When I first discovered this long-distance hiking scene of ours, I noticed a trend.
Here were individuals, posting about their coast walks online, most of whom were raising money for charity, and using social media to support their endeavors.
I was, like the thousands of followers each had attracted, enthralled by their commitment.
I was also somewhat perplexed as to how they found the time to embark on this walk.
I was curious, and if I’m being honest, somewhat jealous.
The latter feeling has passed, since I’ve realized at this point in my life I am enjoying the comforts of home and the busyness of my two children.
Still, the curiosity remained, and so I started digging a little deeper.
What I discovered was a cohort of ordinary folks, who had made a simple choice – to stop delaying what is important to them. A choice that is often coupled with a change of circumstance. That circumstance was turned into an opportunity, and that opportunity, action.
So here we have, ordinary folks, temporarily living extra-ordinary lives.
Without further ado, here is my round-up of Coastal Walkers.
Chris the Coast Walker
Chris Howard is probably the Coast walker who I’ve had the most to do with, and the joy of speaking on multiple occasions. Chris is walking in support of Children In Need.
Chris has attracted a dedicated following due to his honesty, and gratitude for the support he receives while on the trail. Chris somehow finds the time to blog while on the trail, which has really helped to engage his followers on Social Media and to bring them along with him as he walks the UK Coastline.
Walk with me, Tracey and Aggies Epic hike around the UK Coastline
I’ve really enjoyed following Tracy online as she walks around the UK Coastline. Much like Chris, she is filled with honesty and brings you along with her every step of the way.
She shares a lot on social media from the highlights to the lowlights and really doesn’t gloss over the hard times.
Tracey is raising money for Mind charity and is really open about mental health which can often be seen through her poems which she frequently shares on her page.
Chris and Moose’s Waggy Walk
I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris on the first episode of the Distance Hiker podcast. Chris started walking the Coast Path with his dog Moose pre-pandemic and is very much walking the Coastline in stages in between work commitments.
What I particularly enjoyed about Chris’ story is that he very much took a change of circumstance and saw in that an opportunity to do something he had been wanting to do.
When Chris is on the trail you will frequently see him doing video updates on his Facebook page to keep his followers in the loop.
Chris and Jet
Chris, Jet (his dog) and sometimes Chris’ partner Kate (who you can also follow here!) has gained a lot of attention while walking the UK Coastline. Chris started out from Swansea to raise money for SSAFA (Armed forces Charity), but since adopted his dog (Jet), found live (Kate), and now has a baby on the Way.
Chris’s story really quite lovely and how it’s played out so far is worthy of a movie deal in my opinion (I’m sure Chris would hate that idea), but you get the picture.
Jim Morton – I may be gone a while
Jim Morton, supported by his wife Sue in his motorhome, is walking all of the Mainland Britain Coastline. Jim, a retired Royal Navy Veteran, is in his 60’s averaging 20 miles daily.
Jim’s inspiration for his walk was sparked in 1967 when he watched a show about lighthouses dotted on Britain’s coastline. He then vows to visit them all and is finally achieving that dream while raising money for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
Christine Saul – Yappy Hikers
Christine Saul, who is from Matlock is another of our Coastal Walkers, also, like others above walking with a pooch Gino in tow.
Christine is raising money for the Yappy Ever Dog Rescue and is taking a career break from the head of Customer Services at a Contours Walking Holidays (plug!) to do it.
My Legs Hurt – Emma
If you want a perfectly honest and rather entertaining account of what its like to walk the perimeter of the UK then Emma is worth your attention.
This snippet, stolen from Emma’s site sums up her experience;
“You might be wondering why I’m doing this, and the honest answer is I don’t really know. It’s not for anything meaningful like charity, I don’t even particularly like walking, and I have no fond memories of camping”
The Penny Rolls On – Karen Penny
Karen Penny completed her walk-in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK last year, raising over £107,000!
The walk took Karen two and a half years, and in addition to walking the mainland coastline, Karen also found time to walk 1100 islands as part of her journey,
Daniel McNeil’s walk around Britain
Daniel McNeil, a former soldier, is walking to raise money from SSAFA. Daniel, who is 25-years-old wants to give something back to the charity after is helped him when he left Royal Artillery Regiment in 2017.
The idea for Daniel to walk the coastline was conceived when he was struggling with his mental health during lockdown. He sold everything he owned, and the rest is history
Tony Urwin – Closer to the Edge
Tony Urwin frequently posts his progress on UK Long Distance Hiking and started his coastal walk by tacking the Saxon Shore Way in 2020. He hasn’t stopped since finishing”
As part of his early retirement, Tony is walking the coastline a little differently to some, walking for 5 days, then having 9 days at home.
Tony writes a compelling daily blog on his website complete with some pretty breathtaking photos.