From my birthplace in Sheffield at the site of the old Jessop Hospital for Women on Leavygreave Road, South Yorkshire, to my new home town of Cockermouth in Cumbria, this Collection includes the 15 stages of my #WalkHome2020 challenge.
When a trip to walk the length of New Zealand was cancelled, I came up with this idea for a long distance walk closer to home. Crossing the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks, it was over 330 kilometeres of adventure joy! The route that I planned on komoot also took in sections of the Pennine Way, Ribble Way, Dales High Way and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast trail.
The challenge felt a lot like a pilgrimage at times. The only thing I had to worry about for two weeks was putting one foot in front of the other. I walked half of the journey alone, while friends and family joined me for the other half. I wild camped in my tent most nights, although I did enjoy a few evenings in guest houses for a proper wash and to dry out kit!
The best bit by far was the sunset on the last night. I was camping high in the Lake District mountains and I was treated to golden skies for an hour and it felt like such a special last night treat.
The most challenging element was when my boot lace loop snapped on Day 8 in the Yorkshire Dales, but I was determined to finish in the same boots I started in.
Feel free to ask me any questions about the trip.
Day 1 complete! Wet wet wet! From my birthplace, the site of the old Jessops maternity hospital to my first camp.
I mostly hiked in the wet and dark, buoyed by the presence of my mum at the start (with her cute banner) and my two friends Kate and Heather who came to see me close to their houses in West Sheffield 😀
Day 2 of #Walkhome2020 was dry, woohoo!
I walked across Stanage Edge, Win Hill and down into Edale in the Peak District. I met Becky and Ben at Win Hill for the final bit.
A night in a campsite tonight, before heading up and over Kinder Scout tomorrow. Feet are still dry despite the boggy bits! 🙌🏻
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Yesterday was a big day, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it. We had all weathers from sunny to rainy. I've been joined by Becky again, starting in Edale and ended up near Crowden for a wild camp.
Staying on the flagstones is necessary in this area because off to the sides is bog bog bog!
I came up with the idea about a month or so ago and just applied for annual leave and got planning... 😃
I was supposed to be walking the length of New Zealand this winter but I have had to adjust my plans due to COVID-19. So this is a mini version of what I had planned originally.
Day 4 was very wet in the morning and on/off wet in the afternoon, and we made great progress. Feeling like I'm in my stride more than yesterday.
The pack is getting lighter the more I eat so it'll be a shock when I have to go shopping tomorrow and re-fill it! 🙈
Becky was with me again and Jess and her dog Tori joined us for a couple of hours after Black Hill. Another wild camp tonight, and we've now officially left the Peak District National Park.
Day 5! I was joined by Becky and Megan and we walked nearly 29 kilometres, the biggest day so far! 😃
Starting at Standedge, it was a day of big views, over Castleshaw Reservoir, up to Blackstone Edge, past Stoodley Pike and down to restock at Hebden Bridge.
Day 6 was back to just being me and Becky on the trail from our wild camp site just outside Hebden Bridge on the slopes of Standing Stone Hill to Cowling where we've treated ourselves to an Airbnb!
We've been drying out our kit ready to head to Malham tomorrow.
The biggest day for kilometres so far! 🥾🥾
Joined by Becky (and latterly Ben), we walked from Cowling (pronounced cole-ing) to Malham, North Yorkshire.
It was a tough day for my feet but still enjoyed it through sunshine and showers. 🌦
I also entered the Yorkshire Dales National Park today, my second National Park of the trip.
On day 8 and I was joined by Becky, Bryony, Adrian and Ben for the Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale section, which involved going over Pen Y Ghent, the highest point of the route so far.
It was probably my favourite day up until the point where my lace loop snapped on my right boot... 🤦🏻♀️
I'll see if I can pull it tight enough to get through tomorrow, and then I might have to get hold of a different pair of boots to finish the walk!
I woke after a wild camp and walked 8 kilometres to the Ribblehead Viaduct, where I met my friend Liz and dog Moss.
We had a cup of tea in Liz's camper van before continuing along the route of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks up the side of Whernside.
Then we started descending into the beautiful village of Dent, where I'll stay on a campsite tonight before walking over the Howgills tomorrow.
Day 10 started on a campsite in Dent. I walked along the river and followed the Dales High Way trail up and over the fells to Sedbergh.
Seeing the Howgills from the fells opposite was fantastic, they look like sleeping elephants! 🐘
I was ahead of schedule so I had brunch in Sedbergh before restocking on food and heading up into the Howgills.
I saw some beautiful fell ponies and bagged some tops along the Howgill range (including The Calf) before descending to find a place to wild camp on the slopes.
The weather got worse as the day progressed, ending in heavy rain and wind.
Tomorrow I'll be heading to Shap on the edge of the Lake District National Park, to start my home leg of #WalkHome2020.
I didn't take as many photos on this 11th day, as the weather was on/off rain and the views didn't quite have as much 'wow factor' as previous stages.
That said, I got close to 30 kilometres in the bag as I made it to Shap to stay in the guest house of a friend, Eeva.
A flash of luxury before the last three nights wild camping to the finish line! 😃
A wonderful day walking with Eeva during part one and then James for part two. Safe to say I'm so happy to be back in the Lake District in the sunshine!
We left Shap with a tummy full of scrambled eggs and avocado on toast and entered the Lake District via Shap Abbey, Haweswater, High Raise, Rampsgill Head, The Knott and Angle Tarn.
I fell asleep in my tent to the sound of stags as it's rutting season!
Another day on #WalkHome2020, I walked alone from my wild camp spot up Angle Tarn Pikes then down to Patterdale and then decided to add three more Wainwright fells to my day; Arnison Crag, Birks and St Sunday Crag.
I then descended, skirted around Grasmere and up alongside Calf Crag. A great day in the sunshine after the mist lifted. 😃 Beautiful Lakeland! 😍
Day 14 was super special. I woke from a wild camp and walked up and over Greenup Edge. I descended into Rosthwaite, but not before stopping to help four Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award students with my thoughts on erosion, Lake District tourism and litter.
After cheesy crumpets and a brew I proceeded through woodland towards Honister. There I met Carla who joined me up and over Fleetwith Pike, one of my favourite fells.
After another cuppa tea outside Carla's camper van at Gatesgarth, I enjoyed the reflections on the lake.
I reached Buttermere and ascended most of the way up Whiteless Pike. I stopped and pitched my tent under the most special sunset (to mark my last night of wild camping before I reach home tomorrow).
If I could have ordered the sunset, this is EXACTLY what I would have asked for. Truly blessed. Thank you for following my journey, last post tomorrow.
Mission accomplished! A brilliant last leg to home from my wild camp on Whiteless Pike, with a surprise kind gesture waiting for me so close to home!