What

This was a solo trek across Britain, between the four extreme cardinal points on the mainland. It started at Dunnet Head, the northernmost point, before continuing on to Ardnamurchan Point (westernmost), Lowestoft Ness (easternmost) and Lizard Point (southernmost). The route covered 1403 miles over 78 days.

It was not a special walk, and it was not unique. It had been done before: quicker, better and smarter. There are other walks which are longer and more interesting (Steven M. Newman’s Worldwalk is a compelling book that I remember reading – twice – at 12 years of age). And aside from walking around mainland Britain, there are greater possibilities offered by a similar route on a bicycle or motorised transport.

It was not a promotional walk. There was no call for charitable donations. The walk was not undertaken in memory of someone or in support of something. It was not a religious trek, though there were times when faith was both tested and needed.

It was a creative project: a trek across Britain, writing a sonnet a day. Indeed, these short poems of 14 lines have done much good service in Britain: wrought most famously by Shakespeare; constructed in masterly manner by Keats; and in recent times, commendably deployed by Niall O’Sullivan (whose collection Sonnet Hack provided some inspiration for this project).

This website was the record of the project and a daily sonnet was uploaded to ‘Latest Updates’ at the end of each day’s walking. As the collection was published by Eyewear in 2016, only a sample of the 78 poems remain accessible on this website.

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