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Wainwrights Coast to Coast UK Compared to Camino Frances

Camino(s) past & future
Camino France
#1
Has any body walked both? I walked the C2C in 2015 and am starting the camino on March 23rd 2018. The C2C was a hard walk and at only 190 odd miles quite a lot less that the Camino Frances. I took 2 weeks for this so that does equate to 5 weeks for the Camino. Although I am now 65 I believe I can do it but it would be good to know from someone who has done both how they compare for difficulty.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#3
I did not walk the Frances, but did do the via de la Plata/Sanabres; the Primitivo and The Salvador. In 1990 I walked the C2C .Although I was 25 years younger then, it was tougher. Causes were : the length of some days, some climbs, the weight of the backpack because sometimes you had to carry water and food. My conclusion is: if you managed the C2C, without problems, walking the Camino Frances won't be a problem either.
 

jsalt

Jill
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#4
Has any body walked both?
The C2C was a lot tougher than I expected. The CF is a walk in the park in comparison. I think it was the terrain on the C2C that I found very difficult – a lot of boulders along the path, making walking difficult, peat bogs, clambering over stiles, sheep shit :D. And not many facilities; most days we walked the whole day without a single cup of tea en route, let alone a café con leche :(. We walked in June, so there were long evenings, but we were never able to sit outside and enjoy them . . . . it was too cold, or there were midges, or no outside facility whatsoever, or it was raining :mad:.

You will love the Camino Francés :):):)!

Jill
 

wes

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2006) VdlP to Carceres (2010) Frances (2013) Portugues (2016)
#5
Hola, Walkingboy, I agree with everything Jill has said, plus some.
When I walked Wainwright’s coast-to-coast a few years back, you could add-in gale-force winds, near-zero-visibility fog, getting lost, and lashing rain. I’m not criticising anything, I enjoyed every minute of it (well, at least when we were reliving the day’s adventures with fellow walkers and wine in a cosy pub), but at times it was very hard work. By comparison, in terms of the effort required, other than the endurance needed to walk 850 kms, the Camino Frances is easy. Nothing wrong with that, I love the Camino, it’s an ideal world, and I wish I was wandering along it right now.
Buen Camino,
wes
 
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ranthr

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#6
What is the C2C?
After some caminos I walked the Hadrian's Wall Path last June coast to coast and compared to CF it was a short trip and easy going.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#7
The Camino Frances may be long but in matters like accommodation, food, water supplies, information, baggage transport and signposting it must be amongst the easiest and most straightforward walking routes anywhere. It is also very often someone's first experience of long-distance walking and can give unrealistic expectations of what they will find on other routes. I think that someone who successfully completes a route like the C2C has little to fear on the CF other than the heat of high summer which is rarely a serious worry in northern England :)
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
#8
My husband is 63 , walked the CF to Burgos in 2013 and since then (and before) has been working his way through the UK National Trails. Said they are way tough compared to his camino and yes, way more expensive. But enjoys them.
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#10
The Camino is easier as the way is very well marked and you have more time to adjust. Most importantly it’s MUCH less expensive than walking in UK, especially as accommodation here will likely cost you in excess of £35pp per night and sometimes more than £60 pp per night!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Camino del Norte, and the Camino Portuguese (May, 2018)
#11
Has any body walked both? I walked the C2C in 2015 and am starting the camino on March 23rd 2018. The C2C was a hard walk and at only 190 odd miles quite a lot less that the Camino Frances. I took 2 weeks for this so that does equate to 5 weeks for the Camino. Although I am now 65 I believe I can do it but it would be good to know from someone who has done both how they compare for difficulty.
I agree with the other comments. My husband and I (both 70) walked the C2C last August. Though it was an accomplishment and had its highlights, we are called back to the Caminos in Spain and Portugal for many reasons. The waymarking is very poor on the C2C and we had to spend much time trying to figure out where we were and where we were going. It is a much more remote, isolated walk which may appeal to some. We had reservations booked at accommodations for each night and so we could not adjust our pace, take extra time, rest days, etc. but had to follow the itinerary. We like the flexibility of walking, carrying our own packs, and stopping when our bodies and minds are inclined. The weather, even in August was cloudy and cool with some rain. Some days, especially in the Lakes Region brought intense fog which made finding our way much more difficult. We love the camaraderie that develops on the camino though we did meet some very lovely Australians and a German woman on the C2C. I would not return to the C2C. This Spring will be our 4th Camino as we endeavor to walk the Portuguese Way. That says it all.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#12
Has any body walked both? I walked the C2C in 2015 and am starting the camino on March 23rd 2018. The C2C was a hard walk and at only 190 odd miles quite a lot less that the Camino Frances. I took 2 weeks for this so that does equate to 5 weeks for the Camino. Although I am now 65 I believe I can do it but it would be good to know from someone who has done both how they compare for difficulty.
The walk from Leon to Santiago, about 210 miles, takes 2 weeks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2018)
#13
I have walked the C2C, it was a lot tougher than I imagined. The terrain was tough, the lake district was not walking, it was full on hiking. A storm came up out of nowwhere, wind blowing sideways, fog made it impossible to see 3 feet in front of you. We ended up going over the wrong fell, climbed Great Gable scrambling over rocks, they call it Windy Gap for a reason, the only time in my life I thought Mountain rescue would be needed. The trail marker signs are for the most part non existent, you are on your own to figure out where you are going. Uneven terrain means watching where you are walking and not where you are going. Still it was the memory of a lifetime, Yorkshire Dales will remain as one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, the walking got much easier, 192 miles in 12 days makes for a lot of walking. Would not have missed this trip, glad I did it. Expensive for sure, but I have to say, England is absolutely breathtaking.
 

John Sikora

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese/Coastal Sept
(2019) Via de la Plata - Seville to Santiago May
#14
Have to agree. Walked the CF end to end then did Hadrian's Wall and Offa's Dyke National Trails. CF was well marked and only had a few times where I felt like I made a mistake :) The National Trails (no criticism intended - I enjoyed both walks) are much less well marked, weather sucks many times, are more expensive, and much harder per mile than the CF. That said, I'd recommend both of the trails due to their unbelievable scenery (when the sun is out), friendship of the people along the way, and the sense of isolation that you get at many points (particularly Offa's Dyke).
 
#15
The CF is considerably easier than the C2C. Have walked the CF three times in my late 50's and early 60's. Walked the C2C at age 62 (with a broken toe) and would take the CF any day over it. Signage, especially in the Lake District, and clear trail markings are rare. The terrain is generally more demanding. And, although the countryside was quite lovely and sea views were stunning, I will be happy to never walk through another knee-deep bog. Five weeks is about right for the CF (if you don't plan on walking to Finisterre). And the people you meet and camaraderie along the CF are way beyond anything you may have experienced on the C2C. Buen Camino!
 

TonyC

Geriatric
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014) Frances Pt1
(2015) Frances Pt2
(2016) Portuguese, from Lisbon
(2108) Frances in Sep/Oct
#16
Has any body walked both? I walked the C2C in 2015 and am starting the camino on March 23rd 2018. The C2C was a hard walk and at only 190 odd miles quite a lot less that the Camino Frances. I took 2 weeks for this so that does equate to 5 weeks for the Camino. Although I am now 65 I believe I can do it but it would be good to know from someone who has done both how they compare for difficulty.
The Camino will provide - YET AGAIN!

How strange that this question popped-up on the forum today.

My wife and I, both in our 70s, walked the Camino Frances in two stages, Autumn 2014 and Spring 2015, and also the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago in Spring 2016. This year we walked the full 200+ miles (320+ km) length of the Trans-Pennine Trail (Southport to Hornsea, both in the UK).

Today we were just discussing what to attempt this coming year. We had reduced the possible list to two possibilities........ You've guessed it, they were the Coast to Coast or Camino Frances in a single stage.

We'd looked at the Coast to Coast Route, which is very close to where we live, but were unsure as we didn't have any experience of the actual terrain or its difficulty. The Trans-Pennine is much the same distance as the Coast to Coast, but crosses very easy (sometimes rather boring) terrain, so we knew that it wouldn't be a good guide.

However, due to the answers to this question we now have our answer. The Camino Frances it will be.

Roll on September 2018.

My Transpennine blog - https://transpennine2017.wordpress.com/
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 10
Le Puy 16
Thames Path 16
Southwark-Canterbury 16
Estella 17
Paisley-Whithorn 17
#17
way more expensive
Late June 2016 I walked Thames Path from Thames Head to Windsor. The only way I could do it at anywhere near the cost of walking in France and Spain earlier that year was to take my very light weight two person (room for me and my pack) tent. The one night I stayed in a hotel the cost was equivalent to nearly a week of gite/albergue living. And from Windsor onward most accommodation I could see on-line beforehand was well off route, and also way more expensive.

In mid November 2017 I walked with my eldest son from Glasgow airport to Ayr to experience some of the Whithorn Way. This section of around 80 km has cities (two cathedrals and an abbey all in good working order), towns and villages, generally follows the National Cycle route 7 (and the route of the current railway) and is generally well marked. But expensive, oh so expensive*, compared to the grand infrastructure of the popular walking routes in France and Spain.

Had we carried on to Whithorn it would have been a different story. This section of around 140 km is quite rural (nothing wrong with that) with almost no infrastructure. After a few days accommodation is often well off route (or so my pre-planning indicated) and food shops and cafe appear to be almost unknown. And again the accommodation would have been relatively way more expensive.

So the British way in those circumstances, I have learnt, is to have a car with a non-walking driver take you to where you finished yesterday, collect you from an agreed place at the end of the days march and take you to the accommodation for the night: this might be the same place you stayed at the night before or will stay at the next night. Typically, this accommodation will have been booked months before. Plus, as often GPX files are not currently available, you will need relevant Ordnance Survey (OS) maps which you pre-mark with supplied OS map references for way points.

PS:
Whithorn Way is a true pilgrimage from the burial site of S Mungo (aka S Kentigern - 518 to 614 CE) in Glasgow Cathedral to the burial site of S Ninian (c 400 CE) near the latter medieval Whithorn Priory. This is understood to be very close to the site of the first Christian Church (again c 400 CE) built by S Ninian in what is now Scotland. The burial site was the destination of pilgrimages from around 700 CE and through the middle ages, including many royal pilgrims over the centuries up to the present day. More information on the pilgrimage is available at http://www.whithornway.org/route.html et al.

* not including a bottle of wine the two of us enjoyed from a vineyard relatively close to my home with which I had indirect connections.
 
Camino(s) past & future
16th September 2017
#18
Has any body walked both? I walked the C2C in 2015 and am starting the camino on March 23rd 2018. The C2C was a hard walk and at only 190 odd miles quite a lot less that the Camino Frances. I took 2 weeks for this so that does equate to 5 weeks for the Camino. Although I am now 65 I believe I can do it but it would be good to know from someone who has done both how they compare for difficulty.
Hi

I am in my 60’s and I have done both walks. The Camino Frances is mostly easy walking with just a couple of challenging sections. I made it easier for myself by breaking up the first day out of St Jean. I only walked about 9km to Orisson which that left about 16 km the next day. Most people walk all this in one day and it is probably the steepest part of the whole Camino. There is a short but challenging section to get up to O’Cebreiro. I stayed in the town just before the climb up commenced. It is called Herrerias. The next day I climbed up to O’Cebreiro feeling fresh and I stayed there for the night. That was only about 9km so it made it much easier for me. Overall, except for the above, I think the Camino is easier than C2C. It is only harder because you are walking much longer distances and for many more days. The Camino Frances is very achievable for most walkers. Hope this helps you decide. The Camino has been the best experience of my life. Cheers Denise.
 

Redhead Keith

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
#19
Are we pampered on the Caminos? If you undertake your pilgrimage for spiritual reasons then the Caminos are generous, inspiring and rewarding. For all, the landscapes and cultures of the different regions are sumptuous and vary in climate and tundra. If you are looking for a challenging but brief hike in England, then the Three Peaks is one of the options: https://www.threepeakschallenge.uk/yorkshire-three-peaks-challenge/ or around the UK: https://www.threepeakschallenge.uk/national-three-peaks-challenge/ you can do the hikes, or parts of, without embarking upon the 'challenge', or make it as challenging as you wish. For a spiritual experience, The Northern Cross Easter Pilgrimage is popular and has many options: http://www.northerncross.co.uk/
Buen Camino. Love, Light & Nature, Keith
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#20
For the hardy among you, Canada recently completed a pedestrian bridge in the province of Saskatchewan, linking all Canadian provinces, now known as 'The Great Trail' so if you have a couple of years to spare??? I believe it covers almost 24,000 kms.
 

jimmyc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#21
My husband is 63 , walked the CF to Burgos in 2013 and since then (and before) has been working his way through the UK National Trails. Said they are way tough compared to his camino and yes, way more expensive. But enjoys them.
I walked the C2C in 2013 and have since walked both the Camino from SJPP and the Portuguese from Lisbon. I am 77 years old and found the Wainwright by far the most difficult.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arriving St Jean 18/5/17
#22
Has any body walked both? I walked the C2C in 2015 and am starting the camino on March 23rd 2018. The C2C was a hard walk and at only 190 odd miles quite a lot less that the Camino Frances. I took 2 weeks for this so that does equate to 5 weeks for the Camino. Although I am now 65 I believe I can do it but it would be good to know from someone who has done both how they compare for difficulty.
Hello I waked the C2C in May 2016 and The CF in May this year . The C2C was a harder walk in my opinion , especially the Lakes District at the beginning with its big climbs and descents . We took 2 weeks , including a rest day in Richmond . The Camino isn't harder , just longer , and we had 4 rest days ( Pamplona, Burgos , Leon and another small village) which helped out tired feet . The C2C is also more expensive as you don't get the cheap accommodation and eating options so readily available on the Camino. Both are beautiful walks in their own way
 
Camino(s) past & future
Zip
#23
Hola, Walkingboy, I agree with everything Jill has said, plus some.
When I walked Wainwright’s coast-to-coast a few years back, you could add-in gale-force winds, near-zero-visibility fog, getting lost, and lashing rain. I’m not criticising anything, I enjoyed every minute of it (well, at least when we were reliving the day’s adventures with fellow walkers and wine in a cosy pub), but at times it was very hard work. By comparison, in terms of the effort required, other than the endurance needed to walk 850 kms, the Camino Frances is easy. Nothing wrong with that, I love the Camino, it’s an ideal world, and I wish I was wandering along it right now.
Buen Camino,
wes

What time of year did you walk the C2C?
 

wes

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2006) VdlP to Carceres (2010) Frances (2013) Portugues (2016)
#24
What time of year did you walk the C2C?
Hello Sunbun, I walked from late-April to mid-May and took about 16 days, including a day off in Richmond. Every day there was either one or a combination of drizzle, rain, very strong wind, mist and fog. When the wind and rain coincided it was really hard going, because the terrain is generally far more difficult than on the Camino Frances.
Regards, wes.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 10
Le Puy 16
Thames Path 16
Southwark-Canterbury 16
Estella 17
Paisley-Whithorn 17
#25
it would be good to know from someone who has done both how they compare for difficulty
Hi @Walkingboy - I was so carried away going on about the general case for walking trips in Britain I overlooked answering your specific request for a comparison between the C2C in northern England and the Frances in northern Spain.

I was making the case, based on four trips, that just about any long distance walking trips in Britain are more difficult, by a significant multiple, than the Frances by reason of the relative lack of adequate infrastructure at reasonable intervals, whether or not it is moderately priced, in Britain. While on the Frances very adequate and reasonably priced accommodation is available in most cities, towns and villages along the Frances: and often there is a choice, even in small villages.

The points of difficulty for the Frances are the 2 ascents of note and three singularly difficult descents.

The first ascent of note is from Saint-Jean to Col Lepoeder. This starts at 170 metres above sea level (asl) and you attain 1430 m asl, a 1260 m climb, over 18.5 km = around 7 % on average: the average is significantly exceeded in the 8 km pull up to Orisson.

The second ascent of note is from Les Herrias (about 45 km west from Ponferrada) at 650 m to La Laguna at 1200 m, a 550 m climb, over 5.5 km = 10 % on average.

The first potentially difficult descent is from Col Lepoeder at 1430 m to Roncesvalles at 950 m, or 480 m down, over 7.5 km = around 7 % on average through a forest.

The second is from Alt del Perdon (about 13 km west of Pamplona) at 770 m to Uterga at about 500, or 270 m down, over 3 km = around 10 % on average over an extremely difficult surface.

And the third is from Col de las Antenna (about 80km west of Astorga) at 1515 m to Molinaseca at 590 m, or 925 m down, over 14 km = around 6 % on average but over some difficult surfaces.

There are other equally sharp rises and falls but of much shorter duration and/or easier surfaces.

While the quality of the tracks for the Frances are in the eye of the beholder they do allow daily distances of 40 km or more on a regular basis for those who want to do that. And completions of around 25 days for the whole 800 km are not unknown. Over two sessions in May 2016, I retired hurt at Estella and restarted from there in October 2017, I completed in 27 days walking (not including rest days) when aged 74/75.

So, although I have not attempted the C2C in northern England I hope I have given a flavour of the Frances from which you can make your own comparison.

Be pleased to answer any questions.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino France
#26
What time of year did you walk the C2C?
Hi, my friend and I walked in September and carried all our kit. Did not use the luggage transfer. Must admit I did take too heavier pack and learnt that this was a mistake. Will to make that one again when I walk th Camino starting at the end of March 2018. Cheers. Dave
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France
#27
Hi @Walkingboy - I was so carried away going on about the general case for walking trips in Britain I overlooked answering your specific request for a comparison between the C2C in northern England and the Frances in northern Spain.

I was making the case, based on four trips, that just about any long distance walking trips in Britain are more difficult, by a significant multiple, than the Frances by reason of the relative lack of adequate infrastructure at reasonable intervals, whether or not it is moderately priced, in Britain. While on the Frances very adequate and reasonably priced accommodation is available in most cities, towns and villages along the Frances: and often there is a choice, even in small villages.

The points of difficulty for the Frances are the 2 ascents of note and three singularly difficult descents.

The first ascent of note is from Saint-Jean to Col Lepoeder. This starts at 170 metres above sea level (asl) and you attain 1430 m asl, a 1260 m climb, over 18.5 km = around 7 % on average: the average is significantly exceeded in the 8 km pull up to Orisson.

The second ascent of note is from Les Herrias (about 45 km west from Ponferrada) at 650 m to La Laguna at 1200 m, a 550 m climb, over 5.5 km = 10 % on average.

The first potentially difficult descent is from Col Lepoeder at 1430 m to Roncesvalles at 950 m, or 480 m down, over 7.5 km = around 7 % on average through a forest.

The second is from Alt del Perdon (about 13 km west of Pamplona) at 770 m to Uterga at about 500, or 270 m down, over 3 km = around 10 % on average over an extremely difficult surface.

And the third is from Col de las Antenna (about 80km west of Astorga) at 1515 m to Molinaseca at 590 m, or 925 m down, over 14 km = around 6 % on average but over some difficult surfaces.

There are other equally sharp rises and falls but of much shorter duration and/or easier surfaces.

While the quality of the tracks for the Frances are in the eye of the beholder they do allow daily distances of 40 km or more on a regular basis for those who want to do that. And completions of around 25 days for the whole 800 km are not unknown. Over two sessions in May 2016, I retired hurt at Estella and restarted from there in October 2017, I completed in 27 days walking (not including rest days) when aged 74/75.

So, although I have not attempted the C2C in northern England I hope I have given a flavour of the Frances from which you can make your own comparison.

Be pleased to answer any questions.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)

Hi, thats great help. Ive got the flavour that it is not as hard as the C2C although it is a lot longer. I start at the end of March and will pace my self accordingly. Cheers. Dave
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 10
Le Puy 16
Thames Path 16
Southwark-Canterbury 16
Estella 17
Paisley-Whithorn 17
#28
Yes @Walkingboy , it is setting off each day for 30 or so days that can be a challenge. And getting to heights several days that are higher than anything in Scotland.

On the positive side is having to NOT carry food or tent etc, just a change of clothes, wet weather gear and about 1 litre of water (more or less, depending on your normal need). Some hardy souls even suggest only a sleeping bag liner as albergue normally have blankets available on a first come basis.

And the great variety of places and people in those places appeal to some.

Another aspect is the large(r) number of people you can encounter on the Frances with so many variations as to why they are there. How you interact with that resource is up to you (and them).

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#29
@AlwynWellington Your comparison with Scotland intrigued me. With your attention to detail you are of course correct that the Camino Frances at its highest is higher than Ben Nevis - the highest point in the UK. But I think the comparison needs a little modification. Most people who walk up Ben Nevis do so from Fort William which is literally at sea level and return there that day. The Cruz de Ferro doesn't feel quite so high because the stiffest part of the ascent starts in Rabanal which is already more than 1000m above sea level. Though I will gladly admit that the descents from Ben Nevis and the Cruz de Ferro are both murder on the knees :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#30
Hola, Walkingboy, I agree with everything Jill has said, plus some.
When I walked Wainwright’s coast-to-coast a few years back, you could add-in gale-force winds, near-zero-visibility fog, getting lost, and lashing rain. I’m not criticising anything, I enjoyed every minute of it (well, at least when we were reliving the day’s adventures with fellow walkers and wine in a cosy pub), but at times it was very hard work. By comparison, in terms of the effort required, other than the endurance needed to walk 850 kms, the Camino Frances is easy. Nothing wrong with that, I love the Camino, it’s an ideal world, and I wish I was wandering along it right now.
Buen Camino,
wes
Thanks for suggesting this thread, Wes. Your description of the C2C is scary though. Honestly, do you think it's foolhardy for a 76 year old woman to attempt it alone? I know there will be lots of others on the walk, and I'm hoping that if things get really bad, I can tag along with others. I got through the wonderful Camino Frances basically alone, by sheer will power, and the help of my trusty hiking poles, which I used to pull myself over mountains. It was hard and painful and glorious. I'm not exactly having second thoughts about the C2C, but I admit that I'm nervous about it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#31
I walked the C2C in 2013 and have since walked both the Camino from SJPP and the Portuguese from Lisbon. I am 77 years old and found the Wainwright by far the most difficult.
What did you find the most difficult part of the C2C? The terrain, the weather? I've walked both the Camino Frances and the Portuguese from Porto to Finisterre, and my plan is to walk the C2C this coming September. I'm trying to prepare myself for what may be the hardest thing I've ever done, and I'll be 76 by then. I'm wishing now that I had someone experienced walking with me, but I'm also okay with going solo.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Camino del Norte, and the Camino Portuguese (May, 2018)
#32
Thanks for suggesting this thread, Wes. Your description of the C2C is scary though. Honestly, do you think it's foolhardy for a 76 year old woman to attempt it alone? I know there will be lots of others on the walk, and I'm hoping that if things get really bad, I can tag along with others. I got through the wonderful Camino Frances basically alone, by sheer will power, and the help of my trusty hiking poles, which I used to pull myself over mountains. It was hard and painful and glorious. I'm not exactly having second thoughts about the C2C, but I admit that I'm nervous about it.
Ok. Here's my two cents. I am 71. In the last 5 years, I have walked the Camino Frances twice and cycled the Norte once. My husband and I are planning to walk the Portuguese in May. We walked the C2C last August. It was entirely too rigorous for me to walk alone. These factors: navigation was extremely difficult; very easy to lose one's way and with the added risk of fog and rain( even in August), unmarked trails and very few other walkers, it was downright dangerous. Now that is my experience. There was a young German woman walking alone and she was always very thankful for our friendship and companionship. If I did walk, I'd definitely have a GPS device that was not dependent upon connectivity and I'd study the terrain. We walked on our own but had our luggage transported to a B&B each day with pre-arranged reservations. There are not many services; we packed our lunches everyday and had breakfast and dinner at the B&B. Most of the other walkers were from Australia. It was a great experience retrospectively. I am not inclined to repeat it whereas I am drawn constantly to the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#33
Ok. Here's my two cents. I am 71. In the last 5 years, I have walked the Camino Frances twice and cycled the Norte once. My husband and I are planning to walk the Portuguese in May. We walked the C2C last August. It was entirely too rigorous for me to walk alone. These factors: navigation was extremely difficult; very easy to lose one's way and with the added risk of fog and rain( even in August), unmarked trails and very few other walkers, it was downright dangerous. Now that is my experience. There was a young German woman walking alone and she was always very thankful for our friendship and companionship. If I did walk, I'd definitely have a GPS device that was not dependent upon connectivity and I'd study the terrain. We walked on our own but had our luggage transported to a B&B each day with pre-arranged reservations. There are not many services; we packed our lunches everyday and had breakfast and dinner at the B&B. Most of the other walkers were from Australia. It was a great experience retrospectively. I am not inclined to repeat it whereas I am drawn constantly to the Camino.
Thank you for your honesty. I'm going to look into getting a GPS device. That sounds really helpful. I'm also going to take a course on using a compass with a topographical map. And my days are mostly reasonably short. The longest is the 14.5 miles from Patterson to Bampton Grange. The average is 10 to 12 miles. How were weather reports for a day, prior to walking? I'm wondering if the forecast is too bad, I might skip a section altogether. BTW, I know you will love the Portuguese Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Camino del Norte, and the Camino Portuguese (May, 2018)
#34
Sounds good. Yes, our days were about that long as well (unless we got lost). Yes, we watched the weather and did take a bus to the next town one day. I can share my blog if interest to you. (You must promise not to be offended by typos)!
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October (2015) CF; October 2017 PC from Porto
#35
Sounds good. Yes, our days were about that long as well (unless we got lost). Yes, we watched the weather and did take a bus to the next town one day. I can share my blog if interest to you. (You must promise not to be offended by typos)!
I would love that!! Thanks!
 

Doogman

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many more in the future (hopefully)
#37
I did the C2C a long time ago (1987) and my memory is that the Lake District is the most difficult section, as you are walking over the mountains. Now these are not mountains like the Rockies or Alps, but they are good climbs nonetheless. Unfortunately you start off in the Lake District (assuming you are walking west to east) so your legs have not had time to strengthen. The only other big climb that I can recall is getting up onto the North York Moors much later in the walk.

My opinion is probably not worth very much, as it was so long ago and I was (obviously) a lot younger then, but I would say that a reasonably fit person, taking their time, would not find it overly onerous.

I doubt you will find the route waymarked nearly as well as the Camino routes. The British routes that I have done are gorgeous and some of my favourites, but some basic map reading abilities and a decent guidebook would be useful. I would also book accommodation in advance, as there are not as options as on the Camino.

Enjoy!
 

jimmyc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#38
Age does not matter. It is your basic fitness that counts. I walked the C2C when I was 73, the Frances when 75 and the Portuguese when 76. Later this year I hope to do the Primitivo and I will be 78.
No doubt the C2C is more difficult but take your time and have a day off at least once a week and only walk June to September.
When you get to Robin Hood bay dip your toes in the North Sea and savor the wonderful feeling of achievement that you will get after an unforgettable experience. For sheer beauty nothing compares to the C2C.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Part 1 (2017)/ Part 2 (2018), VF Part 1 (2018)
#39
I'd second the comment about getting lost even with a map as there are few features on the middle section. A GPS is recommended and you can get GPS files from Wikiloc like this one

https://www.wikiloc.com/mountain-biking-trails/workington-to-penrith-c2c-first-day-14841613

You'll see from the profile that the walk looks to be less challenging that the Napoleon Route but the Lake District part doesn't have the tarmac the Camino does. And it rains a lot.

It will be a challenge, especially if going solo but check with some of your local walking groups to see if anyone is at least doing part
 

kcaldaba

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese -Spring, 2017
#40
I walked the C2C in May of 2017 at age 70 and the Camino Frances from SJPdP to Santiago and then Finisterre from April 28 to June 2, 2016. Also walked Hadrian’s Wall immediately prior to starting the C2C in St. Bees in order to walk myself into shape for the C2C, which turned out to be a good idea.Thrilled and grateful that I was able to do both. Great time of the year to do them.
Going back to Spain in early May to do the Norte and Primitivo to Santiago, starting in Irun.

If someone can physically do the C2C, there’s no doubt in my mind they can do the Frances. I loved them both, but for different reasons. The C2C was gorgeous when the weather was good, but the Frances was transformational. The combination of history and spirituality, the sense of community with people from all over the world, and being out there for 5+ weeks does something to your psyche.
I came home from the C2C a fitter person. I came home from the Camino a better person (admittedly there was plenty of room for improvement!)
 

wes

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2006) VdlP to Carceres (2010) Frances (2013) Portugues (2016)
#41
Thanks for suggesting this thread, Wes. Your description of the C2C is scary though. Honestly, do you think it's foolhardy for a 76 year old woman to attempt it alone? I know there will be lots of others on the walk, and I'm hoping that if things get really bad, I can tag along with others. I got through the wonderful Camino Frances basically alone, by sheer will power, and the help of my trusty hiking poles, which I used to pull myself over mountains. It was hard and painful and glorious. I'm not exactly having second thoughts about the C2C, but I admit that I'm nervous about it.
Hello Kathy, I've re-read the posts from December and you're right, we do make the C2C sound a bit dire. I guess I wasn't expecting to have to expend so much effort on (1) watching where I was placing my feet, and (2) assiduous compass and map-reading. On all of my four Caminos I wandered along in my own thoughts for about 90 per cent of the time; on the C2C I was primarily occupied with getting from A to B. And there were a couple of occasions in heavy fog, with daylight running out, and no cellphone cover, when, for about an hour, I was genuinely concerned. Still, those of us who've recounted these experiences clearly made it in one piece, and thousands of people make the walk uneventfully every year. I think a GPS would make a big difference, but I'd also be cautious about walking alone if the weather's ordinary.
Best regards, wes
 

jsalt

Jill
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#42
Thanks for suggesting this thread, Wes. Your description of the C2C is scary though. Honestly, do you think it's foolhardy for a 76 year old woman to attempt it alone? I know there will be lots of others on the walk, and I'm hoping that if things get really bad, I can tag along with others. I got through the wonderful Camino Frances basically alone, by sheer will power, and the help of my trusty hiking poles, which I used to pull myself over mountains. It was hard and painful and glorious. I'm not exactly having second thoughts about the C2C, but I admit that I'm nervous about it.
Hi Kathy
We had one backpack transported each day with all our heavy stuff (Packhorse). The other backpack we carried between us. On several days my husband got a lift with the bag (we phoned the evening before to arrange it).

There was one long difficult day that I wanted to walk (there was no way my husband was going to do it), but the trail is not marked (we had a guidebook which we consulted frequently), and with frequent heavy mist and fog on the mountain tops, we decided it was too risky for me to go alone.

We hadn’t met up with anyone at that stage that I could tag along with, so we arranged the evening before that Packhorse would pick us both up that day. Don’t hesitate to do the same!

It is a tough hike. It’s not the distance, but the difficult terrain, which really slowed us down to a kilometre an hour in some places.
Jill
 


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