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Camino Primitivo or C2C

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Gailerart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2020)
Hi.
Tossing up whether to hike the Primitivo or the Coast to Coast in UK in May 2020.
After a challenge and don't really want to walk bitumen roads. We're also planning to
camp if we decide to hike the C2C. Would love any advice from hikers who have done both.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and just did the C2C last month. The Primitivo is my favorite of the Spanish caminos, but it can’t top the C2C in sheer beauty. There are no days on the C2C that are less than gorgeous. Also, 80-90% of the C2C is on dirt paths and real trails, compared to a much lower percentage on the Primitivo. The walking on the C2C, especially the first half of it through the Lake country, is also more strenuous than on the Primitivo, since the trails are rockier with a lot of very steep ascents and descents. While the Primitivo has lots of steep ups and downs, they are easier to manage, since a steep climb on pavement or a smooth dirt road is a lot easier to negotiate than a steep trail where you’re stepping over rocks, as on the C2C. I’d also say that the C2C has more scenic variation.

Other differences to consider: The Primitivo is extremely well-marked, and there are few places where you even need to consult a guidebook or map. The C2C, by contrast, is not. On many days, we didn’t see a trail marker for hours, and you will need OS maps or a good guidebook, and probably should have a gps track also. The weather on the C2C is also more likely to be atrocious. Parts of the Lake country get 180 inches / 450 centimeters of rain per year, and the rain does not let up in summer. On 3 occasions we faced literal white-out conditions at summits, with no trail markers to guide us. (Hopefully, your weather will be better).

England will also be at least twice expensive as Spain. This will be less a factor for you if you camp out, which is eminently doable, but if you stay in hostels or hotels, expect to pay at least double what you’d pay in Spain. No 10 euro pilgrim meals either.

And though the C2C is not a pilgrim trail, we found muuch the same “vibe” we found on the Primitivo. There will be a small band of people walking the stages every day, and within 3-4 days you will be best friends with all of them. And like on the Primitivo, everyone is walking in the same direction — in this case, from west to east so the wind is at your back.

There are no bad choices here. Both are magnificent.

Happy to answer any questions you have if you want to pm me.
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
Quote - 'England will also be at least twice expensive as Spain’ even more than that I expect given that hotels will likely cost £60 or more per person and meals will also be significantly more expensive, especially if you want to have some wine! Even if you camp it will cost you more! Moreover, the people are friendlier on the camino...
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I walked the c2c in 1990 and the primitivo in 2015. The c2c certainly is harder, walking distances per day were longer ( between sleeping places) Your backpack will be heavier, more clothes, or camping gear. I loved both routes, but the scenery of the c2c is indeed more beautifull and divers from moors to mountains to riverdales. If you should decide on the c2c be sure you get the wonderfull book of Wainwright where the route description has his beautifull drawings
 

Gailerart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2020)
I walked the c2c in 1990 and the primitivo in 2015. The c2c certainly is harder, walking distances per day were longer ( between sleeping places) Your backpack will be heavier, more clothes, or camping gear. I loved both routes, but the scenery of the c2c is indeed more beautifull and divers from moors to mountains to riverdales. If you should decide on the c2c be sure you get the wonderfull book of Wainwright where the route description has his beautifull drawings
Hi Antonius
Thanks for the reply. If it ends up being the C2C we will probably send 1 pack forward to our next destination unless wild camping for the night. We have ultralight gear and intend to carry as little food as possible, depending on distances to next village. Camping, especially wild camping doesn't seem to be an option in Spain unless I am mistaken.
Cheers Gailerart
 

Gailerart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2020)
Quote - 'England will also be at least twice expensive as Spain’ even more than that I expect given that hotels will likely cost £60 or more per person and meals will also be significantly more expensive, especially if you want to have some wine! Even if you camp it will cost you more! Moreover, the people are friendlier on the camino...
Hi Mike
Thanks for your reply. If we hike the C2C we intend to camp most nights and camping fees seem to be reasonable. We will probably send one pack ahead unless wild camping. Coming from Australia the exchange rate is going to kill us so camping is our solution and we have ultralight gear. We will eat at pubs on some nights. I'm not ruling out the Primitivo just yet though.
Cheers
Gailerart
 

Gailerart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2020)
I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and just did the C2C last month. The Primitivo is my favorite of the Spanish caminos, but it can’t top the C2C in sheer beauty. There are no days on the C2C that are less than gorgeous. Also, 80-90% of the C2C is on dirt paths and real trails, compared to a much lower percentage on the Primitivo. The walking on the C2C, especially the first half of it through the Lake country, is also more strenuous than on the Primitivo, since the trails are rockier with a lot of very steep ascents and descents. While the Primitivo has lots of steep ups and downs, they are easier to manage, since a steep climb on pavement or a smooth dirt road is a lot easier to negotiate than a steep trail where you’re stepping over rocks, as on the C2C. I’d also say that the C2C has more scenic variation.

Other differences to consider: The Primitivo is extremely well-marked, and there are few places where you even need to consult a guidebook or map. The C2C, by contrast, is not. On many days, we didn’t see a trail marker for hours, and you will need OS maps or a good guidebook, and probably should have a gps track also. The weather on the C2C is also more likely to be atrocious. Parts of the Lake country get 180 inches / 450 centimeters of rain per year, and the rain does not let up in summer. On 3 occasions we faced literal white-out conditions at summits, with no trail markers to guide us. (Hopefully, your weather will be better).

England will also be at least twice expensive as Spain. This will be less a factor for you if you camp out, which is eminently doable, but if you stay in hostels or hotels, expect to pay at least double what you’d pay in Spain. No 10 euro pilgrim meals either.

And though the C2C is not a pilgrim trail, we found muuch the same “vibe” we found on the Primitivo. There will be a small band of people walking the stages every day, and within 3-4 days you will be best friends with all of them. And like on the Primitivo, everyone is walking in the same direction — in this case, from west to east so the wind is at your back.

There are no bad choices here. Both are magnificent.

Happy to answer any questions you have if you want to pm me.
Hi Andy
Thanks for the advice. If we hike the C2C we intend to camp most nights and camping fees seem to be reasonable. We will probably send one pack ahead unless wild camping. Coming from Australia the exchange rate is going to kill us so camping is our solution and we have ultralight gear. The C2C sounds like a real adventure, but we haven't ruled out the Primitivo just yet.
Cheers Gailerart
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Another thing about the C2C - accommodation gets booked up months in advance along the route.
 

auburnfive

Active Member
I have walked the C2C, and not the Invierno but both Portugués routes from Porto and from Leon to Santiago. I’d echo the challenges of waymarking, you’d really have to use a GPS. Certainly a lot less social and after a week of solid rain and high winds my prefernce is to walk in Spain and Portugal.
 

jimmyc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I have walked both the C2C and Primitivo. The C2C is far more difficult with much climbing over boulders etc.
However, my suggestion is you make time each year to do both. they are both beautiful walks and both very different
There is a sherpa service on the C2C to send your heavy packs on if you wish.
 

Gailerart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2020)
Hi All


Thanks for all the great advice. My wife and I are leaning towards the Camino Primitivo, with a diversion onto the Verde, so we miss the crowds. At our age (late 60”s) our only concern is using the Albergue bathrooms at night and waking other Pilgrims. Any older Pilgrims out there with advice? Sure, we could stay in more expensive accommodation (if we can afford it) but we want to experience the camaraderie of fellow pilgrims. If we decide on the Primitivo we will probably start late April so crowded Albergues shouldn't be a problem, but any advice would be appreciated.


Cheers


Ken
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Hi Gailerart, I have freecamped on all my camino's, and the Primitivo (done twice now) is great for freecamping. A lot of church porches too!

As for using the loo in the night, inform the hospitelero's and request a bottom bunk if you can.

It is a wonderful camino, enjoy!

Davey
 

jimmyc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Ken, I walked the Primitivo in September and never had any problems with accommodation. In some Albergues my sons and I were the only people there. You certainly will not have any problems in April.
It is probably a good idea to get early starts in the morning so you will be able to choose your bunks before other pilgrim arrivals.
I am in my late 70s and I cannot recall ever waking others with toilet visits.
 

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and just did the C2C last month. The Primitivo is my favorite of the Spanish caminos, but it can’t top the C2C in sheer beauty.
Hi, Andy. I am considering either the Irish or English Coast to Coast as my 2020 pass-thru hike. Leaning towards the English because it is my understanding the Irish skips a lot of towns and if you don't want to camp you have to hitch a ride into town or arrange it with the inn you are staying at that night. If you're familiar with the Irish Coast to Coast, what are your thoughts.

As for the English Coast to Coast, I won't be camping and someone (English person) told me a couple of years ago that it is so popular that accommodations have to be booked a year in advance if you're doing it in the summer. Assume there is some hyperbole in there but was that your experience? Also, were you able to book a room for one night or did most require multiple night stays?

Was there a particular reason you picked June? Would the weather have been better in July?

Did you have to carry your lunch or were there places to stop and eat during the day? I guess you may have preferred to do the former and what I'm really asking is can you do the latter? I prefer not to carry food. What about water? Potable water on the way or plenty of water but needs to be treated? Or carry water for the whole day?

Your description of the Lakes section sounds similar to the San Salvador.

Thanks.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
Hi, Andy. I am considering either the Irish or English Coast to Coast as my 2020 pass-thru hike. Leaning towards the English because it is my understanding the Irish skips a lot of towns and if you don't want to camp you have to hitch a ride into town or arrange it with the inn you are staying at that night. If you're familiar with the Irish Coast to Coast, what are your thoughts.

As for the English Coast to Coast, I won't be camping and someone (English person) told me a couple of years ago that it is so popular that accommodations have to be booked a year in advance if you're doing it in the summer. Assume there is some hyperbole in there but was that your experience? Also, were you able to book a room for one night or did most require multiple night stays?

Was there a particular reason you picked June? Would the weather have been better in July?

Did you have to carry your lunch or were there places to stop and eat during the day? I guess you may have preferred to do the former and what I'm really asking is can you do the latter? I prefer not to carry food. What about water? Potable water on the way or plenty of water but needs to be treated? Or carry water for the whole day?

Your description of the Lakes section sounds similar to the San Salvador.

Thanks.
Hi O Peracha:

In response to your questions, I've never walked the Irish C2C, so know nothing about it. As to the English C2C, places to stay are indeed limited, and it is necessary to book considerably in advance, especially on the first part through the Lake Country. A year in advance may be pushing it, although I am sure there are people who do book that far out. We booked in early March, and started our walk on May 27. This was pushing it, as there were some stages where we had to stay a few miles off the trail (though generally the inn-keepers will ferry you to and from the trail). We did the bookings through a company called Sherpa Van, who arranged everything for a flat fee of 90 lbs for all 19 reservations we made. (We then paid the B and B's or inns directly, at their regular rate). This took a lot of the hassle out of it. In the past, I had done my own bookings on other English trails, and it was a real pain because if you can't find a place to stay in one place, it throws off everything. The only down side is that if you use Sherpa Van to do your bookings, you also have to use their luggage transport service, at a cost of 8 lbs. per stage. Overall, though, we found it worthwhile, and Sherpa Van is a lot cheaper than other companies (for example, Mac's Adventures or Sherpa Tours) that arrange everything for you, and then jack up the price way over the rack rate in the accommodations they arrange for you. Even if you don't use Sherpa Van, I would suggest checking out their web site, which lists all the accommodations on route, so you could book them yourself, if you choose. https://www.sherpavan.com/trails/coast-to-coast.asp

Also, we never had to book a place for more than one night, although we did elect to take a rest day outside of Kirby Stephen, so stayed there for 2 nights.

There was no particular reason we picked June, other than nice long days and a hope that the trail would be less crowded than in July or August. If you check out the weather for the rest of the summer (I like Weather Spark for general averages), you'll find that it actually rains slightly less in June than in high summer, but we didn't get lucky.

As to lunch and places to get water, sometimes there were places to stop mid-day and sometimes there aren't. It's hard to generalize, other than to say that there are fewer places to stop than on the Primitivo. English breakfasts are enormous, so if there wasn't a place to stop, I found that some nuts and raisins were enough to carry me through. And generally your host for the evening will make you a sandwich for the next day, if you request it. I didn't bring anything to treat water with, but a liter always carried me through, as it's unlikely the weather will get brutally hot.

The best guidebook, carried by virtually everyone, is Coast to Coast Path, by Stedman and McCrohan, published by Trailblazer Publications. It will give you all the details on the trail itself, places to stop, intermediate places for water, lunch, etc., and virtually everything you need to do your planning.

You'll probably want to supplement the book with a GPS track, because the trail is generally unmarked, and if the weather is bad, you may not be able to pick up the landmarks noted in the book. I found a very reliable GPS track at https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/long-distance-path/wainwright-coast-to-coast/download-GPX-KML.html
You can overlay that onto maps.me, which will also show you alternative footpaths if a particular section is boggy, or you're simply looking for an alternative.

I love the Spanish caminos, but as a pure walking adventure, the C2C won't disappoint you,
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo & Aragones
Hi.
Tossing up whether to hike the Primitivo or the Coast to Coast in UK in May 2020.
After a challenge and don't really want to walk bitumen roads. We're also planning to
camp if we decide to hike the C2C. Would love any advice from hikers who have done both.
Hi, I have done both – the C2C in Jun 2015, and the Primitivo in Apr 2018. If you are looking for a hiking challenge, then definitely go for the C2C. I found it much tougher than the Primitivo, and I carried a backpack on the Primitivo and a daypack on the C2C.

We had a good guide book on the C2C (no GPS) and found the trail OK, although there were times when we weren’t too sure. We speeded up one day to keep other hikers ahead of us in sight (across the peat bogs), so if we got lost we wouldn’t be alone 😂 , and in a thick mist we were pleased to meet another couple going up a steep hill, as we weren’t sure we were on track. There was one day we really needed other hikers but there were none – my husband had to take a lift with the luggage transfer next day, which meant I would have to walk alone. There were no other C2C walkers at the hostel that night, that I could hook up with, and we decided that due to the bad weather forecast it would be too dangerous for me to set off on a long day, over the highest mountain on the trail, badly marked, in a thick mist, by myself, so I had to go with the luggage transfer as well (I am an experienced backpacker, but I know my limits, and I was beginning to realise that this was pretty tough territory . . . ). Occasionally we would bump into other hikers that we had met earlier, but generally it was not a “social” camino. It was very expensive – and that was booking about 9 months ahead – for private rooms in youth hostels, and the cheapest rooms in town (usually pubs) where there were no hostels.

The Primitivo is completely different. Up and down, but well-marked, easy walking, no rocks, boulders, peat bogs and endless sheep-shit 😨. And very social. Great albergues (never booked ahead), lots of camino companions. And, of course, a lot less expensive. I liked them both, but in different ways.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo & Aragones
As for the English Coast to Coast, I won't be camping and someone (English person) told me a couple of years ago that it is so popular that accommodations have to be booked a year in advance if you're doing it in the summer. Assume there is some hyperbole in there but was that your experience? Also, were you able to book a room for one night or did most require multiple night stays?
There are lots of blogs to read about the C2C, but I’ve copied below the notes I made, in case anyone else is reading this and wondering what are the cheapest places to stay on the C2C if not camping. Jill

Notes from the Coast 2 Coast

Mon 15 June, Lulus Guest House St Bees
– on St Bees railway station platform. Room overlooked railway (not noisy). Tiny bathroom, but good sized shower. Should have had supper here, but we went to the Queens Pub instead. Worst fish and chips ever (thick soggy batter and mushy fish, as well as peas). Good continental breakfast at GH, including fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Chatted with Liz and Alan from New Zealand.

Tue 16 June, Ennerdale Country House Hotel Cleator - Bath tub. Glad to stop here and not have to walk on. Just far enough for first day. The walk from Cleator started in rain. Bought some flapjacks from shop, then headed up Dent. Thick mist on top, so no views. Not sure we were on the correct path, but a couple came past us and confirmed we were OK. Very steep descent to Nanny beck. Nice walk along there to Ennerdale Bridge where we stopped at the Fox & Hounds Pub. Long 3½ mile walk around the southern edge of Ennerdale Water, rocky path, hard going, so pleased to finally get to YH just before 6pm.

Wed 17 June, Ennerdale Youth Hostel – warden Nathan 5 star! 2 x bunk beds (sleeps 4) but just the 2 of us. Shower, toilet and wash basin. Good supper, chatted to 2 young guys from Notts, Nico (Ethiopian) just finished pharmacy degree and his “dad” Jack, gentle old man, worked in Ethiopia constructing (manager / supervisor) gravel roads. Good breakfast. Misty drizzle all day, but not too bad. Cold and windy on top after climbing Loft Beck. Fabulous views when mist cleared. Could see cairns to follow. No C2C markings at all. Got to slate mine about 2pm and had coffee and lunch in café till 5pm and YH opened. Working slate mine next to YH.

Thu 18 June, Honister Hause Youth Hostel – chatted to Fraser (Scottish, climbing all 200+ Wainwright Fells, 24 left to do) and Brett (Canadian). Did our own supper (noodles, soup and Mars Bar Cake), but had cooked breakfast.

Fri 19 June, Grasmere Butharlyp Howe Youth Hostel – long tiring day today, but thankfully no rain, just a bit of drizzle and mist, overcast all day. Managed to find our way OK (but we consulted Stedman continuously). Met Brett just after Greenup Edge, who’d got lost early on (had left an hour before us), and 2 guys from Midlands, Colin and Malcolm, who’d also got lost at the top somewhere. The path was rocky and boulders, the whole way, very hard going, and peat bogs at the top. Left at 9am, arrived at 6pm. Had YHA supper with Colin and Malcolm. Showered and now in bed. This is a tough walk.

Sat 20 June, Patterdale Youth Hostel – 1 x bunk bed, wash basin with press down taps and no plug. Richard’s leg was swollen yesterday, so I phoned Packhorse and he got a lift today; picked up at 2:30pm at Grasmere. So I walked alone today. Overcast and misty the whole time, cleared up late afternoon. Lots of day hikers came up to Grisedale Tarn from Patterdale. Easy going path up and down the other side. About 12 kms. Lovely walk. Got to Patterdale at 3pm, found R at YH and we went for a drink at the White Lion. Have booked supper in the YH again tonight. Good vaue at £8.50 for 3 courses. The pub is at least £10 for one main dish. 11 for supper including 4 American females and 1 young Greek teacher doing the C2C in 12 days!!

Sun 21 June, New Ing Lodge Shap – arrogant owner (Scott), friendly breakfast girl, bathroom grubby in corners. R’s leg still swollen, so as it’s a long tough walk today over Kidsty Pike, with a high possibility of getting lost, and there is nobody else I can walk with, I phoned Packhorse again to pick us both up. We took a leisurely walk to Glenridding at Ullswater and back this morning before they picked us up at 3pm. Peter, the driver, recommended Shap Chippy so went there for fish and chips. Very good and only £6 each. Walked to Shap Abbey first (2kms there and 2kms back).

Mon 22 June (day 7), The George Hotel Orton – easy low-level walk from Shap to Orton. Cold and rainy, on and off, all day. Saw only 2 hikers the whole day until we got to Orton, then saw many. The 9 Aussies we’ve seen since St Bees are also staying in Orton, coming from Bampton this morning. Chatted with Marg in the bar. Saving some money and having noodles for supper with some red wine we bought in Patterdale. Bumped into Liz and Alan (NZ) in the Chocolate Shop about 4pm, who stayed at our B&B in St Bees. They’ve teamed up with a Canadian couple. Orton is a lovely village, no tourists, only hikers. Spent some time looking around the church (1293).

Tue 23 June, Kirkby Stephen Hostel – best weather day so far (one week into walk). Didn’t rain at all; got a bit sunburnt. 20kms, not too difficult, but still tired at the end. Kept passing the same people – the 9 Aussies, Liz & Alan (NZ), the Canadian couple, and a UK couple. Across fields and over moorland today. Getting tired of sheep shit, but not the sheep as the lambs are cute. Hostel closed till 5pm so had a drink at The Black Bull, then booked a table at The Mango Tree (Indian) for 7:30.

Wed 24 June, Keld Bunk Barn & Yurts – spacious, £55 plus £5 for electricity (!!!), no water, long walk to loo; Michelle (very welcoming), and Ian (pleasant). R wanted a lift, but bags only to Keld today (no passengers), no bus and taxi +/- £35, so he walked. Thankfully no rain, cold wind on top and most of the day. Not too difficult up to Nine Standards Rigg. The 7 Aussies there too (and several others), so we stuck behind the Aussies across the peat bogs, as afraid we might get lost if the mist came in. Peat bogs dry!! Yess!! Mist (murk) hurtled across the fell tops. Long day (24kms) but arrived safely (and tired) about 4pm at the yurts. Great place! Have ordered dinner, wine and breakfast (delivered to our yurt).

Thu 25 June, The Buck Hotel Reeth – ignored at reception, grubby corners (not clean), booked a table for supper but they had no idea who was sitting where. Stayed by the river the whole way ignoring Stedman’s route. Detoured into Muker for good coffee (hot milk!!). But long day again, 9am to 5pm. Pony and horse harassed us! Saw some cows (bull?) in the distance that went for 2 walkers with sheep dog. Drizzled slightly but otherwise no rain, just overcast. Lovely buttercup fields. Saw some pheasants and lots of cute rabbits. Booked a table for 8pm. Chaotic. Horrible meal (soggy puff pastry), but R’s steak and ale pie was good. Tummy ache in night and had to take an immodium this morning. Worst breakfast so far – hard scrambled egg and cordial juice. Third most expensive accommodation on the C2C and least favourite.

Fri 26 June and Sat 27 June, The Black Lion Hotel Richmond – coffee station in room but silly tiny cups. Very spacious twin bed room, very large fluffy white towels. Fairly easy going walk today. Good weather, overcast and some slight drizzle. Stayed two nights, so got some laundry done. One load of laundry cost £5 for wash and dry; handed in at breakfast and returned when room made up while we were out; brilliant. Early Bird Special (dinner) was good value, £10.95 – 2 courses between 5pm to 7pm.

Sun 28 June, White Swan Inn Danby Wiske – tedious flat walk of 22.5kms from Richmond. 2nd half on roads, very quiet. Met the Belgian couple in Richmond yesterday; first met them in the rain in the shop at Cleator, and again today on arrival at The White Swan; they are wild camping. Very poor welcome at The White Swan, the barman didn’t smile, didn’t chat, showed us our room, told us to fill in the breakfast list, and went back downstairs. The most expensive place and the worst welcome. Nice room though, recently renovated, spacious, shower, coffee station, clean, faces the village green. Also saw Alan and Liz (NZ) today in the distance, but nobody else. Some Aussies and an American couple staying at The White Swan. Service improved with the friendly lady at dinner and the chef at breakfast.

Mon 29 June, Queen Catherine Hotel Osmotherly (14th day) – 20 mins off the C2C, tiny loo and shower, washbasin in room, cramped twin-bed room, but best coffee station: mugs, cups, glasses, 6 packets hot choc, capuccino, latte, etc. R got a lift with the bag today at 10.30am. I left at 9am, met no-one the whole morning except a man hiking the opposite way. Saw the 2 Americans and 3 Aussies just ahead of me. Caught up with the Americans at the A19 and we dashed across together. They walked on at Ingleby Cross while I went in the Blue Bell Inn. Thought it was closed at first (12:30pm) but the barman came out and said it was open. Went inside, all dark, no-one there, but a lady came and switched on the lights and gave me a cold beer from the fridge. The ales on tap in UK are all luke warm, yeuk. The 3 Aussies then came in. Got to Osmotherly about 2:30pm and R in room already.

Tue 30 June, Buck Inn Chop Gate – the weather has finally changed and today I walked in shorts for the first time. R went with the bags as too much up and down steep hills today. Met up with Liz and Alan again at a hill top cairn. Julie (American from Michigan) and Peter (nice English guy) were sitting with them. Peter’s wife Elaine took the transfer. Met the American couple at Lord Stone’s café, they are also staying here at the Buck Inn. Phoned Buck Inn from Wainstones for a lift at Clay Gate Top at 4pm. Fantastic views today, but very hot and sunny, though cool wind across the moors made it walkable. R still unwell so only had soup for supper. My cod was overcooked and tough; waitress didn’t ask how the food was, so I didn’t say anything. R unwell through the night, so I phoned Packhorse at 7:15am and he got a lift again.

Wed 1 July, The Lion Inn Blakey Ridge – only 14kms today. The Americans wanted a lift NOW and wouldn’t wait 2 minutes for me to put my boots on, so Helen had to take them and come back for me. All the C2C’ers were off, I was probably last from Clay Bank Top. Met Peter and Elaine briefly. They took the Cleveland Way turnoff, so very surprised to see them at The Lion Inn about an hour after me. Open moors, very windy, very hot, very boring walk along disused railway line. Got to Lion Inn about 1pm, about half hour after R. Got a “cold” beer from the fridge at the bar, but it was as “cold” as the beer on tap. Lots of people at The Lion Inn for lunch. Tiny twin-bed room, lovely private bathroom with Dove shampoo and moisturising wash. Had a lovely soak in the bath. Best pub supper so far – R had leek and potato soup (but a not nice stale roll) and I had cheese jacket potato with a decent salad and proper home-made salad dressing. Main courses were far too big to order.

Thu 2 July, Arncliffe Arms Glaisdale – left quite late today, 9:45am. R walked today, 16kms. Over moorland, desolate, but nice weather. The hot sun of the last 2 days disappeared under overcast skies, so nice walking weather. Saw no other hikers after 3 young guys at Fat Betty, and 2 older men, and 1 guy going the other way. Saw lots of grouse in the heather today. Really liked The Lion Inn, popular with locals all day too. Arncliffe Arms rather mediocre and quiet after The Lion Inn, but generally OK. Lasagnes for supper were good, with good garlic bread and real salad dressing to go with the good side salad.

Fri 3 July, Station Tavern Grosmont – only 6kms walk today, and then went to Whitby by steam train for the afternoon. Just as well, as very hot day. £10.50 each (over 60s). Whitby lovely seaside town. PACKED with people as glorious sunny day – even some people in the freezing cold sea! Had cod and chips for supper. Not the worst, but not the best either. Ditto for R’s chicken. Surprisingly empty for a Friday evening and the last place to stay on the C2C. Only one other C2C guy staying here – saw him later in Robin Hood’s Bay.

Sat 4 July, The Grosvenor Hotel Robin Hood’s Bay – R had the brilliant idea of getting the train again to Whitby this morning and walking 6 miles along the coast path to Robin Hood’s Bay, instead of the 25kms of the C2C that we were both not looking forward to (too far). Thunder and lightening last night, and raining this morning, but gradually cleared up to a sunny day. Left Whitby at 11am and got to RHB at 3pm. Checked into the Grosvenor. Had a small beer at The Victoria Hotel, then walked down to the sea. Crowded with families. Tide was in!! Got our boots wet, took photos, tossed my pebble from St Bees into the sea (R had lost his sometime in the last couple of days) and bought a t-shirt. The End! Had 3 starters for supper between us. Bought a bottle of red wine in a shop (£6.99) rather than pay £5+ for a glass.

Summary

Very few facilities for coffee stops between overnights, except: Ennerdale Bridge (day 2), Honister Hause (day 3), Muker (day 10) and Elaines, between Nun Cote Nook Reeth & Richmond (day 11).

Long evenings, but we never able to sit outside and enjoy them – it was too cold – or there were midges – or there was no outside facility where one could sit – or it was raining.

UK very expensive, even the “cheap” budget youth hostels were over £20 each (per person).
 

Davie Blisters

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
It is eternity now, it always has been and it always will be. We are in the midst of it.
Hi.
Tossing up whether to hike the Primitivo or the Coast to Coast in UK in May 2020.
After a challenge and don't really want to walk bitumen roads. We're also planning to
camp if we decide to hike the C2C. Would love any advice from hikers who have done both.
Hi @Gailerart
A local guy to me has recently completed the C2C and has started to post videos on YOUTUBE.
Not got the correct address to hand, but if you tap-in ''wiltshireman you tube'' I'm sure you'll get there.
Cheers
Davie
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
Mods - Can we please start a separate place the C2C posts?
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
Mods - Can we please start a separate place the C2C posts?
Since this thread is entitled Camino Primitivo or C2C, and the posts have addressed that theme specifically, don’t see the point of starting a separate thread. Anyone interested in a comparison between the Spanish caminos and the C2C would already be coming here. But if anyone wants to start a separate thread, that’s fine with me.
 
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andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
There are lots of blogs to read about the C2C, but I’ve copied below the notes I made, in case anyone else is reading this and wondering what are the cheapest places to stay on the C2C if not camping. Jill

Notes from the Coast 2 Coast

Mon 15 June, Lulus Guest House St Bees
– on St Bees railway station platform. Room overlooked railway (not noisy). Tiny bathroom, but good sized shower. Should have had supper here, but we went to the Queens Pub instead. Worst fish and chips ever (thick soggy batter and mushy fish, as well as peas). Good continental breakfast at GH, including fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Chatted with Liz and Alan from New Zealand.

Tue 16 June, Ennerdale Country House Hotel Cleator - Bath tub. Glad to stop here and not have to walk on. Just far enough for first day. The walk from Cleator started in rain. Bought some flapjacks from shop, then headed up Dent. Thick mist on top, so no views. Not sure we were on the correct path, but a couple came past us and confirmed we were OK. Very steep descent to Nanny beck. Nice walk along there to Ennerdale Bridge where we stopped at the Fox & Hounds Pub. Long 3½ mile walk around the southern edge of Ennerdale Water, rocky path, hard going, so pleased to finally get to YH just before 6pm.

Wed 17 June, Ennerdale Youth Hostel – warden Nathan 5 star! 2 x bunk beds (sleeps 4) but just the 2 of us. Shower, toilet and wash basin. Good supper, chatted to 2 young guys from Notts, Nico (Ethiopian) just finished pharmacy degree and his “dad” Jack, gentle old man, worked in Ethiopia constructing (manager / supervisor) gravel roads. Good breakfast. Misty drizzle all day, but not too bad. Cold and windy on top after climbing Loft Beck. Fabulous views when mist cleared. Could see cairns to follow. No C2C markings at all. Got to slate mine about 2pm and had coffee and lunch in café till 5pm and YH opened. Working slate mine next to YH.

Thu 18 June, Honister Hause Youth Hostel – chatted to Fraser (Scottish, climbing all 200+ Wainwright Fells, 24 left to do) and Brett (Canadian). Did our own supper (noodles, soup and Mars Bar Cake), but had cooked breakfast.

Fri 19 June, Grasmere Butharlyp Howe Youth Hostel – long tiring day today, but thankfully no rain, just a bit of drizzle and mist, overcast all day. Managed to find our way OK (but we consulted Stedman continuously). Met Brett just after Greenup Edge, who’d got lost early on (had left an hour before us), and 2 guys from Midlands, Colin and Malcolm, who’d also got lost at the top somewhere. The path was rocky and boulders, the whole way, very hard going, and peat bogs at the top. Left at 9am, arrived at 6pm. Had YHA supper with Colin and Malcolm. Showered and now in bed. This is a tough walk.

Sat 20 June, Patterdale Youth Hostel – 1 x bunk bed, wash basin with press down taps and no plug. Richard’s leg was swollen yesterday, so I phoned Packhorse and he got a lift today; picked up at 2:30pm at Grasmere. So I walked alone today. Overcast and misty the whole time, cleared up late afternoon. Lots of day hikers came up to Grisedale Tarn from Patterdale. Easy going path up and down the other side. About 12 kms. Lovely walk. Got to Patterdale at 3pm, found R at YH and we went for a drink at the White Lion. Have booked supper in the YH again tonight. Good vaue at £8.50 for 3 courses. The pub is at least £10 for one main dish. 11 for supper including 4 American females and 1 young Greek teacher doing the C2C in 12 days!!

Sun 21 June, New Ing Lodge Shap – arrogant owner (Scott), friendly breakfast girl, bathroom grubby in corners. R’s leg still swollen, so as it’s a long tough walk today over Kidsty Pike, with a high possibility of getting lost, and there is nobody else I can walk with, I phoned Packhorse again to pick us both up. We took a leisurely walk to Glenridding at Ullswater and back this morning before they picked us up at 3pm. Peter, the driver, recommended Shap Chippy so went there for fish and chips. Very good and only £6 each. Walked to Shap Abbey first (2kms there and 2kms back).

Mon 22 June (day 7), The George Hotel Orton – easy low-level walk from Shap to Orton. Cold and rainy, on and off, all day. Saw only 2 hikers the whole day until we got to Orton, then saw many. The 9 Aussies we’ve seen since St Bees are also staying in Orton, coming from Bampton this morning. Chatted with Marg in the bar. Saving some money and having noodles for supper with some red wine we bought in Patterdale. Bumped into Liz and Alan (NZ) in the Chocolate Shop about 4pm, who stayed at our B&B in St Bees. They’ve teamed up with a Canadian couple. Orton is a lovely village, no tourists, only hikers. Spent some time looking around the church (1293).

Tue 23 June, Kirkby Stephen Hostel – best weather day so far (one week into walk). Didn’t rain at all; got a bit sunburnt. 20kms, not too difficult, but still tired at the end. Kept passing the same people – the 9 Aussies, Liz & Alan (NZ), the Canadian couple, and a UK couple. Across fields and over moorland today. Getting tired of sheep shit, but not the sheep as the lambs are cute. Hostel closed till 5pm so had a drink at The Black Bull, then booked a table at The Mango Tree (Indian) for 7:30.

Wed 24 June, Keld Bunk Barn & Yurts – spacious, £55 plus £5 for electricity (!!!), no water, long walk to loo; Michelle (very welcoming), and Ian (pleasant). R wanted a lift, but bags only to Keld today (no passengers), no bus and taxi +/- £35, so he walked. Thankfully no rain, cold wind on top and most of the day. Not too difficult up to Nine Standards Rigg. The 7 Aussies there too (and several others), so we stuck behind the Aussies across the peat bogs, as afraid we might get lost if the mist came in. Peat bogs dry!! Yess!! Mist (murk) hurtled across the fell tops. Long day (24kms) but arrived safely (and tired) about 4pm at the yurts. Great place! Have ordered dinner, wine and breakfast (delivered to our yurt).

Thu 25 June, The Buck Hotel Reeth – ignored at reception, grubby corners (not clean), booked a table for supper but they had no idea who was sitting where. Stayed by the river the whole way ignoring Stedman’s route. Detoured into Muker for good coffee (hot milk!!). But long day again, 9am to 5pm. Pony and horse harassed us! Saw some cows (bull?) in the distance that went for 2 walkers with sheep dog. Drizzled slightly but otherwise no rain, just overcast. Lovely buttercup fields. Saw some pheasants and lots of cute rabbits. Booked a table for 8pm. Chaotic. Horrible meal (soggy puff pastry), but R’s steak and ale pie was good. Tummy ache in night and had to take an immodium this morning. Worst breakfast so far – hard scrambled egg and cordial juice. Third most expensive accommodation on the C2C and least favourite.

Fri 26 June and Sat 27 June, The Black Lion Hotel Richmond – coffee station in room but silly tiny cups. Very spacious twin bed room, very large fluffy white towels. Fairly easy going walk today. Good weather, overcast and some slight drizzle. Stayed two nights, so got some laundry done. One load of laundry cost £5 for wash and dry; handed in at breakfast and returned when room made up while we were out; brilliant. Early Bird Special (dinner) was good value, £10.95 – 2 courses between 5pm to 7pm.

Sun 28 June, White Swan Inn Danby Wiske – tedious flat walk of 22.5kms from Richmond. 2nd half on roads, very quiet. Met the Belgian couple in Richmond yesterday; first met them in the rain in the shop at Cleator, and again today on arrival at The White Swan; they are wild camping. Very poor welcome at The White Swan, the barman didn’t smile, didn’t chat, showed us our room, told us to fill in the breakfast list, and went back downstairs. The most expensive place and the worst welcome. Nice room though, recently renovated, spacious, shower, coffee station, clean, faces the village green. Also saw Alan and Liz (NZ) today in the distance, but nobody else. Some Aussies and an American couple staying at The White Swan. Service improved with the friendly lady at dinner and the chef at breakfast.

Mon 29 June, Queen Catherine Hotel Osmotherly (14th day) – 20 mins off the C2C, tiny loo and shower, washbasin in room, cramped twin-bed room, but best coffee station: mugs, cups, glasses, 6 packets hot choc, capuccino, latte, etc. R got a lift with the bag today at 10.30am. I left at 9am, met no-one the whole morning except a man hiking the opposite way. Saw the 2 Americans and 3 Aussies just ahead of me. Caught up with the Americans at the A19 and we dashed across together. They walked on at Ingleby Cross while I went in the Blue Bell Inn. Thought it was closed at first (12:30pm) but the barman came out and said it was open. Went inside, all dark, no-one there, but a lady came and switched on the lights and gave me a cold beer from the fridge. The ales on tap in UK are all luke warm, yeuk. The 3 Aussies then came in. Got to Osmotherly about 2:30pm and R in room already.

Tue 30 June, Buck Inn Chop Gate – the weather has finally changed and today I walked in shorts for the first time. R went with the bags as too much up and down steep hills today. Met up with Liz and Alan again at a hill top cairn. Julie (American from Michigan) and Peter (nice English guy) were sitting with them. Peter’s wife Elaine took the transfer. Met the American couple at Lord Stone’s café, they are also staying here at the Buck Inn. Phoned Buck Inn from Wainstones for a lift at Clay Gate Top at 4pm. Fantastic views today, but very hot and sunny, though cool wind across the moors made it walkable. R still unwell so only had soup for supper. My cod was overcooked and tough; waitress didn’t ask how the food was, so I didn’t say anything. R unwell through the night, so I phoned Packhorse at 7:15am and he got a lift again.

Wed 1 July, The Lion Inn Blakey Ridge – only 14kms today. The Americans wanted a lift NOW and wouldn’t wait 2 minutes for me to put my boots on, so Helen had to take them and come back for me. All the C2C’ers were off, I was probably last from Clay Bank Top. Met Peter and Elaine briefly. They took the Cleveland Way turnoff, so very surprised to see them at The Lion Inn about an hour after me. Open moors, very windy, very hot, very boring walk along disused railway line. Got to Lion Inn about 1pm, about half hour after R. Got a “cold” beer from the fridge at the bar, but it was as “cold” as the beer on tap. Lots of people at The Lion Inn for lunch. Tiny twin-bed room, lovely private bathroom with Dove shampoo and moisturising wash. Had a lovely soak in the bath. Best pub supper so far – R had leek and potato soup (but a not nice stale roll) and I had cheese jacket potato with a decent salad and proper home-made salad dressing. Main courses were far too big to order.

Thu 2 July, Arncliffe Arms Glaisdale – left quite late today, 9:45am. R walked today, 16kms. Over moorland, desolate, but nice weather. The hot sun of the last 2 days disappeared under overcast skies, so nice walking weather. Saw no other hikers after 3 young guys at Fat Betty, and 2 older men, and 1 guy going the other way. Saw lots of grouse in the heather today. Really liked The Lion Inn, popular with locals all day too. Arncliffe Arms rather mediocre and quiet after The Lion Inn, but generally OK. Lasagnes for supper were good, with good garlic bread and real salad dressing to go with the good side salad.

Fri 3 July, Station Tavern Grosmont – only 6kms walk today, and then went to Whitby by steam train for the afternoon. Just as well, as very hot day. £10.50 each (over 60s). Whitby lovely seaside town. PACKED with people as glorious sunny day – even some people in the freezing cold sea! Had cod and chips for supper. Not the worst, but not the best either. Ditto for R’s chicken. Surprisingly empty for a Friday evening and the last place to stay on the C2C. Only one other C2C guy staying here – saw him later in Robin Hood’s Bay.

Sat 4 July, The Grosvenor Hotel Robin Hood’s Bay – R had the brilliant idea of getting the train again to Whitby this morning and walking 6 miles along the coast path to Robin Hood’s Bay, instead of the 25kms of the C2C that we were both not looking forward to (too far). Thunder and lightening last night, and raining this morning, but gradually cleared up to a sunny day. Left Whitby at 11am and got to RHB at 3pm. Checked into the Grosvenor. Had a small beer at The Victoria Hotel, then walked down to the sea. Crowded with families. Tide was in!! Got our boots wet, took photos, tossed my pebble from St Bees into the sea (R had lost his sometime in the last couple of days) and bought a t-shirt. The End! Had 3 starters for supper between us. Bought a bottle of red wine in a shop (£6.99) rather than pay £5+ for a glass.

Summary

Very few facilities for coffee stops between overnights, except: Ennerdale Bridge (day 2), Honister Hause (day 3), Muker (day 10) and Elaines, between Nun Cote Nook Reeth & Richmond (day 11).

Long evenings, but we never able to sit outside and enjoy them – it was too cold – or there were midges – or there was no outside facility where one could sit – or it was raining.

UK very expensive, even the “cheap” budget youth hostels were over £20 each (per person).
Hi Jill (and anyone else reading this):

I enjoyed your descriptions tremendously. We had the same crappy weather (though no heat at all), got disoriented / lost in the same places, stayed in many of the same places, and rode the steam train out of Grosmont (fun change of pace). Like you, we also found it much more physically challenging than the Spanish caminos.

BUT, it also struck me how one person’s experience of something can be so different from another. We enjoyed the challenges, and the incredible scenery which (to us) far overshadowed anything we have come across in 5 trips to the Spanish caminos. And yes, it was much more expensive than the Spanish caminos, but we knew that going in. And we couldn’t “wing it” from day to day, which we also knew. As to the food, we were expecting it to be terrible, so were pleasantly surprised. Fish and chips could be avoided, but we even found that it was well-done in quite a few places, with fresh fish and chips from freshly peeled potatos rather than frozen. And overall (obviously, IMHO) much better food than those awful pilgrim’s meals. We also found the innkeepers and bnb proprietors to be very welcoming and friendly, in general more so than their compatriots in Spain (of course, it probably helped that we could speak the language). And I decided to call the one rude innkeeper I met “charmingly gruff.”

On the social end, we met and wound up walking with as many people as we had met on the Primitivo. More, actually, than we met on much of the Norte or Ingles. Less, obviously, than on the Frances. In general, though, tt was a different crowd: more upscale since it’s hard to do the C2C on a super-limited budget. The one social advantage was that everyone spoke English, including the many foreigners, which enabled us to talk not only with our fellow travelers but also the locals. This was impossible with my limited Spanish in Spain. Plus, in England, everyone — walkers, locals — hang out in the pubs in the evenings, so for us, there was much more contact with the English themselves. (Often in Spain, I feel like I’’m traveling in a sealed bubble with other pilgrims; in England, I didn’t have that feeling).

So, overall, my personal feeling is that if you can accept that the C2C will be more expensive, less spontaneous, and more susceptible to rain (and maybe lots of it), the rewards are tremendous: scenery of every type — mountains, dales, valleys, coasts, lakes, moors — and almost always fantastic, real trails, physical challenges, and (not least) the opportunity to communicate with everyone you meet.

I’ll still be going back to. Spain, but England offers something special, too. Just different.
 

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Jill & Andy, thanks for the detailed responses. Did either of you take the Striding Edge route on the C2C? I believe this is right after Ennerdale Bridge and there is an alternative, lower route available. Just trying to calibrate your comparison of the C2C to the Primitivo and if you included Striding Edge in your assessment. There is nothing remotely close to this on the Primitivo. If there had been, someone would have had to call the firefighters to report a comatose pilgrim curled up in a ball, weeping. Here's a video of what I'm talking about.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 
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andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
Hi O Peracha: The picture pasted in below was taken where the Striding Edge alternative branches off from the main trail, so suffice it to say, we did not take it. I did, however, walk it in 1984, when I was just a bit younger. I distinctly remember crawling along a segment of it because the sheer drop-off on each side was terrifying. In fact, I only persuaded my wife to walk the C2C by swearing that I would not make her walk it. So, no, I did not factor Striding Edge into my comparison between the C2C and the Primitivo. Overall, what makes the C2C more strenuous than the Primitivo is not so much the additional climbing, but the fact that the trail is so rugged in many spots.

If you want, you can send me a personal message (click on the big green “A” to the left to do so) with your real world e-mail address, and I could send you a link to all my C2C photos and all my Primitivo photos.


1564687165034.jpeg
 

Doogman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (September 2019)
I walked the C2C back in 1987, so my memory is a little fuzzy. But I don't recall anything like that ridge. There must have been a lower route. I would not have been happy up there.

In Post #22 above, @andycohn makes a number of good points about walking in England.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 2015 CF; October 2017 PC from Porto; Camino Ingles October (2019)
Jill & Andy, thanks for the detailed responses. Did either of you take the Striding Edge route on the C2C? I believe this is right after Ennerdale Bridge and there is an alternative, lower route available. Just trying to calibrate your comparison of the C2C to the Primitivo and if you included Striding Edge in your assessment. There is nothing remotely close to this on the Primitivo. If there had been, someone would have had to call the firefighters to report a comatose pilgrim curled up in a ball, weeping. Here's a video of what I'm talking about.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Oh my goodness. I walked the C2C last September, avoided the Striding Edge at all costs. Some of the rest was bad enough for someone with a terror of edges, but this is unbelievable. I feel sick to my stomach looking at it. Thinking of the Primitivo now and from these posts, it sounds quite doable. I've walked the CF and the CP and will walk the Ingles in October.
 

camino07

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
Oh no! I can't even watch that video.
 

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