The Long Walk
W alking for a couple of days, weeks even, is one thing, but walking the length of an entire country for over 12 weeks is something altogether different, especially when you’ve not got a history of undertaking long distance walks, er, like me!
I walked from Land’s End to John o’Groats starting on the 7th May 2010, finishing on August 1st 2010: 69 walking days and 18 rest days, averaging over 16 miles per day.
In the process of undertaking this challenge I raised a lot of money for charity – the British Heart Foundation – and I can honestly say that this was one of the most interesting experiences [so far] of my life.
I’ll be honest, my body – feet specifically – suffered quite badly along the way. I’m sure there a few times on the phone to my brother where I said I couldn’t go on but to be honest, there was never a morning when I woke up that I thought I couldn’t carry on. Giving up was not an option!
Just to prove I was still fighting fit at the end of the walk I ran the last half mile to the sign post at John O’Groats, if you can believe that?!
Was It Worth It?
I guess the big question you might have is was it worth it? The simple answer to that is a resounding yes! To be fair, I’m sure I’m enjoying the fact that I’ve walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats more than actually doing the walk, even with the rose-tinted glasses of time on my side.
I have a wealth of amazing memories from the time spent on the road and I met some wonderful, generous people along the way.
Which Way To Go?
O ne of the truly great things about walking from Land’s End to John o’Groats is the fact that you can take pretty much any route you care to take. There are books that suggest sensible routes – I used Andrew McCloy’s route guide “The Land’s End to John o’Groats Walk” and Andy Robinson’s “The End-to-End Trail” for reference – but at the end of the day, the route you take is completely down to you. Scenic route, all A-roads: the choice is completely yours to make.
There’s no better way of seeing a country than crossing it on foot. You get to see so much more than you would whizzing past in a car or train.
I f you’ve been inspired by my little adventure then I dare you to do it yourself. Go on, you know you want to!