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#51185 - 23/09/09 11:29 AM To book or not?
DodgeyKnee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 22/07/09
Posts: 109
Loc: London
Hello everybody,

Next August my son, a friend and myself are planning to camp, wild camp and hostel (YHA or independent) our way loosely following AW's route.

To keep things flexible I thought of not booking anywhere, just turn up (especially the wild camps). That way we could make allowances for bad weather, fatigue, hangovers, etc. slowing us down.

Is this a good idea? Are there places it is definately wise to book? I know August isn't the favourite time to go but the C2C does seem rather popular!

A bit early to worry but I just can't seem to leave it be.

Any comments appreciated (even rude ones)

#51186 - 23/09/09 11:43 AM Re: To book or not? [Re: DodgeyKnee]
*tim* Offline
Full Member

Registered: 18/05/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Suffolk
I wouldn't bother booking campsites or obviously when you wild camp... I never had any issue with pitches in June of this year.

It may be worth booking the smaller or busier YH, but I have no experience of these. possibly Black Sail Hut?

I only decided a few weeks before going that I was doing the C2C, and didn't consider booking anywhere. But then I've never been a big fan of planning anyway...

#51193 - 23/09/09 05:06 PM Re: To book or not? [Re: DodgeyKnee]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
Seems to me the answer is in the question.
You're prepared to wildcamp, so you're not worried about NOT finding a bed. Therefore, you don't book anything.

If you want to guarantee a bed in August, when millions of kids are off school and tourists from all over the shop are visiting the 3 National Parks you'll be walking through, you need to book.

Compromise: select a few places where you really fancy a bed, and get an early booking in place, then flex between the fixed points. Those fixed points will be like a haven of warmth and comfort when you're wet through and that "DodgeyKnee" is hurting.

#51207 - 24/09/09 07:30 AM Re: To book or not? [Re: Stottie]
Kate's Dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 23/06/05
Posts: 274
Loc: Derbyshire
Fully agree with Stottie - beware the tourist traps and bottle necks such as Grasmere, Patterdale and Keld. If planning to stay at these places do book well in advance.

#51210 - 24/09/09 08:09 AM Re: To book or not? [Re: Kate's Dad]
Black Sailor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 14/05/05
Posts: 184
Stottie has it 100% right.

#51213 - 24/09/09 11:57 AM Re: To book or not? [Re: Black Sailor]
lightweightmick Offline
Full Member

Registered: 18/11/04
Posts: 1697
Loc: North Derbyshire UK
You'll be fine - it'll be more of an adventure...
St Bees or Bust!
A Walk in the Park...s

#51218 - 24/09/09 02:23 PM Re: To book or not? [Re: lightweightmick]
mickey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 26/07/09
Posts: 126
We booked a couple of places when we did the C2C this summer, Ennerdale YHA, Reeth Grinton Lodge YHA and Richmond. Our plan was turn up and see how we felt on the day, if we felt ok and the weather was nice we'd camp, if not hunt around for some accomodation. Worked out pretty well for us and gave us a lot of flexibility to have longer or shorter days depending on the situation. In the end our stops ended up as follows:

Day 1 booked Ennerdale YHA before we left - great place

Day 2 camped at Rosthwaite - no booking just pitched at campsite and paid next day

Day 3 Grassmere YHA rang on the day and got room, had planned to camp at Patterdale but got lost up Greenup Edge - YHA was great.

Day 4 Shap - due to getting lost previous day had some making up to do. Epic yomp got us back on track to Shap... though not recommended. were gonna camp behind the pub in Shap but it looked a bit crummy. Ended up staying in New Ing Lodge bunkhouse. great staff and good brekky.

Day 5 Kirkby Stephen. feeling teh effects of prev day so as we got near KS we rang the YHA and blagged a room there.

Day 6 Keld - had planned to do 9 standards and camp at Butt House. Most intense rainstorm i've ever been in prompted us to take the road way. As we got down into Keld by chance we ran into owner of keld bunkhouse, he's had 2 cancellations due to weather so we blagged in there. Highly recommended, bunkhouse has just been done out, powershower and comfy beds smile

Day 7 Reeth had booked into Grinton Lodge YHA, great place, great staff.

Day 8 Richmond had already booked into Buck Inn - ok place nothing special

Day 9 Ingleby Cross Bluebell Inn. Had planned to camp at Osmotherly. However had been a long boring days walking and called off at Bluebell for refreshment. a few pints later and we'd managed to blag a room for 15 each off the owner. there's camping out back of bluebell but were too drunk/lazy to be arsed with the tent.

We decided at this point we wanted a short last day so...

Day 10 Lion Inn Blakey Ridge pushed on past Clay Bank to to the Inn, we'd rang up to book a tent pitch at the inn that morning. However, weather was lousy and when we got there they had a small double room spare for 15 each so we stayed there.

Day 11 Littlebeck Intake Farm. Rang up the farm that morning to book a pitch... well you guessed it, got there found they had a room spare. The owner said we could have it for a tenner each if we slept in our bags so she didn't have to make the room up... result!

Day 12 RHB had booked a B&B about a week before we set off

So yeah apart from few pre bookings we played the whole thing by ear. Made it that bit more of an adventure and there's always the great feeling of blagging into somewhere at the end of a hard day.

#51219 - 24/09/09 02:42 PM Re: To book or not? [Re: mickey]
DodgeyKnee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 22/07/09
Posts: 109
Loc: London
Many thanks,

I feel the panic subsiding.

I see there might be ways to avoid some of the popular spots - Brothers Water instead of Patterdale, Tan Hill instead of Keld...

Maybe I'll ony worry if it's raining stair rods.

Mickey what month did you go?

#51220 - 24/09/09 02:50 PM Re: To book or not? [Re: DodgeyKnee]
mickey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 26/07/09
Posts: 126
We went in mid July, there's usually quite a few who drop out along the walk due to injury or bad weather which is prbably why we found it so easy to get accom last minute.

I'd just take a print out of the tel numbers of the accomodation on the route, a bit of ringing around and you could probably get somewhere if you needed it.

#51234 - 24/09/09 11:18 PM Re: To book or not? [Re: mickey]
JDB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 23/09/09
Posts: 6
Loc: Dorset
Having just finished booking my C2C B&Bs/Inns for next May,I was amazed how early some of the places were already booked. I'm a veteran of the West Highland Way,Great Glen Way and Hadrian's Wall but have never been forced to book this early! Obvious problems - Ennerdale Bridge, Borrowdale and Keld with several B&B's I contacted having already taken bookings for next September! However Mickey's point is valid - I noticed our deposit values increasing the further into the walk we got.Maybe thinking we won't make it!!

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