a 3,500 mile, unsupported walk from Lands End to John O’ Groats passing through the highest point in each of the 84 historic counties of Britain.
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  3,500 miles
Vancouver to Boston
 
distance completed
5,583 km
tops completed
85
amount pledged to date
  £7,693
sponsor me online
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The journey so far..............
2010

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

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

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.

2011

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.

Glencoe

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 was diagnosed. 

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 Spey Valley.

2012

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.

Glen Affric

Glen Affric

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.


Slideshow of all 81 county tops visited to date