Here it is: the cover of my new book In Britain: The Long Path to Cape Wrath. The story, which I’m currently writing, is about my foot journey along the so-called Bryson Line from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath.
When I started, I did not foresee the material I would gather.
Just consider the fact that two entirely different parties, independently from each other – hell, completely unaware of each other – plotted a walk based on Bill Bryson’s book The Road to Little Dribbling – a group of expats and yours truly. Both walks took place at the same time and therefore both parties wrote – no matter how mediocre – history by being the first to walk The Bryson Line. That’s a great story element; the expats’ completely ignoring my walk adds a form of conflict to the story.
Thirteen days before their marriage, I walked by “Prince Harry” and “Meghan Markle.” I have to put their names between quotes, because I’m not 100% certain (though definitely 90%!) that it was them. Just outside a village, on a very quiet country lane, there stood a couple in the middle of the road. Seeing me approach, they immediately retreated to an Audi parked between the lane and a farm field. I walked by and then clearly saw their faces. I’m not sure if the Royal Family drives Audis, but if so, it’s got to be Harry and Meghan. I’ve written about the encounter in great detail.
Mr Bryson, in The Road to Little Dribbling, called one of the minibus drivers a “Pictish oaf.” This caused a bit of a stir during my afternoon on Cape Wrath in an unexpected way and makes the ending of The Long Path to Cape Wrath rather entertaining. Also, it makes things come full circle story-wise.
If The Road to Little Dribbling inspires more people to walk from Bognor Regis or vice versa, as it should, it might become a new End-to-End trail – an alternative, Britain’s next hiking classic. Extra inspiration is on its way. Keep an eye on this little website for any news!