Walk Home 2020

Views over Cockermouth with the north western fells in the background. The Walk Home 2020 will take me over these mountains at the end of the route.
Views over Cockermouth with the north western fells in the background

Walk Home 2020 Adventure Intro

I’m excited to announce my new adventure – Walk Home 2020! Conceived in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s a little bit of background to the project.

Cockermouth became my new home town this year.

Cockermouth Castle
Cockermouth Castle

Situated just outside the Lake District in the county of Cumbria, it’s far enough away to not feel too touristy but close enough for the fells to feel like they’re on my doorstep.

The River Derwent that runs through Cockermouth. I will walk close to the river at the end of my Walk Home 2020 route.
The River Derwent that runs through Cockermouth

But Sheffield was once my home. I lived and worked there for over 30 years and I still feel a strong connection to my roots.

Sheffield Wednesday football stadium
Sheffield Wednesday football stadium

During the winter of 2020 I should have been walking the length of New Zealand on Te Araroa – a 3,000km long distance trail from the tip of the north island to the tip of the south island. But as New Zealand’s borders remain closed to the UK at the time of writing, I have had to postpone this trip and pick up some part time work in the UK.

Feeling a bit lost, I thought up an adventure that I could do around my new job – a long distance journey that would mean a lot to me and the Walk Home 2020 project was born.

In October I’ll be starting my hike at the hospital I was born in 36 years ago in Sheffield. I’ll then walk over 300km (200 miles) home to Cockermouth, via a selection of national and local trails through South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

Walk Home 2020 Q&A

Which route will you be taking?

You can see my planned route here –

Where does the route start?

The route starts at the site of the old Jessop Hospital for Women on Leavygreave Road, Sheffield. This was the place I was born in August 1984. Unfortunately the original building has since been demolished.

Sheffield is also known as the Steel City due to it’s history of steel-making.

Where does the route finish?

The route finishes at my home address in Cockermouth, Cumbria.

Cockermouth is also the birthplace of William Wordsworth and the town is twinned with Marvejols, France.

How did you decide on the Walk Home 2020 route?

The komoot app suggested the most efficient walking route between the start and finish points but I found it a lot of fun to plot my own route, tweaking the suggested tour to include places I really want to visit along the way. I have also adjusted the route to include national trails like the Pennine Way and local trails like the Dales High Way and the Coast to Coast route.

What’s the total distance?

The total distance is around 330km (200 miles) but it may fluctuate based on my mood on the trail.

Where will you sleep?

I plan on wild camping as much as possible along the route, but I may also decide to book accommodation or camp sites (particularly if the weather is poor).

Will you walk alone?

I plan to walk alone, but I won’t deter friends from joining me for sections if they’d like to (remaining respectful and compliant with current COVID guidelines).

How far will you walk each day?

I plan to walk in the region of 22km to 30km per day.

How long will the Walk Home 2020 route take you?

I have 2 weeks off work so I have to be finished within that window.

How will you re-supply food?

I’ll resupply along the way using shops. I’ll most likely carry between 1 and 4 days of food at any one time. I may leave one or two stash boxes along the way containing supplies like gas for my stove, expedition meals and a change of underwear!

What will you wear for the Walk Home 2020 adventure?

On my feet I’ll most likely wear the Hanwag Banks Lady GTX. If it was summer I’d most likely wear lightweight trail running shoes but autumn on the Pennine Way will be very wet and boggy so I’m taking the boots and gaiters approach for this section of the walk.

I’ll take a set of waterproofs, a down jacket, a set of thermal (merino) base layers to sleep in. I’ll most likely hike in a pair of technical hiking leggings, t-shirt and a mid layer.

I plan to take a hat, gloves and a buff (which will double as a face covering in shops).

What other kit will you take?

In my rucksack I’ll also carry a first aid kit, one-person tent, sleeping mat, camping quilt, sleeping bag liner, lightweight stove, titanium pot, spork, water filter, personal locator beacon (PLB), a waterproof cover for my phone, a multi-tool, a set of dry bags, my hiking poles, a compass, water bottles, a trowel for when nature calls, a head torch, a sit mat, a small microfibre towel, minimal toiletries, ear plugs, sunglasses, a power bank, a note book and pen, my bank card and a small amount of cash.

My luxury item is a light-weight cotton pillow case, which I’ll put my down jacket in at night and use as a pillow. I always sleep so much better if I’ve got a cotton pillow on my cheek.

Can I do the same?

Yes you can! Unless you live a sea or ocean away from your birthplace, you can plot and consider walking or cycling from your own birthplace to your current home address, either as one full walk or in sections. It’s a great way to do an adventure unique to you and everyone’s walk will be different! If you do decide to do it, please tag #WalkHome2020 on social media so I can see and share your journey.

Will you update social media along the way?

I’ll be using the hashtag #WalkHome2020 – give it a follow on Instagram if you’d like to track my progress.

Here are a selection of Instagram posts which explain more about my Walk Home 2020 adventure –

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nic 🇬🇧 ➡️ 🌍⛰⛺📸 (@adventurer.nic) on

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nic 🇬🇧 ➡️ 🌍⛰⛺📸 (@adventurer.nic) on

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a peak bagger. She has stood on the summit of the 282 Munro mountains of Scotland, the 214 Wainwright Fells of the Lake District and has recently been hiking the Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

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