The gift of walk­ing

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

WRITER Paddy Leigh Fer­mor’s com­ing-of-age walk across Europe in the 1930s has in­spired a de­voted reader to reprise it. Katy Macmil­lan-scott (be­low), who works in Arts PR, will be only the sec­ond woman to at­tempt the 600-mile route from Rot­ter­dam to Is­tan­bul. She’s rais­ing funds for Bowel Can­cer UK and its Never Too Young cam­paign af­ter her friend Har­riet Clarke died from the dis­ease, aged only 32.

‘The last thing we did to­gether was to go to a talk on po­lar ex­plor­ers and we laughed about how the panel talked dis­mis­sively about “lady adventurers”,’ ex­plains Katy. ‘When I read Robert Macfar­lane’s es­say The Gifts of Read­ing [about Leigh Fer­mor and the cathar­tic power of walk­ing], a plan crys­tallised to go on an ad­ven­ture Har­riet would have loved.’

Leigh Fer­mor, de­scribed in an obituary as ‘a cross be­tween In­di­ana Jones, James Bond and Gra­ham Green’, was 18 when he set off, record­ing the jour­ney in a tril­ogy start­ing with A Time of Gifts. Katy’s jour­ney will take place in stints, start­ing with the Nether­lands, Ger­many, Aus­tria, Slo­vakia and Hun­gary. To do­nate, visit www. ad­ven­tures­forhar­riet.co.uk KG

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