Book by two grandmothers documents mammoth trek
TWO GRANDMAS who trekked from Land’s End to John O’Groats have released a book documenting their epic journey.
Gwen Sproston, 69, from Chelford, and Linda Brackenbury, 67, from Cheadle Hulme, met at the East Cheshire Ramblers group and decided to take on the mammoth 1,200km challenge together.
But not content with the traditional route, the pair devised an alternative more scenic path, which also carved nearly 200km off the 1,400km trek, completing the journey in just over two months.
Gwen, previously a farmer at Newton Hall Farm in Mottram St Andrew, said: “Both Linda and I were keen walkers and when she asked me to do it I jumped at the chance.
“If, when I’d finished, someone had asked me to walk all the way back again, I would have done it like a shot. You get away from all life’s problems when you walk.”
Using public footpaths and bridleways as much as possible, and bedding down at bed and breakfasts and hostels en route, their route included a 31,077-metre ascent.
They were joined by members of the Ramblers, who walked with them for a day from Barnton to Glazebrook, as well as friends and relatives who cheered them on along the way.
And with just three days’ rest, the trek was no mean feat for two pensioners.
But grandmother of six Gwen said: “You just get on with it don’t you, if you want to walk it you do it.”
The book, Walking e2e, End to End, was written by Linda, a retired University of Manchester lecturer in computer science.
It details each stage along with maps, as well as giving advice on transport and accommodation.
Gwen, who undertook her first walking challenge to mark her 60th birthday after the death of her husband of 38 years, Albert, said the book is a great accompaniment for anyone who fancies a walking challenge.
She said: “Linda is a brilliant organiser and spent a long time working the route out. It’s a fantastic book.”
Linda added: “Thanks to Gwen’s superb navigation we hardly put a foot wrong.
“Both of us felt a terrible sense of anti-climax when we got to John O’Groats.”
All proceeds from the book, along with more than 1,500 photographs Gwen uses at talks, will go to local charities.
Walking e2e can be ordered via Linda’s website at brackwalks. co.uk.
●» Linda Brackenbury, left, signing copies of her book with Gwen Sproston