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articles > 2012

Waymarking the Coast To Coast with Wainwrights signatureWaymarking the Coast to Coast Walk

The Wainwright Society is delighted to announce that permission has been granted to waymark the route of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk. The agreement follows discussions with all the local authorities that lie along the route of this iconic long-distance walk.

Parts of the walk have been waymarked already, but a new waymarker, featuring Wainwright’s AW signature, will appear on finger posts where the route crosses a public road. The Society hopes that the waymarking will be completed during 2013, which is the fortieth anniversary of Wainwright’s guidebook, published in 1973. The Society is planning events to celebrate this anniversary in 2013.

Alfred Wainwright devised the walk, which passes through three National Parks, and dedicated the book to, ‘the second person (unidentifiable as yet) to walk from St. Bees Head to Robin Hood’s Bay.’ Since then, the walk has become, arguably, the most popular long-distance walk in Britain and it has been estimated that some 5000 – 7000 walkers complete the crossing from coast to coast, annually.

Wainwright’s original route was updated in 1994 to avoid sections where there was no public right of way. In 2010, Chris Jesty completed a major revision of the guidebook, updating the text and maps to take account of the changes in the landscape that had occurred. In the Vale of Mowbray section, eight miles of road walking between Ellerton Hill and Oaktree Hill has been re-routed on to public footpaths. This revision has now been accepted as the definitive line and it is this route that will be waymarked.

Part of the Society’s rationale behind the desire to have the Coast to Coast waymarked, is to accord public recognition of the route on the ground. It is not intended that the waymarks should mark every step of the way as the essence of the walk is that people should guide themselves across the route using the guidebook, and, more importantly, a map and compass. The Coast to Coast crosses a number of remote areas of mountain and hill country and knowing how to use a map and compass to guide one’s steps is essential.

A longer-term objective of the Society is to have the route marked on Ordnance Survey maps and there will be further discussions with the relevant authorities once the Coast to Coast Walk has been waymarked.

Derek Cockell - Press & Publicity Officer