Accommodation along the route and Further reading (Books about the areas through which the route passes).
The book and route map booklet are well protected in a waterproof cover as well as the books themselves having a waterproof cover, a necessity considering the fickle North of England weather encountered on this walk.
This is the most up to date guide of the Coast to Coast walk, and well worth investing in by anyone planning to walk the route over the next year or two.
Several walking itineraries are provided, lots of useful contact details, suggestions about what equipment to bring, places to visit just off the route and, best of all, an accompanying 1:25,000 scale route map booklet. No-one should go wrong or get lost on the Coast to Coast with such a useful guide even while crossing the treacherous Nine Standards Rigg.
Occasionally we get a flash of the author's personality shining through as he jokes about some aspect of the walk. A pity that these moments are so few. Nonetheless this is surely the definitive practical guide to the Coast to Coast walk. Thank you to the author.
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