Highpoints: A 3,500 mile walk from John O'Groats to Land's End via the highest point of every county

Victoria Morris

Highpoints book cover featuring a person walking up a snowy mountain

This is a really lovely book: a compelling read that reveals fresh delights on every page. The elegant writing style draws in the reader with some of the deftly turned phrases in the descriptive passages being nothing less than poetry in prose. There is much here that will raise a smile without detracting from the seriously informative aspects of the narrative, which describes an astonishing feat of endurance in pursuit of personal fulfilment. Her sly wit is also balanced by some introspective passages of searingly honest and insightful self-discovery. This aspect of the book doesn’t make for heavy reading though; it is so thought-provoking you will find yourself wondering what makes you tick as well. In addition to all this we gain the benefit of her all-seeing eye for both nature and the marks of human influences, bringing to our attention all the interesting things we tend to miss when we are out walking.
In devising this venture Victoria has set a new level of challenge for anyone who dares follow in her footsteps. She spent eight months walking from John O’Groats to Land’s End. “Eight months? What kept her?” You may be thinking. It took that long because instead of using what we might call the ‘tourist route’ she criss-crossed the country enough times to enable her to climb the highest point in every county of mainland Britain. At no point in the eight months did she allow herself to use any form of transport other than her feet. This meant covering three-and-a-half thousand miles of often gruelling gradients in harsh weather conditions and wearing out seven pairs of walking boots in the process. The only way I could follow this feat was by reading about it in the book, which is perhaps the safest option for most of us to adopt.

I can’t recommend this book too strongly and urge you to buy your own copy rather than borrow one because the profits are going to such a good cause: Mental Health Research UK.

Ray Black, Harrogate.


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