I will post the full itinerary separately, but here’s a rough outline of the route that we’re planning to take from Kent to Cape Wrath:
- Saxon Shore Way (which follows the cliffs) from St Margarets to Dover
- North Downs Way (the southern option, not going via Canterbury) from Dover to Rochester
- Local paths and lanes to Dartford, thence to the south bank of the Thames (note Geoff: that’s the south side, so no need to sneak through the Dartford Tunnel!)
- Thames Path to Kew
- Grand Union Canal to Birmingham
- More canals through Wolverhampton until we can pick up some local paths to Cannock Chase
- Staffs Way to Rocester then the Limestone Way (with a few diversions/shortcuts on local paths) to Youlgrave (pretty much following the Cicerone End-to-End Trail route at this point)
- Various paths to meet up with the Pennine Way at the burger van on the A635 (double egg bap and two mugs of tea for me, please), then almost immediately leaving it to go via the Kirklees Way to Marsden
- Paths and lanes via Ripponden and Sowerby Bridge* to pick up the Calderdale Way to get us to Halifax where hopefully one of Ma-in-Law’s famous roast dinners will await us
- Various paths and lanes get us to the Dales Way LInk via Bingley to Ilkley where we pick up the Dales Way
- Leaving the Dales Way just before Windermere we have the bit of the route that involved the most planning and re-planning. As it stands we’re going via Helvellyn to Scales, thence to the east of Blencathra to pick up the Cumbria Way
- Reaching Carlisle via the Cumbria Way an incredibly brief encounter is had with Hadrian’s Wall Path before we head north taking the best route I could come up with until we reach Hawick
- Just over a day later we join up with our LEJOG route and maybe out of laziness or maybe because I couldn’t see anything more attractive, we follow that route the whole way to Kilsyth. This time I will make the time to have a go on the Falkirk Wheel, but I’m also aware that this section involves my two least-favourite days of the whole of our LEJOG walk
- From Kilsyth it starts to get interesting as we head west as if we’re going to join the West Highland Way, but then off to follow (more or less) the route of the Highland High Way** all the way up to Fort William. We’re missing out a few of the Munros included in that route, but also adding in a couple.
- At Fort William the Cape Wrath Trail gives us our route to our destination, which again involves a few days that we’ve seen before. I’ll be particularly interested to see whether the zig-zag through the forest above Inverlael is more obvious now that the End-to-End trail has become quite a popular route.
*If memory serves, I’ve shamelessly stolen Martin’s route, or a very close approximation thereof, to get us from Ripponden to the Dales Way
** Like the Cape Wrath Trail, the Highland High Way is not an official route but just one described in a book. That book is long out of print. Eventually I decided that I wanted a copy of it. Out of print books tend to demand quite a lot of money second-hand. Never before have I paid that much for a little guide-book!