Walking across Britain

John O’Groats to Lands End – A 1,200 mile hike from the far north east of the Scottish mainland to the far south west of England


I do like to wear a dash of colour when I walk

Hello and welcome to my blog about walking the length of Britain. There’s not a lot to read here yet, as I only started my hike from John O’Groats to Lands End at the end of April 2021. I was on the train up from London on the very day that Scotland reopened its borders with England on 26 April, and started my walk at lunchtime the following day.

I’m a little nervous, in a good way, about tackling the UK’s longest distance walk. I’m an experienced long distance walker but I usually stay in hostels or B&Bs, or (when the weather is hot enough) I’ll head off for a weekend of walking and bivvying – my focus is usually on keeping my pack weight as light as possible.

This walk will be different though. It’s about twice as long a distance as my furthest walk to date (1,000km on the Via de la Plata in Spain) and this time I’m planning on camping the majority of the time. That means I’m carrying a tent, a four season sleeping bag and a stove, as well as plenty of layers to help keep me warm. That heavy bag is going to slow me down a bit, at least at first.

It will also be an exploration of Britain at a time of great change. Brexit, the pandemic and the possibility of Scottish independence will be the social and economic backdrop to this hike. It’s a fascinating time to head off.

So, what about me? My name is Silka, a 40-something English hiker (based in London) who has been hiking – and often blogging about my hikes – for much of the last 15 years. You can read more about my other walks at https://thesilkaroads.com/ and – if Camino routes are your thing – at https://explorespainonfoot.wordpress.com/

I’m currently on sabbatical, but when I am working I can usually be found coming up with communications strategies in the world of transport and other infrastructural delights.

I am also a voracious reader, a huge fan of the traditional British pub, and get very enthusiastic about lemonade and chocolate.

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