Sunday, 23 November 2008

Walking across England

All this talk at the moment of the credit crunch is forcing us to re-evaluate our current values and consumption overdrive. Some are aspiring and returning to a simpler life. We can see this in the current trend for slow travel, taking the time to enjoy the route and taking pleasure in the little things.

I read an article in the Guardian the other day about Ed, Will and Ginger, two brothers and one of their friends. They have mastered the art of slowmoves. Their mission: to travel across the UK by foot without any money or mobile phones. They sleep in the wild when night falls, forage for food and occasionally count on strangers' hospitality. They also sing folk songs in pubs and villages to entertain and have the occasional hearty meal. It's a wonderful tale of living close to the earth and moving away from modern day dependencies on money and technology.

Photograph by Martin Godwin in Guardian, 2008

In the media we are always hearing about the downfall of society, trust and humanity. If we went by what we see and hear in the media, we could think that the streets aren't safe enough to walk out your front door anymore. Ed, Will and Ginger have been pleasantly surprised by people's openness, hospitality and enthusiasm about their lifestyle.

"Ed, Will and Ginger's itinerant, slow-moving life might just point the way forward, at a time when ecological and financial challenges are forcing us to change the way we live. At present, Britain has the lowest levels of pedestrian travel and bicycle use in Europe. Twice as many trips are made by car as by walking and cycling, and from 1992 to 2004 the number of journeys by foot and bicycle declined by a fifth. All of this despite the fact that the average speed for cars across London remains at 11-13mph, roughly the same as it was at the beginning of the 20th century."

I don't know how many people could (or would) drop everything (job, house, family) and take a year out to walk to Scotland, but hats of to these guys. I love the idea of it and whilst I may not walk all the way to Scotland, I will at least attempt to walk to another city from London one day.



  1. Hey, that's what I want to do!
    Wish I had two friends who did too :(

  2. Hi sqm8,

    Yes it's the companionship and the time, but it sounds lovely! Let us know if you ever have any slow travel adventures you'd like to write about in Germany or abroad.

    All the best,