Coast to coast walk Bed and Breakfast review – the best and the worst

Coast to coast walk bed and breakfast reviews – you heard it first on trefor.net.

We stayed at 13 bed and breakfasts whilst doing the coast to coast walk. Suffice to say that we were all sick of the sight of a “full English” by the end of it although I did finish off with one thinking it might be my last for some time.

By and large all the places we stayed at were of a good standard – Ajax and Luke had a couple of duffers. We weren’t always in the same place. The one exception was the Arncliffe Arms on the penultimate night which was pretty low quality pub accommodation with no outstanding features. The only other slight disappointemnt was the New Ing Lodge in Shap. It was run by a nice young couple who seemed to me to lack experience. For example the heating wasn’t on and some of the rooms (Ajax’s) didn’t have kettles. They were running the place on a shoestring it seemed.

I’m not going to mention all the places we stayed. You can check out the post for each specific day of the walk for this information. It is fair to say that a few of them did stand out from the rest for a variety of reasons.

The number one for quality was the Manse at Reeth on day 7. This won for the general high standard of the room and en suite (touch control temperature shower) and the overall quality of the breakfast. Although the bacon was slightly overdone they provided fried bread when asked even though it wasn’t on the menu. Breakfast overall was v good. They had soda bread on the menu!.

The Manse was right next to the green in Reeth which was very convenient for the pubs and on the coast to coast walk route. It is worth noting that these rural areas of the North aren’t totally geared up for tourists. Pub kitchens often closed early. Some friends came to meet us for that day’s walk and their pub/hotel stopped serving food at 7pm on a Saturday night. The only place in town still serving was the Buck Inn which was pretty low quality freezer fare. My rare steak came medium. My family insists that I’m not allowed to order steak in pubs for this very reason but hey…

The other places worth a mention are the Keld Lodge Hotel, West Cote near Chop Gate/Clay Bank Top, the Glaisdale Lodge near Patterdale and the Willance House in Richmond.

Keld Lodge was a former Youth Hostel. It wasn’t salubrious but the staff there were terrific and was the first place to automatically include fried bread on the menu. Keld is a million miles from anywhere so we also ate there and had a terrific evening meal. You felt as if you were in an oasis. I asked Dave the waiter whether the sauvignon blanc was local and he replied it was made in Wensleydale:). Keld Lodge btw is in Swaledale which was my fave bit of the walk.

Grisedale Lodge (day 3) was run by Christine and John and the food was of the highest quality. The bread was homemade and the Cumberland sausage at breakfast was the meatiest I’d ever seen. Bought from the butcher in Shap. Tom had a high quality home mixed muesli. We had had a really hard day when we arrived at Patterdale so Tom hit the hay whilst I staggered to the pub (Lion? I’ll look it up) with Ajax and Luke where we had a good solid meal and met the Canadians.

West Cote (day 10) was different to the mainstream. The landlady Judy was a serious star. We had to call West Cote in advance to let them know when to pick us up as there was no phone signal at the top. In conversation I asked her if she minded me arranging an Amazon delivery the next day – my feet had been getting very sore and my GP sister Ann had advised Arnica cream (is this a social call or a medical call says Ann? :).

Judy said she would pop into town and get me the cream and I added more tape and blister plasters to the list. We eventually ended up walking tp West Cote rather than getting a lift and when we arrived I was not only proffered the Arnica cream but Judy fixed me up an ice bath for my feet.

We also had tea and scones on arrival. That night Stuart ran us down tp the pub, another Buck Inn, owned by a German chef named Wolfgang. We had a German meal rather than the normal pub fare (hunter’s schnitzel)  and afterwards had a beer with both Stu and Wolfgang.

Breakfast was very different. You could choose the usual cooked stuff but I elected for cheese with homemade toasted bread. Our second and final home made bread experience. There was a terrific selection of local cheeses including three from a 180 year old dairy from Wensleydale.

The story goes that the dairy had been sold to a large conglomerate that had decided to shift production to Lancashire. Wensleydale, a Yorkshire cheese made in Lancashire! The prospect was unthinkable. A management buyout ensued and the cheese stayed local. In a nice touch, Nick Park of Wallace & Grommit (more cheese Gromit) fame gave the dairy the rights to use the Wallace and Gromit branding for ten years. I didn’t used to like Wensleydale but this was terrific and I am now a convert. As well as homemade bread Judy presented us with homemade jams and marmalades.

She was very knowledgeable about the area and threw herself into the B&B job with enthusiasm. She was also on the committee of the Riding for The Disabled Charity – a top girl all round.

Willance House (day 8) in Richmond was a real pro outfit. The rooms were of high quality. Colin the proprietor was very attentive and was perfectly happy to provide us with a bacon sandwich at 6.30 am so that we could make an early start on what was the longest day’s walk of the trip.

I would return to all the aforementioned B&Bs again. I can recommend a three nighter in Keld, Reeth and Richmond which have fairly easy walks between each stop.

Complete list of our coast to coast walk bed and breakfast accommodation. There are pictures of all the locations mentioned (I think – maybe not all the actual B&Bs but certainly the locations) if you go to the relevant day’s blog entry. Click on the album links to see the pics and vids.

So there you go – coast to coast walk bed and breakfast reviews. Only a few coast to coast posts left in me plus a video which might take some time to produce as I have so much material. It will be worth the wait:)

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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