In 2011, I took part in a charity calendar to raise money for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
Nothing too strenuous...I just had to get my kit off and sit by the lake in Bosworth Park. And they let me keep my jeans on!
Yes, this is me being Mr June!
We raised a few thousand pounds for this extremely worthwhile cause, and it was all good fun. So I was intrigued to learn that Market Bosworth Young Farmers have chosen the Air Ambulance as their charity this year, with a series of fund-raising events.
One of their main activities was a Coast To Coast Walk between July 12th and 24th...192 miles over 12 days, from St Bees in Cumbria, to Robin Hood's Bay.
Two of the walkers, Gemma Hiatt and Rachel Tattersall, take up the story:
Although we should have walked 192 miles to complete the walk, in the end we completed many more with taking the wrong paths and our accommodation was also off route.
Day 1 – St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge (13 miles)
The walk started at the seaside town of St Bees. The footpath at the start of the walk followed the coast so we had beautiful views of the sea for quite some time. We walked past a lighthouse where we stopped for a mid-morning snack to brace ourselves for the climb of Dent. The walk then became slightly easier after the decent of Dent and the footpath followed the boundary of Raven Crag until we reached our end point of Low Cockhow Farm.
Day 2 – Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite (16 miles)
Feeling slightly achy we set out for day two. After our decent along the road into Ennerdale Bridge, we had a quick pick me up coffee from The Gather café. Here they had sandwiches, first aid equipment and some delicious looking cakes.
We then continued the beautiful walk around the reservoir, Ennerdale Water.
After the reservoir we walked through Ennerdale Forest and stopped at Black Sail Hut for a break where we met an ex Mountain Rescue gentleman who walked up the next stage with us, advising us on survival tips along the way. After descending the hills we followed the road into Seatroller then onto Chapel House Farm in Rosthwaite. We then went for our evening meal consisting of steak pie and vegetables at the Royal Oak which was a short walk from the campsite.
Day 3 – Rosthwaite to Patterdale (14 Miles)
This was one of the hottest days and extremely hilly, luckily there were plenty of waterfalls on our route for us to cool ourselves down. We left Chapel House Farm and started our ascent over the Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag. After a stop at Mill Bridge we followed the footpath to Great Tongue and passed Grisedale Tarn.
We then walked through Grisedale Forest until we reached Side Farm Campsite which was next to Ullswater reservoir, the views were fantastic. We then pitched up our tents and walked to the White Lion for dinner that evening, which was about 1 mile away.
Day 4 – Patterdale to Haweswater reservoir (13 miles)
This part of the walk was very hilly and having climbed the first couple of mountains the cloud came down and we became very disorientated as to where we were as we could not see anything in the distance and the path was very unclear.
The rain and wind were blowing straight into our faces and at points we found it very difficult to stand up straight in the wind as it was so strong. Team members became very worried so we walked on a north east bearing until we got down off the mountains, fortunately we ended up on the correct path after checking with some passers-by. After climbing the Knott we began our decent to Haweswater reservoir. The decent was difficult but the views were very picturesque once we reached the reservoir.
Day 5 – Haweswater Reservoir to Kirkby Stephen (30 miles)
Not only was this also an extremely hot day but we also managed to walk 47km which was our longest distance in one day. We stopped at the Co-Op in Shap to replenish the essentials for the remaining days. We stopped here as we finally had a signal and BBC Radio Leicester were in contact to see how we were getting on with our walk!
After this the terrain seemed to remain at a constant level but the heat and distance made it hard to keep going. It was also difficult to navigate across the fields around Bents Farm as the sign posts were very limited. We finally reached Takoda campsite where we had a very well deserved fish chips from the Coast to Coast fish and chip shop, before a night of much needed rest. There were a lot of nice shops here and places to eat if you finish your walk early enough, and also a good walking shop if you need to restock on any equipment.
Day 6 – Kikby Stephen to Ravenseat (9 miles)
We left Takoda campsite and had to begin our decent past the Quarry up to Nine Standards. We got a little lost when trying to find Lady Dyke Head, so walked to the road and followed this to Ravenseat. We recommend that anyone wanting to walk to Lady Dyke Head takes a bearing on their compass as the footpath is a little unclear.
It was really exciting to reach our destination this night as we got to meet the lovely Amanda Owen the Yorkshire Shepherdess where she was able to sign her book for us. We also had an amazing homemade cream tea which was much needed after the weekend.
Day 7 – Ravenseat to Reeth (13 miles)
We woke up in Ravenseat with the nicest of neighbours consisting of sheep, pigs, chickens and horses.
Amanda’s 8 children were all getting ready to board the school bus. We left Ravenseat and followed the footpath into Keld. We stopped for a morning snack of locally produced ice cream and stocked up on cold water at Rukin’s Park Lodge as we heard it was going to be an extremely hot day.
We finished this day at Orchard Caravan site where Pete very kindly gave us a caravan where we could have a night of luxury in comparison to our tent. We walked back into the village where we went to the Buck Hotel for our evening meal.
Day 8 – Reeth to Richmond (12 miles)
In the morning after our newfound energy we stopped at the local corner shop where we got our lunch for the day ahead. We walked along the river to Marrick Priory where we began our ascent until we reached Marske. In Marske there was a church where we had the chance to have a cold water and a chocolate bar.
Once we reached Richmond we took advantage of the afternoon tea provided by the Black Lion Hotel. We then continued our walk with our full tummies to Brompton Caravan site where we pitched up our tent and ordered a pizza for dinner. By now we were very short on clean clothes so had chance to wash our clothes in the laundry room for £2.50, and they dried out nicely on the top of our tent.
Day 9 – Richmond to Ingleby Cross (19 miles)
We woke up bracing ourselves for our next big day. We had to walk along the A6136. The terrain for this day was fairly flat through farm land, we saw lots of different cereals including wheat and barley being grown in the fields. We stopped at Kiplin Hall for afternoon tea, quite possibly the best scones we have ever tasted. We had to cross the A19 for the final part of our walk, which was very busy and difficult to cross, we just had to hope for the best! We then stayed at the Blue Bell Inn and also had our evening meal there. This was the best evening meal we had had so far and was also the cheapest. It was also a lovely little campsite. We met some friends who were also completing the Coast to Coast and they recommended having the breakfast there.
Day 10 – Ingleby Cross to Great Broughton (11 miles)
Day 10 came about and we were very excited for our first cooked breakfast. As expected the breakfast lived up to the evening meals expectations and prepared us for the day ahead. These friends also advised us of an alternative route of the lower path which we followed.
Although this was not as hilly it was difficult as there was a vast amount of felled trees, so we had to adapt some monkey features to get through the forest. We continued along the Cleveland way to Clay Bank Top and then stopped for a drink in the Lords Stones café.
After refreshing ourselves we continued to Great Broughton and stayed at the Jett Miners Inn Caravan and Camping site, where we also had our evening meal.
Day 11 – Great Broughton to Glaisdale (20 miles)
We woke up feeling nervous about our big day ahead. We realised we needed more fuel for our legs, so called into the local post office near to the Jet Miners, which certainly didn’t disappoint. We had freshly baked homemade pork pies in an assortment of flavours.
We walked back to continue on the Cleveland way and reflected on how far we had come so far. We followed the Cleveland way onto Dale Head and stopped for lunch at the Lion Inn at Blakey. Here we had to re patch some newly arisen blisters before continuing onto Glaisdale where we stayed at Bank House Farm where we stayed in a bunk barn.
They kindly gave us a lift to the pub in true farmer style where we stayed for our evening meal at Arncliff Arms.
Day 12 – Glaisdale to Robin Hoods Bay (19 miles)
We all had achy feet but good spirit. We knew we were reaching the end point. We walked to Egton Bridge and carried onto Grosmont where we had lunch in the Geall Fallery and Artisan café next to the railway line.
Here we experienced the working steam railway in action.
We stayed at Hook House Farm and had Chinese from Whitby. We celebrated our walk in true camping style, drinking Prosecco out of our camping mugs and eating our Chinese while in our sleeping bags!
For the second week we had a Sherpa carry one 20kg bag with all our heavy kit in to allow us to not carry so much on our backs each day. This cost £7.50 per day and the service delivered by the pack horse company was hugely appreciated.
Although the walk presented us with many challenges, including the weather, the scenery and the team spirit was second to none and we all said (with aching legs) that we very much enjoyed the experience and extremely proud of raising over £800 for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance Service.
Seven members took part in the walk altogether; Laurence Fox, Gemma Hiatt, Kim Wheeler, Rebecca Smith, Rachel Tattersall, Suzannah Mullin and Thomas Herrick. Special thanks for helping us has got to go to Peaches Furborough who has done a fantastic job at drumming up publicity, Alison Fletcher who kindly sherped our group kit for the first week and also to Tracy and Kevin Hiatt who brought us a fantastic picnic whilst staying at Ravenseat.
We are so proud to have exceeded our target of £500 and also extremely appreciative of the messages of support that we received during the walk it really did keep us going.
If you would like to donate you can do so by texting MBYF99 £(amount you would like to donate) to 70070 or you can visit our JustGiving Page; www.justgiving.com/MBYF