Coast to coast walk broadband coverage

Coast to Coast broadband

Thought it would be interesting to see what the Coast to Coast broadband coverage was likely to be during our walk in May. It will be most inconvenient is I cant upload stuff at the end of each day. I’m assuming that the daytime coverage in the mountains will be largely on existent which is a bit of a shame as otherwise I’d be able to store my pics and videos as I go along.

I used the BT postcode checker, EE’s own website for mobile coverage  and the Ofcom coverage page. The results are below.

The places with very little or no bandwidth are small villages. The larger the place the more likely they are to have service. Obvs.

If I left out the place names and postcodes you could guess which stopping points were in National Parks and which weren’t. Clearly the inhabitants of these places have compensations to offset their poor internet access (innit @Cyberdoyle? 🙂 )

What I thought most amusing was that at our ultimate destination, Robin Hood’s Bay, the only network that apparently has 4G coverage is Vodafone and that is out at sea – see featured image. So if the tide is out people with Vodafone sims get good connectivity. Hopefully they have waterproof phones.

Day Place BT checker EE coverage Ofcom 4G checker
Saturday St Bees CA27 0DE 68Mbps 4G EE
Sunday Ennerdale Bridge CA23 3AR 1Mbps none EE nearby
Monday Seatoller CA12 5XQ 1Mbps none none
Tuesday Patterdale CA11 0PJ 80Mbps none none
Wednesday Shap CA10 3LX 33Mbps 4G EE good O2/Voda fair
Thursday Kirkby Stephen CA17 4QQ 78Mbs 4G EE
Friday Keld DL11 6LL 2Mbps none none
Saturday Reeth DL11 6SN 73Mbps 2G no data none
Sunday Richmond DL10 7AG 75Mbps 4G all good
Monday Ingleby Cross DL6 3LN 73Mbps 3G O2/Voda good EE sketchy
Tuesday Chop Gate (Clay Bank Top) TS9 7JF 10Mbps none none – all sketchy nearby
Wednesday Glaisedale YO21 2QL 10Mbps 3G Voda limited
Thursday Robin Hood’s Bay YO22 4RJ 46Mbps 3G Voda out at sea only!

Would have been better had I been able to represent this data graphically but I can’t so never mind.

samsung Galaxy S7 Edge rain test

Testing the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge waterproofness

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is officially far more waterproof than the Oneplus 2. It’s handily chucking it down in Lincoln so I went outside in the rain to test the S7 Edge.

Most of the video is pointing at me and to the sky – just so the screen could get  as much exposure as possible to the wet. I am happy to tell you that the phone is still working fine and the video has already been automatically backed up to Google Drive.

In fairness to the Oneplus 2 the video I took shortly before the screen died on me also backed up immediately over 4G but it wasn’t much use for anything else. Almost as if the phone’s sole purpose in life was to take that one short video, back it up, and die.

I did manage to wipe the phone remotely and do a factory reset and now I have the bumpf off the bank’s insurance people to sent it away for repair. It will be a handy backup phone although only for when the sun is shining or when I am indoors.

Not being remotely waterproof is not much use in a phone in the UK. I imagine it was designed for Californians.

I am thinking of testing my GoPro underwater. Not sure where I’d use it submerged but it sounds like something useful. The beauty of the GoPro is that I can test it without risking damaging the camera because the waterproofness is provided by the case. The camera itself isn’t waterproof. I would just have to test the empty case.

Btw I keep finding apps that I had on the old phone but haven’t installed on the new. Instagram was it yesterday. Not thats I really use Instagram much. I am becoming a creature of habit.

Fetured image btw is the Day 2 route – Ennerdale Bridge to Seatoller. Elevation map below with OS map of the difficult bit.


Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 13.09.23

Galaxy S7 Edge First Impressions

Galaxy S7 Edge waterproof phone

I need a waterproof phone for the Coast to Coast sponsored walk. The new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a bit of a result. It feels great in the hand and the camera would appear to be top notch. I did um and ah a bit before buying it as it comes with a hefty price tag – £630 from EE including a PAYG starter SIM which I don’t need but that was the deal.

My previous two phones have been the Oneplus1 and Oneplus2. As value for money they have been great and both are still usable. Once I’ve had the Oneplus2 screen repaired that is – it’s biggest weakness appears to be it’s poor resistance to a bit of rain.

The Oneplus2 was also not the most reliable phone – kept locking up when using Runkeeper I needed it for taking photos. This is whilst I’ve been out on my Coast to Coast training walks. I’m hoping that in the Galaxy S7 Edge I have a phone that will do the job for me on the actual coast to Coast walk.

The Oneplus 2 is billed as a flagship killer. It isn’t. It is almost there but misses a few finesses. One has to remember it is less than half the price of the S7 Edge. Not being waterproof was a killer for me. Once repaired I’m going to use it as a backup and a second phone when travelling – the two SIM trays was very useful. I’d use my EE SIM for calls and texts and a local in country SIM for data. Roaming data charges are total ripoffs.

I suspect the battery capacity of the Edge is only just going to be ok. It is now 10am and the battery is at 65% charge. I charged it up yesterday evening and it lost maybe 10% just sat there overnight. This, I assume is down to the lock screen data which I guess I could disable. I’ll leave it as is for now. It isn’t a problem at the moment.

The fingerprint recognition works really well on the Samsung. It feels as if it is an improvement on the Oneplus.

I did look at the iPhone but tbh that was too big a jump for me. I am now the possessor of a high end Macbook Pro. Most of my pals in the networking industry use such a device. I now consider that I have the right laptop and phone. The chromebook can stay as a backup and will also probably be the laptop i take with me on the Coast to Coast – I don’t want to risk the Macbook Pro being nicked in transit between B&Bs. It does mean my video editing capabilities will be constrained for coast to coast blogging purposes but I can stick to one take videos which is what I do now.

One of the things that has amused me is the presence of Microsoft Office apps on the Edge. I abandoned Microsoft years ago now and won’t go back. The icons have been moved to a safe place. Ditto the Samsung Apps.

Don’t forget that in May I am doing the Wainwright Cast to Coast Sponsored walk in aid of Cancer research UK. This is in memory of my Mam Eileen who died one ear ago to the day of the start day of y Coast to Coast walk. She was an active fundraiser and Chairman of the Marown and District Branch of the IoM Anti Cancer Association. I am being accompanied on the walk by my son Tom and two friends Mark and Luke Agius. If you want to support the cause the please go to the JustGiving page. 

PS re the waterproof phone bit – I’m not going to test it – don’t want to push my luck 🙂

Coast to coast Sponsored Walk provisional schedule

coast to coast sponsored walk provisional schedule

The Wainwright coast to coast sponsored walk provisional schedule is provided below. This is the route as prescribed by Alfred Wainwright.

Saturday 30th April Travel to St Bees
Sunday 1st May Walk St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge 14 miles (22.5 km)
Monday 2nd May Walk Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite 14.5 miles (23 km)
Tuesday 3rd May Walk Rosthwaite to Patterdale 17.5 miles (28 km)
Wednesday 4th May Walk Patterdale to Shap 16 miles (25.5 km)
Thursday 5th May Walk Shap to Kirkby Stephen 20 miles (32 km)
Friday 6th May Walk Kirkby Stephen to Keld 13 miles (21 km)
Saturday 7th May Walk Keld to Reeth 11 miles (17.5 km)
Sunday 8th May Walk Reeth to Richmond 11 miles (17.5 km)
Monday 9th May Walk Richmond to Ingleby Cross 23 miles (37 km)
Tuesday 10th May Walk Ingleby Cross to Clay Bank Top 12.5 miles (20 km)
Wednesday 11th May Walk Clay Bank Top to Glaisdale 18.5 miles (29.5 km)
Thursday 12th May Walk Glaisdale to Robin Hood’s Bay 19 miles (30.5 km)
Friday 13th May Depart from Robin Hood’s Bay after breakfast

We won’t have the exact details of the overnight stops until I’ve paid the final cash for the trip to the travel agent, Contours Walking Holidays (whose image we are using in this post). We are staying at B&Bs each night and our bags are being transported from location to location. There is no way I would manage carrying two weeks worth of kit.

Our friend Adie Smith’s son Tom did this and also camped every night. He completed the walk in 7 days or so and after the first day had to do it in flip flops because his feet blistered badly in his boots! I am not in that league.

When I get the final details of the B&Bs I will let you all know. Quite a number of people have already expressed an interest in joining us for part of the journey.

As a reminder my son Tom and I are doing this in memory of my Mam Eileen who died one year to the day we start the walk – May 1st. Mam did not die of cancer but was Chairman of the Marown and District branch of the IoM Anti Cancer Association. My father in law Keith died of the disease in 2014.

If you want more detail on the walk itself there is a wikipedia entry.

Preparation for the coast to coast sponsored walk

coast to coast walk preparation – no pain no gain – my feet hurt 🙂

You may have read yesterday about my intention to do the Wainwright Coast to coast Sponsored to raise cash for Cancer Research UK. I am doing this in memory of my mother Eileen who died on may the 1st 2015, exactly one year from the date we start the walk. Mam had been Chairman of the Marown and District Branch of the IoM Anti Cancer Association. My father in law Keith succumbed to cancer in 2014. This post is the first that discusses my coast to coast walk preparation.

The Wainwright Coast to Coast walk is rated as the second best walk world (I read somewhere) and is 190 miles from St Bees in Cumbria on the West Coast to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire on the East. The walk takes in the Lake District, The Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorks Moors. It is a pretty gruelling 12 days of walking and there is no way I would have been able to take it on in January when we decided to go for it with friend Ajax (Mark Agius) and his son Luke.

May 1st however seemed to be suitably long way away giving me plenty of time to prepare. You have to remember that my idea of exercise was to walk to the pub half a mile away and I may even have cadged a lift back off my wife.

I took it as a challenge to get fit enough to complete the walk. It seemed to me that not only would I be fit if I managed to survive 12 days non stop walking 9am until 5ish on most days but I had to be reasonably fit before even setting off.

I bought a pair of walking boots.

My feet are wide and odd sizes (right foot is an 8 and left foot is a 9). Finding a suitable pair of boots I thought would be a challenge. I tried a load on in a couple of shops but always felt that they were either too big for one foot or too small for the other.

In the end I drove to Richmond in Yorkshire to the Alt Berg factory shop where they were happy to pair you up with odd sizes. However they didn’t make their boots wide enough for my feet (!!!) so I ended up buying a pair of Meindl boots off the shelf.

I’ve spent the last few weeks going on occasional walks using the Meindl boots. My feet are still sore after every walk but I am hoping this will gradually diminish the more I walk. Thirty years of sitting with my feet up on a desk will take more than a few walks to sort out.

In the last two or three weeks I have completed 6 walks of between 9 and 10 miles. I now need to start stepping up the pace and increasing the distance. The longest day on the coast to coast is 23 miles so 10 miles doesn’t even get me half way.

At Easter the family are off to Llanberis for some walking in Snowdonia. I figure if I can put some hills in that will help me when it comes to the Lake District where some of the days involve more than one ascent. If I can climb Snowdon then i can take on anything the Lake District can throw at me.

Two out of the following three weekends I will be walking in the peak district (Andy and Suddy and then with the Scouts) and then that leaves me with two more weeks until the beginning of May. Not far off really!

Featured image is the route of today’s walk. Check out my coast to coast walk event page. Details of today’s coast to coast walk preparation are on my personal blog

Wainwright 190 mile Coast to Coast sponsored walk in aid of Cancer Research UK

Coast to coast sponsored walk

On May 1st 2016 my son Tom and I will be setting off from St Bees in Cumbria on the West Coast of England to walk to Robin Hood’s Bay on the East Coast. This is a 190 mile coast to coast sponsored walk.

coast to coast sponsored walk cancer research logoWe are doing it to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. There are two main reasons why this is important to us.

  1. May 1st is the first anniversary of the death of my mother, Eileen. Mam did not die of cancer but she had been Chairman of the Marown and District branch of the Isle of Man Anti-Cancer Association (where I grew up). Raising funds to help beat cancer was important to Mam. She was a nurse and had spent years helping and comforting patients at the end of their lives.
  2. My wife Anne’s father Keith died of Cancer two years ago.


So this walk is in memory of these two important people. I am expecting some side benefits. Walking for 190 miles across the lake district, Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorks Moors is going to be somewhat of a challenge for someone who has spent the last thirty years with his feet propped up on a desk. I have had to get into training just to be able to even get to the start. I’m hoping there will be less of me at the end than there was at the beginning of the odyssey.

The other benefit will be spending two weeks in the company of my first born effectively away from electronic screens. At this point I hear some of you fall off your chairs in disbelief. How can this be so? 🙂

Well the trip is not going to be entirely offline, other than the fact that there will be little or no mobile reception along much of the route. I am expecting to post updates from our B&B(/pub) every night and will be publishing a live tracker of our progress en route. Expect vids and pics.

Tom and I would also like to think that the walk will raise some serious cash for the cause. Most people have been touched by cancer in one way or another. In 2016 we are seeing signs that there is light at the end of the tunnel but we aren’t there yet.

If you would like to help please consider making a donation, no matter how small, to Cancer Research UK.

Also if you want to come along on all or part of this walk then you are very welcome to do so and should get in touch.  Our friend Mark Agius and his son Luke are coming the whole way. We set off at 9am on Sunday 1st May and arrive at our destination at tea time on Thursday 12th.