For most of us this Easter long weekend will be unlike any other. A one to two hour walk close to home has been part of my daily ritual for years and fortunately as long as I keep my distance from others I’m still allowed to indulge in some fresh air and exercise. On Easter Sunday in 2010 I set out on a much longer walk which I blogged about for friends, family and those planning a similar jaunt. If you find yourself in need of a virtual walkabout then you might enjoy my 72-day solo ramble from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland. It was one of my most memorable and rewarding adventures and I have family research to thank for it.
In 2008 I was researching my maternal Orcadian ancestors and I became increasingly aware that a visit to the islands was a definite must. A google search on how to get to Orkney included a ferry option from John O’Groats, a tiny hamlet on the northern tip of mainland Scotland. A few clicks later I discovered it was also the destination for no small number of long-distance walkers, runners and cyclists. I knew almost immediately that I would be joining the fray and that the prize at the end of the 1,172 mile jaunt would be a visit to Orkney where I would research my Reid, Spence and Wood ancestors. One of those included my great-great uncle John Reid Cunningham who died at Gallipoli, a son of my Orcadian great-great grandmother Annie Rich Reid.
There is a handy index to all 72 days of my walk. At the bottom of each days’ write up, just above the comments, you’ll find a link to the next day’s walk so there is no need to return to the index every time. Some pages include photos however the majority can be found in a gallery linked to in the sidebar on the right. I also published a book that includes the original blog entries with additional information on the logistics of the walk. The print-on-demand hardcopies are quite expensive but the e-book version is cheap as chips. Please note: the blog is a decade old so some links may no longer work (such as the GPS track links).
Happy Easter everyone and stay safe.