Thursday, 19 October 2017

Then sings my soul. Helegant walks LEJOG

It's been over ten years since I finished my LEJOG and lately I have been out of touch with the goings on in that wonderful community of daft buggers who want to walk from one end of mainland Britain to the other. Until a week ago. 

I received a note from Helegant, a lady about to set off on her own LEJOG. Casting around for advice she had contacted a lovely chap who had done the walk. Twice. I had the pleasure of walking with Daryl May for a day on his second end to end, that time from John o'Groats to Lands End. He in turn put Helen on to me. 

Helen's no stranger to walking, and has completed Wainwright's Coast to Coast (mostly) and the Ridgeway National Trail However, she's about to take on one of the UK's biggest walks. She estimates her route to be in the order of 1,400 miles, which is slightly longer than most. 

She has set herself a few rules, which I have copied and pasted from her blog, below:

  1. Run, walk or crawl all the way.
    Is that too obvious? I’ll be using transport links, personal and public to move between the start and finish points of each day’s walk, but I’ll restart where I left off.  Bridges are OK, ferries, helicopters and piggy-backs are not.
  2. I’m doing this because I want to, so rule 2 is “Enjoy the journey.” At least, try!
  3. Stay within my own capabilities. I inhabit an internet world where extreme achievements are normalised by some amazing people. I am in awe of you all, but can only work the body I have. Remember this on tough days.
  4. Leave no trace. “Take only photographs, leave only footprints.” I’m taking this a bit further because our land is precious. This means I’ll carry a rubbish bag and aim to deposit other people’s cans, bottles, crisp bags, sandwich and gel wrappers etc in waste bins as I find them. Won’t it be nice if I find nothing to collect? Hmmm.
  5. Visitors/fellow walkers are welcome (especially Fetchies – you know who you are).
    If you have positive comments and encouragement to offer, or you want to join in then please contact me, but standard rules apply.
    a) If you are an axe murderer, leave the axe at home.
    b) If you are an Eeyore/Henny Penny/Puddleglum/drain-person (as opposed to a radiator person), you are still welcome, but please don’t try to convince me that I’ll fail.

It appears from this list that Helen has got things spot on.

She is setting off from Lands End on Tuesday 24th October this year - that's in just five days time. She's splitting her walk into two parts; This October she'll be supported by her husband so she won't need to carry her camping gear and have to worry about putting up the tent in the dark - the clocks change a few days after her start - and next year, for the second part she'll be solo.

You can find Helen's very well written and organised blog by clicking on the link below:

Helen is walking for a charity that is close to her heart, Pancreatic Cancer Research. Her Just Giving page can be found by clicking the link below:

In case you lose the link as this post slides further down my blog, you'll find a link to Helen's blog on the right hand side of my blog under the heading "BETTER PLACES TO VISIT." Then click on "Then sings my soul"

I'll finish by adding my very best wishes to Helen. As an old friend once said to me as I set off on another day of my LEJOG, "Tight Laces," Helen.


  1. I had a look at the lyrics for the hymn but nothing much to latch on to there. 1400 miles does sound a lot - I reckoned mine was about 1300 and I had no intent to plot the shortest route beforehand, rather one which would pass through the most desirable country.

    1. It's one of Helen's favourite hymns. I would imagine the following lines might be appropriate?

      O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
      Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
      I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
      Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

      When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
      And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
      When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
      And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

      My own effort was 1687 miles, but that did include a coupe of coast-to-coasts in Scotland the the entire Offas Dyke and Pennine Way. We will wait with breath fully baited, Sir, to see where she wanders.

  2. Oooh, thank you for the boost :-) Stay in touch!

    1. I will, Helen.
      The very best of luck to you.

  3. I was looking at a totally different hymn with that line in the chorus, and with pretty insipid lyrics. Now I see the relevance in your version. I will keep a look out for progress.


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