The Last 17 miles

We are here – we have made it!

By the signpost
By the signpost

The last 17 miles have been wonderful. The sun has shone and people have waved and encouraged. We had decided to walk the last 17 miles, from Wick to John o’Groats, in two days so that we would not be too exhausted to enjoy our arrival at John o’Groats and we were very glad that we had done that.

John on the Broch
John on the Broch

The first ten miles went through some excellent countryside. There was a large expanse of Sinclair Bay white sand to walk along (and a stream to wade!) with views across to the lighthouse (reminiscent of Filey Bay, with Flamborough lighthouse our half way point). There were also ruined castles to see (two), and a ‘broch’ with a nearby Victorian monument. Brochs are iron age defensive houses found in the extremities of britain but are thick on the ground in this part of the world. They are around 2000 years old. The one we saw was surrounded by later Pictish dwellings that had recently been excavated.

Our final day of walking brought us along the road which opened up so we could see the north coast from two miles away with John o’Groats in the centre and the Isles of Orkney as a backdrop. John wanted to practice his song for the end ‘Thine be the glory’ and so we sang it – and many other hymns as we walked along the road! We had a welcoming group of Esme, Stuart, Brenda, Marjorie and Duncan to greet us and a feast (see below) which covered our start in Cornwall, our origins in Yorkshire and our finale in Scotland. We did walk on further, after the pictures and celebrations, to Duncansby head the true most north-westerly point of mainland Britain and as we still had our advertising tabards on there were still people to greet and enquire and encourage us in our efforts!

Welcome Party
Welcome Party
Duncansby Head
Duncansby Head

So ‘Hello and greetings’ to Lorraine in Wick stationers and her sister Debbie in Wick Tourist Information, their aunt and grandparents, Nelly and Sandy in John o’Groats Post Office, Doreen and Andi at Nybster Broch, Don doing LEJOG by public transport, Andrew waiting for his sons to arrive at John o’Groats, Esme, Stuart, Brenda, Marjorie and Duncan our welcoming party, and Julie, Callum, Tracy and Donald met at Duncansby Head.

Week 22 Statistics

Scrabble: Nancy 1 John 1

Kissing Gates 0

Trig points 1

En route donations £13

Mileage 17 miles

Single malt whisky 2 wee drams

Cornish crackers 8

Wensleydale cheese 7 chunks

Scottish salmon 1 fillet

One final posting with the total statistics and final pictures of the walk will be made – don’t think this is the end!


10 thoughts on “The Last 17 miles”

  1. Congratulations to you both!! Having met you on the North Cornish coastal footpath in April, we have continued to follow your progress as you headed northwards. We really are full of admiration for what you have achieved – well done! Hope you can enjoy some restful days as you reflect on the whole experience. Alison and Malcolm (the man from the Pru) Bond, Hadley Wood, nr. Barnet.

  2. Well done – phenomenal! You’ve walked the length of the country – and we still haven’t managed to donate – oh dear! God bless you both – you’re amazing. Love Cathie and John

  3. Congratulations John and Nancy! I’m so pleased to hear you have arrived safely. You should be so proud of your achievement – and all the money raised for the Sierra Leone partnership. Enjoy your lie in in the morning, and I hoipe you manage to get a few days in the Orkneys. I’ll look forward to catching up with you soon.
    Steph xxx

  4. Congratulations! What an amazing achievement. It was lovely to meet you at Duncansby and hear your story. There was no way we weren’t giving you guys a round of applause for that. I hope you love your new home when you finally get back.

  5. Very well done to you both. We walked a short distance with you as you crossed the M4 bridge, by the village of Tormarton, and have been following your progress with interest. You should be very proud of your wonderful achievement.
    Tim and Crystal

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