Ive finished! Ive walked 1200 miles in 7 weeks and 4 days! Ive walked along roads, through fields, along rivers, over moors and over mountains. Ive had all sorts of weather from scortching hot to bitterly cold, gale winds, fog, thunder and lightening, but on the whole I think Ive been very lucky with the weather! Its been very hard mentally and physically at times but also very enjoyable and life enhancing. The wildlife and scenery have been amazing and I was even lucky enough to see an otter and just yesterday a seal. I will continue with the blog during my recovery time in Orkney as I know some people are interested to see the amazing sights of these islands. My thanks to everyone that has followed my blog for your encouragement and your generous donations to Naomis House Childrens Hopsice. It gives me great pleasure to know my efforts will help to support such a worthy cause.

LEJOG - Lands End John O Groats

Thanks for visiting my blog... This expedition has been two months in the planning and training and will hopefully be two months in the execution. I will endeavour to entertain you with a few tales and interesting pictures of my trip as I travel the length of Great Britain in my Lejog challenge... so please call back and send me messages of support to boost my tired legs!

I am collecting sponsorship for Naomi's House childrens hospice. Naomis house provides support and respite care to people under the age of 18 who are unlikely to live in to adulthood. They have two facilities in Hampshire costing 45 million per year to run, serving sick children in seven counties. They are 93% funded by charitable donations.

You can sponsor my trek at http://www.justgiving.com/Malcolm-Woodford

Monday, 31 May 2010

I started walking from Marsden at 10.30 this morning with the weather
slightly overcast but warm. My detour to get a new pair of boots meant
that I had a 3 mile stretch to do before rejoining the Penine Way. The
three miles passed easily and I was back on the well marked paths
again trodden by so many walkers. While many parts of the route are
remote this is easily the busiest path I've been on so far with
walkers and cyclists in abundance; maybe that's because it's the bank
holiday weekend but this is clearly a very popular path.

Most of the walking today has been on the high moors and on paths in
the springy peat which made for reasonably comfortable walking. There
were a few descents and ascents in and out of valleys which challenged
the new boots but they remained reasonably comfortable even through
this and I'm pleased with them so far. Tomorrows forecasted rain will
show how good they really are!

I'd planned to walk on until about 8pm tonight and if necessary camp
out on the moor but at 6pm there was a sign for a farm shop just a
couple of hundred yards and also camping; as the camping turned out to
be free and the shop was stocked with everything a hungry walker could
want my days walking was done!

I've covered about 18 miles today from Marsden to just north of Hebden
Bridge. I crossed the M62 this morning and am now north of Manchester
and a few miles south of Leeds.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The weather has been much kinder today with sunshine and clouds and no
rain but very strong and chilly winds. The terrain was much the same
today as yesterday but looks so much more beautiful in the sunshine. I
crossed from Crowden to Marsden on the Pennines Way and arrived in
Marsden about 2 pm. I had time to do something about the leaky
footwear! A quick bus in to Huddersfield and a trip to Outdoor World
later and I am adorned with the latest in shoe technology complete
with nano something or other that stops the water getting in... Ahhh
they are so comfortable and lightweight! I just hope they continue to
be when I've done a few miles in them; I'll let you know tomorrow...

Sam and I made the crossing from Edale to Crowden over Kinder Scout in
the most atrocious weather yesterday, strong winds and horizontal rain
accompanied us most of the way. It was nice to have company for a
change and Sam said she enjoyed herself though I do wonder if she was
being just a little bit kind. That really was the hardest terrain I've
had to travel so far with a very long ascent and descent and a rocky
weather beaten plateu at the top. We camped at Crowden campsite joined
by Sams mum and enjoyed a couple of well deserved beers down in the
nearby town. All the bad weather had soaked my leather boots through
and the feet were in a worrying state for the ongoing journey; I'd
definately have to do something about that.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The weather was kind today if a little cold, what a relief after a
night of rain. I'm not sure whether it rained all night or there were
just a few showers but each time it started it woke me up as the rain
hammered on the tin roof of the barn. It was nice to wake up this
morning with everything dry including the tent that I'd hung up, so
glad I wasn't out camping last night!

The terrain changed today as I climbed up in to the peak district
proper and became much more exposed and rugged. I'm staying in the
youth hostel at Edale tonight at the base of Kinder Scout ready to
start the Pennines Way tomorrow. I only covered a short distance today
from Taddington but have company walking with me for tomorrow and it
seemed like a good idea to set out on The Pennines way together. Sam
is arriving at 8.30 on the train from Manchester; what a star!

3 weeks of my trek have now passed and I'm getting very used to life
on the road. What came before this, did I go to work each day and sit
in an office chair? Was I able to sit all evening on a comfy sofa if I
wanted to? Surely not! Well three weeks in and I think about 40% of
the way through the trek so I should comfortably be home in time for
my sisters twins being born.

I should have heeded the warning signs saying that the footpath ahead
is tricky and directing me to an alternative...

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Yesterday there was a plague of cows wherever I went, the guys in the
photo followed me for about half a mile through their field; there
were more but these were the persistant ones that came all the way. In
another field of females and calves they were so jumpy they started a
mass migration to a neighbouring field but crossing my route so I had
to dash across the migrating herds path. Two more occassions with
bulls I won't bore you with but suffice to say I really had enough of
cows yesterday! I still like milk and steak though so will forgive
them all. Yesterday ended with rain and me cooking inside a damp tent
before an early night.

Today was a much better day and the countryside of the Derbyshire
dales is much more scenic. The picture Looks down on the village of
Taddington where I am staying tonight in another camping barn, very
basic but with plenty of space and a roof over my head it suits me
just fine. I'll keep the blog short tonight as I've had to climb the
hill to get phone signal and it's chilly up here. At a guess I've
probably covered 45 miles in the last two days and am happy with
progress. I'm really looking forward to joining the pennines way and
some of the higher country coming up but the gradients do look
challenging...

Good night everyone
Mal

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sure they look stupid and docile but behind the disguise there's a
mind of evil genius...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

One more day treading the footpaths and trails of Staffordshire and another day closer to John O Groats. I was out of the campsite and walking by 6am today anticipating another day of swealtering heat and wanting to make the most of the cool morning. The first part of the days walk was along the Birmingham and Fazeley canal with the Kingsbury lakes alongside and I was lucky enough to see a swan sitting on her nest very close to the main path. Unfortunately there is no zoom on my camera and I didn't want to disturb her by getting closer but I think I got a reasonable shot of her.

By 11am I'd made it in to Lichfield and after a relaxed breakfast and couple of cups of tea was able to do a little sightseeing, wander around the shops to find some fuel for my stove, and to take in Lichfields three spired cathedral. The stopover tonight is with my friend in Stafford, Tom. So I was destined for Rugeley, the neighbouring town to Stafford and right on my route. Thinking I didn't have that much distance to make in the afternoon I took the scenic route over cannock chase which was lovely walking but added a few extra miles that my feet probably could have done without! No matter, I made it to Rugeley for my 4pm pick up and looking forward to some home comforts for the evening!

Monday, 24 May 2010

What a day I had yesterday, 26 degrees and little by way of shade. I
remember stumbling across one ploughed field that had dried rock hard
in all awkward shapes and the sun bearing down on me, an empty water
bottle; for that short time I was Frodo Baggins crossing the wastes of
Mordor on a quest in which failure was not an option! Then I reached
the road and knocked at someones house for water spoiling my reverie
but happy to take on some cool liquid. I was walking until 8pm to make
a campsite about 4 miles north west of Coventry, again somewhere in
the region of 26 miles. Having checked in and pitched up I walked the
half a mile to the local pub for a burger and chips feast and then
walked another mile from there to find a cash point and shop. Both my
food and money had run out which is not a good situation when you
haven't any transport! I finally arrived back at the campsite at
eleven and collapsed in the tent. Too hot to get in the sleeping bag I
lay there restlessly.

This morning I was awake before five and set about making the most of
the cool morning. By midday I'd put in 14 miles and decided to stop at
kingsbury water park campsite and relax for the afternoon. Today's
only drama was my biro leaking in my trouser pocket so that the
trousers ended up joining me in the shower! I saw a weasel and a hare
this morning, both quite brazenly hopping along the road, until the
saw me that is.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Tonight I am staying at Stratford upon Avon racecourse camp site. I
arrived here at about nine having had a tough day of it after finding
out that Broadway campsite has closed down some 12 miles back in to
the Cotswolds. After the luxury and hospitality of staying with Rob
and Eryn I am now back to basics and in my little tent with noodles
cooking on the stove. I took the picture of Broadway because it seemed
so stereotypically English and from an earlier age. All the buildings
are in the Cotswold stone and immaculate and there was a summer fete
on the village green.
As I was arriving to the campsite this evening I got directions from a
couple on the footpath, they asked where I'd walked and upon finding
out the whole story the guy said he'd meet me at the campsite entrance
with a cold can of beer by the time I arrived there, I must have
looked like I needed it! Sure enough he turned up with the beer and a
packet of crisps... Most welcome indeed! Andy, your a star, thank you!

Start - Winchcombe
Finsih - Stratford upon Avon
Miles - 26

That's all folks ;-)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Day 14, 21st May
I was dropped off in Painswick at 9.30 this morning with the target of
Winchcombe by 6. I've travelled with only a small rucksack today
because I'm staying at Roberts again tonight. It made an amazing
difference and I felt light on my feet. The terrain was much the same
as the past couple of days in the Cotswolds, many shaded woody paths,
a few very steep climbs, quite a few fields of cows, sheep and young
crops and one or two other walkers out enjoying the hot weather. I
made Winchombe by five with far less aches and pains than usual; I'm
not looking forward to walking with the big pack again tomorrow!

Belas knap, pictured, is a shrine built around 2500 BC. It contained
the remains of over 30 bodies.

Daily stats
Start - Painswick
Finish - Winchcombe
Miles - 24

By my estimation I passed the quarter way mark today!!!
Whoop whoop!!!

Day 13, 20th May
I started walking in Horton at 6.30 in the morning, the sun coming in
through the tent having woken me up at about half five. It's much
easier to drag myself out of bed when camping, lying in just doesn't
hold the same satisfaction. I made good time in the early hours of the
morning while the air was cool and the sun barely out. I had a rather
extended breakfast stop in wooten-under-edge because the chef had just
popped out at the cafe I stopped in, I'd lost an hour of the best part
of the day for walking. When it came though it was delicious and I
needed the fuel having only had noodles and smoked sausage cooked on
the camping stove the night before. Later in the day as the sun
gathered heat my pace slowed and the need to get my bag off my back
increased. I stopped for short periods just to recover from the climbs
but it adds up pretty quickly and the afternoons distance was much
less than the mornings but I made it as far as Painswick just 10 miles
south of Cheltenham. Another pretty Cotswold town with all the
buildings made of the local stone. From here I was picked up by
Robert, who I've known from junior school days, and taken out for a
nice pub dinner and given a comfy bed for the night; bliss!

The photo shows a monument on top of one of the Cotswold hills to
William Tynesdale, translator of the new testament in to English who
was subsequently burnt at the stake in Germany for heresy. A similar
monument can be found only about 5 miles away to General Lord Robert
Somerset, though there was no information about who he was or what he
had done.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Made it the 25 miles to Painswick today after an early start. Robert
has picked me up and I'll have a bed to stay in for tonight :-) trying
not to be antisocial by blogging all evening so bye for now.

Miles today 26

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Well there I was all tucked up in my sleeping bag and I realised I'd
not done the blog yet! Today I walked a bit and then I walked some
more and after a little break from walking I set out walking again...
Tomorrow I might go walking too and maybe the day after that as well.
It's tough and it's draining and everything starts to hurt at some
point in the afternoon but I just have to keep going to make the daily
mileage. I guess overall I am finding it easier day by day, the pains
are lessening as my body gets accustomed to the work. This recent
change from walking mostly on roads to walking mostly on footpaths has
been significant, it's reduced the amount of ground I can cover
because they tend to be less direct but it has stopped the deadness in
the soles of my feet that i would feel on the roads. So enough about
me what else happened today...

Terry from Cornwall who I met at Chew Valley caravan park this morning
donated £10, thank you Terry! I walked from the caravan park in
Bishops Sutton to Chipping Sodbury and then walked two or three miles
further. I am now camped in a farmers field alongside the sheep. There
really aren't many campsites around here and the farmer was fine about
it.

The quarry in the picture is in the village of wick, it looked like
just a small yard from the front gate but as you can see was not quite
so small inside. The ducks I met in Keynsham next to Bristol. I forgot
to photograph the cows that chased me acroos their field, 30 or so
young bulls ran up to the stile as I came to one field and encircled
it all of them edging closer but ready to run away if I turned out to
be dangerous! So I jumped down from the stile in amongst them and
they mostly ran away but then as I made the 100 metres walk across
their field they were all coming up behind in a big semicircle, a few
of them tossing their heads and bucking with excitement. Strangely for
that 100 metres my feet didn't hurt at all, and that was the fastest I
got over a stile all day at the other side!

Mileage today 25

That's all folks ;-)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Hot hot sun for most of the day seemed to sap my strength but the
footpaths were a joy after all the road walking recently. I am now
camped on the edge of Chew valley lake and thanks to the kindness of
the site owner for free. The shortest road distance between last
nights stop and this one is 20 miles according to google maps but
having taken footpaths for most of the day the distance under foot
must have been a good few miles further. I only have in the region of
ten miles further now before joining the Cotswold way to the west of
Bath. Todays photo is taken from the plateu reached after climbey the
hill behind wookey hole (it was a tough one!) see if you can spot
glasonbury tor in the distance. I also found a small place called
woodford!

That's all folks ;-)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Back on the road again today! Sebastien dropped me off in Broomfield
not 50 paces away from where I finished walking on Saturday, at 7
o'clock this morning. Many thanks to him and Valaria for letting me
make their house a chaos of laundry and kit and for feeding me up for
the week ahead.

Armed with my freshly installed OS maps I headed off the tarmac and
into lovely rolling fields and wooded glades. Immediately a new hazard
presented itself; the cow and her calf! They haven't given me much
trouble so far but the cows have looked a bit threatening if the calf
gets skittish. Im sure at some point on this trip I'll run in to a
bull and then things might get interesting.

The first three hours I walked off road but then I realised that my
planned route went straight across the river Parret but unfortunately
not via a bridge and had to detour a couple of miles south to
Burrowbridge. From here there was no logical route to take other than
the road through to Street, the neighbouring town to Glastonbury. So
it was back to plodding along on the hard tarmac with the cars and
trucks spoiling the peace and quiet. The weather was beautiful all day
and a bit nicer than i'd have liked; shouldn't complain though as it's
much better than pouring rain! I got in to Street at 4 o'clock and
rewarded myself with a couple of pasties (I may soon look like a
pasty!) before heading to Tesco's to stock up on pasta, porridge and
chocolate and something nice to cook in the hostel tonight.

Today's pictures are of Burrow Mump, a small ruin on a small but very
steep hill, the pretty spaniel that befriended me when I stopped for a
pint of shandy and of a nice woody path from this morning.

Daily stats
Start - Broomfield
Finish - Street
Miles - 21
Miles to go - 900 ish

That's all folks ;-)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sunday - day of rest

Time for some accounting of the miles so far:

My original planning based upon measurements made on an AA road atlas (4 miles to the inch) had Broomfield as 164 miles. A more detailed analysis on gmap-pedometer has the distance travelled so far as 178 miles, an 8% discrepancy. Extrapolated over the entire route this means the total route will be closer to 1100 miles than 1000. So far I have averaged 22.25 miles daily which puts me covering 1100 miles in 50 days or 58 if I rest each Sunday. Throw in a few extra days contingency and the weekend break for my friends Stag Do and I will finish on the weekend of the 11th and 12th of July. Realistically there are too many unknowns with the terrain ahead and I will just take each day as it comes and not worry too much about the exact finish date though I still hope to finish in early July before my sister has her babies (twin girls)

Day 1 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729384 ......... 18 miles


Day 2 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729387 ......... 24 miles

Day 3 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729390 ......... 24 miles

Day 4 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729392 ......... 16 miles

Day 5 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729472 ......... 22 miles

Day 6 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729473 ......... 20 miles

Day 7 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729476 ......... 30 miles

Day 8 - URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3729478 ......... 24 miles

Total miles 178
Day 8
From Dulverton to Broomfield in hot sun! Phew it was hard work, especially after the previous days exertions. A passing Lycra clad cyclist shouted 'hi' and 'where are you headed' as he passed; when I said Scotland he slowed up and came back for a brief chat. Later on in the day a Landrover pulled alongside me and the driver thrust a couple of pound coins in my hand, it was the cyclist!

By six o'clock I made it to Broomfield which is five or six miles south west of Bridgwater. My good friend Sebastien picked me up from here to spend the evening and Sunday at his house resting. He will drop me off back at Broomfield before he goes to work on Monday morning.

We have now re-installed the infamous ordnance survey maps on my phone... yippeeee!!! no more walking countless miles on hard tarmac.

Day 7

So Ive been a little slow getting round to posting day sevens news and I'll hope you will forgive me as Ive been quite busy. Day seven really was all about putting in the miles. I started walking at 9.30 in the morning from Torrington after a delicious and large cooked breakfast at the B&B and didn't stop until South Molton some 15 miles down the road for lunch. A stop in a nice little cafe and two cups of tea and a slice of lemon cake later I was straight back on the road with my sights set on Dulverton still some 15 miles ahead. I remember I stopped at South Molton at around 2pm and I'd booked accomodation at a 'camping barn' in Dulverton saying I'd arrive around half past nine. The afternoon was harder, my feet were starting to feel like steaks that had spent too long under the tenderising mallett, my knees were sore and so were my shoulders and hips. The weather was however being kind amd just keeping up a light drizzle that was cooling but not wtting enough for me to put my waterproofs on. After just one stop in the afternoon to recuperate some energy, each a chocolate bar and some nuts, and take my boot off for a few minutes, I arrived in Dulverton at about eight o'clock. Not wanting to cook noodles again on my stove I headed straight to the fish and chip shop for battered sausage chips and curry sauce (was this still on my mind since Bude??). It was delicious and refuelling! The camping barn (pictured) was wonderful, sleeps 25 but I had it all to myself as the group booking for that night had cancelled a few days previous. The owner kindly asked me to donate the five pound fee to the charity fund. The barn was one of two and the other was occupied by a group of guys from Cornwall around the Dawlish area; hi to Mark and everyone and thank you for the Spaghetti Bolognese and the Bacon Sandwich, both of which were delicious and much appreciated!!

Friday, 14 May 2010

All ok here... 30 miles today ending in Dulverston. Will post more
tomorrow

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Two milestones were passed today, I left Cornwall behind and entered
the rolling countryside of Devon, and I passed the 100 mile mark.
There's not a great deal to say about today except the sun shined
wonderfully all day, a bit too much on my shoulders, and the scenery
was pleasant if unremarkable. Most of the day I walked quiet country
lanes with hardly a car passing each half hour. After a foundering
start this morning where I backtracked more than a mile to find a shop
and an inexplicable awful nights sleep I ended up making good progress
heading east from Bude and finishing in Great Torrington. A cheap B&B
and a big rice and chicken dinner at an Indian restaurant will
hopefully set me up for another good day tomorrow. I have a theory
that last nights poor sleep and my lethargy this morning were down to
undereating so have eaten like a horse all day. We'll see tomorrow if
it helps!

Daily stats
Start - Bude
Finish - Great Torrington
Miles - 23 (excluding shopping detour)
Miles to go - 892

That's all folks ;-)

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I left Tintagel at eight thirty this morning after a breakfast of
Porridge a cup of tea and a chat with Belo about water powered cars
and crop circles, interesting guy to talk to. Hi to him and Sonia and
all the others I met there and good luck for your projects and
studies. From Tintagel I headed along the coastal road to Boscastle,
the village that found unfortunate national fame in 2004 when it was
devastated by freak floods washing down the valley. There was very
little evidence of the floods remaining and just a beautiful village
and harbour to be seen. I've just had to interrupt my blogging to
chase a swallow out of the campsite games room where I'm now sitting
charging the phone! Where was I... At boscastle I also was tooted by
the bikers that I'd shared a hostel room with at Tintagel, and I did
feel a little motor envy. From Boscastle I carried along the coast to
Crackington Haven and stopped for lunch only to find myself waving to
the bikers once again as they headed off from theirs. Here they have
famous deposits of quartz in the cliffs that are known in geological
circles worldwide so local knowledge tells me. Next stop from here was
Bude. Shortly before arriving in Bude I was passed by some cyclists
flying down the hill shouting a cheery hello, only to overtake one of
them on the next steep rise, a torturous 30% climb that must have gone
on for the best part of half a mile. At the top we got chatting and
Mark, Lee and Karen are also going to John O Groats, only in 9 days!
Good luck guys. Now I experience wheel envy! A long tramp in to Bude
and it was time for some more food. I'd had chips and curry sauce on
my mind for the last mile but had to content myself with a pasty and a
coke. Where would I sleep tonight? I'd planned to go on up to a little
place called Woodford but was told there was little there so decided
to make my cut East earlier than planned and head inland. After a
short distance I came upon a sign for Wooda campsite 1.5 miles and
thought that would do for the night. Upon arrival I was warmly greeted
and asked if I was walking for charity and then offered a free pitch
for the night with a free wifi pass thrown in. It really is a
beautiful campsite with fantastic facilities should anyone ever be
looking to stay near Bude. As you can see in the picture my tent is
pitched for the night and I'm looking forward to a good nights rest.

Hi to everyone back home and all my friends

Daily stats
Start - Tintagel
Finish - just east of Bude
Miles - 17?
Miles to go - 915?
Feeling - pretty good and hoping my ankle continues getting better as
it seemed to today

That's all folks ;-)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Day four
Four days on the road and I decided to take an easier day of it today
and let my body catch up and adjust to the daily task. I left the
campsite at half eight this morning and made the short walk in to
Padstow. A pasty and a banana later and I was on the ferry across the
estuary to Rock, nice to be travelling without the legs having to
move! Setting my sites lower for today I decided to go only as far as
Tintagel and to stay in the youth hostel there where I could recharge
my batteries as well as the iPhones. Today's pictures are of the view
from the youth hostel which perched close the the cliff edge and is
idyllic especially with the sun shining as it is, and of a little
fella I nearly stepped on on the path down here. This is only the
second Adder I've ever seen in UK and he sure made a lot of loud
hissing considering his size. The phone reception here is weak so I'm
not sure if this will post today or not. I'll leave it there as
there's dinner still to cook and shower and sleep to have. I'll start
early tomorrow and try to het some miles under my belt. I've been
travelling slower than I'd hoped but I think I hadn't really recovered
from last weekends 100 miles training walk and my left ankle is very
stiff.
Daily stats
Start - Padstow
Finish - Tintagel
Miles - about 15 I think though haven't checked properly
Feeling - good
That's all folks ;-)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Today I must say hello to Cornish Pete and the Apple Man, sadly they
are not a Cornish folk duo because that would be a brilliant name.
Cornish Pete runs a very cheap but friendly campsite and has a surf
board for a bar in his 'bring your own' pub/room. The Apple Man I
passed outside a cider establishment waving to all the passing
motorists. He was doing such a fine and cheerful job of it he should
get a guest spot on the telly tubbies. Apparently Apple Man was late
for work 'as usual' and they had finally inflicted this punishment on
him.

Weather has been fine all day today but turning colder this evening.
I'm in the tent again but in a nice posh campsite with hot showers and
a laundry, not really by choice but it's just what was here when I
arrived in Padstow. Another hard days walking with too much weight for
my poor aching feet and knees. I'll have to try and slim the pack down
a bit.

Daily stats:
Start - forgotten
Finish - Padstow
Miles today - 24
Miles to go - 945 ish
Feeling - ready for sleep

That's all folks ;-)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Day two was at least less eventful than day one! I got up after a
fantastic nights sleep and went for another walk! It didn't rain today
happily but it's been pretty overcast and cold all day. The feet and
knees are sore but holding up well. I stopped for a burger and a cup
of tea for lunch near Porthowan and then walked some more! Today's
picture was taken near there, a little house with a very big chimney!
Do you think they have a big fireplace? Having not started until half
past ten I am some ten miles short of my target of Newquay this
evening but have found a great little campsite for only four pounds
with hot water and a toilet and a sunset view. What more does a guy
need.

Daily stats:
Start - St Ives
Finish - Barkla Shop
Miles - I'm sure I covered twenty but it looks less on the map after
all the weaving
Miles to go - about 970

That's all folks ;-)

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Day one... Well it was always going to be an eventful day wasn't it!
The good: I've started! I don't have any new blisters yet, The coach
was on time, The sun came out briefly, Watching the surfers, looking
at the beautiful scenery and the nice newzealanders I shared dinner
with (hi hope your enjoying your hols)
The not so good: it rained a fair bit, my knees still haven't
recovered fully from last weekends training, I got almost no sleep on
the coach down here last night.
The disasterous: I accidentally deleted the ordnance survey 1:50000
map of the entire Uk from my phone last night while fiddling with
iTunes but didn't realise until this morning... Aaaarrrgh! Yes I did
have a few minutes of huffy at lands end this morning. In true project
management fashion and thanks to my good friend Sebatien there is a
recovery plan in place though so I should have them again at Bristol.
Until then it's ten days of road walking using an AA road atlas! At
least I'll make good time I suppose even if it's not so pleasant as
the intended route.

Please let there be no problems on day 2!

Daily stats:
Start - Lands End
Finish - Saint Ives
Mileage - 20
Hours - 11am to 7.30pm
Sleeping - Saint Ives travellers and surfers bunk house £14.40

That's all folks ;-)

Friday, 7 May 2010

Link showing approximate route planned for first half of the journey
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3706492

The route follows the south west coast path initially before cutting across Exmoor and then following various footpaths and roads past bridgewater to Glastonbury for a well earned days rest. From Glastonbury its up to Bath to join the start of the Cotswold way following this all the way past recently famous Chipping Sodbury, Cheltenham and on up to a little place called Chipping Campden. Here it joins the Central England Way between Coventry and Birmingham before joining the Staffordshire way. Stafford and Uttoxeter are next, passing Stoke on Trent. A hop on to the A33 brings us to Buxton and then a short day from Buxton to Edale brings me to the Pennines way, perhaps the countries foremost long distance footpath which weaves up past manchester, sheffield, Leeds and North over the Border to Scotland. The Pennines way takes in the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, and Northumberland National Park.

Thats the plan anyway :o)

An approximate timescale for the first half of my Journey...

Day Date Start Finish Miles Cumulative miles Comment
1 Sat 8 May 10 Lands end St Ives 18 18

2 Sun 9 May 10 St Ives Newquay 24 42

3 Mon 10 May 10 Newquay Tintagel 26 68

4 Tue 11 May 10 Tintagel Woodford 22 90

5 Wed 12 May 10 Woodford Northam 20 110 or Bideford finish

6 Thu 13 May 10 Northam Upcott 20 130

7 Fri 14 May 10 Upcott Clatworthy Reservoir 20 150

8 Sat 15 May 10 Clatworthy Reservoir Glastonbury 30 180

9 Sun 16 May 10 Glastonbury Glastonbury 0 180 Rest day

10 Mon 17 May 10 Glastonbury Clutton hill 20 200

11 Tue 18 May 10 Clutton hill Horton 20 220

12 Wed 19 May 10 Horton Stroud 20 240

13 Thu 20 May 10 Stroud Prestbury 20 260 Nr Cheltenham and Brockhampton

14 Fri 21 May 10 Prestbury Stanway 10 270

15 Sat 22 May 10 Stanway Chipping Campden 10 280

16 Sun 23 May 10 Chipping Campden Lowsonford 20 300

17 Mon 24 May 10 Lowsonford Whateley 20 320

18 Tue 25 May 10 Whateley Milford 20 340 Between Stafford and Rugely

19 Wed 26 May 10 Milford Alton 20 360 Alton Towers!

20 Thu 27 May 10 Alton Buxton 22 382

21 Fri 28 May 10 Buxton Edale 10 392

22 Sat 29 May 10 Edale nr Meltham 20 412 between Huddersfield and Manchester

23 Sun 30 May 10 nr Meltham Wadsworth Moor 20 432

24 Mon 31 May 10 Wadsworth Moor Airton 20 452 10km NW of Skipton

25 Tue 1 Jun 10 Airton Horton in Ribblesdale 16 468

26 Wed 2 Jun 10 Horton in Ribblesdale Thwaite 22 490

27 Thu 3 Jun 10 Thwaite Middleton in Teesdale 20 510

28 Fri 4 Jun 10 Middleton in Teesdale LONDON Damians stag do!!!

29 Sat 5 Jun 10 LONDON LONDON Damians stag do!!!

30 Sun 6 Jun 10 LONDON Damians stag do!!!

31 Wed 7 Jul 10 John O Groats 490 1000 Whoop Whoop!!!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A rare patch of sunshine huglighted this beautiful field of rape seed
during my recent training walk on the south downs way. This long
distance footpath takes a 100 mile route between the cities of
Winchester and Eastbourne mostly following the tops of the South
Downs. I used this footpath for the majority of my training
culminating in a 3 day trip along the whole length of the path.
Highlights of the walk were watching a badger shuffling around looking
for food on the first evening and a herd of deer onthe second day...
Oh and leaving fourth miles to do on the last day so that I had
horrible blisters!