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Hiking in Britain

Coastal Walkers (or how they walked, and are walking, the coast of Britain)

This is an attempt at creating a list of everyone who has walked, or is walking, the coastline of Britain. It is far from complete currently, and is very much work in progress. In particular, whilst recent walkers tend to have a large presence on the web during their walks, ones who did it in the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s tend to be mainly known about if they wrote a book about their experience. Hence I know of some walkers only from newspaper articles or anecdote. In these early cases, I am inclined to include them.

I am not 100% sure of the accuracy of the data, but over time it is becoming more accurate as multiple source become available. If you have done the walk and wish to be added, then feel free to mail me.

I have tried to keep this page as up-to-date as possible, but some may be slipping through the net. Please tell me if you know of a walker who is not on the list.

The list is split into four parts. Firstly, it is split into those who are currently walking the coast, and those who have completed.

Each of these is then split into two: those who are attempting to walk the coast in one go, without long breaks, and those who are doing it 'sectionally'; i.e. they do a day or two at a time, sometimes taking a decade or more to complete the feat.

There is a final fifth section; those who I know started to walk the coast, but who I cannot find any further information about. Some of these will have completed their walks; some will have failed for many reasons. I have included them as, in my view, *any* effort to walk the coast is worth saluting - and I never know, someone might let me know that they completed their walks.

 

Walker list

Current all-in-one-go walkers

This is a list of people who are currently attempting to walk the coast in one go, with no substantial gaps between sections. it is the most challenging way of doing the coastal walk; not the least because you need to devote ten months to a year to the project.

  • Barnabas Lee set off from Mablethorpe on August 10th 2019, walking clockwise. Barney suffers from Hereditary Neuropathy with liability to Pressure Palsies (HNPP), and he hopes to complete his walk around the coastline of the mainland in October 2020. He maintains an entertaining blog at /barneylee.co.uk. He also has a presence on Facebook
  • Elizabeth Wickes set off from RNLI Westminster on the 03/10/2018, and is raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue and Mountain Rescue England and Wales. She has taken a somewhat 'inland' route in places. She has a website at bethfootforward.co.uk.
  • Karen Penny is currently walking the coast of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. She set off on 14th January 2019 from Swansea, and expects to have walked a staggering 20,000 miles before she completes the walk in January 2023. She is currently (November 2019) in western Scotland. She is walking to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK; you can find out more at her blog at karenpennythepennyrollson.home.blog, and she can also be found on Twitter.
  • Chris Lewis and his dog, Jet, walking the coast of Britain clockwise, including Northern Ireland and the islands of Scotland. He set off on 01/08/2018 from Llangenith Beach, Swansea, and is currently in Shetland. They are raising money for the SSAFA. He has an excellent website at chriswalks.com, and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chriswalksuk/.
  • On the 1st February 2016 Wayne Dixon and his dog set off from Knottend in Lancashire to walk the coastline, collecting litter as they go. He is walking in memory of his father and is raising money for MIND and the Northern Inuit society. Wayne is currently (October 2019) in London. He is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wayne.dixon.7543.
  • Sam Doyle is currently walking the coast. He set off from Blackpool on 28/05/2017, and is walking clockwise. He is rising money for charity PTSD Resolution. He is hoping to walk 7,700 miles. I have not been able to find much recent news of his walk.

 

Current sectional walkers

This is a list of people who are currently walking the coast, with substantial time gaps between sections - they walk whenever work, life or finances give them the opportunity. In some ways this is a more sensible way of doing it; you can savour the scenery and the experience more than if you walk it all in one go.

  • Ruth Livingstone is walking around the coast in sections, having started in Kings Lynn. She is writing an excellent blog about her walk at http://ruthl.wordpress.com/. She says; "I am going to do it in stages. I will take my time. And I am going to enjoy it." She has currently (November 2019) walked as far as Shiel Bridge.
  • Michael Ball is currently walking at least the English coast on a sectional basis. He is camping out at the age of 74 - I can only hope that I am as fit at his age.
  • Chris McQuillan and his dog Moose started from Portishead in North Somerset, on 29th June 2018, walking anticlockwise around Britain. They completed the English phase of their journey in Northumberland on April 15th 2019, and are now prepping for the Scottish section, which they are hoping to start in March 2020. The have a website at https://www.chrisandmoose.co.uk/, and are on Facebook.
  • Billy Dockery and his wife Joanna are walking the coast of Britain clockwise in sections. So far they have walked from Montrose down to Cardiff. They are keeping a website at http://scottishvagabond.weebly.com/.
  • Patricia Richards-Skensved started walking the coast from Norfolk in 2011, and has got as far as Herbrandston in Pembrokeshire. She plans to walk the coast of England and Wales, and will decide on whether to walk Scotland later. She has a blog at https://joiningthedotsblogdotcom.wordpress.com/.
  • Judy and Rod have been walking the coastline of England and Wales for many years, having gone form Sheerness clockwise to the Scottish border. In 2007 they published a book about their walk so far: 'South Coast Saunter: Part One - Aspirations' by Vanguard Press ISBN 9781843862864
  • A lady named Melita is currently walking the coast in sections. She set off from London Bridge in January 2013 and has walked various disjointed sections of the coast - mosst recently (November 2019) in Pembokeshire. She has a blog at http://mgctblog.com/
  • Rosemary Fretwell and her friend Colin are walking the coast in sections. They set off from Bognor in 1998 and are currently (November 2019) on the west coast of Wales. Their blog is at http://leftatbognor.blogspot.co.uk/
  • A group of men are walking Scotland's coast in sections: details of their endeavour can be seen at walkingscotlandscoast.com. The last update on their blog showed them being at Wigtown back in October 2017.
  • A gent going by the moniker 'Helpful Mammal' is walking clockwise around the coast in sections. He set off from Gravesend on the 3rd September 2010, and has reached Cape Wrath.
  • Jon Coombe is walking much of the English coast in sections, including some long multi-day hikes. He has a website at http://britishcoast.wordpress.com/. His last blog entry (dated November 2019) has him in Queensferry back in March 2015.
  • Nic Maunder and family, including ten-year old twins, set off from Foulness in 2011 and are walking the coastline clockwise in sections, and have now reached Weymouth. A true family adventure! They maintain a blog called thecoastalpath, which includes some wonderful photographs of our coastline. This walk sadly seems to have stalled, if only because the children have grown into teenagers!
  • Werewolf and Flump (who I assume is just one person) is walking the English coastal path in sections. (S)he have a website at werewolfandflumpukcoastalpath.com. The walk's start was from under the Forth Bridge in Edinburgh on 21st March 2018, and started walking clockwise, and the latest walk as to Kilnsea in Yorkshire in April 2019.
  • Alan Palin set off from Cardigan in Wales in 2001, and walks the coast in a series of 1,2 or 3 day stints. He has a website at walkingthecoastofgreatbritain.com. He has currently got as far as Essex.
  • Paul Bennettstarted his anticlockwise coastal stroll at St Dogmaels, and is walking England and Wales, although he may extend it by doing Scotland at a later date. He has completed 1,183 miles so far. For more information, see his website at http://pab.angellane.org/coastwalk.html.
  • Leon, Dick and Chris started walking the coast on 25-08-2005, and are walking anticlockwise. These Cobblers (Coast of Britain'ers) set off from Land's End, and are now as far as Torquay, a distance of 236 miles. They have a nice rule; each walk must start and end with a pint in the same pub! Their website is at www.cowp.co.uk/photos.
  • Tom Whittaker is walking in sections around England/ He has a website at http://t.e.whittaker.googlepages.com/home
  • Jane and Jenna Morgan started walking the coast anti-clockwise from Sandbanks in 1998, and the last I had heard they had got as far as Peacehaven, and have named their walk 'A Gentle Stroll around the Coast of Britain'.
  • Susan Long started walking the coast clockwise from Cley-next-the-Sea in North Norfolk in August 1999, and the last I had heard had walked as far as Lymington (800 miles).
  • Mike Rice and Christine Parker are walking in sections; they started off by doing the South West Coast Path, and have extended it in either direction. So far they have completed Burnham/Highbridge to Dymchurch.
  • John Gale set off from London on a sectional walk around the coast anticlockwise on 21/02/2006. See his excellent blog for details.
  • Andrew Goodall and his wife set off from Dover on 15/07/2007, and are walking the coast in sections clockwise.
  • Eve Richards set off from Dover to walk the coast clockwise in 2007 and has reached Barnstaple. She walks 8-9 days at a time.
  • Sue Gisborne and Mary Diffell set off from Emsworth in October 2007 and are doing the coast clockwise in sections; so far they have reached Sterte in Devon, Woolacombe to Morwenstow, Aust to Weston Super Mare and Cromer to Hunstanton. A great way of doing the walk.
  • Chris and Anne Craven started walking the British coast anti-clockwise in 2000, and walk for one or two weeks a year. They started near Carlisle walking and are now (2019) on the north coast of Scotland.
  • Barbara and Nancy set off from Beachy Head on the 01/02/2014, to walk the coast in sections clockwise. So far (November 2019), they have reached Bideford. They keep an entertaining blog (B & N's ridiculous journey) about their walk.

 

All-in-one completers

This is a list of people who have completed the walk in one go, with no substantial time off between walks.

 
Name Mileage Dates Direction Resources / Notes
John Merrill 6,824 03-01-1978 to 08-11-1978 Clockwise The man who led the way. He is apparently considering doing it again, taking in the islands and Ireland as well. An inspiration.
Vera Andrews 3,524 31-03-1984 to 08-11-1984 Antoclockwise Vera started from Clacton, and got an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest continuous walk by a woman. She wrote a book about her exploits: 'I've seen Granny Vera', ISBN 0-951070-90-8
Vivienne Ibbott Unknown 01-03-1986 to ??-??-1987 Clockwise I have not been able to discover much about Vivienne's walk. She started in Southampton
Helen Krasner 4,922 01-03-1986 to 31-01-1987 Clockwise Helen started and ended her walk in Brighton, on the same day as Vivienne. She wrote an entertaining book about her exploits: 'Midges,Maps and Muesli: Account of a 5,000 Mile Walk Round the Coast of Britain', ISBN 0953380106 . There is also a Kindle version available, see below.
Ron Bullen 7,047 01-04-1986 to 07-02-1987 (313 days) Anti-clockwise Thanks to a contributor, I now know a little more about Ron's walk. He is a British and world endurance walk record holder as the first and only walker to achieve distinction on foot by visiting every lifeboat station (RNLI) in the united kingdom a total distance of 7,047 miles in 313 days. Guinness book of records certificate 1987 book 1990. He also carried his tent with him and stayed in it at night and in total he averaged 23 miles a day.
Paul Dyer Unknown 14-09-1986 to ??-??-1987 Clockwise Paul is another walker that I have not been able to discover much about. He started from John O'Groats
John Westley 9,469 (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland) 05-08-1990 to 20-09-1991 Clockwise John walked the coastlines o England, Wales and Scotland, and was the first person to tack Ireland on as well. He wrote a book about his experience: 'And the road below...', ISBN 1-869922-25-5
Bob Croucher 2,409 (England only) 20-04-1991 to 14-09-1991 Clockwise Bob walked England's coastline; he wrote a book about the experience, called 'A walk around England'
Spud Talbot-Ponsonby 4,546.7 01-08-1993 to 01-06-1994 Anti-clockwise Spud walked the coastline with her dog Tess, staying in a motorhome that was driven by an assortment of interesting characters. She wrote perhaps the seminal travelogue about walking the coast, 'Two feet, four paws', ISBN 1-84024-150-0 . Her walk was an inspiration for me.
Jesse Unknown early 1994 to mid 1995 Clockwise Jesse wrote a book about his walk: 'friendship spirit and freedom-jesse' Not only did he walk the coastline, he took in Offa's Dyke, south-north, north-south, then carried on with his walk, then he did the coast to coast e-w w-e, again continuing his walk. he now holds the world record for continuous walk.
Richard Hunt 4,298 01-01-1995 to 29-10-1995 Clockwise Richard walked the coast with his wife Shally (see below). They wrote a book about the experience: 'The sea on our left', ISBN 1-84024-105-5
Shally Hunt 4,298 01-01-1995 to 29-10-1995 Clockwise Shally walked the coast with her husband Richard (see above). They wrote a book about the experience: 'The sea on our left', ISBN 1-84024-105-5
Geraldine Pettitt 5,000 06-03-1995 to 26-10-1995 Anti-clockwise Geraldine walked to raise money for the PDSA.
Robert Steel 4,444 06-03-1995 Clockwise Robert was 75 when he walked the coast, to celebrate the centenary of the National Trust. He started from London Bridge.
Graham F Jones 2,035 (England only) 5 months to 12-09-1997 Anti-clockwise Graham walked the coast of England; he published a book about his experience: 'Walking the Edge', ISBN 1-897913-62-1
Paul Harvey Complete 23-06-1996 to --- ??-??-1997 Anti-clockwise Paul started his walk from Boston, and had a very eventful time. See a comment at the BBC website for more detail.
James Edmonds Complete ??-??-1997 to --- ??-??-1998 (9 months) Anti-clockwise James started in either Spalding or Boston He was 28 when he walked it. See a comment at the BBC website for more detail.
Alfie Unknown Unknown Unknown I know very little about Alfie's walk - he is from Folkestone / Hythe, did it in the late nineties and walked for a children's hospice. The 'Kent Messenger' newspaper may have more details.
Peter Griffiths 7,000 01-09-1997 to 07-02-1999 Anti-clockwise Peter set of from Aberystwyth and carried everything he needed for overnight survival including a one man tent. He camped over 170 nights during the walk - staying at friends, B&B's, hostels and bothies for the rest. After completing the walk he staged a photograph exhibition entitled "Footsteps on the Edge of Britain" that was exhibited at eight gallery venues around the coast. See the BBC website for more information. Sadly Peter died of cancer in 2008 - I can only hope that the BBC keep up these webpages as a tribute to his amazing achievement.
Douglas Charles Legg 5,000 01-08-1998 to 31-12-1999 Anti-clockwise Douglas walked the coast in a very unusual manner; he led an almost itinerant lifestyle, but one that he entertainingly detailed in his book: 'No Fixed Abode: A Long Walk to the Dome', ISBN 0-9542051. Details of the bok can be found at http://www.rh6.biz/Colby_Press/A_Long_Walk_to_the_Dome.html. Douglas has also walked the coast of Ireland anti-clockwise, and is writing a book about those experiences.
Alison King 5,200 01-01-2000 to 19-11-2001 Clockwise Alison walked the coast with her husband, Martyn. Sadly she was diagnosed with a brain tumour during the walk, and although she completed the walk, she died soon afterwards. A lovely website dedicated to their walk is still up at http://www.alison-and-martyn.org.uk/.
Martyn King 5,200 01-01-2000 to 19-11-2001 Clockwise Martyn walked the coast with his wife, Alison (see above).A lovely website dedicated to their walk is still up at http://www.alison-and-martyn.org.uk/.
Tom Isaacs 4,500? 11-04-2002 to 11-04-2003 Anti-clockwise Tom Isaacs walked the coast depite suffering from early-onset Parkinsons, which he was diagnosed with at the age of 26. His walk was a truly amazing feat; he could hardly walk without taking a large array of tablets each morning. www.coastin.co.uk/. He wrote a book about his walk, Shake Well Before Use. I met up with Tom near Land's End during our walks. He was a tireless campaigner in the fight against Parkinsons.
Graham Harbord 4,500? 25-09-2002 to 10-10-2003 Anti-clockwise Graham walked the coast in memory of hsi wife, Carol. He kept a website, www.carols-smile.org.uk/. He is a very pleasant man, whom I bumped into on a couple of occasions on our respective walks.
David Cotton 6,266.5 01-10-2002 to 27-09-2003 Clockwise www.coastwalk.co.uk/. Yes, it's me. I set off from Edinburgh, and finished there a little under a year later. I walked around estuaries, and the only ferries I took were on/off Arran, and to get to and from my accommodation on some nights - I always restarted where I had left off. My then-girlfriend, Sam, drove a motorhome ("Mervan") around the coast for the year.
Louis Unknown 21-07-2004 to 11-07-2005 Clockwise Louis set off from near Whitby on Wednesday 21st July 2004, and headed clockwise along the coast. He camped for most of the way around, relying on B&B's only when it is most necessary. He did the walk during a gap year before going to university, and he was by far the youngest coastal walker that I am aware of. Louis used to have a website (now sadly a dead link) at http://www.louiswalkingtheuk.tk/, or see some photographs that I took when we met up.
Gary Lamb 4,500 01-04-2005 to 12-02-2006 Clockwise Gary did the walk as a 'Prayer walk', setting off from Hythe when he was 26, completing 15 miles a day. See a page on his prayer walk for more information. He has written a book about his walk, "Legs of Lamb".
Greg Whitehead ??? ??-06-2006 to ??-??-???? Anti-clockwise Greg set off from Great Yarmouth in June 2006 and walked anti-clockwise, carrying full kit. This was mentioned in the July 2007 'Country Walking' magazine, but I have failed to find any further information elsewhere. If anyone can provide me with further information, please contact me.
Jannina Tredwell 4,500 01-01-2006 to 25-11-2006 Anti-clockwise See http://www.janninatredwell.com/wtw2006/index.html, Jannina set off from Lyme Regis with her two dogs, Jago and Tressa. She raised money for specific projects run by four charities :- The Woodland Trust, the RNLI, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Topsy Foundation. She wrote a book about her walk: A bit far for you dear. Whilst not technically within the remit of this blog, Jannina Tredwell she did a 3,500 mile walk around the coast of Ireland starting in February 2013, raising money for the Tusk charity. She has a website at her Wordpress site.
Wendy Bathard and Paul Barber 5,000+ 13-11-2006 to approx 13-11-2007 Clockwise Wendy Bathard and Paul Barber walked 5,000+ miles for charity, raising money for both Guide Dogs and the RNLI. They set off from John O'Groats on 13-11-2006, and completed in November 2007. please see http://www.tvh3.com/coastalwalk.htm for more details, along with the Terra-Nova website
Seb Green 3,500 01-02-2008 to 14-12-2008 Anti-clockwise 18-year old Seb Green set off in January 2008 from Weymouth, camping out along with his dog, Flash. His website can be found at: www.sebsodyssey.org.uk. He raised over 27,000 pounds for charity. For more information on the completion of his walk, see this BBC News broadcast.
Ges Laker 5,715 31-01-2009 to 13-02-2010 Anti-clockwise Ges Laker walked the coast with his two dogs, Sumo and Pheobe. He set off from Warsash near Portsmouth in 2009. He raised money for St Dunstans Charity who support blind ex-servicemen and women to become self-sufficient, regain their optimism and make the most of opportunities. For more information, see his website at http://www.lakerscoastline.org/index.php
David Edwards 5,020 14-03-2010 to 31-07-2010 Clockwise David, 27, left Cardiff Basin on 14th March 2010. More details can be found on the Facebook page "Mr Duke walks the coast of Britain for Bowel Cancer Wales". He appeared to have managed 250 miles a week - to give you an idea, on my stroll I managed 126 miles a week on average! He walked the north coast of the Isle of Wight from Ryde to Yarmouth instead of the Portsmouth - Southampton area.
Nathaniel Severs Around 7,000 miles 10/01/2010 to 10/11/2010 Clockwise Nathaniel Severs, 24, set off from Portsmouth on January 10th 2010, walking clockwise. He arrived back on Novemnber 10th, an amazingly short time for such a long walk. See the Live for the Outdoors and his own Wordpress websites for more information. He camped out for much of the time.
Amy Leigh 6000+ 01/02/2010 Clockwise Amy Leigh set off from Guy's Hospital in London on February 1st 2010, walking clockwise. She was walking to raise money for Kindey Research UK, and had a website at Facebook page. She hoped to walk 6,824 miles in eight months - a great achievement. Live for the Outdoors has an article about her walk.
Joe Boy Robertson 5,000? 18/03/2012 to 22/11/2012 Anti-clockwise Joe Robertson, 23, set off from Southend in March 2012 to raise money for Cancer Research, and completed his walk on November 22nd, walking anti-clockwise. He has a page on JustGiving, and the usual Facebook page. There is also an article on This is Kent before he set off. A very fast (and from a look at his photos) enjoyable achievement.
Dr Geebers 6,800? 2009 to the end of 2012 Clockwise A man naming himself 'Dr Geebers' walked 6,800 miles around the entire coast between 2009 and the end of 2011, creating sculptures on the way. He started in Brighton and walked clockwise. There is a Daily Mail article on his walk, and he has a website outlining his art.
Alan Dix (Wales only) 1,000? 04/2013 to 07/2013 Anti-clockwise Alan Dix walked the new Welsh Coastal Path, making it into a circuit using Offa's Dyke path. His main blog for the walk can be found at http://alandix.com/alanwalkswales/.
John Rayment 6,000? 01/08/2012 to 30/11/2013 Clockwise John Rayment set off from Tilbury on the 1st August 2012. He raised money for three Parkinson's charities, and has a Facebook page with many photos of his walk, a charity page, and a Twitter account. Rather sensibly decided to take the winter off, and restarted from Glandyfi in March 2013.
Christian Nock 7,000? 08/08/2012 to 17/03/2014 Anti-clockwise Christian walked the coast over nineteen months, sleeping out each night. He did several of the off-coast islands, including Skye, but missed out on the Knoydart area. Sleeping rough for well over 500 nights is an amazing feat. He has a website at Christian Around Britain, and is on Facebook. His Twitter account is @ChristianNock1.
David Higgins 5,630 30/03/2013 to 12/07/2014 Anti-clockwise David Higgins set off from Withernsea on March 30th 2013, walking anti-clockwise. He kept a blog at www.coastingroundbritain.co.uk. He collected money for Parkinson's UK.
Peter Hill 5,045 19/02/2014 to 06/12/2014 Clockwise On the 19th of February 2014, Peter Hill set off from Southampton, walking clockwise. He had a website at http://gbcoastwalk.com/, and a Flickr account.
Adam Short 6,600 miles 01/03/2014 to 26/07/2015 Anti-clockwise Adam Short set off from Southampton in 2014, and did what must be a first: not only did he wild camp whilst walking the coast, but he also used a pack raft to cross rivers. He had a website at http://uk-coastal-trek.com/aboutadam.aspx, and a Facebook page
Wayne Russell 5,058 miles September 2015 to 09/07/2016 Wayne ran the entire coastline in memory of his sister Carmel, who died of a rare heart and lung condition. He raised money for the Superhero Foundation, and survived on less than three pounds a day. See a Runner's World article for some information.
Elise Downing 5,000 miles 01/11/2015 to August 2016 Clockwise Elise Downing set off from London Bridge on November 1st 2015 to run around the coast. She has a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/elisecdowning, and a personal website about her exploits at elisedowning.com/
Tony Frost 5,000 miles 14/02/2015 to 15/08/2016 Clockwise Tony Frost walked 5000 miles walk around mainland Britain. He started and finished at Lands End. See: his website and his Twitter account. He walked for about 23 days every month.
Josh Hicks 5,400 miles 31/05/2016 to 31/12/2016 Clockwise Australian Josh set off from Land's End in May 2016, raising money for two cancer charities. See A newspaper article
Alexander Ellis-Roswell 9,500 miles (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland) 03/08/2014 to 11/11/2017 Clockwise On the 3rd August 2014 Alexander Ellis-Roswell left Minnis Bay in Kent and started walking clockwise around the coast, raising money for the RNLI. Whilst in western Scotland, he decided to add Ireland to his walk, being only the second continuous walker to do so. He can be followed on Facebook, and at on twitter.
Natalia Spencer 6,000 miles 14/02/2016 to ??/??/2017 Clockwise Natalia set out from Durdle Door in Dorset, walking clockwise. She walked in memory of her daugher, Elizabeth, who died aged five of an auto-immune disease. See a Guardian article for more information on her walk.
Laurence Carter 4,314 miles (England and Wales only) 16/06/2018 to 23/06/2019 Clockwise Laurence walked the coast of England and Wales only. He started in Seaford, near Brighton, and walked in memory of his wife Melitta, who died in 2015 from cervical cancer. His challenge was in aid of Cancer Research UK. He has a website at www.3500toendit.com.
Simon and Sue Murphy 4,500 miles 01/01/2019 to 18/10/2019 Clockwise This couple walked clockwise around the coast. Started in Lyme Regis on 01/01/2019, and arrived back on 18/10/2019. They used ferries to cross estuaries and camped out when they had to. They estimate they walked 4,500 miles.
Martin Shipley 3,861 miles 14/02/19 to 25/10/19 Anticlockwise Martin Shipley set off from Robin Hood's Bay, in memory of his daughter. See the Forres Gazette and the Ayrshire Coastal Path website.


 

Sectional completers

This is a list of people who have completed the walk in one go, with substantial gaps between sections.

 
Name Mileage Dates Direction Resources / Notes
Iain Gilbert 5,500 miles. 1993 to 2001 Clockwise Iain started his walk in Skegness; he lives in Nottinghamshire.
Adam Doble Completed 2,450 miles (England only) 28-04-1997 to 28-07-2004 Clockwise Adam did England only in 125 days walking; he cut across Wales using Offa's Dyke, and from Gretna to Berwick. One of his next plans is to walk the Welsh coastline.
Spencer Lane Completed --- to 1996 ??? Sectional walker, he started the walk in the 1970's. He was the customer service manager at City University.
Ted Richards Completed 3,583 miles (England and Wales) 02-07-1985 to 12-05-2004 Clockwise Ted has now completed his walk around England and Wales; he did not take ferries and walked around any island connected by bridges to the mainland. He has a retrospective blog at http://walesenglandcoastalwalk.blogspot.com/.
David Oldman Completed 5,700 miles. 1996 to 2008 Clockwise David started in 1996, and has now completed his walk. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidonsea/, and mylondon.news for details.
Gilbert Campbell (Scotland only) Completed ??? to ??? Anticlockwise Gilbert wrote an entertaining blog about his sectional walk around the Scottish coast - see www.scottishcoastalwalk.co.uk. He has also set up a website that has google maps of his walks - see www.nationalcoastalpath.co.uk.
Philip Williams Completed 20/02/2010 to 07/09/2013 Clockwise Philip Williams' walk was called '"Characters On The Coastline"'. He set off from Brighton on the 20th February 2010, and walked clockwise, finishing on the on the 7th September 2013. You can get more details from his website at www.philipwilliams.uk.com.
David Livermore Completed 1996 to 07/2016 ??? David Livermore walked around the border of England incuding Offa's Dyke, completing a gloriously imprecise 4,000 to 5,000 miles. See the solwayshorewalker blog for the little information that I have on his stroll.
Martyn West Completed ~5,000 miles 18/11/2009 to 11/09/2017 Clockwise Martyn walked around the coast of Britain in stages, starting and ending at Scarborough. He has an entertaining blog at walkaroundbritainscoast.blogspot.co.uk. He estimates the distance he walked at 5,000 miles.
Nicholas Creagh-Osborne Completed ~7,000 miles 04/05/2015 to 25/05/2018 Sectional. Nicholas started walking the coast in 2015. He has a website at https://manwalkstheworld.com/. He walked 4,495 miles in 358 days of walking.
Andy Phillips Completed 11/06/1989 to 25/01/2018 Clockwise Andy Phillips started his sectional coastal walk at Gravesend in 1989, and completed it there nearly thirty years later - although he did take a ten-year break in the middle of the walk. 40 days after finishing his walk, he set out on another journey to circumnavigate the UK coastline.

For his second go, he has decided to make the journey by public transport along with walking the stretches that he hadn't done first time around. This were the estuaries he had taken a ferry across and Islands that had less than two bridges. He is also walking trails that connect with his walk. So far, this has meant walking the Capital Ring, London Loop, Darent Valley Path, Weald Way & Medway Valley Path.

He has a ukcoastalwalk twitter account, and a main APCAFC twitter account.

Chris Elliot Completed 6,160 miles 2009 to 02/08/2019 Clockwise Chris started off from Rye in East Sussex, and he walked over a total of 488 days. He wrote a series of books: Recollections of a Coastal Walker
Bob McIntyre Completed England and Wales, along with Offa's Dyke and Hadrian's Wall. 4,495 miles. November 2013 to July 2019 Bob walked the coastline of England and Wales in sections, using Hadrian's Wall and Offa's Dyke to totally circumnavigate the countries. He completed England on 11/11/2017, and Wales in 30/07/2019, making a total of 4,495 miles in 358 walking days. He has a blog at https://still0england.com/.
Jimmy Hudson Scotland only. 2455 miles 03/08/2011 to 19/10/2017 Anti-clockwise Jimmy Hudson walked the coastline of Scotland in sections; he started from Brewick-on-Tweed on the 3rd August 2011, aand finished in Gretna on 19th October 2017. In total, he walked 2455 miles. He has a blog at https://jimmyscoastalwalkofscotland.wordpress.com/author/hudsonzblueyondercouk/
Tony Vincent 6,573 miles in 319 days 2013 to 2018 Anti-clockwise Tony started his sectional walk in 2013, from the Severn Bridge. He stayed in B&B’s / Youth Hostels and Bothies the whole way and never camped. His trip was a phenomenal exercise in planning as he used buses to get back to his accommodation each day.

 


Uncompleters

The following are walkers who started walking the coast, but who seemed to 'go quiet' before they completed. It is perfectly possible that they completed and just did not update their sites.

 

  • Peter Mears set off from Dunnet Head in April 2014, and slept in a tent most of the time. He raised money for three charities: the National Trust, RSPB, and Renewable World. See https://renewable-world.org/pete-mears-walking-on-the-edge/ He appears to have given up, according to his FB page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1904845906449611/about/
  • Alaric Dynevor set off from Brighton on January 3rd 2009. See http://www.myspace.com/brutymax. Unfortunately it looks as though he might have had to stop after 1,300 miles because of lack of funding. Details can be found at thisistotalessex.
  • Les Steel is currently walking around the coastline of Scotland in sections. He has completed between Edinburgh and John O'Groats, and much of the southern and western coasts. He walks in a join-the-dots fashion, the sections not necessarily in order as he has to rely on trains and buses to get him to and from his walks. This makes his walk much more complex and admirable. His plan was to complete the task by September 2013. I have no idea the current status of his walk.
  • Pat started a sectional coastal walk in 2010. Read his blog at patsukcoastwalk.co.uk. Sadly, it looks as though his website is currently down.
  • Chris McCullough Young started walking the coast on the 6th April 2011 and is walking anti-clockwise. He has reached North Wales. He has sadly caught Lyme's Disease during his walk, but is continuing. He can be followed on his blog at walkamileinmyshoesuk.wordpress.com, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/walkamileinmyshoes He is collecting money for MIND: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/walkamileuk He is still very active on-line, but I have no idea if he completed his walk, or if it is on a (semi-)permanent hiatus.
  • On 26th January 2013, Craig Adams set off from Saltburn on a 6,500-7,000 miles clockwise walk around the coast. Already he's had to deal with deep snow and a minor injury. He is trying to do the trip on very little money; he is taking a ukulele for busking, and would appreciate any offers of accommodation from folk living on the coast. He is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. You can follow his progress on his Wordpress site or on Facebook. However his blog does not seem tohave been updated since 2014.
  • Eddie Craven has restarted his walk, having stalled his previous attempt due to a back injury. He started his attempt from Exeter on the 26th August 2013. He is raising money for Veterans Aid, and is raising awareness of PTSD. He has a Just Giving page, and he used to have a page on Facebook, but this now appears to be a dead link.
  • On the 20th April 2016 Aaron Casey started walking the coast from Whitstable to raise money for the charity, 'Once, we were Soldiers'. He is carrying a tent and roughing it. I have not heard much about his walk recently.
  • On the 1st May 2015, 63-year old Steve Cook set off from East Grinstead, walking down to the coast at Brighton to start his anti-clockwise walk around the coast. The last I've been able to find, he had reached North Queensferry in Scotland on what seemed to be a continuous walk. He used to have a blog at www.walkthekingdom.co.uk/, but that now seems to be a dead link.
  • On the 30th of May 2014 Richard Long set off from Lands End on a trip clockwise around the UK. He is raising money for Combat Stress and Help for Heroes and to raise awareness of PTSD. He will complete the journey as unsupported as possible (bar medical emergencies or replacement of equipment) and intends to sleep under canvas every night. He has reached Skye. He is raising money for two charities: Help for Heroes and Combat Stress. He has a now-obligatory Facebook page, and also a blog. He is also on Twitter at @walking11000. Although his website and twitter are live, they have not been updated since 2015.
  • In 2012 Jez Nemeth started walking the entire coast of Britain, which he estimates will take five years. Unusually (and rather spectacularly) he is filming the entire coast path and recording people's connections to the coast as he goes. He has a brilliant website detailing his exploits at www.coast-line.co.uk, whilst an example film can be found at www.coast-line.co.uk/2012/12/04/film-41/ His site also includes a list of people walking the Welsh Coast Path, which includes many names not shown below. Sadly, his excellent website does not appear to have been updated for many years, and much of it is no longer accessible due to server issues.
  • On April 6th 2015, a woman named Lucy set off from Tower Bridge to walk anticlockwise around the coast. She maintained a pleasant travelblog, lucyswalkaroundbritain., which detailed her walk and shows her in week 54 having got as far as Margate by August 2016, with 3,276 miles walked. Now, Margate isn't Tower Bridge, and there were probably fifty to a hundred miles left to go along the Thames Estuary. It feels very churlish to put her in this 'uncomplete' section - surely she must have finished it?

 


Around Britain Walkers Association

In his book, Douglas Legg states that he would like there to be a association for people who have walked the coast, called the 'Around Britain Walkers Association'. This was something that I was thinking of before I started the walk, and it is becoming increasingly appealing. I am not quite at the stage where I am ready to form such an association, but if anyone thinks that it is a good idea, then email me at discjirm@hotmail.com.

 


The obligatory antagonist

A dishonourable mention has to be made of Matthew Brown, who was jailed for 16 months in 2011 for fraud whilst pretending to raise money for Help for Heroes. I suppose there has to be one bad egg amongst all the coastal walkers.

 


The best bits

You cannot afford time off to walk the entire coast? Why not try some of the bite-sized chunks that I liked best. I have only walked most of these once, and impressions are mostly based on weather and your mood, but these, for me, are the places that are ultra-memorable:

  • Blairmore to Durness, via Sandwood Bay and Cape Wrath, 41.4 miles. A superb and memorable walk around the northwestern tip of the mainland. Scottish coastal walking at its best, and the most atmospheric bothy that I have ever stayed in. See walks 522, 523 and 524.
  • Abbereiddy to Strumble Head, 16.1 miles. Superb scenery and views, with an outstanding sunset behind Strumble Head lighthouse. Pembrokeshire at its best. See walk 390.
  • Worth Matravers to Lulworth Cove, 14.3 miles. A hard walk through the military firing range at Lulworth, and past the deserted village of Tyneham. See walks 315 or 808. This stretch of coast is not always accessible as it crosses a military range, so check before you go - the inland diversion is long and onerous.
  • Gorleston-on-Sea to Southwold, 18.8 miles. Lovely and understaed coastal scenery, through Lowestoft and past the easternmost point on the mainland to Southwold, a superb little town with its own fine brewery. See walk 259.
  • Tudweiliog to Clynnog Fawr, 20.2 miles. Some of the best scenery that the Lleyn peninsular has to offer, plus some stiff climbs. All in an area of Wales that is relatively unvisited by tourists. See walk 403.

 


Further reading

A series of books have been written about coastal walks, and the coast in general. Click on a link to go to the Amazon page for the book.

 
Title Author ISBN Details
Walking the English Coast: A beginner's guide Ruth Livingstone This book is not a travelogue like so many of the others. Instead, it is packed full of useful information for anyone wanting to walk in the UK, yet alone on the English coast. It is usefully targetted at people who are new to long-distance walking, but even an old hand such as myself learnt new tricks and perspectives. I even get a mention on a few occasions. From choosing socks to dangerous animals, it's all in this book.
I may be gone for some time: one man's story of his 5,000 mile trek around the British mainland coast Peter Hill This entertaining book tells the story of Peter's walk around the coast. It is packed with some gorgeous pictures.
Turn Right at Land's End John N. Merrill 0-907496-74-1 This is an excellent book by the first person to walk around the coastline of the UK. Truly a pioneer of this walk, he suffered a dtress-fracture in his foot about halfway through!
Legs of Lamb Gary Lamb 1-905991-23-1 I have yet to read this book, but Gary's walk blog, which it was based on, was entertaining. A very spiritual walk.
I've Seen Granny Vera Vera Andrews 0-951070-90-8 Granny Vera holds the longest walk in Britain by a woman world record, an amazoing achievement. As well as walking around 3,000 mile around the coast she also visited all the British Gas showrooms in Britain on the way! Unfortunately I have yet to obtain a copy of this book.
Two feet, four paws Spud Talbot-Ponsonby 1-84024-150-0 This truly excellent and well-written book is about a young woman who walked the coastline in 1994 with her dog. A truly inspirational read, and one of my favourite walking books.
The sea on our left Shally Hunt 1-84024-105-5 This is a superb book about a middle-aged couple who walked the coastline in 1995.
Midges,Maps and Muesli Helen Krasner 0-953380-10-6 A lovely book about Helen's 5,000 mile walk around the coast - the title sums up her experiences rather neatly. An admirable walk by an admirable lady. There is also a Kindle version available.
Walking the Edge Graham F Jones 1-897913-62-1 This nice book details a 2,000 mile walk around the coastline of England from Gloucester to Berwick.
Coastwalk Andrew McCloy 0-340-65740-5 Details routes around the coastline of England and Wales and is an indispensable guide to people planning the walk. And it is small enough to fit in a rucksack during the walk!
The AA Book of the seaside AA N/A A mile-by-mile guide to Britain's coastline. Although published in 1972, this book, which was given to me by a relative, has proved invaluable on the walk. It is full of little nuggets of information that make the walk much more enjoyable.
A walk around England Bob Croucher 0-902-83038-4 Unfortunately I have yet to find a copy of this book.
And the road below John Westley 1-869922-25-5 Published by Meridian Books. This exhaustive book gives the details of John's amazing stroll around Britain and Ireland - an stupendous distance of nearly 10,000 miles. A very detailed diary of the walk and the people that he met on the way.
No fixed abode Douglas Legg 0-9542051-0-3 Published by Colby Press. Douglas seems like an amazing character from this book, which he tackles in a fairly unique manner.
Britain's coastlines from the air Jane Struthers 0-0918083-3-2 Published by Ebury Press. Although not strictly a book on walking, I got given this book after my walk and the superb images of the coastline bring evocative memories back to me whenever I see them. Definitely a book to be read after the walk!
A Bit Far for You Dear Jannina Tredwell This book is an account of Jannina's walk around the coast in 2006.
TGO article, November 2000 Andrew McCloy N/A A very interesting article on walking the coast.

If you know of any other people who have done the walk or resources that may be of use to people walking around the coast, then please mail me with them. I am thankful to Gareth Barker for some of this information.

There is another list of coastal walkers at on a PDF file

John Merrill often has other walkers mentioned on his website.


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