The coast to coast walk
view as you leave shap
This is the view upon leaving shap to head to kirkby stephen ,looking back in the distance is kidsty pike and high street which you will have passed yesterday
there is no longer a cash machine in the village as from the 1 april 2010 be advised some businesses in the village do not take cards therefore it would be advisable to have some cash when visiting the village
If you are doing the coast to coast walk then shap is a natural place for an overnight stay, if you are walking from st bees - robin hoods bay, then after you leave patterdale shap should be your destination, the route from patterdale is a long and tiring one but hopefully the weather stays fine and you get to appreciate the scenery from the top of high street,once you drop down into haweswater the going is pretty easy to shap (although uphill ). Upon entering shap dont be dismayed if you are stopping at brookfield or the greyhound at the other end of the village the extra walk is worth it and you dont have as far to go in the morning when those limbs are aching!!
There was a cashpoint in the village situated outside the co-op , but due to repeated attempts to rob it, it is not in use any more
The next days walk takes you to kirkby stephen (silent k if you are asking directions)and although long is not too demanding .a steady gradual climb out of shap to orton and then a leisurely stroll to kirkby.
To leave shap on the c2c you turn up the road opposite the kings arms then take your first right which leads you onto a track which crosses a railway bridge .you then follow this track which turns into a footpath after a few hundred yards, in the distance you should see a footbridge over the motorway which is where you are heading,after climbing one stile you then cross two fields and two more stiles then cross the footbridge over the motorway.
.You then take the path to your right which runs alongside the motorway for a while before winding through some hawthorn trees (you know if you are going the right way if you have to duck under the branches!!) the path then heads upwards through a field strewn with pink granite boulders (pictured above). You then come to a metal gate which you pass through and head down towards the road in front of you upon crossing this small road there is a wooden signpost for oddendale which you follow(the path is pretty clear anyway ) ,you climb up and round a corner over a stile(the quarry has grown considerably since wainwrights time so his map may be a little outdated) and head through the limestone(pictured below) towards the quarry road in front of you .Upon reaching the quarry road take care that there is no quarry traffic on the road before crossing (you don't want to be messing with those dumpers !!) ,once across the road the route is marked and you are well on your way to orton. For most of the way to orton you are crossing open moorland and follow a bridle path which is a bit rutted in places.
For walkers who are too weary to walk to orton there are several buses throughout the day ,the fare is £1.20 single fare and takes about 15 minutes ,bus timetables can be viewed on the getting to shap page of this website.
If you dont feel up to hauling a rucksack over the hills several firms offer a service transporting your bags for you ,collecting it from your previous nights place of stay and delivering it to your next destination ahead of you,leaving you to just carry the neccesities for the day(water,bananas,chocolate,whistle ,torch,compass,etc,) .
When walking the hills please take all precautions, dress sensibly and only call out mountain rescue in a real emergency. the mountain rescue teams are all volunteers who risk their own lives to help people in trouble on the fells,they get no government funding and rely on donations to keep going, false call outs not only waste time and money but put lives at risk .
Useful numbers you might need :
packhorse (luggage transfers) tel : 017683 71777 or www.c2cpackhorse.co.uk sherpa van project(luggage transfers) tel : 0871 5200124 or www.sherpavan.com
helpful advice can be found onwww.coasttocoastguides.co.uk
the wainwright society - www.wainwright.org.uk for all things wainwright - and wainwrights coast to coast walk - http://www.wainwright.org.uk/coasttocoast.html
walking places - www.walkingplaces.co.uk
weather can be very changeable on the fells ,there is a 24 hour local weatherline available on www.lake-district.gov.uk/weatherline or by calling 0870 055 0575
For latest weather for shap - http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/observations/shap?tab=map&map=WeatherCode
or - http://www.shapweather.co.uk/cumulus/
news : 18/08/08 walkers might have noticed a bit of a mess on the top of high street lately (jcb tracks and filled in trenches etc) ,this is due to essential work being carried out.the national parks "fix the fells" have said that the path that ran from mardale bell III to the wall just south of the summit had become considerably eroded,a turfed drain now runs alongside the new path and water will now soak away,the area looks a mess at the moment but after a growing season or two will look undisturbed and more importantly the area will be stabilised.
I do hope this doesn't spoil your enjoyment of the views but this kind of work is essential to maintain the footpaths so future generations can also enjoy this great scenery.
a great account of the c2c walk including pictures can be found atwww.grough.co.uk/content/view/1038/27/
even the locals are friendly