It has taken four winters so far, but wild beauty, nature and the kindness of strangers en route make this slow journey more than worthwhile.
I hope to return to the trails soon: I have 2,000-odd miles still to go around Scotland, on the most isolated and challenging terrain. When the storms broke my tent by snapping its poles, as happened during Storm Fionn in January 2018, I was pretty annoyed. Not annoyed enough for it to get in the way of sleep, though. Sure that nothing too important had blown across the field, I stubbornly wrapped my crumpled tent around me and drifted off. It would take a week to get my tent repaired and in the meantime a few friends of friends reached out and offered me a tent to borrow, a couch to sleep on and a chance to stay in a community-owned bright blue converted bus that was parked in the chalk hills of the South Down national park. Before the day was out, I was sitting round a campfire chatting to new friends, something I would have missed had my tent been in one piece.