We (my husband and I) took 21 days including 3 rest days (it's alright if you are retired!). B&B's are good although with varying abilities to dry clothes. On our wet day, the B&B hosts had turned on the central heating. The best places for drying clothes are Youth Hostels but they more or less run out after the Lake District. The walk is very sociable as you keep meeting up with the same people from all sorts of countries. Pubs are OK but more commercial. I wouldn't recommend a day off just before the finish as you lose the people you have been walking with and it would be nice to finish with. Recommended B&B's include Jasmine House (Cleator), the Manor House Kirkby Stephen (where the chinese and indian restaurants are good), the Old Brewery at Richmond, and Intake Farm Littlebeck. Sherpavan are very efficient at carryiing bags. I planned this myself which I presume was cheaper than going with an organisation, and I could do the length of days I wanted to do. A good start to long distance walking.
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