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September 12 , 2010

Cruising Coast To Coast: Waniwright's Walk Then and Now


Alfred Wainwright's famous Coast to Coast Walk across Northern England between St Bees and Robin Hood's Bay is never more popular. Around 5,000 people manage to complete the crossing annually in one way or another. When David Butterworth set off hiking the route thirty years ago, he had little in the way of money and no planned accommodation. Despite lack of funds and moral, he returned to the route five years later and completed the 192 mile journey using camping equipment and pitching a tent unofficially.

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Since then, some walkers' attitudes towards the route have changed due to the prevalence of transport companies that offer to take the bulk of one's belongings and drop them off at the next stage. They can even arrange accommodation. This wasn't the case thirty or forty years ago.

Despite writing about how he feels is a changing or changed climate, David Butterworth tells of an experience that is somewhat unique; that although it wasn't without hardship, is a fascinating journey that is reflective and enjoyable. It's why he wrote the book. It's also packed with detail about an enthralling landscape and heritage sites that have stood the test of time that would interest the armchair reader. He also provides some information about what to expect along the route for those wanting to do the walk.

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