The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Next Big Walk

From Kent to Cape Wrath it is - or K2CW as I’m calling it for short.

The initial seed of a plan started to form when I was watching the weather forecast shortly after returning from John O’Groats last year. Whilst Mick was looking at the bottom left and top right and thinking “That’s a long way we just walked”, I was looking at the opposite two corners and cogs were starting to turn in my head.

For a while very little serious thought was given to the route, planning and logistics, other than to look at a map and try to decide where the bottom right hand corner lies (and if there’s an officially recognised answer which varies from our start point then I would rather not know!). With it proving a bit tricky to decide exactly where the south-east corner of Britain is, I decided it was our walk so it was our prerogative to pick the point that looked to be: (a) a reasonable contender for the ‘bottom right corner’ award; and (b) reasonably easy to get to; and (c) reasonably pleasant to walk from. The winner was St Margaret’s at Cliffe, just up the coast from Dover.

A few weeks back the planning finally began. As it had taken me a year to plan our LEJOG route, and with our planned start date only a handful of months away, it seemed like time was of the essence. As it turned out the planning was much simpler than LEJOG for various reasons (but that’s a subject for a different post). Last weekend I finished tweaking and declared that we have a route and an itinerary (which isn’t to say that there won’t be changes, but with one fifty-mile exception I’m reasonably happy with the route that we have).

Here’s a rough approximation of our route (very rough – I’ve sketched it without reference to a big map with place names on it, so it’s based on the version of Britain that’s in my head):

K2CW sm The route is coming out at a smidge over 1000 miles (1017 to be precise, but based on last year’s experience it will get slightly shorter when I print the maps and realise that I’ve plotted a long way round at some point) with around 150,000 feet of ascent. A significant chunk of that hilliness is in Scotland where (weather permitting) we’re planning a good handful of adventurous days over hills.

We’ve even picked a date out of the air on which to start: 2 April 2010*.

I’ll talk about the chosen route, and will publish the itinerary, separately.

(*usual disclaimer applies: I am female and thus at liberty to bring that forward).


  1. Looks as if you're going through the Dartford Tunnel. Nice.

  2. Oh, is that what we are doing?

    I did wonder what all the maps on the living room floor were about!


  3. Mick, We're always the last to find out :)

    Looking forward to seeing the detail and as you'll be starting in the south should be able to join you on part of your journey.

  4. Woo Ooo!

    Like Baz - you will be passing relatievly close to my neck of the woods, so if you need help / accommodation / picking up / etc I'm your man!

    PS - Deeply jealous too...


    Word verifiction is good today: "Baroogra" Indeed yes!

  5. Are you planning this on Memory Map? If you are I would be very interested in the route. It is possible to copy a route on Memory Map and load it onto somebody else's version. When I did mine for LEJOG I didn't realise that you can make the whole route continuous by clicking on the last waypoint and using "add a waypoint", cosequently my LEJOG route is a bit fragmented.

    I also am envious. I don't think my knees are going to let me do another long walk although I had worked one out starting at Lowestoft and going up the east coast to Whitby and then accross to St Bees Head.

    I wish you well with this project and hope I will have the pleasure of following on the blog and the map.

  6. Wow. To someone just planning their (hopefully) first TGOC, that looks like a long way! But you're going through some of my most favourite bits of Scotland, lucky you. Can't wait to read the report on your travels. All the very best of luck!