Hiking United Kingdom

Hiking 800+ Miles Across Great Britain – The Plan | Why + How?

It’s time for another challenge. And this one is huge. No seriously, it’s the most ridiculous challenge I’ve ever attempted! My plan is to hike from the most easterly point to the most westerly point of Great Britain. See I told you it was mad!

Do you want to know more about the challenge? Keep reading and I will tell you all about it.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below or message me via my social media – Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

You can also start following my adventures now (hint, hint)

East to West Challenge – Hiking Across Great Britain

Glenridding to Hellvellyn - Lake District (4)

Where Does the Hike Start?

The start point for the hike will be in a town on the east coast of the UK, Lowestoft, in Suffolk, although very close to the border of Norfolk.

The official start will be Ness Point.

Be prepared for some silly photos at the start point!

Where Does the Hike Finish?

The hike finishes, if all goes to plan, at Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, in Scotland.

Luckily the Lighthouse also has a small cafe so I can celebrate with a cake and cup of tea (hmmm that doesn’t sound very glamorous, I may need to come up with a Plan B – Suggestions very welcome 🙂

What is My Route?

There is no official route for this hike, which is all part of the fun planning and completing the hike. I have planned an initial route (see map above) but the great thing about this challenge is that I am free to deviate from it at any point.

It’s my challenge, so my rules!

I will be aiming to hike on as many footpaths as I can, but if there is no choice then I might need to hike along the odd road or two on the route.

What Hiking Trails Will I Be Walking On?

Peak District - Edale via Kinder Downfall hike (63)

The plan will be to use some of the national and local hiking trails as part of the route. If you’ve ever hiked along any of these I would love any tips or advice.

Here are the hiking trails I will be hiking on:

  • Norfolk Coast Path
  • English Coast Path
  • Peter Scott Trail
  • Nene Way
  • Derwent Valley Heritage Trail
  • Pennine Way
  • St Cuthbert’s Trail
  • Southern Upland Way
  • Cross Borders Drove Road
  • John Muir Way
  • West Highland Way

(These aren’t all of the trails but the main ones that I will hike on)

How Long Will it Take?

Hadrian's Wall - Long-distance hike
My very first long-distance hike!


The plan is to start the hike on Monday 20th May 2019, subject to change but that’s the plan! Pop the date in your diary now, I’ll be welcoming any positive messages 🙂

My accurate answer to this question will be when I reach the finish point in Scotland. The plan will be to do the hike in one go and for it to take about two months but who knows what the final number of days will be! A little different from my first long-distance hike along Hadrian’s Wall which took 5 days!

So my end date will be round about the end of July 2019.

How Far Will I Be Hiking Each Day?

The total hike from east to west will be over 800 miles.

On average I will be hiking between 15-20 miles a day, with some days being more and others less, depending on the terrain and also what accommodation is nearby.

Are you interested in taking part in your own hiking challenge?

Country Walking Magazine has a fantastic challenge called #Walk1000Miles you can sign up online and it’s totally FREE!

If you’d like to subscribe to the magazine, which is full of great hiking tips, suggested walks and hiking gear, you can currently get 20% off with the discount code CWALK20%

Am I Doing the Hike My Own?

 

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I love my solo hiking adventures but I also enjoy the company of fellow hikers. For this hike, I’m teaming up with a fellow hiker and travel blogger, Ian or if you follow him on social media you’ll know him as the Barefoot Backpacker.

This means I will also have someone to take my photos instead of using a tripod all the time!

You can read Ian’s story here about why he’s taking on the challenge.

Why Am I Hiking From East to West?

Winterton-on-sea - Norfolk
Winterton-on-Sea, on the Norfolk Coast Path

A popular trail is hiking from South to North (or Lands End to John O’Groats). I’d been contemplating this as a solo hike as I wanted to set myself a challenge. Little did I know that Barefoot Backpacker was also considering a long-distance hiking challenge after being inspired at the Yes Festival.

One day, over a pint in the pub, he asked me if I’d ever considered a long-distance hiking trail?

Yes! I’m looking into hiking from south to north of Britain. At this point, he suggested the East to West route.

Barefoot Backpacker loves going off the beaten track and doing things differently which is where the East to West idea came from.

Initially, it appeared to be fewer miles that south to north but after plotting a potential route it seems to be about the same.

The reason we are hiking East to West is:

  • We will do the (easier) miles first, hiking along the Norfolk Coastal path
  • There are hotels at Lowestoft so we have somewhere to stay the night before the challenge
  • The sun won’t be in our eyes on the walk!

Am I Going to Meet People On the Hike?

Catstye Cam - Lake District
Hiking with some lovely guys I met on Instagram

Yes, yes, yes!!!

I would love for as many people as possible to join me on the hike. I will share where my route so check your diaries and see if you can join me on the hike.

Join me for a mile, 3 miles, 5 miles or even more, whatever you’re comfortable with you’ll be very welcome to join the hiking fun!

Ideally, I would love to get at least 100 people to join me. Pledge now if you want to join me!

Want to Join?

  • Sign up below to receive updates on the challenge and find out where you can join.

Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in joining us.

A Personal Challenge

What Is My Inspiration For This Hike?

Jurassic Coast walk

I have wanted to complete a long-distance hiking challenge for a while, I was considering the Pennine Way, a hike that starts from Edale in the Peak District and every time I go hiking there I see the sign.

After completing the Jurassic Coast Hike from Exmouth in Devon to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset. You can read about my hike here from start to finish walking the Jurassic Coast

For me, hiking is my escape but also how I re-charge too. For years I’ve struggled with my mental health and every time I go hiking I feel alive. It wasn’t until later in life I realised the magic of hiking and now every time I feel myself sliding in the wrong direction, I go hiking and that seems to set me back on track again.

Am I Raising Money for Charity?

The short answer is YES!

I last raised money for a charity back in 2012, when I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. I chose a charity close to my heart, Arthritis Care as my lovely Nan had suffered from arthritis all her life since she was 18.

Before I was made redundant I donated each month to various different charities from my wages as well as the one-off challenges and fundraising events that people took part in.

But since I started Becky the Traveller, I’ve not had much income, so my charity donations have reduced.

So now it’s time to raise some serious cash for an awesome charity.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

The charity I have chosen is….

MIND | Mental Health Charity

Mind | Mental Health Charity - Challenge Becky the Traveller

The charity raises money to help and support the growing number of people who struggle with mental health. Sadly the Mind has shared that, “Every two hours, someone in England and Wales takes their own life. This can’t go on”

“Every two hours, someone in England and Wales takes their own life. This can’t go on”

Ask yourself this question…

Do you know anyone who has experienced Mental Health illness?

A friend, colleague, family member or even someone who you follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook who has shared their experience.

When I think about how many people I know who have either had mental health struggles or are suffering right now then the list is endless.

Sadly, I know people who have taken their own lives and many more who have attempted (including myself) but I’m sure there are so many more people out there who are struggling.

That’s why I’m going to be asking everyone to donate and raise money for this charity.

Need some help or advice now?

Want to know How to Donate?

Jurassic Coast - day 4
Hiking along the Jurassic Coast

Would you like to donate? Here’s my Just Giving Page, simply click on the link or fancy button below and you can make your donation.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Here’s my Just Giving Page

  • All I’m asking is everyone to donate is £1.00

Or you can donate by text, I’ve set up a code for all text donations BTTW80 (Becky the Traveller Walk then I could only select 2 digits so 80 was the closest to 800 haha). I’ve tested it and the donation shows up as “Donation by Anonymous via SMS on 11-11-2018″

Simply type in the number:

70070

Then type:

BTTW80

Followed by the amount:

£1

(Feel free to donate more if you wish but I will be more than happy with £1 from everyone of my followers and readers 🙂

Whatever network you’re on, JustTextGiving by Vodafone lets anyone donate to you by text. It’s free, easy to set up and every penny goes to charity.

More About the Challenge

Where will I be staying?

Jurassic Coast - day 2
Camping on the Jurassic Coast hike

At the moment, I have no idea where I will be staying! But I’m really flexible on different options, I guess it depends what available and also what is close to the route.

Here are a few options for accommodation that I’m planning:

  • Hotels (For a bit of luxury every now and again!)
  • YHA Hostels (Perfect for budget travel)
  • Independent Hostels
  • Couchsurfing (Not tried this yet but hoping to give it a go!)
  • Airbnb
  • Camping (Both wild camping and campsites depending on locations)
  • Glamping

If you are on our hiking route and would like to put us up for the night, please get in touch. We will even cook dinner for you!

Booking.com

What essential items will I be taking with me?

Nant Peris campsite Snowdonia (13)

Clothes for all weathers

Haha kind of obvious I will be taking clothes, I’m sure you’re pleased to hear!! In the UK you need to be ready for any weather. So I will have a full range of warm and waterproof clothes to suit whatever the weather throws at me.

camping & Cooking equipment

I don’t know where I will be from day-to-day. So my tent, sleeping bag and little cooking stove will be coming along. Plus a good supply of emergency food and snacks. Hopefully, I won’t have to do too much shopping on my trip.

Map & compass

There are some wonderful walks in the UK. And a lot of them are pretty well signposted. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be taking maps with me wherever I go. I will also be using OS Online to plot my routes.

Camera equipment

I have a Nikon 3300 which will be coming on my trip. Along with a tripod to capture me in action too!

How can you follow the Challenge?

 

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Every day I will be sharing my journey on social media. Whatever the weather, I will be showing you how you can enjoy the stunning UK.

The challenge is also going to be captured on video by the talented videographer Joe Lee from This Way Up World. You can follow him on YouTube.

Start following my travels now and look forward to seeing what the beautiful UK has to offer.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

More Hiking Ideas

Have you done a long-distance hike? Tell me which one in the comments below. Also if you have any more tips or ideas for my challenge please let me know.

Love hiking? Read more hikes here

Hiking

How to Join Becky on the Hike?

Want to join me for a mile, a few miles, a day or even more on my epic challenge across Great Britain?

Sign up now and I will send you all the information you need to join the hike, including the date, route + (nearer the time, of course!)

Also, receive a discount code for 20% Discount off Water-to-Go Bottle which I will be using on the hike.

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*Becky the Traveller contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading!

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