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John o’ Groats to Land’s End virtual walk

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Marchbanks, Jan 2, 2023.

  1. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Following my virtual walk from Toronto to Quebec at the start of last year, I wanted to do something similar again. Inspired by @foxwelljsly’s rather more energetic bike ride in the opposite direction I have decided to go from John o’ Groats to Land’s End. I’m going to keep track of my daily position on Google Maps - don’t worry, I don’t intend to post every day as that would be extremely tedious and self-regarding, maybe just when I reach a major milestone - and I thought it might be fun to try and link up with as many forum members as possible on the way.

    My route will be pretty flexible, but at the moment goes through Inverness, Edinburgh (or maybe Glasgow), Manchester (or maybe Liverpool), Birmingham, Bristol and then roughly the direction of the A38/A30. If you live on that line or say up to around 15 miles from it, and would like my entourage to pass through your neighbourhood, give me a location that you don’t mind being published (favoured pub, landmark crossroads, village centre etc.) and I’ll try to incorporate it. I realise this could result in a deal of meandering through major conurbations, but there’s no hurry.

    The bad news is if you live in Tofts or Freswick you have missed me already - here’s where I am at the end of day 1.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2023
    Weekender, monstrous lie, PsB and 4 others like this.
  2. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Well, you already know where I am, Marchie, my good man...
  3. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    A man needs to take special care in the Flow Country, particularly in these days when the sun’s zenith barely reaches the end of grandfather’s peat cutter. You could lose not only your bearings but your mind in that wilderness.
  4. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Thanks for the warning. Fortunately I only have one of those left to lose. But if I knew a friendly face in Edinburgh with whom to arrange a virtual meeting in a bustling bohemian café it would definitely spur me on towards civilisation.
    TheDecameron likes this.
  5. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    As you’re routing through Manchester, both @lordsummit and I live not unadjacent to Trafford General Hospital, birthplace of the NHS, which is perhaps 4 or 5 miles west of the city centre. This might be worth a short diversion, perhaps?
    lordsummit likes this.
  6. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I can think of two good places! No need to decide which just yet.
  7. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    OK, I’ll see you there. If lordsummit wants to come along too, I’m sure he’ll let us know.
    lordsummit and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  8. bigjonny

    bigjonny pfm Member

  9. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    The good, or maybe bad, thing about a virtual walk is that the target suddenly acts as a spur. Rather than spending a drizzly, blustery afternoon idly putting bits of Lego together there’s a real incentive to squelch along the muddy footpath surrounding the abandoned golf course. The bright lights of Wick are calling - I might get there tomorrow.


    I already have a few virtual rendezvous set up, which is great. But they are all in England so far - does no-one north of the border want to offer me a glass of red as I shuffle past trying to get a signal for Google Maps? (Or more likely chuck a couple of empties at me to make sure I don’t even think about stopping.) You might influence my choice of route - I haven’t decided whether to go via Glasgow or Edinburgh yet.
  10. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    Both my places aren't far off route - Tomintoul in the Cairngorms and Balerno, on the South Western edge of Edinburgh. My local pubs in both areas are decent - The Richmond in Tomintoul and the Balerno Inn - as landmarks.
  11. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Me too, I ate one sour too.

    This is next level idling. Astounding work @Marchbanks. Shame I'm a bit too much of a detour.
  12. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Thanks - noted!
    We may well cross en route. If I hear something from the Tzadik catalogue approaching at high level then going by in a blur with Doppler shift I’ll know it has happened.

    Anyone else want to go on the list? Let me know, please. I’ll do my best to keep quiet now until I get to Inverness.
  13. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Wick is a deeply gloomy fishing town, quite unlike sunny Thurso, the locals bibulous and disputatious in equal measure.. Had Dracula landed at Wick rather than Whitby, he’d have had his arse handed to him.
    I’d be disinclined to tarry in Inbhir Nis, instead Dornoch, Nairn and the coast at Tain near the Hilton of Cadboll Standing Stone are more tranquil. Halt for the night at Glenmorangie House and its ruined castle. There’s something about the feel of the area.

    When you reach Edinburgh how about a glass in one of my locals, The Little White Pig in Dublin St? It has a good mix of locals of all ages and is not shouty shouty or plagued by piped music. The proprietrix is Mrs. Irvine Welsh.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
  14. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    Gloomy, bibulous and disputatious, you say? No, that definitely doesn’t sound like the right kind of place for a typically happy-go-lucky, sunnily-disposed pfm’er like me. Too long there and one could become a disagreeable, opinionated old grouch, and that would never do.* I see there is a Tesco there though, so I’ll stock up on Value Scotch Whisky-Style Beverage to keep me going. Sadly the lovely Special Canadian recipe biccies that led to many philosophical discussions with the trees when I was walking over there don’t seem to be available in Scotland for some reason.

    Thanks for the travel hints. It looks like the journey will be via Edinburgh rather than Glasgow, as I now have the promise of two free drinks there. Er, they were free, weren’t they?

    *I’ve just remembered that my grandfather spent at least some of his National Service in Wick, and didn’t think much of it (I paraphrase.)
  15. Dogberry

    Dogberry pfm Member

    Before you cross the Forth I'll nip out and get your favourite Jeff Carrel and put the bath water on.
    Any soundtrack to the walk.
  16. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    If you are in my neighborhood, (Boston, MA) then drop me a PM, but be warned that you have strayed severely off course.
    TheDecameron and martin clark like this.
  17. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    @sean99 - It's Marchbank's walking-on-the-water trick in the middle we'd have to worry about... might go to his head ;)
    TheDecameron likes this.
  18. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    The ninth meeting! Not bad for only three days in. Keep ’em coming, twenty or thirty would be fantastic!

    Suggest a favoured spot near you and I’ll be there. If you bring the bath, I’ll fish a bottle of Jeff Carrell as a gift out of my bottomless virtual knapsack. Two, if you like. Even if you don’t like. In fact, I insist.

    I was expecting someone to say ‘I’ll meet you at the water’s edge - but please don’t bother stopping.’ That’s close enough.
  19. Dogberry

    Dogberry pfm Member

    Ship Inn Elie.
  20. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    OK, I think my route to Edinburgh is pretty much fixed now, should anyone along it (or nearby) wish to join in… Inverness, Nairn, Grantown, Braemar, Dundee, St Andrews, Forth Bridge.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
    lordsummit and TheDecameron like this.

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