Huge congratulations to Deputy Chair of Trustees David Williams who has raised more than £7,600 for the Hospice by walking the entire length of the country.
David, 65, from Berkhamsted, completed the last leg of his mammoth 750-mile Great Walk of England in early June 2017 when he crossed the finishing line at the Scottish border just north of Berwick-Upon-Tweed in Northumberland.
He began his challenge at Land’s End - England’s south west tip - in September 2008, and has spent 58 days of the past nine years walking through the heart of England in all weathers, across hills, bogs, tracks, moors, fields, large chunks of England’s amazing National trails and the occasional country lane.
Over that time he has overcome obstacles and setbacks including losing his walking partner and brother-in-law Bob Sisson who sadly passed away in 2009 after a short battle with cancer.
He has also had to contend with major surgery which put paid to his walking for three and a half years from March 2013 until he began again in October 2016.
Walking in 12 legs of between two and 10 days, David has been joined on various stages of his walk by family and friends, with his wife Sally providing vital back up in the form of drop off, pick up, provisions and, on more than one occasion, rescue!
“It didn’t all go according to plan,” says David. “We had a number of injuries along the way the first one being just two days in when I injured my knee. I could hardly walk but I knew we had to get round the headland at St Ives Bay before the tide came in. I was getting slower and slower as I was in huge pain, but after a scramble up the cliffs to escape being cut off by the incoming tide we managed to get round in the end.”
For David, among the many highlights was walking the South West Coast Path along the northern coast of Cornwall, which has, he says, the most magnificent scenery.
The most challenging part of the walk was crossing Exmoor on the Macmillan Way in the snow in April 2010, which he did with daughters Emma, 36, and Sara, 33, and Sara’s husband Steve, and coping with numerous injuries caused by the bad weather and difficult terrain.
“Walking the length of the country brought home to me the sheer beauty of the English countryside and for a crowded island just how many empty spaces there are. We are so lucky in this country not only to have such beautiful scenery but also to have wonderful ordnance survey maps to guide us through it,” he said.
David finally completed the last leg up the Northumberland Coast Path to the Scottish border in glorious weather accompanied by 12 fellow walkers including grandchildren Esta, four and one-year-old Timothy.
They celebrated with traditional Northumberland fare of Mead and border biscuits.
If you’d like to sponsor David you can donate to his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tgwoe