John O’Groats to Land’s End

john o'groatsIn the summer of 2006, I walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for the Brain Research Trust in memory of my brother Simon who died from a brain tumour in 2005. As you might expect, I blogged along the way and here are the posts I wrote about it.

My first posts on it were announcing that I’d do it, and then the route I was planning to take.

I started on the 25th July, and began with a couple of quick posts via a friend as I abandoned my plan of camping after discovering my tent was too heavy to walk comfortably with. After three days I was in Helmsdale and writing my first proper update.

By the end of the first week, I was on the Black Isle and looking back at the distance I’d done in those first few days.

A day later, I’d finished with the A9 and got to Inverness, then headed down by Loch Ness to a couple of days off in Fort William, where I got caught up in the walking equivalent of a traffic jam on the West Highland Way.

Weaving on and off the West Highland Way took me on a long day’s walk through Glencoe to Crianlarich and Ardlui, then along Loch Lomond. I was covering just under 17 miles a day as I headed along the rest of the West Highland Way, then along the central belt towards Edinburgh for another couple of days off around my birthday.

Leaving the flatness of the Central Belt behind, I had a very long day’s walk as I headed out of Scotland and into England. For an indication of how large Scotland is, not long after crossing into England, I reached the halfway point of the journey.

Once in England, I was able to emulate Alfred Wainwright in discovering that I hate the Pennine Way but found a route south that mostly avoided it.

That took me down through North Yorkshire to Haworth, managing to get soaked near Richmond and have an unplanned day off when I got ill, before finally getting to Hebden Bridge.

By this point I’d got into a real walking rhythm and got myself into the Peak District a couple of days later, and was able to make good time through the Midlands to make it to my home town of's end

The end was getting nearer as I headed down through the Vale of Evesham and then across the Cotswolds to Bath.

Internet access was hard to come by in those pre-smartphone and omnipresent 3G days, so the next update wasn’t until I got to Cornwall, just a few days before the end but then found more internet access near an old mine in the middle of nowhere, two days before the end.

And then finally, after 74 days and 1050 miles, I made it to Land’s End.

2 thoughts on “John O’Groats to Land’s End”

Leave a Reply