Over 58 days in May to July 2021 I undertook a successful nordic walk, solo and unsupported, from Land’s End To John O’Groats, in support of Mind, Parkinson’s UK and The Hospice of St Francis. It was a great pleasure to be able to support these three excellent charities in such times of real need for our healthcare sector, and my thanks to everyone for your most generous support and contributions.
My LETJOG journey took me 1,084 miles, and just over 2.2 million steps, from the tip of Cornwall to the far north-east of Scotland. This marvellous journey included some wonderful parts of the South West Coast Path, the Severn Way, the Pennine Way, the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way, the John O’Groats Trail, and a great many other parts of our beautiful country. What’s more, along the way I visited 26 breweries and distilleries!
The LETJOG 2021 fundraising page is now closed, having raised nearly £13,000 for the three charities.
The Charities Supported by LETJOG 2021
Please see some quotes from Mind, Parkinson’s UK and The Hospice of St Francis at the foot of this page.
My LETJOG Challenge
My challenge entailed just under 1,100 miles (1,770 kms) of walking, on a generally northward route from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in north-east Scotland, with an aggregate ascent of over 105,000 feet (32,000 metres).
Staying in a combination of hotels, B&B’s, pubs and hostels, the walk took me 56 days plus two rest days, at an average of about 19 miles per day, and entailing roughly 7 hours of walking per day.
There is no prescribed route between Land’s End and John O’Groats, so route planning was key. My journey comprised parts of several of the UK’s long distance paths, including those listed above, together with various other designated trails through many beautiful parts of the English and Scottish countryside, and took me along numerous country lanes, tracks and towpaths. Whilst doing this I visited 26 breweries and distilleries along the way, taking me through a few cities and a good number of our fine market towns.
My LETJOG Rules
- My walk was self-financed, including all administration, travel, accommodation, food and drink, and other expenses. All sponsorship monies were donated in full to the three charities, divided evenly.
- Starting on 18 May 2021, I met my intention of undertaking the walk in one go (with two rest days), avoiding the need for my contingency of a 12-month deadline to cover enforced breaks for external reasons (such as pandemic restrictions), or for injury or illness.
- No motor transport, ferries or cycles, was used on my main LETJOG route. Such transport was only used around my two rest days and on a couple of occasions to access overnight accommodation in more remote areas. In other words I walked every yard of the LETJOG route!
My LETJOG Progress
“Well – I made it! Nearly 1,100 miles and 58 days later I have reached John O’Groats. Thank you to everybody for your supportive messages of encouragement along the way, and for your astounding generosity to the three LETJOG charities, Mind, Parkinson’s UK, and The Hospice of St Francis.” (14 July 2021)
With thanks to Mark Smith for the progress maps!
My LETJOG Sponsors and Supporters
As well as many individual sponsors, the following businesses and organisations very kindly supported my LETJOG challenge:
CALIBER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – All Your Financial Requirements At The Touch Of A Button http://www.caliber-fm.co.uk
ALISON & WAYNE BLUNDELL Chiropody/Podiatry http://www.blundellchiropody.co.uk
SLOW WAYS – creating a national walking network – http://www.slowways.uk
SUNNYSIDE CHURCH, St Michael and All Angels, Berkhamsted
I remain very grateful for the following kind quotes from the three LETJOG charities:
“We are really grateful to Nick for choosing to support Mind through this walking challenge, and we wish him well. It continues to be a really challenging time and many of us will be feeling the impact of the pandemic on our mental health and wellbeing, especially for those of us with existing mental health problems. It’s so important that no one has to face this alone. Every donation that Mind receives allows us to campaign to improve services and helps us to provide information and support, such as through the Mind Infoline, legal line and our online peer support community for adults, Side by Side, so we can be there for as many people who need us as possible.” Vicky Urquhart – Community and Events Fundraising Manager, Mind
“We want to say a huge thank you to Nick for choosing to support Parkinson’s UK with this incredibly gruelling challenge. With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives. We’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, but there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough. Fundraising for Parkinson’s UK like Nick helps to drive forward the groundbreaking research we need to transform the lives of people affected by Parkinson’s.” Beth Condie – Parkinson’s UK.
“Everyone at The Hospice of St Francis is behind Nick every step of the way! We are absolutely delighted to be involved with this incredible challenge and can’t wait to hear how he gets on. Throughout the pandemic our care has not stopped, but it is only thanks to amazing people like Nick that we can continue to be that much needed hand in the darkness. As all of us have been so restricted this last year we can’t think of a better way to celebrate coming out of the pandemic than to trek the length of the UK! We wish Nick all the very best on his fabulous adventure.” Lucy Hume – Joint Fundraising Director, The Hospice of St Francis.