FAQs


What are you doing?
How many miles is it?
How long will it take?
Are you going with people?
Why are you doing it?
Are you scared?
How did you choose your charities?
How many miles do you intend to walk each day?
How many days per week will you be walking?
Where will you stay overnight? Are you camping?
Are you being sponsored by anyone?
Can I join you on part of the walk?
What will you do when you’ve finished?

What are you doing?

The plan is to walk the coast of Britain visiting every lifeboat station along the way. I will aim to follow the coast as much as possible but if lack of footpaths, footpath closures, or a more pleasant or safer way exists, then I will head inland a little. For example, trying to follow the coast around Kent is problematic in parts so I’ve decided to follow the Saxon Shore Way instead. With the exception of the Thames, which has 4 RNLI stations, I shall cross rivers at the first available public crossing nearest the mean high water point rather than wander upriver for miles.
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How many miles is it?

This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer, but Ordnance Survey calculated that it is 11,072.8 miles (17,820 km) using their Boundary-Line high-water data. But it depends on how you measure it, as Alasdair Rae explains in his blog. The Wales Coast Path is 870 miles (1400 km), and the England Coast Path will be around 2,795 miles (4498 km) long when it’s complete. So already we’re up to 3,665 miles before we even factor in islands or the complex Scottish coast! Just taking into consideration that the Ayrshire and Fife Coastal Paths, the Cape Wrath, John o’ Groats, and Moray Coast Trails, and West Highland Way total 725 miles (1167km) alone, and they don’t make up the whole of the Scottish coast or necessarily go past RNLI stations, it’s going to be a long walk.  Probably between 5,000 and 11,000 miles; one fundraiser, Alex Ellis-Roswell, walked over 9,500 miles visiting every RNLI station on the coast of Britain and Ireland.
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How long will it take?

In all honesty I’m really not sure, although it took Alex Ellis-Roswell 3 years to complete his walk around the coast of Britain and Ireland and he’s younger, and I daresay fitter, than me.
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Are you going with people?

No, I am going alone. Thankfully I don’t tend to get lonely.
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Why are you doing it?

Good question. It was an idea that evolved in my 2nd year of university when I was pretty low mentally (due to bereavements and uni stress) and desperately wanted to jack it all in. It was then that I started considering what I would do once I’d graduated, to give me something to look forward to. My 1st idea was to go travelling around the world before settling into a new career, but then I decided that I’d really like to explore Britain, and if I was going to explore Britain it would most likely involve a lot of walking. I enjoy walking and have been a member of the Ramblers Association for many years so this seemed ideal, and if any trip was going to involve a lot of walking I should do it sooner rather than later; after all, who knows what’s around the corner regarding our health. But this all seemed a bit airy fairy and I needed a plan, so it evolved into walking around the coast, and if I was going to do something so huge why don’t I do it for charity?
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Are you scared?

I’m more excited than scared although I must admit to having some days where I have major concerns. The biggest one by far is how I’ll cope with carrying 10kg in a rucksack. Although I’m used to carrying 5kg whenever I go on day hikes over variable terrain and up to ~17 miles, I’ve found that increasing the weight means I can’t walk as far before getting tired. Theoretically I should be able to carry about 20% of my body weight (so 11kg), but I just don’t know how my body is going to behave in practice. I’ll either get hurt or very fit!
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How did you choose your charities?

Regarding the RNLI, I’m in awe of what they do, and once I’d decided to walk around the coast it seemed a natural progression to support them. My idea to support the Association of lowland search and rescue came after watching a documentary about missing people. I had always thought that it was only the Police that conducted searches so I was surprised to find that they work closely with regional search and rescue teams made up entirely of volunteers. In addition, although I suspect pretty much everyone has heard of the RNLI, I’m finding that far fewer people have heard of lowland rescue. I wanted to change this. I also felt that LSAR and the RNLI made a logical pairing as their operations tend to overlap.
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How many miles do you intend to walk each day?

This is another question that is quite difficult to answer because “it depends”. It depends on terrain, weather, how I’m coping with carrying a load day after day, etc., but I aim for 10 miles.
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How many days per week will you be walking?

I’m not out to break any records or to push myself to exhaustion, so realistically I think 2 days walking followed by a rest day is realistic, so walking 5 days a week. I think that it’s better to feel I could do a little more than to be overly ambitious and need time off to recover, and I want to enjoy this not be battling with low morale and pushing my willpower to its limits as I have been these past couple of years.
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Where will you stay overnight? Are you camping?

Because my main concern regarding this trip is how I’ll cope physically with the weight of my backpack I am loathe to add extra weight by carrying camping equipment. As I only weigh 55kg I have to be mindful of keeping my pack weight down and if I added camping kit it would not only be miserable but would significantly increase my risk of injury. Plus, although I have enjoyed camping trips, these have always been with someone rather than alone and have never been in the colder months. The thought of having to cope with the elements, be tired after a day walking, and on top of that not having somewhere comfortable to sleep does not sound very appealing. Nope, having somewhere comfortable, dry and warm to sleep so that I can rest properly and being in the right frame of mind to start again the next day is what I’m hoping for, be that a B&B or on someone’s sofa.
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Are you being sponsored by anyone?

No. Maybe this will change as I progress with the journey though.
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Can I join you on part of the walk?

If you wish to join me on some of the walks you’re welcome to. I will tweet my location and should be wearing a charity tabard for easy ID.
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What will you do when you’ve finished?

At this stage I’m not sure, although my interests are in type 2 diabetes and obesity prevention and management, and in footpath management. I want to let life evolve for a while and see where I end up though.
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How you can help me

I am not someone who naturally asks for assistance – I feel very cheeky even asking – so this post does make me cringe a fair bit, but there are some things that I could find tricky and where practical help would be much appreciated…

Accomodation

This is a big one. If I had to book into a budget hotel or B&B each night it could cost me about £1400 per month alone! Obviously this is just not sustainable considering it could take me about 2 years to walk the coastline. So a huge help to the cause would be to offer me a bed for the night. I’ve had all my jabs and I’d love your pets (even your spiders, snakes and rats!) So if you have any of the following you could offer that would be wonderful:

  • A spare room
  • A sofa
  • A bed in a camper van or caravan

Packed lunch

Having no cooking, food storage or prep facilities whilst travelling will make things far more awkward and expensive than if I were on day trips from home, so being sent on my way with a snack would mean I don’t have to try and source suitable food before I even start the day’s walking. Don’t worry, I have no food allergies or intolerances and will eat pretty much anything. I wouldn’t even expect you to think about what I’d like, just give me what you’d like in your lunchbox and I’ll enjoy the surprise. That’s assuming your favourite isn’t Whiskas lamb in jelly sandwiches…I’m more of a gravy girl myself.

Clothes washing

Although I became accustomed to washing my laundry in the bath when I was a teenager (Mum couldn’t afford to replace the washing machine…cue the tiny violins 😉) we did at least have a spin dryer and a washing line. But trying to wash trousers and fleeces in a sink, with no way of spinning them, when I need them dry the next day, is far from ideal. So if I could chuck my stuff in your washing machine that would be another big help.

Delivery address

Sometimes I may need to buy supplies and typically these are from online retailers because what I need often can’t be found widespread in the shops. For example, most of the face creams and sun lotions that are available on the High Street bring me out in a face full of spots, so I usually have to buy them online. Being able to have things delivered to addresses I know I’ll be passing would be a great help.

Cash

I wasn’t going to include this as I felt it was rather self-indulgent to ask people to donate towards my trip. But it’s been mentioned a few times now (eg “it’s going to cost you a small fortune in maps, convenience food and accommodation!”) so I’ve decided to add this as an option for those who would like to help me personally but are not able to offer practical support. My GoFundMe profile can be found here. Sorry. [Cringe] 😬

How you can donate

Via BT MyDonate

Although I will not turn down cash donations it is preferable to donate via BT MyDonate page here.

MyDonate doesn’t charge any commission fee, subscription fee or registration fee. The only fee taken from your donation is the charge for using your card. This fee is raised against the total donation value and paid by the charity when we make payment to them. The fees are 15p for a donation made using a Debit card and 1.3% for a donation made using a Credit card. Where a donation is being made to more than one charity, the fee is split between them“.

Cash

If you would like to donate using cash that’s fine. I will make a note of the amount and whether you are donating to both or only one of the charities.