The journey started at 11am on Wednesday March 10th when I left a cold and windswept Lands End heading north on the South
West Coast path. 7 days later I ticked off my first County Top,
Cornwall's Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor.
My first goal was to reach the east coast, which was
achieved when I walked into Sheringham on day 41. Three days
walking the Norfolk coast path followed as I made my way along the sea
defences to Kings Lynn. Then a day walking in a
straight line both vertically and horizontally! 14 miles along the
banks of the Bedford Cut to Huntingdon.
Aran Fawddwy in Mid Wales
Now time to head back west to my second goal, the high point of Pembrokeshire, Foel Cwmcerwyn in the Mynydd Preseli
which was completed on day 73. The highlights of this section being
the ridge walks along Pen y
Fan and Fan Foel in the Brecon Beacons.
My journey then took me north to Holyhead with another
great ridge walk along Aran Fawddwy in mid Wales with views west to
Cardigan Bay, north to Snowdonia, east into Shropshire and south to
the Brecon Beacons. Snowdon was ticked off on June 1st, the
only day that week when the clouds were down! My third goal
was completed when I crossed the border back into England on the
outskirts of Chester on day 91.
Crossing the Humber Bridge was my next target then it was north
across the Pennines to the Lake District and Scafell Pike, the
highest point in England, which was conquered on day 119, before
heading through the rain to Northumberland my final county in England.
Crossing the border into Scotland
I crossed the border into Scotland on Saturday
July 17th. Two days later my troubles began; walking along Dere Street my legs started to feel sore and heavy and by the time I
reached Newton St. Boswells I could walk no further, so I decided to
take an early holiday and headed home for a week off. I returned the
following week to complete the Lammermuir and Moorfoot Hills
before finally running out of steam in the Tweed Valley near
Pebbles. I had to return home to seek professional advice and
was told to take at least a month's rest. The podiatrist also
diagnosed planar digital neuritis in my left foot. It was time
to drop the word "continuous" from the job description and plan to
complete the journey in 2011.
It was two months before I felt fit enough to resume the journey
and complete the Border Hills. I arrived in Sanquhar on
October 18th where it was time to hang up my boots for the winter.
A different approach for 2011; I broke the journey into smaller
stages making use of my free bus pass to travel to home when the weather
broke and to maintain a life in Dollar.
The burn in Glencoe which caused the broken rib
Starting in March, I slowly made
my way through south west Scotland, over to Arran on the ferry to climb
Goat Fell and then through the familiar home ground of Central Scotland
before climbing my first Munro, Ben Lomond and heading north into the
Highlands via Ben Vorlich and Ben Lawers to Glencoe to climb Bidean nam
Bian. On the descent I
slipped crossing a small burn, fell and hit a boulder in the water.
The journey came to an an abrupt halt the following day when a broken rib
It took 3 months before I could pick up my rucksack
again, 6 weeks of complete rest to allow the bones to mend and another 6
weeks to build up my fitness levels again. At the end of August I set
off again via the highest point of the
journey, Ben Nevis, heading due east to cross the
Cairngorm Plateau and the second highest Munro, Ben Macdui. The Angus Hills
provided the next challenge with Glas Maol and Mount Battock to visit
before returning to the northern Cairngorms passing through Glen Avon on
the way to Carn a Ghille Chear to high point of Morayshire.
Commitments in Dollar and with the days shortening meant it was
time to hang up the boots again for the winter at Boat of Garten in the
It proved difficult to find the time to escape life in Dollar and head
north and I could only fit in 3 trips north when home commitments and the
weather combined to allow some enjoyable days in the wilds.
The first leg took me over the high point of Nairnshire to Tomatin,
then I followed General Wade's Military Road into Inverness where I
picked up the Great Glen Way to make my way along Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit.
Part two started walking up Glen Urquart and the spectacular Glen
Affric to climb Carn Eighe and into the remote West Benula and Pait
Forests to the head of Loch Monar. With a front approaching and gale
force winds forecast along with with rucksack with no food in it I
decided to take my escape route down Glen Strathfarrar to civilisation
in Beauly; if I had followed my planned route, the next shop was at
least 6 days away!
The third trip saw me following quiet country lanes and forest tracks
to Garve before climbing into the Fannichs to conquer Sgurr Mor and
onwards to Ullapool.
With another unsettled spell of weather forecast I headed home
planning to return once the clouds had lifted but a family illness took
precedence and I had to postpone the finish to 2013.