Tag Archives: homelessness

Update Walking from Winchester to Bath

Arrival in Bath

Arrival in Bath

I wanted to pass on my thanks to all of you who gave financial and moral support to me during my walk from Winchester to Bath . My goal was to raise both money for, and raise awareness of, the plight of homeless people.

Both objectives were achieved. Donors gave around £2,400 for the charity Shelter when including Gift Aid (UK taxpayers) which is a really excellent amount. It was so encouraging for me to see the donations tick up as I paced out my walk.

It was a hard exercise and my experiences of sleeping rough gave me a new insight into what it may mean to try to find somewhere relatively warm, dry and safe to sleep. I managed to sleep in a shed in Winterbourne Gunner, a church porch in Heytesbury in Wiltshire, and an abandoned caravan in the Frome valley. The distance was around seventy miles or 115 km and lasted just over three days. Each day brought new challenges which were mostly environment related, with a big variation from the leafy by-ways of Hampshire, to the slippery and muddy remoteness of Salisbury Plain, and finally the boggy ground of Somerset and Avon. In order to make my proposed arrival time of 11 o’clock Saturday morning I had to make use of an abandoned bicycle to get me the last six miles into Bath along the Kennet and Avon canal towpath.

It is still possible to donate via my Just Giving page here.

I was quite speechless when I finally arrived at Bath Abbey but felt an enormous sense of release and relief when a busker started to play the Soft Cell hit Tainted Love – see video!


Here are some pictures if you would like to look at them.


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Once again thank you and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best.


“Testing you sorely” or is it “Sorely testing you”?

Splitting the infinitive is almost as controversial as splitting the atom, but clearly a lot easier to do. What I hope is not easy dear readers is to upset you by the variety of posts on this blog, and in particular some of the more recent ones.

Yesterday Francis Fermor added a most unkind comment saying that the blog is no longer interesting as it is no longer all about Paddy and that “too many people are joining the band waggon and taking advantage for their own personal ends.” This was in relation to the post about Owen Martell’s walk across the USA.

For one thing I don’t think Owen has made any money out of his adventures. At least he has not written any books on the subject that I can find. I post such things as I personally find them interesting and they fit with my editorial policy of being “Paddy related”. Owen contacted me after his first walk as he was interested in Paddy and had been inspired by him. I am sure the man himself would have been most interested in Owen’s journeys: a lot of you are. Paddy would have encouraged him and wanted to hear his story.

Paddy may be dead, and not much new will emerge, but his work and his life remain as an inspiration to many, including those who read this blog. A lot of people are inspired to set out on journeys of their own. Nick Hunt’s attempt to follow Paddy’s route was not for any great “personal end” but because he wanted to do it and thought that others might like to read about the great changes that Paddy himself wrote about via his Polymath. Ed and Charlotte walk parts of his route each year for no other end than they enjoy it and find one of those Songlines to follow; a Songline chanted by Paddy and now in our memory.

How long can I continue with material on here? As long as there is an audience, and my stats tell me that there is one with over 20,000 regular visits each month. We are now within a few thousand visits of one million since opening in 2010. That I find pretty phenomenal. People visit here for a variety of reasons and the material that I post attempts to address those varied interests.

So how long can I continue? There is plenty more directly related material and my self-appointed “task” here is to create a unique on-line archive of Paddy related material. So I will continue to do that. And I will do it until I test you so sorely that you leave me alone with just a few die-hards.

Finally, to continue the theme of “personal ends” I would like to remind you that I will start my 70 mile walk to Bath tomorrow on behalf of the charity Shelter in aid of the homeless and there is still plenty of time to donate via my Just Giving page.

Between 10-13 Dec you can join with me to increase awareness of the scourge of homelessness and to help raise funds for the UK’s leading charity for the homeless, Shelter. I will walk 70 miles from Winchester to Bath over one of the most sparsely populated areas in England, sleeping rough under a simple shelter, enduring the December cold, and the long, cold, lonely nights: just like THEM. All you have to do to join me from your warm home is to please give some money to Shelter at my Just Giving page. These are your fellow human beings and they deserve some help and comfort. You can join me walking to Bath Abbey on 13 Dec. Just email me or comment on this post. PLEASE SHARE THE FACEBOOK EVENT I CREATED (click here) on your Facebook timelines: it is a public event. Give your money: £, Euros, US $, Yen, Lei, or whatever here.


Thank you. The target is now £1,000!!!

The rough route Winchester to Bath

The rough route Winchester to Bath

Thank you to so many of you for donating to the charity Shelter in conjunction with my walk to Bath between 10-13 December. The approximate route is above – Google insists on roads even though I am walking over country – which offers an idea of where I shall be going. The original £500 target has been smashed and I have now doubled it to £1,000 so I still need you to give more. Please donate here!

Homelessness is a terrible scourge. I will “walk home for Christmas” from Winchester Cathedral to Bath Abbey to visit my daughter and to raise money in support of the UK charity for the homeless, Shelter.

I will be living out for three nights under a simple tarpaulin in the middle of a cold and damp British winter to try to experience something of what our homeless have to go through every day.

Whatever your location in the world, as long as you have a debit card, credit card or PayPal account you can contribute something to help.

We have beaten the first target; let’s beat the second one of £1,000. Please give as much as you can via my Just Giving site here, to help the homeless at this Christmas time. Thank you.

The plan is to arrive at Bath Abbey at midday on 13th December. I would be very happy to see any of you there if you can make it.