My time, my legacy

A lifetime of writing and adventure + an extreme midlife running crisis. How can I put that to good use?

In July and August 2024, I will combine my abilities, running 2000 miles, linking every one of England’s 42 cathedral cities whilst telling the story of modern and historical England with a daily postcard blog.

The result of this will be a powerful legacy in words and deeds to help inspire the next generation.

If you’ve got 5 minutes, there’s a video of me explaining who I am and why I am capable of doing this.

The Route

30 miles/50km per day for 62 consecutive days

Every Cathedral City – from Newcastle to Canterbury, Truro to Carlisle

The run takes in:

Sustrans cycle routes – to promote urban-country exercise and wellbeing

5 National Trails

6 National Parks

Numerous National Landscapes (previously Areas of Natural Beauty)

Passing a vast collection of tourism highlights of England, from natural wonders to historical monuments to cultural celebrations and museums.


The Story Telling

Journey journal: Where I have been that day and what I found noteworthy

‘Where I live’ – interview snapshots with the people I meet about where they live and what they love

Fuel – Local cuisine from cheese in Cheddar to Balti in Birmingham and drink from tea tasting to local apple juice, I’ll also answer that crucial question, what’s the best pint in England?

Venues: Hotels, Wedding Venues, Conference Centres, Shopping Centres, Sports Grounds – all being reviewed in my FMBE Magazine.

Overnight stay: The place I stayed in and why the area attracts visitors.

Shopkeeping: From small independents through to our shopping and leisure centres, I will snapshot the mood and the data as I travel around the country, together with a look at the brands and culture that are defining the modern era. I’ll also chat with shopkeepers from tradional to modern pop-ups getting a true view of this nation of shopkeepers and our habits and expectations. A special edition of my FMBE magazine follows the tour tracking shopper and grocery habits.

The Natural World – I’ll pick out the flora and fauna of the day, celebrating life in urban gardens, parkland, farms and wilderness

Friends old and new – I’ll be connecting with friends all the way around the route, to meet, help, support and run with me, and also making new friends using the power of the Internet connecting with fans of my running and writing.

Club Scene – I’ll note any notable sports and outdoors clubs I come across, especially running, cycling, triathlon and long-distance walking and inviting club members to join me on each leg of the journey. This company will be helpful in terms of motivation, useful in terms of local knowledge, practical in terms of lifts and logistics.

Heroes and Villains – Famous folk and Cultural Icons – from William Shakespeare to Stephen Hawking, from Emmeline Pankhurst to Judy Dench, I’ll note the notables. I will live their stories too, using audio book and music content as I run.

Dog of the day – a daily chat with a dog walker.

Photo of the day – from village green cricket to summer carnivals, there will be a photo of the day selected from the daily album.

Events and Festivals – I’ll chart the ones we see and the ones that are hosted each summer in the places we go through creating a diary

Inspiration – What inspired me most that day. This will link to the charity programme.

The Charity Programme

The Tour of England’s ethos encourages and support the connection between urban life and outdoor wellbeing, with a leaning towards youth and youth development. You can get directly involved with through volunteering – which enables an ongoing legacy of support.

Brathay Trust

This is the charity I am raising funds for on the TOE. Inspiring young people to make positive changes (The Trust also organises the ASICS Windermere Marathon and the Brathay 10in10 fundraising events).

Yvent: Events and Adventures for underprivileged youth. Yvent is my own cause, currently formalising for charity status. We are going to work directly with charities like Brathay, and directly helping them with end of process solutions by providing guidance and work experience in the events, marketing and sales sectors via Field Marketing and Brand Experience agencies.

The Schedule

Saturday 22nd June – 1st preview day

A visit to Whipsnade, and Woburn Abbey,  Bedfordshire including Dunstable Downs parkrun. The visit includes the Tree Cathedral at Whipsnade. This visit brings the tour to Bedfordshire one of the two counties that the main tour doesn’t reach.


Saturday 29th June – 2nd preview day 

Pre Event day 1 – Drive to Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire ahead of tour. Bucks and Beds are the only two English counties that my running tour doesn’t set foot in.

9am -Higginson Parkrun, Marlow followed by Thames Path walk then lunch at Tom Kerrdige’s Hand and Flowers Michelin 2* pub.  Photoshoot at Bletchley Park. The evening is spent at Milton Keynes, with local ‘tour guide’, Jill Hawkins.


Sunday 30th June – 3rd preview day

10am, A 5k run at Caldecotte Lake. Then on for tourism day in Northumberland, including Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle and a walking tour of Newcastle.


Monday 1st July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run Route – 33.8 miles

7.30am Greggs – 8am Newcastle Cathedral (1) –  9am  Angel of the North  – 11.30am – 12.30pm Durham Cathedral (2)2pm Spennymoor  –  3pm – 3.30pm Bishop Auckland  – 5.30pm Piercebridge

Afternoon: Charis to drive to Barnard Castle for her Dominic Cummings eye test.

Post Run: 7.30pm – 9pm Driving Tour – Richmond – Darlington – Piercebridge


Tuesday 2nd July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run Route – 31 miles

7.30am Piercebridge – 10am Catterick  – 11.30am – 12noon Bedale  – 4pm Ripon Cathedral (3)

Afternoon: Charis to visit Fountains Abbey

Post run: Dinner in Harrogate


Wednesday 3rd July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run Route – 30 miles

7am Ripon Cathedral  10.30am Linton  12noon – 12.30 Beningborough  2pm – 3.30pm York Minster (4) and City Centre  –  4.30pm Copmanthorpe

Dress Code: Viking Helmet


Thursday 4th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run Route – 31 miles

6.30am Copmanthorpe  8am Tadcaster  9 – 9.30am Bramham Park  1pm Headingley and Kirkstall Abbey  2.30pm Pudsey (Link Comms)  4pm Bradford Cathedral (5) 

Morning: Charis – tour of Aberford by car to see Almshouses

Post run: visit to City Centre and Trinity Leeds shopping centre and Saltaire, Bradford

Fuel: Symington’s (Leeds),  Seabrook Crisps (of Bradford), Bitter


Friday 5th July

Run Route – 25 miles

Full Day Plan and Map

7.30am Bradford Cathedral  10.30 Wakefield Cathedral (6) and gallery tour  12.15pm Wakefield Bridge & Chantry Chapel  1.30 – 2.30pm Pugneys Country Park to meet hand bikers and Wakefield Council ‘Our Year’  3pm Newmillerdam Country Park  4.30pm Locke Park Barnsley

Afternoon: Charis to visit The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

Post Run: Drive to sunset in the Peak District, Edale Rocks

Fuel: Pontefract Cakes, Barnsley Chop


Saturday 6th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run Route – 29 miles plus Parkrun (Total 32 miles)

9am – 10am Barnsley Parkrun – Locke Park – 5km – 3 miles  1pm – 3pm Sheffield Cathedral (7) and City Centre, Museum of Videogames tour  5pm Rother Valley Country Park  7pm Worksop

Dress Code: Snooker Loopy/ Robin Hood

Morning: Charis to visit Creswell Crags and Clumber Park

Post run: Sherwood Forest

Fuel: Bingham’s potted beef with Henderson sauce.


Sunday 7th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run Route – 31 miles

8am Worksop  10-10.30am Retford  12.15 – 1.45pm Rampton, including van detour to Springhead Brewery, Laneham   5.30pm Lincoln Cathedral (8)

Morning: Vicki to visit Bassetlaw Museum

Post run: walking tour of Lincoln’s historic city centre including Steep Hill, Roman Gate, Medieval wall, Lincoln Imp and the International Bomber Command Centre.

Fuel: Lincolnshire sausages, Hazlet, a cheese meal at The Cheese Society incl Yellow Belly Cheese


Monday 8th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 30 miles

9am Lincoln Cathedral  11.30am Newark Castle  12.30 – 1.30pm Kelham Hall  4 – 4.30pm Southwell Minster (9)  6pm Calverton village

Dress Code: The Pirates of Nick Faldo

Afternoon: Vicki to visit Museum of Timekeeping, and Southwell workhouse

Post run: Mr Mulligan’s Pirate Golf


Tuesday 9th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 33 miles

8am Calverton  9am Gedling Country Park  10.30am Wollaton Hall  11.15am Ilkeston  1.30 – 2.30pm Derby Cathedral (10)  5pm Wilson village

Dress Code: Ice dancing / Brian Clough / Nottingham lace / Robin Hood / Bakewell tart

During run: Vicki to visit Nottingham castle and museums, and Wollaton Hall

Fuel: Bakewell Pudding, Fidgety Pie, local cheeses and oatcakes.


Wednesday 10th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 31 miles

7am Wilson village  12noon – 1.30pm Leicester Cathedral (11) and city centre walking tour  4.30pm Goadby village

During run: Vicki to visit Richard III visitor centre

Post run: Melton Mowbray event spaces or Watermead Country Park

Fuel: Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, Stilton, Red Leicester


Thursday 11th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 33 miles

8.30am Goadby  11.45am – 2pm Harringworth  – van detour to Oakham for Jackson Stops pub  4pm Bedford Purlieus Nature Reserve  6.30pm Peterborough Cathedral (12)

During run: Vicki to visit Railworld Wildlife Haven

Post run: tour in a classic car

Fuel: Weetabix


Friday 12th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 29 miles

8am Peterborough Cathedral  11.30am – 1.30pm Chatteris – the ‘last refuge of Boudica’ – 5pm Ely Cathedral (13) (29 miles)

Dress code: Iceni / Red Hair

During run: Vicki to visit Peterborough museums

Fuel: Eels – Ely means ‘Island of eels’


Saturday 13th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 29 miles plus Parkrun (32 miles)

5.30am Ely Cathedral  9 – 10am Milton Country Park Run  11am – 12.30pm Cambridge  4pm The Jockey Club, Newmarket

Fuel: Fenland celery, and Braughing and Powters sausages


Sunday 14th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 30 miles

8am Newmarket  11.15am – 12.30pm Ickworth Park  1.30 – 2pm Greene King Brewery, Bury St Edmunds  2.15 – 3pm St Edmundsbury Cathedral (14)  4.30 – 5.30pm Wyken Vineyards  7pm Knettishall Heath

Dress code: Jockey Silks or Cap

Post run: Walking loop of Suffolk Backyard Ultra

Fuel: Greene King brewery – Bury St Edmunds


Monday 15th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

8am Knettishall Heath  10.15 – 10.45am Peter Beales Roses, Attleborough  12.30 – 1.30pm Wymondham Abbey  4pm Norwich Cathedral (15)

Post run: walking tour to include Acle Bridge, Broads National Park, Great Yarmouth

Fuel: fish and chips in Great Yarmouth


Tuesday 16th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route: 25 miles

7am Norwich Cathedral, walking tour of Norwich to include Elm Hill and medieval highlights  1 – 2pm Bressingham Steam and Gardens (Dad’s Army)  3pm Diss

Dress Code: Home Guard

Post run: Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich

Fuel: Celebration Tea, corned beef sandwiches, Coleman’s mustard


Wednesday 17th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 33 miles

8am Diss  12noon – 2pm visit to Food Museum and Haughley Park  5pm Lavenham  6.30pm Sudbury

Post run: walk along The Talbot Trail, Hedingham Castle


Thursday 18th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 26 miles

8am Sudbury  12noon – 1.15pm Braintree 4pm Chelmsford Cathedral (16)

Post run: Visit to Hylands Park

Fuel: Afternoon Tea at Tiptree Tea Room, Chelmsford


Friday 19th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 32 miles

8am Chelmsford Cathedral  1pm Harlow  3pm Hertford Castle  4pm Welwyn Garden City


Saturday 20th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 33 miles plus Parkrun 3 miles

5.30am Welwyn  7.45 – 8.30am St Albans Cathedral (17) and Abbey  9 – 10am St Albans Parkrun  1.45 – 2.30pm Brent Cross shopping centre  3.15 – 3.30pm The Woodman, Highgate  5pm St Paul’s Cathedral (18)

Post run: Evening river walk – Fleet Street – Temple Church – Somerset House – Blackfriars Bridge – National Theatre – South Bank – St Thomas’ Hospital – Big Ben – Whitehall – The Mall – Buckingham Palace – St James Palace – The Ritz – Trafalgar Square – Leicester Square – Chinatown – The Royal Opera House


Sunday 21st July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 33 miles

7am St Paul’s Cathedral  7.15 – 7.45am Southwark Cathedral (198.45am Greenwich Observatory  12.30 – 2.30pm Bluewater Shopping Centre  5.30pm Rochester Cathedral (20)

Post run: City centre visit to Rochester Castle

Fuel: Jellied Eel, Pie and Mash at Cathedral Pie Shop, Rochester


Monday 22nd July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 31 miles

8am Rochester Cathedral  11am Sittingbourne  1 – 2pm Faversham  4.30pm Canterbury Cathedral (21)

Dress code: Bishops, Pilgrims, Knights, Minstrels, Soothsayers

Fuel: Canterbury Tart – recipe by Geoffrey Chaucer and Mary Berry.


Tuesday 23rd July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

8am Canterbury Cathedral  2 – 5.30pm Leeds castle with van detour to Kent Owl Academy  7pm Maidstone

Dress code: dog collar

Fuel: Venison / puff pastry tartlets


Wednesday 24th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 26 miles

6.30am Maidstone  9.30 – 10am Ightham Mote  11am Knole Park  12.30 – 1.30pm Chartwell House  2.30pm Oxted

Post run: Down House, Orpington


Thursday 25th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 28 miles

7.30am Oxted  10 – 10.30am Reigate   12 – 1pm Denbies Wine Estate  5pm Guildford Cathedral (22)

Post run:  Guildford Castle

Fuel: Denbies Flint Valley


Friday 26th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 32 miles

8am Guildford Cathedral  12.45pm Lodsworth  4pm Chichester Cathedral (23)

Fuel: Seafood at the marina


Saturday 27th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 26 miles plus Parkrun (3 miles)

6am Chichester cathedral  9 – 10am Havant Parkrun  12.15 – 1pm South Parade Pier, Portsmouth Cathedral (24) and Gosport Ferry  3pm Fareham

Dress code: Navy Blue

Post run: Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson

Fuel: Fish and Chips at the pier


Sunday 28th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 26 miles

8am Fareham  12.30 – 2.30pm Winchester Cathedral (25) plus walking tour  4.30pm King’s Somborne

Dress code: King’s hat

Fuel: Burnt cakes

During run: Vicki to visit Houghton Lodge, Stockbridge

Post run: Isla’s Bar, Stockbridge and New Forest National Park


Monday 29th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 28 miles

8am King’s Somborne  12 – 1.30pm Salisbury Cathedral (265pm Fordingbridge, New Forest National Park

Fuel: New Forest Marque


Tuesday 30th July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run Route – 23 miles

8am Fordingbridge  9.45am Cranbourne Manor  1.30pm Bryanston school, Blandford Forum

Post run: canoe on the Stour

Fuel: Badger Ales


Wednesday 31st July

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 30 miles

8am Bryanston  9.45am Milton Abbas  11am – 1.30pm Dewlish  3.30 – 4.30pm Dorchester  7pm Puncknowle

Fuel: Dorset Knobs, Blue Vinny cheese and Dorset Apple cake.


Thursday 1st August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 31 miles

8am Puncknowle  11am Charmouth  1.30 – 2pm Seaton  4.30pm Sidmouth via South West Coastal Path

Fuel: Lobster


Friday 2nd August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

7am Sidmouth  10.30 – 11.30am Exeter Cathedral (27)  12 – 3pm van visit to Powderham Castle  5.30pm Moretonhampstead

Fuel: Cream tea with scones


Saturday 3rd August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 29 miles plus Parkrun (3 miles)

9am Parke Parkrun, Bovey Tracey

10.15am Moretonhampstead  1.45 – 4pm Dartmoor Prison Museum, Princetown, plus walk to Foxtor Mires  7.30pm Plymouth

Dress code: Deerstalker / running robber

Fuel: Fish and Chips, Gin and Tonic


Sunday 4th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 26 miles

8am Plymouth  9.30am Tregantle Fort  12 – 1.30pm Looe  2.30pm Polperro  4.30pm Fowey

Fuel: Dressed Crab


Monday 5th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

8am Fowey  9.30 – 10.30am The Eden Project  11.30am St Austell 3.30 – 4pm Truro Cathedral (28)  5pm Trispen

Post run: Healey’s Cyder Farm, Slip’n’Slide

Fuel: Pasty, Cornish Yarg, Healey’s Cyder, St Austell’s Beer


Tuesday 6th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 29 miles

8am Trispin  1pm Bodmin with van detour to Lanhydrock House  6.30pm Jamaica Inn, Bolventor

Dress code: Cat ears

Post run: Museum of Daphne Du Maurier and Smuggling and a viewing of the film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and a search for theBeast of Bodmin Moor

Fuel: Ill-gotten gains and plunder


Wednesday 7th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 32 miles

8am Bolventor  11.15am Launceston  5pm Okehampton

Post run: visit to Bude

Fuel: Fudge


Thursday 8th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 28 miles

8am Okehampton  9.30am North Tawton  3.30pm Tiverton

During run: Vicki to visit Tiverton Castle

Post run: Dunster Castle and an evening at Butlins, Minehead


Friday 9th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

7.30am Tiverton  10.45am Wellington Monument  11.45am – 1pm Patou Alpacas  3.30pm North Curry  – may add on extra miles to lessen the early start of Sat 10th

During run: Vicki to visit the Museum of Somerset, Taunton


Saturday 10th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 25 miles plus Parkrun (3 miles)

4.30am North Curry or  6am Othery (if extended previous day)  9 – 10am Street Parkrun  10.45am – 12.30pm Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury Abbey, The Goddess Temple  2pm Wells Cathedral (29)

Dress code: Fancy Dress day!

Post run: Wookey Hole, Cheddar Gorge

Fuel: Ploughman’s and Cider


Sunday 11th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 34 miles

7am Wells Cathedral  10 – 10.45 The Pony, Chew Magna 12.30-2.30pm St Mary’s Redcliffe – walking tour to include Bristol Cathedral (30) and lunch at Cabot Circus  5.30pm Bath Abbey

Post run: Walking tour of Bath, including Roman and Jane Austen connections.

Fuel: Josh Eggleton Brunch at Chew Magna, then Pieminister pie


Monday 12th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 28 miles

8am Bath Abbey  10.15 – 10.30am Corsham  12 – 1.30pm Chippenham  2.45pm Calne  4.45pm Avebury Stone Circle

During run: Vicki to visit Stonehenge

Dress code: Running Club vests

Fuel: Cousin Normans, Coq


Tuesday 13th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 25 miles

9am Avebury  10am Hackpen Hill  10.30am Barbury Castle  1.15pm Uffington White Horse  3.30pm Wantage

Fuel: Wiltshire Ham sandwiches


Wednesday 14th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

7am Wantage  10 – 10.45am Redbridge Park&Ride  11am – 2pm Oxford walking tour to include Oxford Cathedral (31) and Westgate shopping centre 5.15pm Witney

During run: Vicki to visit Cogges Manor Farm

Post run: Blenheim Palace and Kidlington

Fuel: Oxford Sausages (Mrs Beeton Recipe), Frank Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade (Sarah Cooper 1874 recipe)


Thursday 15th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 30 miles

7am Witney  10.30 – 10.45am Burford (Cotswolds)  1.15 – 4.30 Hazleton – van excursion to Sudeley Castle and Hailes Abbey  7.15pm Cheltenham

Post run: Pittville Pump Room and Cheltenham Racecourse. Dinner in Winchcombe

Fuel: Pong cheese and Pittville water


Friday 16th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 34 miles

7am Cheltenham  8.45am Gloucester Cathedral (3212.30pm Kempley  4.45pm Hereford Cathedral (33) plus walking tour of city

During run: Vicki to arrive early at Hereford cathedral to visit the Chained Library, Mappa Mundi and St John Medieval Museum

Fuel:  Double Gloucester, Hereford steak, Hereford Cider


Saturday 17th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 29 miles plus Parkrun (3 miles)

9 – 10am Hereford Parkrun

10am Hereford Leisure centre  12noon Tarrington  4 – 4.30pm Malvern  6.30pm Worcester Cathedral (34)

Fuel: Worcestershire sauce


Sunday 18th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 23 miles

8am Worcester Cathedral  11.30am Ragley Hall  2pm Stratford Upon Avon to Holy Trinity Church (Shakespeare’s Tombstone)

During run: Vicki to visit Ragley Hall

Dress code: Courtesans and Jesters

Post run: Guided tour of the theatre with Royal Shakespeare Company


Monday 19th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

8am Stratford  10.15am Warwick Castle  12 – 1.30pm Kenilworth Castle  3.15 – 5.15pm Coventry Cathedral (35) and transport museum  6.30pm Meriden

Post run: Maxstoke Castle

Fuel: Balti


Tuesday 20th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles

8am Meriden  11.15am – 1.15pm St Philip’s Cathedral Birmingham (36), The Bullring and Grand Central  2pm Villa Park and Birmingham Alexander Stadium  5pm Lichfield Cathedral (37)


Wednesday 21st August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route  – 36 miles

6.30am Lichfield Cathedral  9am Cannock Chase  10.30 – 11am walking tour of Stafford  3.45pm Market Drayton

During run: Vicki Fordhall Organic Farm

Post run: Ironbridge, Wollerton Old Hall, Dorothy Clive and Hodnet Hall Gardens

Fuel: Denz’s Dirty Burger or Lunar, Wedgewood


Thursday 22nd August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 31 miles

7am Market Drayton  9.15am Hack Green Nuclear Bunker  10.30am Dorfold Hall  3pm Chester Cathedral (38)

Post run: city walk

Fuel: Cheshire cheese


Friday 23rd August

Full Day Plan and Map

8am Chester Cathedral  12.30 – 2.30pm St James Cathedral Liverpool plus walking tour to include Cavern Club, Liverpool ONE shopping centre  5.30pm Widnes

Dress code: Mop top

Post run: Antony Gormley sculpture Another Place, sportsgrounds if time.

Fuel: Scouse, fish and chips, Liverpool tart


Saturday 24th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 27 miles plus Parkrun (3 miles)

6am Widnes  8 – 10am Warrington Parkrun  1 – 3pm Trafford Centre  3.45pm Old Trafford  4.30pm Manchester Cathedral (40)

Post run: Cryotherapy at The Lowry Hotel

Fuel: Eccles Cake, Black Pudding, Manchester Tart, Vimto, Sweet and Sour Chicken


Sunday 25th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 24 miles

8am Manchester Cathedral  10.30am  Ainsworth, nr Bolton  12noon Darwen  1pm Blackburn Cathedral (41)

Fuel: Hotpot


Monday 26th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 31 miles

7am Blackburn Cathedral  10.30am Whitewell then across Forest of Bowland National Landscape 5pm Hornby

During run: Vicki to visit Lancaster Cathedral, Lancaster Castle, Carnforth station (Brief Encounter)

Post run: Silverdale National Landscape, VOOM Nutrition

Fuel: Morecambe Bay shrimps, Fudge by VOOM Nutrition


Tuesday 27th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 30 miles

7.30am Hornby  1pm Bowness on Windermere  2.30pm Brathay Hall, Ambleside

During run: Vicki and Lily on the trail of Beatrix Potter via the west side of Windermere

Fuel: Kendal Mint cake


Wednesday 28th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 20 miles

8.30pm Brathay Hall, Ambleside  9.15am Rydall Cave 11.45 Borrowdale  1pm Catbells  2pm The Wainwright, Keswick

Post run: Evening hike to Castlerigg Stone Circle

Fuel: Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cumberland Sausages, Windrmere Char, Grasmere Gingerbread, Rum Nicky


Thursday 29th August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 34 miles

6.30am Keswick  2 – 2.30pm Carlisle Cathedral (42) and castle  5pm Newtown nr Brampton

During run: Vicki to visit Scaleby Hill Motorbike Museum

Fuel: Carr’s water biscuits


Friday 30st August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 37 miles

8am Newtown  11.45am Vindolanda  12.45pm Housesteads  3.15pm Wall  4.15pm Chester’s Roman Fort

During run: Vicki to visit Museum of Classic Sci-Fi and HexhamOld Gaol

Post run: Walk to Hexham Abbey and Northumberland Dark Sky Park


Saturday 31st August

Full Day Plan and Map

Run route – 20 miles plus Parkrun (3 miles)

9am Tyne Green Parkrun

10am Chesters Roman Fort  1.15pm Heddon on the Wall  2.30pm St James’ Park  3pm Newcastle Cathedral

Post run: Eldon Square and Chinatown, with a Brown Ale or two.



Bath Abbey , for Sunday 11th August

TOE Highlights

42 Cathedrals, Cathedral Cities

Newcastle – Durham – Ripon – York – Bradford – Wakefield – Sheffield – Lincoln – Southwell – Derby – Leicester – Peterborough – Ely – St Edmondsbury – Norwich – Chelmsford – St Albans – St Pauls – Southwark – Rochester – Canterbury – Guildford – Chichester – Portsmouth – Winchester – Salisbury – Exeter – Truro – Wells – Bristol – Oxford – Gloucester – Hereford – Worcester – Coventry – Birmingham – Lichfield – Chester – Liverpool – Manchester – Balckburn – Carlisle

National Trails –

North Downs Way

South Downs Way

South West Coastal Path

The Ridgeway

Hadrian’s Wall Path

National Parks


North Yorks Moors

The Peak District

South Downs

The New Forest


The Lake District


About Me (also on video below)

This project is my chance to make sense of a lifetime of energy, experience and wordy worldliness. I’ve created Frank’s Big TOE, my Tour Of England, to be completed in two months, July and August 2024.

Being locked into England in 2020 gave me a new appreciation of what England is. I travelled around it whenever allowed, running and making new friends, finding inspiration every step of the way.

The challenge I have come up with covers 2000 miles mapped around all 42 of our cathedral cities.

Newcastle – Canterbury – Truro and Carlisle are the four corners of an adventure that will take me just about everywhere to snapshot England in 2024.

There is a British Cycling route that does something similar, showing the town and country links. This is my runner/hiker take on it, using all types of terrain to show how accessible and extraordinary – England is and to use its incredible landscape to evoke its history and culture – both ancient and modern.

But why me? Why am I the one doing this?

I describe myself as an experiences writer – living life through experiences, events and travel. I have edited and published event, business experience and travel magazines and written for numerous publications. I have been a public speaker at events and hosted my own radio show.

Travel writing commissions and projects have seen me with many exciting visits – to judge the inaugural Miss Kazakhstan competition, to ride horseback amongst hunting lions in Kenya and to follow a general election around the Ukraine, from Kyiv to Lviv.

I’m entrepreneurial, with previous success in making things happen.  I set up my own magazines business in 1999 by writing a book sponsored by Royal Mail and Experian called Data Integrity.  I created the Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards in 2003, which I still host annually.

As an adventurous entrepreneur, I also once transformed a defunct lung hospital in the Auvergne back into a chateau, successfully running horse riding holidays there, simultaneously with the publishing and writing business. These days the lovely Chateau de Chazelles hosts weddings.

Stamina & Charity  

2000 miles is a huge ask, but I do have what it takes – both as an athlete and as a money raiser.

I raced Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race as a child, 125 miles in 3 days as part of the winning team.

In my 20s I raised 1000s of £s when running London Marathon.

I was a part of Howards Way Walk, long distance charity walking group for 5 years -a group which raised £400,000 for charity.

I started running seriously as recently as 2018, aged 48, with my first ultra, the 100KM Race to the Stones in the middle of that year.  My second ultra was a 125KM volcano ascent and island crossing in Gran Canaria, with 7000 metres of elevation. I have since completed a further 100+ ultras and marathons including epics such as Beacon’s Way, 110 miles, and the Kerry Way, 120 miles, both across extreme terrain.

I have qualified for and competed in the World Series Final, Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc (105 miles, 10,000m elevation) and even won one especially brutal ultra, the Linkenholt Backyard Ultra where competitors complete the same very hilly 4 mile loop over and over until only one runner is left standing.

I’m adding to my multiday running experience this year but I have a good track record so far.  I was the quickest participant in the 2022 Mongol 100 – a four marathons, 4 day crossing of a frozen lake in Outer Mongolia. I won the seniors prize for the Lake Tahoe triple in California and Nevada, a 3 day circuit of the lake. In 2021 I completed Ring of Fire, a 3 day circuit of the Anglesey coast – 135 miles.

Through all of this I have always championed youth and the great outdoors. I’m very positive about the next generation. Given the right opportunities, they are destined to be better than us.

This is my chance to make sense of my life, to drive these experiences, their collective energies and the many connections I have made into a substantial legacy.

Using your support, your donations, your spreading of the word, your skills and your kindness I will run and write this unique project, epic in terms of its visceral energy, eloquent, entertaining and evocative in terms of its delivery.

The money raised and the message we put out these will be used to build a lasting legacy – young people growing up to make the best of the country we live in, and then to go on to make it even better.