I’d walked occasionally in Scotland when young, but never made a habit of it. That all changed in 2007 when I embarked on a south-to-north trip across the nation that would not complete until I reached Cape Wrath in 2014.

The bug had now well and truly bitten. The Southern Upland Way followed, and then a couple of partial west-to-east crossings. Confident now about my skills, I gained entry to the 2019 running of The Great Outdoors Challenge, Britain’s premier backpacking event, on which I had the time of my life.

Carousel photographs: the col above Gleann Lichd, with Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan, NW Highlands; bluebells in Glen Trool, Galloway; wild camp in Glen Feshie, Cairngorms; Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat; Brattleburn bothy, Dumfries-shire; sunset over Kearvaig bothy, Sutherland

South to North
West to East
Southern Upland Way
TGOC 2019