Walking a straight line up the country?

Published 12 June 2013. Last updated 3 July 2014

The Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich

If I’ve never uttered the phrase “too many walks, not enough time” on this website before, I should have. Because it’s true. If I could somehow manage to make a living off basically doing lots of walks, I would. Maybe one day I’ll manage it, but until then I’ll have to cram my walking in to weekends and the twenty five days of annual leave that my job allows (and which must be shared between any number of activities.)

It’s just not enough time to even make a dent in the several hundred trails that exist in the UK. True, there’s many that hardly seem worth the bother (even as someone who grew up there, I struggle to get excited by the concept of a forty mile circular walk around Tameside.) But every now and then I come across another trail that really does spark my interest. And I sigh at the amount of time it would take.

It happened recently; this time the fault of London blogger Diamond Geezer who sent me a link for the Greenwich Meridian Trail.

The concept’s quite simple. It’s a walk along the Greenwich Meridian. 273 miles of walking the Greenwich Meridian in fact. From the town of Peacehaven in East Sussex (what do you mean that you’ve never heard of it?) to a caravan park called Sand la Mere near Hull.

It’s an intriguing concept – take a line across the country and see what you get. One minute you’re in the South Downs, the next the UK’s capital city. Epping Forest, and the Lincolnshire Wolds. A pint at each point along the way? It sparks an interest for me in as much that it’s a journey that will reveal the variety of Britain more than anything else.

What would that journey reveal? Well I don’t know. The total of three weeks of walking it would require is not something I have at the minute. But maybe one day…

Well I can dream.


Gerry Hardy

16 June 2013 at 12:07 pm

try reading Two Degrees West by Nicholas Crane – a walk from Berwick to the South Coast, a follow up to his 18 month mountain walk across Europe, Clear Waters Rising.

diamond geezer

16 June 2013 at 8:52 pm

Sorry ;

But what an excellent idea for a long distance walk.

It’s a shame that the Greenwich Meridian Trail is only traceable if you buy the series of four guide books, although I guess the creators of the route deserve proper recompense for their work.

If you do ever buy the full set, and find three spare weeks to do the walk, can I borrow them afterwards?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

19 June 2013 at 11:03 am

DG – There’s a lot of shoulds but should they all happen, those books are so yours!

DM Hewitt

29 April 2021 at 3:42 pm

Walking the Great North Line: From Stonehenge to Lindisfarne by Robert Twigger is fascinating.

Have your say