It’s here! The ‘big hike’ I have been talking about for months is finally out there in the public.
Introducing… ‘A Walk In The Parks‘
I’ve had people trying to guess what ‘the big hike’ is and no one has guessed it, probably because this is a hike of my own making. It’s not the Coast to Coast, or Lands End to John o’ Groats or bagging every Ethel in the Peak District. It’s something new… that I am not sure anyone has ever done before.
I have been wanting to do something for a while, but didn’t know what. I knew I wanted it to involve walking. I knew I wanted it to be in the UK. and I knew I wanted to fundraise for the Peak District National Park Foundation.
It’s a combination of all my favourite things… walking, writing, Cookie, sharing the importance of national parks and connecting with nature.
After daydreaming for a while, A Walk in the Parks was born.
What is A Walk in the Parks?
The key stats
There are still a few specifics on my routes to plan but here are a few key stats of my hike…
- Starts: August 19th 2023
- Ends: October 28th 2023
- 10 Weeks
- 10 National Parks
- 1000 miles or near enough
- 1 park will be mainly canoed as it’s largely water… do you know which one?
- £10,000 fundraising target for the Peak District National Park Foundation
- 1 rescue dog joining me, Cookie
- At least one person (hopefully more) interviewed in each park about what makes that park special and why we need to support them
- Hiking to the highest point in each National Park
- Walking from one border to the opposite border of each national park… could be North to South, Could be East to West or a wiggly route through the middle.
- Sharing the best of each national park and what needs the most support along the way 🙂
I have a Q and A page with more facts and information about my hike. I will keep adding to this, so any questions drop me a comment below or message me on Instagram (or Threads!) and I will add to the Q and A.
My national parks hike route
Some of my route is still to be confirmed and some things I will keep private until after I have hiked for safety reasons! However, I can tell you the rough dates and order of each park. Of course everything could change and no doubt will change when I start, but the plan is 1 week per park, with a rest day and a travel day each week.
|National Park||Arrival Date||Departure Date|
|Northumberland National Park||19th August||25th August|
|North York Moors National Park||25th August||1st September|
|Yorkshire Dales National Park||1st September||8th September|
|Lake District National Park||8th September||15th September|
|Broads National Park||15th September||22nd September|
|South Downs National Park||22nd September||29th September|
|New Forest National Park||29th September||6th October|
|Dartmoor National Park||6th October||13th October|
|Exmoor National Park||13th October||20th October|
|Peak District National Park||20th October||28th October|
Want to support the hike?
If you are interested in supporting the hike there are lots of ways you could get involved! Though this hike is a personal challenge, it is ultimately about spreading the message about how bloomin’ brilliant our national parks are and why we need to look after them.
Here are a few ways you can get involved:
I am aiming to raise £10,000 for the Peak District National Park Foundation. I know times are tough so no pressure, but if you can spare a few £s then please do donate on my fundraising page.
The money raised will be going towards accessibility, wellbeing and climate change projects the Foundation supports. Find out more about the work the Foundation does.
Become a Partner /Sponsor
I am working with a few different brands on my hike, including accommodation brands and kit brands (all to be revealed soon) and would love contacts, connections or support from other brands who might be interested in getting involved.
I have a media kit I can send on and all partnerships are mutually beneficial to me and you! Interested? Get in touch.
Got a story to share?
I will be interviewing a few projects and people along my route to understand more of what we need to do to look after our national parks and how they benefit us all. If you are part of a charity or community project or have an interesting person story around how national parks have helped you then please do get in touch. I am particularly interested in projects connected with accessibility (how can we get more people experiencing the benefits of national parks), wellbeing and climate change.
A bed for the night
Live in a National Park? Got a spare bed or sofa? I am still in need of a few night’s accommodation and would love to stay with local people. I can swap a bed for the night for no doubt crazy tales of my hikes across the parks. Cookie is very well behaved and likes other dogs and is always up for snuggles. She also loves chicken 😉
If you or someone you know might be able to help please do get in touch. I will be eternally grateful.
Get the word out!
I would love any help at all in spreading the word. Share this blog post or my website, connect on Instagram, tell your friends, introduce me to people to interview, connect me with local media… anything you can do to help spread the message and share the adventure would be amazing!
Help with planning my routes
Most of my routes are roughly worked out. However, I am really keen to learn from the locals on the absolute must things to see or visit. Is there a hill with the best views? a wild swimming spot I can’t miss? or a local charity/community project I really should visit?
If you are a local or expert in any of the national parks I am visiting, please do drop me a line if you would like to help.
So, there we have it. A Walk in the Parks is out there. I have tonnes more to plan and finalise… not to mention lots more training to do. But it feels good to have the adventure out in the world and I can’t wait for it to begin.