Welcome to Trailman
- Solo walks across the three nations of Great Britain.
- Long-distance paths and hill-walking in Britain.
- Resources to support my 2013 Cicerone publication Walking in Essex.
Across the three nationsOver the last few years, I've walked across the three nations of Great Britain.
The principle was the same for each: to find my own line across each nation, wherever I can visiting peaks or places that have long been on my 'to-do' list. For I did not have the weeks on end that could permit a non-stop walk. Instead I spent a few days a year, usually in the spring or autumn, starting at the place I had left off and ending 60 miles or so further on. Almost always, I used public transport to and sometimes within these breaks.
The walk across Wales came first (2002-06). I enjoyed it so much that a few weeks later I went to Land's End to start a traverse of England, and the following year something similar for Scotland.
When I started Scotland, I vaguely knew that there was some difficult territory to cross before I could reach my goal of Cape Wrath. In Wales, I had already learnt how to use a bothy and a bunkhouse; reaching the North-West Highlands aged 62, I bit the bullet and took up backpacking, with lightweight tent, the only sensible way to reach my goal. The tent has since proved invaluable in England too. The Scotland walk took me from 2007 to 2014, and the England walk from 2006 to 2016 - I finished it three weeks after becoming entitled to my old-age pension.
See also my feature article A long walk to Berwick in the November 2016 issue of The Great Outdoors - go to www.tgomagazine.co.uk for back issues.
Long-distance pathsThis site also looks at a wide variety of named trails which I have walked over the years. Some are solo, but many are in collaboration with my friend Dave Travers - we have been walking together since the 1970s, and on others you will find reference to various bits of family.
I would like to complete as many of the 19 National Trails of the three nations as I can. With every inch of only seven fully completed, that sounds like a tall order, but I'm just a stage or so short of several more. In 2016 I completed three - the Southern Upland Way - a magnificent backpackers' route across southern Scotland - in May, the famous Pennine Way in June, and Glyndwr's Way in mid-Wales in October (pages coming soon).
For the future, I have decided to make an effort on the South West Coast Path, and can easily finish the Thames Path and South Downs Way. I've recently made a start on The Ridgeway too.
And although primarily a trail walker, I do climb hills, and intend to finish the Welsh Hewitts too, if I can find the time to fit them in (mostly the smaller ones left).
'Walking in Essex' resourcesMy Cicerone guide Walking in Essex was published in mid-November 2013. On the Essex tab there are resources to support the book and help you explore this most-misunderstood of English counties. Cicerone are currently preparing my next book, Walking in London, for publication later this year.
Where's Trailman?The markers show where I am in each of my current walking 'projects'.
Zoom in and scroll up for detail up to 1:50,000
Second half of the Southern Upland Way
Final section of the Pennine Way
The Cheviot hills
Saturday 4 February
Going Loopy, part 2
21 miles from Hayes (Kent) to Banstead. Meet 0915 at Hayes station.
for the London LDWA
Wednesday 8 February
Nature Ramble #1
About six miles around Hampstead Heath. Meet 1000 at Stratford station, Jubilee line concourse.
for the Wren Group