Saturday, 31 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 15 - 31 March 2018

Ipstones Edge to Youlgreave
Walking 8.15am to 6.15pm
Distance walked today 18 miles
Distance walked so far 235 miles 
Distance left 349 miles

It rained most of the night and was windy. I was up quite early and got packed away and wandered over to see how Mike was getting on. He was just debating whether or not he needed to get up and then got himself ready in record time.

As we were exiting the garden, the man of the house had just arrived in his vehicle and was surprised to find us having camped in his garden. He was reassured once he knew his son had given permission. I told him of my walk and he gave me a donation for Ucare and a wish for a good day.

We set off along the road, assuming footpaths would be very muddy and to get our circulation going. At least the rain had stopped but the sun didn't appear all day.

There's not a lot to be said about the day's walking. We generally stuck to quiet roads and tracks which helpfully took us in the direction we wanted to go. We made for the cycle way which took us to Hulme End (stopping for refreshment at the cafe at Wettonmill on the way) and then on into Hartington. Whilst there, we booked ourselves in to Youlgreave youth hostel; originally, we didn't think we would get that far. I also went to the cheese shop and bought a small piece of sticky toffee cheddar that I'm partial to.

Then the long walk by road and track to Youlgreave. There were a couple of flooded sections along the track but we managed to get round them (just). A satisfying day.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 14 - 30 March 2018

Mow Cop to Ipstones Edge
Walking 9am to 7pm
Distance walked today 17 miles
Distance walked so far 217 miles 
Distance left 367 miles

The rain that had persisted yesterday and through the night had cleared by this morning. As we walked the sun was trying to show itself.

We walked along the ridge by the viewpoint called Cheshire's Close, also on the route of the Staffordshire Way and the Gritstone Trail. Leaving the road, the path led up to Nick i' th' Hill and we made our way down to the former railway cycle way above Biddulph. Here we chatted to Christine about the walk and she told us of her circular walk she was doing today. Only a minute later I turned to see a five pound note being thrust in my direction as a donation from Elaine and John who had been told about my walk by Christine! They are both keen walkers and Elaine had received a kidney transplant. Thank you both. As we parted, Elaine gave me a bear hug. I remarked that that was the second hug I'd received in the last few days so she promptly gave me another and, for good measure, Mike received one as well. Elaine and John - both lovely people and I wished we could have talked longer, especially as they are past TGO Challengers, as I am. I'm sure we have mutual acquaintances.

Just after Biddulph Moor, a path out of a farmyard was impassable due to ankle deep mud and worse so we took to the quiet lanes for some easy walking. At Denford we stopped at the Hollybush Inn for refreshment, a lovely setting by the Caldon Canal, bringing back memories of a family holiday on a boat many years ago. We walked along the canal towpath into Cheddleton.

A little later another impassable path forced us on to the lanes again. After a while it started to rain and we decided it wasn't going to stop so I asked at a farm for shelter and we are pitched in the garden. Quite windy and it's still raining.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 13 - 29 March 2018

Brereton Heath Nature Reserve to Mow Cop
Walking 7.45am to 12.15pm
Distance walked today 7 miles
Distance walked so far 200 miles 
Distance left 384 miles 

Had a good night's sleep and was woken by an owl and then the dawn chorus. At some time in the night I was aware of a sizeable bird in the tree above me taking off in flight. Possibly an owl but it made no audible sound.

After a stretch of country lane alongside the reserve, I took a footpath through fields. Not as muddy as yesterday. I stopped to chat with Dave on the approach to the Macclesfield Canal, who asked me about my walk. After crossing the canal I joined the South Cheshire Way which then involved a muddy climb up through Roe Wood to a communications tower before dropping down to Mow Cop and Castle Camping. It's an exposed site but with extensive views to the town of Biddulph to the east. Whereas last night my tarp was in fair weather mode strung up between trees and room almost to stand in, here it is in storm mode, pegged to the ground on three sides as it is windy and there has been a lot of rain this afternoon and evening. 

Mid afternoon I was joined by Mike Menzel, a fellow Backpackers Club member who has come over from Germany especially to walk with me for the next couple of days. I hope the weather improves! We spent some great time catching up. For anyone who likes to follow hiking blogs, Mike walked from Land's End to John o'Groats last year and blogged each day at

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 12 - 28 March 2018

Holmston Hall CCC site to Brereton Heath
Walking 9.30 to 7.10pm
Distance walked today 16 miles
Distance walked so far 193 miles 
Distance left 391 miles

I started with road walking to Wettenhall. The fields I crossed had been used by cattle and were clumps of grass with hoof holes filled with water and worse. It was quite slow going. I was glad to reach Church Minshull for lunch which I had in the churchyard. I was slightly tempted to have lunch in The Badger next door but I probably look rather a sight with muddy smelly shoes.

Church Minshull
Just after crossing the railway bridge on the approach to Warmington, the footpath came to a stile, on the other side of which was a large pool of slurry totally obstructing the path on the other side, caused by a farmer placing a mountain of manure right next to it. 


I backtracked a few feet, scrambled through a hedge and rolled under an electric fence to a farm track. The continuation of the footpath on the other side was unpleasant as slurry had spread to it. To avoid it, I walked parallel to the path through a field. The other end of the footpath was totally flooded with I know not what. I have photos which I intend sending to East Cheshire Council. I'm aware that farmers have no obligation to maintain footpaths but obstruction is another matter. I don't think I've ever seen anything as bad.

Approaching Elworth, the ground improved somewhat and at times became really nice walking. Although a bit chilly at times, the evening turned quite sunny. Just before reaching my destination for the night, I stopped to chat with a lovely lady, Deborah Edwards, walking her black labrador, Obi. I told her of my walk and, as we parted, she shook my hand and gave me a hug!

A few minutes later, I arrived at my night's accommodation. I have a perfect wild pitch in Brereton Heath Nature Reserve. It's a haven for dog walkers but they disappeared as light faded.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 11 - 27 March 2018

Maiden Castle to Holmston Hall CCC site
Walking 9.20am to 5.55pm
Distance walked today 15 miles
Distance walked so far 177 miles 
Distance left 407 miles

If I'd had more time before nightfall last night I'd have found a better pitch. The map showed the area to be wooded but the trees had been felled and other nearby ground wasn't level or was covered with undergrowth. As it was, the site was exposed to the elements and during the night it was quite windy and it rained most of the time. Still, I slept quite well. Great views!

I continued following the Sandstone Trail and what a lovely walk it was. At the top of Bickerton Hill, there is a stone with private laments to Kitty from her husband who survived her. In them there are references to North Wales and Ardnamurchan, places they had spent time together. Here I met Gina Thornley who was walking her great dane. We chatted on the way down to where her car was parked. Great company. Her daughter is Victoria Thornley, the Olympic rower.

The way crossed the A534 and climbed up through more woodland to Raw Head. Apparently Liverpool Cathedral can be seen on a clear day 43km away but not today. After some field walking there was a climb up through Bulkeley Hill Wood and the high level was maintained around the Peckforton Hills. Just lovely. I stopped for lunch and as I was getting ready to move on I was able to chat to and give my Ucare flyer to a lady with a dog and then a couple visiting from Bedford, both within a space of five minutes.

On to Tarporley where I resupplied and then a final three miles to my campsite. I've had a welcome shower. My neighbour here is Kevin. He does estate management. He lives in a tepee which he built himself. He came for six months but that was three years ago. We had tea in his tepee. It was so warm and snug. He lent me a towel for the shower (mine is flannel sized) and baked me a potato in his woodburner. It was delicious. A good day and I understand I've been lucky with the weather as there's been much rain further south and I've had none today.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 10 - 26 March 2018

Edstaston to Maiden Castle
Walking 8.45am to 7.40pm
Distance walked today 17 miles
Distance walked so far 162 miles 
Distance left 421 miles

I realised when I was woken at about 6am that a coach depot was next door. They started firing up and kept their engines running. Probably off to do school runs. Once they left I dragged myself out of bed. It was quite cold. A lady came into the churchyard walking a dog so I waved and called out good morning. She waved back.

I made my way to the Llangollen Canal. Just before reaching it, at Welsh End, I met Des who was clearing moss from his front lawn. I asked to use a water tap and was invited round to the back garden for tea and biscuits. I also met his wife, Kath, and their very lively chocolate labrador puppy. I had been planning to go into Whitchurch but Des said it was further into the centre than might be expected so I thought I'd give it a miss. My plan in that case was to find the shop in Malpas for resupply but he said there is a shop at the garage at Grindley Brook. This could mean revising the route for the day somewhat.

The canal towpath was excellent, grassy and had recently been cut back. It was sunny so I stopped and pitched my tarp to dry out, as well as my quilt and mat that both got a bit wet in the night. The towpath for a while was on the border between England and Wales.

Drying out

At locks at Grindley Brook I sat outside at the café and had a pot of tea and slice of cake while my phone and battery pack were charging inside.

I found the garage shop a little way after the locks at Grindley Brook. Its food supplies were extremely basic. Continuing, the Sandstone Trail followed the canal and the Trail and I both left the canal after about a mile. The Trail was very well waymarked and easy to follow. The ground was generally dry underfoot and it was a lovely afternoon.

I stopped to investigate the small church of St. Chad in the Fields, now only used for a few services each year.

After a few more miles pleasant walking I arrived at Larkton Hill, owned by the National Trust. Part of this is Maiden Castle, a hill fort. I managed to pitch as light was fading. As I was getting organised, I realised that I'd lost a small carabiner that I use to secure part of my pack. I couldn't find it anywhere. After a while, I was very uncomfortable as there was a depression in the ground which meant whichever way I lay I seemed to be on a slope. I moved the tarp round a bit so it's much better and I found the carabiner!

Great English Walk Day 9 - 25 March 2018

Ebury Hill Camping to Edstaston
Walking 9.15am to 5.45pm
Distance walked today 12 miles
Distance walked so far 145 miles 
Distance left 438 miles

Another beautiful clear but chilly morning. A later start with clocks having gone forward and there was no rush as today needn't be a long one. The landscape is not so hilly now and, as usual, I had the whole of the countryside to myself.

At Hadnall, I found a village store I hadn't known was there so I did a little resupply, which was just as well (see below). I sat opposite the shop, next to the remains of a moat of the old Hadnall Hall that was demolished long ago, downing a pint of milk. The path then took me along the edge of a new housing development not shown on the map. This is happening quite often. There is building going on everywhere but the footpaths are always preserved.

From Grinshill to the hamlet of Clive the route took me through Corbet Wood, an impressive wooded area with nature trail. Stone had been quarried here in the past, leaving large sheer rock faces.

An easy field walk took me into Wem, quite busy even for a Sunday. Unfortunately, once I had located the large Co-op it was 4.05 and it had just closed.

Walking out of Wem, I thought about my options for camping. There is a Camping & Caravanning Club certificated site near Whixall (Abbey Farm) but it doesn't open till Easter and they would have charged me £12.00 which is a bit excessive. Past Whixall is the Llangollen Canal which I will be following tomorrow so I thought it best to find somewhere before then. So here I am in Edstaston churchyard in an extension outside the original churchyard. It's hidden from all roads and houses. The odd car goes by and I can hear the railway just over a kilometre away.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 8 - 24 March 2018

Dorrington to Ebury Hill Camping nr Shrewsbury
Walking 7am to 4.15pm
Distance walked today 12 miles
Distance walked so far 133 miles 
Distance left 450 miles

It rained very lightly most of the night. What also happened in the night was my Thermarest mattress deflated. I think it punctured from a thorn on the ground. I was under thorny trees and I think they had been cut back. I should have been more careful in my choice of site. It will need repairing.

My first village was Stapleton. The churchyard would have been OK for camping. Also, the entrance being into the tower, the unlocked door led into a lobby area and the door into the body of the church was locked so the lobby would have provided under cover accommodation with no tarp needed. The church was unusual in that it had originally been constructed with two floors.

Through the hamlet of Chatford, and on to Westley Farm where Liz (a Jilly Cooper lookalike!) and son Charles allowed me to fill water bottles, and gave me one that had been used for lambs as I appeared to have lost one en route this morning. Liz would have given me a cooked breakfast but had to get on with lambing. Nice thought. Thanks Liz.

On to Lyth Hill Country Park where every local dog owner seemed to come for the morning walk. I chatted with one and we got on to the subject of technology rendering much of the human race unnecessary in the world of work and he recommended a film called The Purge which I'd never heard of. I had to take a path off the way he was going so had no chance to talk more.

The view from Lyth Hill

At Bayston Hill I resupplied at a Spar and then made my way into and through Shrewsbury, the Great English Walk book being invaluable as it gave precise directions which I wouldn't have managed with the map alone. The route took me to the River Severn which winds through and round the city. Lists of families and dog walkers, it being Saturday.

The toll bridge into Shrewsbury

I followed the Shropshire Way out of the city to Uffington and am at Ebury Hill Campsite, not open till 29 March but a working party was getting it ready and, for insurance purposes, I am one of them. No charge and I have sole use of a loo intended for backpackers (all other units required to have own sanitation).

A short day today. I have to pace myself as my friend Mike is coming over from Germany to join me for three days on 29 March and I don't want us to miss each other.

I have made use of the wash basin here to locate the Thermarest leak and marked it ready to repair when dry. Fortunately I have a spare plastic groundsheet to cover it with so I don't have to sleep on a wet mattress.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 7 - 23 March 2018

Wilderhope YH to Dorrington
Walking 8.25 to 5.45pm
Distance walked today 18 miles
Distance walked so far 121 miles 
Distance left 462 miles

I enjoyed my stay at Wilderhope. I only recently rejoined the YHA after several years absence. It annoys me that school parties book exclusive use of hostels regardless of whether they use all accommodation so that, for example, an individual walker wanting a bed for the night is turned away.

The day didn't start well as I missed a footpath sign due to not paying attention and chose to walk a bit further rather than retrace my steps. Not a great problem though. The was a mile or so of B road walking through Longville in the Dale before easy field walking, leading to a long ascent to Cardington Moor and skirting the foot of Willstone Hill. The weather was dry and quite clear so the views were good. This was very hilly country and I had it to myself.

Approaching Church Stretton I had a decision to make. Yesterday's pork pie came from there and I was tempted but the diversion would add a couple of miles and a couple of hours to the day so I was just left with the wish that I'd bought two pies yesterday.

Therefore, from Willstone Hill I took a route to Comley, at the southern tip of The Lawley, a long whale backed hill and used the bridleway at the foot of it which was easy walking apart from the muddy bits which were easily avoided by going up on the bank on the hillside. Then through Longnor and a path through a paddock with a very frisky horse running circles round me and kicking its hind legs.


Crossing the Ludlow to Shrewsbury railway line, I passed through Dorrington. I'm pitched a mile beyond the village in a grassy enclosure right in the corner. I thought that it was well out of the way of any farm traffic but a tractor came through from a nearby field only about fifty feet away but I wasn't seen. In the fading light my grey tarp is very unobtrusive.

Not a particularly interesting day but pleasant enough nonetheless. The expected rain came as I was pitching but hasn't come to much so far.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 6 - 22 March 2018

Whitton to Wilderhope Manor YH
Walking 6.45am to 6.15pm
Distance walked today 20 miles
Distance walked so far 103 miles 
Distance left 480 miles 

When I arrived at Whitton church last night the door was unlocked; this morning it was locked. I wasn't aware of anyone doing it. I don't know if my tarp was observed as I wasn't completely out of sight. I had wanted to see the Burne Jones window that the church is known for but that will have to wait till another time as I was away before the church was opened.

Whitton church
I lane walked most of the way to Cleehill (apart from wandering around someone's garden through which the footpath passed). At Cleehill I bought a very promising looking pork pie for lunch and downed a pint of milk. 

Finding my way out of Cleehill proved tricky. I went up the wrong track only realising my error when it led nowhere and I was up to my ankles in liquid sheep poo. I knew it was sheep poo because the culprits were close by. Locating the right track then gave an easy walk to Dhustone. 

 My route led over Titterstone Clee Hill but I decided I didn't need to do that so made my way down to Titterstone and followed a clear grassy path to the west of the summit, being delayed a couple of times by a farmer rounding up sheep with a quadbike. Reaching Callowgate Farm, the green lane to Bromdon proved to be virtually impassable due to drifted snow. 

I floundered through it, sometimes to knee level, for maybe 100 yards until I reached a gate to the adjacent field and came back on to the lane a quarter mile further on. The lane I managed to avoid was also flooded in places. A lucky diversion. 

The long climb up to Brown Clee Hill was challenging with more snow and much mud. I stopped for lunch at the top for a well earned lunch. The pork pie fulfilled its promise and then some. It was delicious.
Possible the best pork pie I've ever tasted!
Much of my route today was on the Shropshire Way and I followed it across the wild moorland of Brown Clee Hill. From a distance I saw the only other walker I would see all day. The bridle track down to Earnstrey was tricky in places with snow and mud. Without poles I would have gone flying several times. 

Approaching Holdgate, I made an annoying navigational error which sent me half a mile in the wrong direction due to a misleading Shropshire Way roundel on a stile so I had to retrace my steps. Holdgate church was a gem, very old and a sign welcoming visitors in for refreshments so I downed a large helping of blackcurrant squash. Crossing a lane a little further on I passed the hundred mile mark. Crossing the B4378, I road walked the remaining 1.5 miles to the YH which Amanda had booked this morning (as I hadn't been able to get through on my phone) and on arriving I found that she'd prepaid as well. What a star! 

After a hot shower I have eaten lasagne with seconds and also given a pudding even though I hadn't paid for it. They seemed just want no leftovers. Am feeling quite mellow. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 5 - 21 March 2018

Woodbury Hill to Whitton
Walking 6.25am to 6.30pm
Distance walked today 14 miles
Distance walked so far 83 miles 
Distance left 500 miles
Deer at Abberley
A clear sky
 A lovely early morning, cold but clear. Much footpath walking with the inevitable mud and occasional navigational error so didn't cover the distance I'd hoped to.

At Stanford Bridge, I went by a small building development and the plasterers allowed me to fill my water bottles at a temporary tap in one of the houses. They were impressed with the walk but obviously thought I was slightly mad.

On to Stanford on Teme whose church occupies a commanding position. I went in and made use of the free wifi there.
Stanford on Teme

The approach to Tenbury Wells was interesting. a footpath totally underwater. Fortunately, I was able to enter the town a different way.

I ate fish and chips on the bridge amongst rush hour traffic on the road out of Tenbury and walked until dusk looking for a pitch until I found a quiet churchyard at Whitton.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 4 - 20 March 2018

West Malvern to Woodbury Hill
Walking 8.30am to 5.15pm
Distance walked today 18 miles
Distance walked so far 69 miles 
Distance left 514 miles

Mike treated me to a cooked breakfast which set me up for the day. Val left early to catch a train to Berwick upon Tweed. It never occurred to me to do the same and end this walk early - honest. Mike took me up some steps behind his cottage which led along the hillside above all the houses with magnificent views opening up to the west. It was a beautiful clear morning and we could just make out the Clee Hills where I'll be the day after tomorrow. Thanks Mike for your great hospitality. 

Dropping down to the road, I joined the Worcestershire Way which I was to follow on and off all day. The snow had largely gone and I was surprised that the ground wasn't as wet and muddy as I'd expected. The route took me by a number of apple and pear orchards just beginning to bud. 

At Alfrick I had a mid morning break in a delightful nature reserve. There was no one else around. Just past Knightwick I had lunch on the bank of the muddy, fast flowing River Teme. Plenty of tree branches and logs being carried along but no bodies. 

Past Martley, I rejoined the Worcestershire Way over the length of a long, thin belt of woodland. Such lovely views. Leaving the WW, I followed a field path. A woman came into view and I wondered if she would be bringing my trail magic for today. When she was about two hundred yards from me I slipped on mud and hit the ground. When I had got to my feet, the woman had disappeared through a hedge on to another path. It clearly wasn't meant to be. 

So, a good wild camp tonight on Woodbury Hill, a forested Iron Age hill fort. All is quiet although I heard a distant muntjac earlier. The weather has been dry today. It's warming up a bit. 

Monday, 19 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 3 - 19 March 2018

Flaxley Woods to West Malvern
Walking 6.30am to 6.30pm
Distance walked today 25 miles
Distance walked so far 51 miles 
Distance left 532 miles

Last night's lodgings
 Oh what a day. There wasn't really anywhere to camp in Flaxleys Wood so the serendipitous offer by Su yesterday was great. I spent a comfortable night in the granary. 

I had arranged to overnight Monday with a friend in Malvern but had emailed him to say that it was likely to be Tuesday instead, due to the short day yesterday. 

I set off really early. It was a lovely but cold morning. There was still much snow in Flaxley Woods and even more on the footpath down to the A4136 at Longhope. I had decided again to road walk today. 

After Longhope, I followed narrow lanes up and over May Hill, where conditions were still quite Arctic and down through Clifford's Mesne. Here I photographed the inside of an old telephone box with a Chinese exhibition inside. I was told that the theme changes regularly.

The phone box
On into Newent where I sought out a café for tea and a bacon and egg roll. Looking at the maps, I realised that reaching West Malvern today was feasible although it would be a long day. Road walking really eats up the miles. The weather was cold and breezy much of the time but with some welcome sunny spells. 

At Hollybush, I reached the southern tip of the Malvern Hills where there was still snow on the eastern flank. I made good time though but the disappearing snow left glutinous mud behind. 
The edge of the Malverns
I dropped down to the road at Colwall and then powered along West Malvern Road to where my friend Mike, and his wife Val, live. A G&T was thrust in my hand and a hot bath was had, followed by roast chicken. It's so tough being a backpacker. 

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Great English Walk Day 2 - 18 March 2018

Near Bream to edge of Flaxley Woods
Walking 7.50am to 3.30pm
Distance walked today 12 miles
Distance walked so far 26 miles 
Distance left 557 miles

My woodland pitch was good but looked very different this morning after several inches of snowfall. I was aware of it during the night as it blew into my tarp now and then but, even though the temperature dropped to minus 2, I was quite warm.

I eventually got going albeit later than intended. Dropping down through woodland towards the Dean Forest Railway, the path, covered in snow, was well signed at first but then I lost it completely. There was nothing for it but to climb the fence and follow the railway line as I knew that the path crossed the line after a while. After that experience, I made the sensible decision to road walk today and, fortunately, the lanes went in the direction I wanted to go. 

I stopped for lunch at the Dean Heritage Centre, all closed but I made use of the outdoor cafe seating. I was cold after that so, at Soudley, I called in to the White Horse for a pot of tea next to the fire. Lovely. 

On then to Littledean. There was very little traffic so the road walking was quite enjoyable. Thinking ahead about finding a pitch for the night, I entered the Forestry Commission's Flaxley Woods. It didn't look that promising as it was all coniferous. I was overtaken by a jogger, Sue, who interrogated me and, presumably reassured that I was normal, offered me a place for my tarp in her garden. In the event, and after consulting with her husband, Dennis, I am now housed in a dry outbuilding, a former granary. A mug of tea with her and a Twinky, were most welcome. Superb trail magic and only Day 2! So, only twelve miles and stopping earlier than intended but I shall have a comfortable night. 

Great English Walk - Day 1 - 17 March 2018

Chepstow to near Bream
Walking 10.30am to 5.30pm
Distance walked today 14 miles
Distance walked so far 14 miles
Distance left 569 miles

Maps and guide books
 The day started with some flurries of snow and it was quite chilly. Amanda returned home and I walked with friends Robin and Faith until lunchtime. Chepstow being in Wales (just), crossing the bridge over the Wye took us back into England.

Over the bridge into England
For a very short distance out of Chepstow the route coincided with the Offa's Dyke Path and then on and off with the Gloucestershire Way. We lunched in Robin and Faith's car and I then continued walking alone with the exciting prospect of a really long walk ahead of me.

Out of Aylburton, I heard the faint chuffing sound of a steam engine, which I assumed was the Dean Forest Railway. The route took me into Old Park Wood, part of the Lydney Estate. I caught sight of a few deer which were startled by my presence.

Not aiming to do a really long day, I found a nice pitch at the northern edge of Old Park Wood.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Great English Walk - just over a week to the start

Not a lot to say. I've done a trial packing of the backpack I intend to use. It all seems to fit in and the weight is about 16lb minus food and fuel which isn't bad for a walk which could include wintery conditions.

I've printed out my Ordnance Survey maps of the route (scale 1:50,000) on to 57 sheets. The route has been highlighted with a fluorescent marker pen, making it much easier to see at a glance where I am on the route. I've also marked the route with a cross every ten miles (with a mileage number) so I can keep track of my progress. I aim to cover the best part of twenty miles a day. I'll take the sheets covering my route from Chepstow to Hathersage together with the route guide book Part 1. My wife is meeting me in Hathersage when I'll take a couple of days off. She'll hopefully remember to bring the remaining maps and guide book Part 2.

A number of very generous people have already made donations online to my Just Giving page. Thank you to everyone.