I’ve set this site up primarily to document a walking adventure…
Q. What walk are you undertaking?
A. Land’s End to John O’Groats (aka LEJOG or JOGLE depending on the direction). I’m going south to north because a) despite the days on the South West Coast Path being the biggest in terms of ascent and descent the terrain and surroundings get harder as you go north especially north of Fort William – by which time I’m hoping to be fitter and hardier, b) I’ll be following the progress of the summer travelling up the country so the weather should be more consistent, c) I’ll have the sun and prevailing wind on my back and d) it may sound trivial but I don’t fancy navigating on an upside down map for the entire trip or reading guidebooks back to front.
Q. Why have you decided to do this challenge?
A. Last year I had 2 months off work and during that period I spent time reflecting on my work/life balance. After being back at work for 9 months I decided that a proper break and a good walk would give me a better opportunity to consider my lifestyle and current career path. So I’ve resigned from my job, moved out of my flat and taken the leap.
Q. Why this specific trail?
A. What’s not to love about walking through the British countryside? Rolling hills, blossoming hedgerows, shady woodland and village greens with idyllic pubs. Serious answer: Firstly I read this book; ‘Broke Through Britain: One Man’s Penniless Odyssey’ when I was about 15 years old and thought; ‘I’d like to do something like that one day’. Then, a year or so ago I read Mark Moxon’s account of his Land’s End to John O’Groats walk and it re-ignited the flame. Secondly, in recent years I have relished in idle travel; passing through landscapes at a slower pace (i.e. not flying – I don’t enjoy flying, I’m not scared, I just don’t think it’s as exciting as other methods of travel), so whether it’s by train, by boat or on foot I think you learn so much more about a place by travelling slowly. Both of these led me to consider exploring ‘my own backyard’ more before heading off to more exotic locations and what better way than to walk its entire length?
Q. Have you done something similar before?
A. No never!
Q. How have you prepared?
A. Looking at maps, lots of maps! And reading guide books; unsurprisingly the one you’re most likely to find in my hand is the Cicerone guide; ‘The End to End Trail by Andy Robinson’. I’ve also tried to go on a number of Rockhopper trips to keep my fitness up. The Easter trip to Arran with an extension to Jura will be the final test, as I’ll be packing as I intend to pack for LEJOG, so kit-wise I’ll get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Q. What do you think will be the hardest aspect?
A. I anticipate days when it’s cold, wet, windy, I’m lost, tired and got massive blisters and I’ll think about giving up – I’m not looking forward to those days but hope they are few and far enough in between that I’ll have the attitude to just keep going, or simply stop and take a break. Also getting on with my own company for a sustained time period. I think all the pub landlords, shopkeepers and campsite owners will hear my story whether they want to or not.
Q. What are you most looking forward to?
A. The good days when the sun is shining, I’m warm, dry, the path is clear, I’m full of energy and feel on top of the world. Oh and finishing – I can’t wait for that feeling!