Beginning at the pier in Eastbourne, East Sussex the route will follow the coast clockwise around the UK’s mainland – taking me more or less west towards Lands End, Cornwall, where I will turn right and head north east towards Wales. I will head around the coast of Wales towards North West England and include the Isle of Anglesey too.
From here I will travel north through Lancashire and Cumbria, eventually hitting the Scottish border and making my way into the Highlands, by which time it should be summer. After navigating the Scottish coast I will head back into England, travel south towards London and eventually follow the sea round the Kent coastline & back on the home stretch to Eastbourne.
On occasion I will have to move away from the coast to go around unavoidable places, such as restricted areas, industrial complexes and Army firing ranges.
Like the few who’ve completed this journey before me, I intend to travel as lightly and unsupported as possible. I will be camping as and when I can, but cheap/free accommodation has the potential to crop up and I’m not going to say no! I are hoping that we can use this adventure as a chance to use what we’ve learnt about living off the land to make my way around and incorporate resources we can collect into the odd meal or two!
We are looking to start the walk just after Tommy’s 22nd birthday, in early February 2013. Looking back at previous attempts we are estimating it to take between 10-11 months to complete. A few have managed it in less, but that’s because their purpose was solely for the fastest time. They weren’t able to stop and appreciate the places they were visiting. I am looking to learn a lot from this trip and if I find a place I like enough to settle for a few days, then I’ll take the opportunity!
Since I left school I’ve wanted to travel like this. Unfortunately I felt that I was too young and careers & lifestyle choices got in the way for the few of those friends who were interested and travelling was put about as far back on the burner as it can get. in 2011 I started reading a book called ‘Turn Right at Lands End’ by a dude called John Merrill, who was the first man in recorded history to complete this feat. This sparked the urge to do something meaningful and exciting with my life and pretty much straight away I started to plan. Now all the planning is complete and it’s just a case of collecting equipment and money so the trip can happen.
Many people have asked, “why the UK? Seems a little boring to me. Why not Thailand? Australia? India?” – While I’m not ruling out these places as fantastic places to visit, I believe that our own country is in fact a really beautiful place and a lot of people don’t know what they are missing out on. I want to explore the land I am from first, before I begin a journey like this abroad. If anything, the weather will be just as if not more diverse, the countryside and coastline is incredible and most of all it’s a place I can feel comfortable and be familiar with, especially as it’s my first real travelling experience.
I want to learn too. New skills always appeal to me, if I can learn a thing or two along the way I will feel like I’ve really achieved something by the end.