TrussyTrek 2018/19 - Magnetic North!
a 900 mile solo walk from Dover to Cape Wrath
Supporting Fibromyalgia Action UK (reg. charity no. 1042582)
Paul in Edinburgh on 8 May 2018
having walked 612 miles in 34 route days from Dover.
FINISH: Cape Wrath
About this and previous walks:
TrussyTrek 2016 saw me (Paul Truswell) successfully navigate 560 miles on foot from Lowestoft to Land's End raising over £3000 for my local Scout group in Macclesfield (1st Hurdsfield) and in 2014 300 miles from Lindisfarne to Iona raising £2500 for Cre8 Macclesfield. 2018 turns my attention to the challenge of walking from the English Channel at Dover to Cape Wrath, the far north-west corner of the island of Great Britain, supporting national charity
with the target of raising £10,000 to support their work. The beeline direction of the route is approximately towards magnetic north; hence the title given to the journey.
Why am I supporting
Fibromyalgia Action UK?
In early 2011, for various reasons I won't bore you with, I was very unsettled in my home town of Macclesfield and was considering a move to the coast at Berwick upon Tweed - England's most northerly town. It was March of that year that I decided that I needed to taste life in the town when the daylight hours were still short and the easterlies were still lashing the coast, so I rented a small cottage for a month and started to get to know the place as much as I could. It wasn't long before I wandered into a cafe/bookshop called Media Mania and was befriended by the owners Roger Daniel and his wife Gill, who generously and very kindly plied me with many cups of special tea accompanied by a variety of excellent cakes. Roger and Gill's unusual but very welcoming shop became my second home in Berwick and I made many visits there (not just for the free food and drink!). Roger is a Fibromyalgia sufferer and having stayed in touch with him for the last 5 years I have started to learn what a debilitating condition this is.
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body. You can read more about the condition on Wikipedia by clicking here.
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The route in more detail:
At around 900 miles TT2018/19 is about 350 miles further than TT2016 and it will be wilder and tougher as I head north; the Highlands do have a certain reputation! I will hopefully be accompanied by a friend or family member for some of the lonelier Scottish sections of the route...
This very varied walk will start at Dover firstly following the North Downs Way and then breaking off near Rochester to cross the Thames at Gravesend, then heading north to the west of Chelmsford and then passing to the east of Cambridge to Ely. From Ely the next key destination is Lincoln going via Boston. From Lincoln my next goal will be to get to my brother's house at Barmby Moor near Pocklington, crossing the River Humber by walking across the magnificent Humber Bridge. From Barmby Moor, where I will take a rest day, I will then set my sights on getting to Berwick upon Tweed and the Scottish border via the North York Moors, Teesside, Tyneside at Heddon on the Wall and the Northumbria coastal path.
In Scotland I will continue to follow the coast where possible to Edinburgh/Leith thereafter crossing the Forth Bridge to continue the journey north. Going on a line roughly via Perth, through Strath Tay with the A9 nearby, to Pitlochry; the next key destination is Blair Atholl, where it will be time to head into some proper wild country for the first time on the route, traversing the Lairig Ghru to Coylumbridge and Aviemore, and then heading north to Inverness - the gateway to the far north and including some of the wildest and remotest sections of the whole route! Crossing the Kessock Bridge, next I will head for Dingwall and Ardgay at the head of the Dornoch Firth and then on to join the Cape Wrath Trail at Oykel Bridge, following this via Inchnadamph, Kylestrome and Rhichonich to Sandwood Bay; and finally on to my goal which is the lighthouse at Cape Wrath, where I will hopefully get a ride on Britain's remotest minibus service and a short boat trip leading to a final night in Durness before the long journey home.
TT2016 took me 32 days of walking to cover the 560 miles from Lowestoft to Land's End, so for this route and bearing in mind that parts of it are significantly more arduous, I am going to allow 50 days plus a few rest days! The walk will start on the morning of Sunday 1 April 2018 - Easter Day and April Fool's day - what could be better?!! The Scottish section of the route (from Edinburgh) will hopefully be completed in 2019.
Click on the map for a higher resolution image (6Mb)
The beeline (indicated in red) distance between Shakespeare Beach (Dover) and
Cape Wrath (lighthouse) is 575 miles.