Sunday, 22 August 2010


Eleven weeks gone now since arriving at John O'Groats (wish the name of the smaller, I'm fed up of typing it all in), since I have been mulling over what I should do in the future, no I haven't learnt my lesson and been put off walking!
Even joining the End to End Club, so I'll get the certificate - wow!! Existing walking projects are still on the go such as the Birmingham to Aberystwyth walk at 30%, Grand Union at 50%. These will be continued as random weekend walks. I am 60% through climbing the Wainwrights, which once again is a long term objective to "bag" them all. Next year I aim to meet up with Graham Hart, who is completing them all in one year for charity, so this will see a few more of them ticked off. Two longer projects on the go, are the "piecemeal" LEJOG I have been undertaking for a number of years, by joining LDW's across the country, here most of central England is complete, with Land's End to Minehead and 3 days in Lancashire to complete England. I was going to use the WHW and GGW in Scotland as these have been completed. Now having completed LEJOG in one, using these paths, I am considering changing this project to walking from the South West to the North West corner of England, hence adding the walk from Newcastle to the border of Scotland. The other project has me completed a continuous walk from Bath to Edale, this one sticks from the others walks as to where it goes next? This however is to form the backbone of what I am considering undertaking. Walking from Kent to Land's End has been considered, likewise, Aberystwyth to Norwich (although this still maybe done?), but purely by accident when reviewing the Heart of England path, I noted this was part of the E2 European Path. What's that, I questioned. I had seen reference to it before, but never paid much attention. But investigating future, there are 10 cross Europe Paths, E2 goes from Nice, France (yes France) to Ireland, although the Ireland leg does not exist at present, so currently Nice to Stranraer. No you get a ferry at Dover and not walk across the water! The way it traces through the UK sees it crossing Scotland, using the Southern Upland Way (one I've been eyeing for a while - see photo of crossing the SUW on my LEJOG at Beattock)), then joining the Pennine Way, via the St Cuthbert Way. All the way down the Pennine Way to Hebdon Bridge,, then to the Heart of England Way using the Gritstone and Staffordshire Way (Done some). Heart of England down to the Cotswolds, Thames Path and North Downs Way to Dover, Don't sound far does it? In France, it follows the French border all the way down from the English Channel to the Med. So, bit at a time. Concentrating on the UK legs, next year I can walk half the North Downs Way with my wife and then the Southern Upland way in 10 -12 days on my own, subject to other holiday commitments…Later the French legs could be done with mixing them with holidays etc. However, where I was considering a German language course French maybe more appropriate?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

August - not a walking month -so far

From walking almost every Saturday during July, I have gone to not walking at all in August so far. With a planned trip to Stonehenge and Glastonbury this weekend, that will only leave the final Bank Holiday weekend to remedy the situation. Last weekend however did have a walking and LEJOG theme as I spent the whole weekend retracing my LEJOG route capturing photo's lost when my camera left me at Taunton. Is nice to have a complete photo set of the whole walk, even thought some aren't from the actual days. I'd forgotten some of the route, scenery and features from the first week having no photo's to recall from. Memories of the final 5 1/2weeks have been boosted by the photo's, so now having all seven weeks I'll have no excuse. I have made sure that these are suitably backed up. Photo shown is the position where I discovered the camera was lost and the wall I almost kicked in anger!! Walking on the treadmill, as boring as it is, is still going well, keeping me ready for when I do finally get out for a LDW. I am now at Brora, walking the A9, heading for Drumrobin Castle (I remember that day walking up the country well, with the fantastic views along the coast) on my "simulated" walk down the country, since beginning at the start of July I have covered some 60 miles. (see map!)