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Coast-to-Coast walk set for waymarks

Posted 25 September 2012
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Coast-to-Coast walk set for waymarks
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Alfred Wainwright was most famous for his seven pictorial guides to the Lake District Fells. But his Coast-to-Coast walk is not far behind.

Stretching 192 miles from St Bees Head in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire, the trek passes through three national parks - the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors.

The route inspires an army of people to put on their walking boots and rucksacks and enjoy this trek across some of Engalnd's finest scenic areas. But one of the curiosities of the walk is that it is not an official path and did not follow public rights of way.

Indeed, this latter fact led to some revisions of the route in 1994 to make sure members of the public did not trespass anywhere. But even after this change, the way has still never been recognised as an official national trail and it does not appear on Ordnance Survey maps.

In response to this the Wainwright Society - established after the author's death in 1991 to preserve his legacy - has been seeking better signposting for the route. Up until now, only a few waymarks have been put in place here and there.

But now, after discussions with the numerous local authorities through which the way passes, agreements have been reached for waymarks to be added at various points.

Wainwright Society publicity officer Derek Cockell said: "Part of the society's rationale behind the desire to have the Coast-to-Coast waymarked is to accord public recognition of the route on the ground.

He added: "It is not intended that the waymarks should mark every step of the way as the essence of the walk is that people should guide themselves across the route using the guidebook and, more importantly, a map and compass."

Although using a map will not be made easier by the absence of official status, the route should be manageable as it tends not to cross much of the higher ground in northern England.

It climbs above the 2,000 ft mark in only two places, with the loftiest point - the 2,172 ft high summit of Nine Standards Rigg - marking the watershed between the North Sea and Irish Sea.

Wainwright dedicated his route to the "second person" to complete the walk. With new waymarks in place, many more may now do so with greater ease.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801455972-ADNFCR