Jon Michel doesn’t shy away from a challenge, including last week’s 500-kilometre Zoo2Zoo ride from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo to Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. Today we’re going to share an even bolder challenge: England’s Coast to Coast Walk.

The Coast to Coast Walk – also known as Wainwright’s Way after the renowned walker and writer created the long-distance trail in 1973 – is one of England’s premier walks. This splendid hike is approximately 315 kilometres (195 miles) long and is usually covered in 15 days.

It begins by the Irish Sea in the town of St Bees and continues over the Lake District National Park, the Pennine Hills, Yorkshire Dales, and North York Moors National Park before ending by the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.

The Tattersalls Team caught up with Jon to share his story.

Tattersalls Club: Did you undertake any special fitness training to prepare yourself for the walk? And would you have any recommendations for Members?

Jon Michel: I am generally very active with a fitness regime including cycling, regular walks and yoga. In the week before the walk, further preparation also included 15-20 kilometre training walks on the south downs of England.

This walk is quite strenuous but can be completed by beginners, just don’t bind yourself to the prescribed 15-day itinerary. Rather, go at your own pace to avoid overexertion or injuries.

Members can also benefit greatly by participating in the Club’s group fitness classes, especially Spin and Yoga.

It’s more about mental strength than physical strength.

Tattersalls: How did you prepare for this trip in regard to travel and stay? Was this a self-guided or a group tour?

Jon: I opted for the self-guided tour as I was confident of covering this walk at a fast and regulated pace. I used a travel company for my accommodation bookings and engaged a Sherpa to transport my luggage from stay to stay.

Group tours are fairly popular for this walk though, or another way to go about it is to book everything yourself to reduce the overall cost. Part of the fun is in the planning.

My planning and preparation was online research, watching videos, and reading books & blogs, and I’ll share those sources with Members (see end of article).

Your gear, maps, hiking bag and personal safety kit (including Ibuprofen and blister plasters) are the main keys. I also recommend breaking your shoes in and getting comfortable in them rather than wearing new shoes for the walk.

Tattersalls: Did you closely follow the 15-day itinerary, or deviate off the track? Also, how many kilometres did you cover in total?

Jon: I mostly followed the prescribed itinerary. My set timeline of 13 active walk days back-to-back didn’t allow any wriggle room or meander opportunities. Also, I covered a total of around 320 kilometres (200 miles).

Of course, anyone can add days for rest or for additional exploration if they like.

Tattersalls: What was your daily routine like and how many kilometres did you cover every day?

Jon: I would usually start my day at about 8:30 in the morning after a heavy breakfast and end my walking day around 4:30 pm. I carried a packed lunch, water and other basic necessities, and on average would cover 25 to 35 kilometres every day.

Also, the important aspect is not only the kilometres you cover but the amount of climbing as well.

Tattersalls: What are the most iconic places that you covered? And your favourite part of the trip?

Jon: the Lake District is truly stunning, the Day 6 Patterdale–Shap in particular (26km) takes you through some breathtaking high country.

Kidsty Pike at 780 metres (2,558 feet) is the highest point on the walk so stands out, as did the pint at the Kings Arms Hotel at the end of the day!

Tattersalls: What are some of the unexpected challenges that you faced during the walk? And what can others do to avoid or better prepare for them?

Jon: I was well prepared and blessed with good weather, so didn’t face issues as such, apart from getting the news that my father had passed away on the third day of the walk.

I ended up drinking port with a couple of fellow walkers from the Netherlands whom I had joined for dinner to pay our respects to a life well lived and had days ahead in the hills to remember him and the great times we had together before his passing.

Tattersalls: Please share your overall experience of this walk.

Jon: Overall I was blown away by how beautiful the English countryside is (even though I am a Brit, albeit a soft southerner!).

And the camaraderie and friendship of the fellow walkers I met from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Europe. We all had a common bond it seemed.

Tattersalls: And finally, could you share your do’s and don’ts for Members planning to go on this trip?

Jon: For don’ts: just make sure you are not over-ambitious with the days you give yourself to complete the walk. Additionally, as you are about to walk 25-30+ kilometres every day, don’t be hesitant to fuel up before setting out, you’ll burn it off anyway.

My only do is as Nike says: Just Do It!

Click the links below for the sources Jon used to research his walk. You can also reach out to him directly on

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