Friends


I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends around the world; friends who have supported me through thick and thin, and who helped me this summer whilst I walked 1080 miles from John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE).

And now this epic walk is over, I have been lucky to cross paths with so many lovely people during this adventure; whether they have contributed with big gestures, or subtle small ones, their support has been instrumental in helping me get through some of the more challenging moments of my journey.

Here I have the chance to say thank you ❤️

image THE PEELS, BIDEFORD

Another scouse connection… my god-daughters, fathers, uncle?! Either way I had never met John or Jacky when their son Andy suggested I stay with them on route through south Devon. Offering their full support by way of transport,  food, a bed, laundry, lots of tea, South West Coast Path information and company… Again it’s those little things which really help on such a journey. So thank you again!

image MARC, BRATTON FLEMING

As has often been the case on this trip, a random act of kindness will appear just when  need it most. From planned nights alongside my mum, to a place to stay with friends once I reached southern Devon I was stuck for somewhere (reasonable) to stay in between. Marc from Franklyn House in Bratton Fleming was not going to be there, but he still offered the cosy room in a separate part of his house, leaving the door unlocked and breakfast out for me to help myself.

image ANNE, WESTON-SUPER-MARE

Couch surfing host #7 Anne was another welcoming host after a long days walk. A veteran host, experienced traveller and keen photographer, it was nice to share stories as well as enjoy a hone cooked evening meal and lovely breakfast. Following on from a particular expensive stretch through Glouchesterhire and the Cotswolds, being given the chance for a stop-gap in someone’s home where they want nothing from you but your company was a welcome relief. Thank you Anne 🙂

image JILL (& CHRIS), TEWKESBURY

Couch surfing hosts #6 Chris ended up being away on a walking holiday, but Jill  was still happy to host me. In their beautiful home right on Tewkesbury High Street, Jill was able to offer me some valuable advice on which way to walk the next day, and show me some maps on the surrounding area. I was also grateful for the pub tip where I spent the evening dining on yummy tapas, and the full use of their kitchen the following morning before I got back on my way…

image THE GOODWIN FAMILY, RICHARDS CASTLE

Couch surfing hosts #5 it was actually Lara that first made contact via couch surfing to offer me a room. However turned out Lara was not actually going to be around, but her parents still offered to host me… And together with their son, they made me feel so welcome. Chicken fajitas, cake, packed lunch to take away and more. I also briefly met the other daughter, who had been in Nepal during the earthquake so we were able to share some of our experiences. What a lovely family…

image SONIA, SHREWSBURY

I was supposed to be couch surfing in Shrewsbury but when that fell through, my host suggested Sonia at Trevellion House. After a particular rough night in my bivi tent, I was even more desperate to find somewhere warm and dry and came Sonia to the rescue. Not only did she manage to squeeze me in, she also discounted the room and then on arrival could not have been more helpful to me and my soggy stuff. Finally on check out Sonia told me to give her payment to my charity. What a star!

image BUCK HOUSE HOTEL, BANGOR-ON-DEE

My only night in Wales, I was struggling to find somewhere reasonable in my walking path to stay but emailing ahead I managed to get the attention of Marc from the Buck House Hotel. After some negotiation Marc managed to offer me a heavily discounted room and big fat breakfast, which was such a welcome relief after a hard day trying to cross the England border and into Wales.

image LIVERPOOL FRIENDS

Ray & Angela, Brian & Pauline, Rob and Maz: Between them I was housed for three nights, feed untold meals, made pack lunches, given clothes, driven around and even treated to a matinee performance of West Side Story in the city! I knew my welcome in Liverpool (and the Wirral) would be warm, but I honestly cannot thank the Haycocks, Sephtons and Kelly’s enough.

image CLIFF & SIAN, LANCASTER

Couch surfing hosts #3 and #4 turns out that Cliff wasn’t even there the night I passed through but he still let me stay in his home. But not just that, when I asked whether he knew of anywhere to stay on my next leg south, Cliff then introduced me his friend Sian who let me stay on her canal boat for the night in Garstang. And not just let me stay, but gave me the keys and left me in charge. Such kind people, I look forward to repaying the favour one day when I eventually move to Brighton.

image NAN, CALDBECK

I emailed 4 B&B’s in Caldbeck but only one responded… Nan at the Swaledale Watch, immediately offering a discount. But what made this stay so special was all the extra things that Nan provided. After an extremely hard day, Nan washed all my clothes before taking the time to offer invaluable advice so I could plan the rest of my Lake District journey. In the morning her husband then transported all my things to my next stop. Forever grateful.

image COUNTRY KITCHEN CAFE, DALSTON

From the minute I set foot in the Country Kitchen I was made to feel so welcome. From the regular boys “Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Clooney” who showed so much interest in my walk and both gave donations, to Joyce who ended up giving me a complimentary coffee and delicious slice of coffee cake. Such warmth on what else was a cold miserable day, definitely helped me along my way. If you’re ever in the area, you must drop in and say hello.

image TOWNHEAD HOTEL, LOCKERBIE

On this occasion I didn’t pre-book this hotel as it was a little out of my budget, however on arrival the Townhead were able to offer me a 20% discount on the room. This alone would not usually warrant a place on my friends page but add to that the most delicious steak and ale pie I think I have ever eaten… I recommend anyone passing simply pops in for that! Oh yes, and they helped my lending me a phone charger when mine was paying up. A good night all round.

image PAUL & LESLIE, MOFFAT

I cannot say enough about the reception I received on arrival at the Bonnington Hotel. The friendliest welcome in the whole of Scotland (and maybe the world!) followed by tea, cakes, roast dinner and yummy pavlova for pudding. I know they don’t usually invite their guests to dinner but after my long day of walking, it was very gratefully received. I just wish I’d been able to wash it all down with a large glass of Malbec… Next time.

image KATE, TYNDRUM

My mother and sister were lucky to find this small bed & breakfast for us to stay when they visited me in Scotland. Kate put an extra bed in the room for us and made us a gorgeous breakfast each morning, but where she went over and above was to provide so support of my walk, sharing valuable information and tips about the West Highland Way and surrounding area.

image EDITH, FORT WILLIAM

(Couch surfing host #2) During a particularly challenging part of this trip, Edith welcomed into her home (well technically it was her boyfriends home haha) with a huge smile, homemade vegetarian tart and (together with her flat mates) loaded me up on everything I needed to know about the West Highland Way. Such a star!

image SANDRA, MILTON

On what turned out to be my one and only summers day in Scotland, I was suddenly stuck with nowhere to sleep. Step in Sandra, who opened her home to me, giving me a wonderful room to sleep in, lovely food to eat and even did some of my laundry as well! Creating a home away from home, I shall never forget.

image KAT, THURSO

(Couch Surfing Host #1) My my first couch surfing experience, I’m not sure what I would have done without Kat and Fiona those first few nights when I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Kat drove me around, feed me, make decisions for me and ultimately took away so much of the pressure when I needed it most. Thank you x

image FRIENDS & FAMILY

First and foremost I have to thank my mum and my sister; for everything they have done in the run up to JOGLE, for joining me in Scotland to offer their support, and for continuing to be on the other end of the phone whenever I need help, or simply a chat. All my friends have been so supportive but specifically I would like to thank Pip for coming to join me in Newquay and Nicky, Laura and Lisa for being their at the finish line. So very appreciated.