Taking the Tablets Tour

What’s that? With a little bit of alliteration, Taking the Tablets Tour (4 Tees – guess it really should be 6 Tees but that would be pushing it a bit) becomes the new name for Richard’s Long Walk. It’s supposed to be a little ironic in a “keep taking the tablets” sort of way, plus I will actually be taking tablets – probably Samsung Galaxy Tabs, but yet to be decided.

Just before Christmas I reported that I would be walking from Scotland back to Brighton starting in July. I am pleased to report some progress on my plans. The trip starts with a 2 week cycle tour (July1st to 16th) from above Stornoway to Ardrossan, a journey of around 300 miles. I guess I should have walked this too but it would have added around another 25 days to my trip, plus it is the one bit of the journey that my wife, Moira, wants to do.

The rest of the journey has been divided into 12 stages of 4 days walk plus one day off with an average of around 15 miles per day. That means a total of just over 700 miles starting on July 17th and ending on September 13th. On each stage apart from the last, I have/will be inviting a friend to accompany me. On the last stage, where I am obviously a lot closer to home, I am hoping that anyone locally may join me for a day. You can see the route and all the stages here.

At each stopping point there will be the opportunity for children to play some of the games that I will be taking, and also to see some of the projects that we have been running at DEB. If there are other organisations that want me to take games on the journey, I will be very happy to talk to them – in fact there are a couple of organisations that I have contacted, or am about to, who may participate.

For various logistic reasons I will be accompanied by a back-up vehicle. If things go according to plan this will serve as accommodation, storage, an exhibition area, and possibly a stage. This means that in addition to finding a vehicle I will also be hiring a road manager (they won’t be paid but they will have an 8 week holiday and see Britain from top to toe). So far, my best idea for transport is a horse box  – could meet all the criteria although there are no plans to take a horse.

Being a fairly techy sort of person, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that there will be all sorts of blogging and tracking going on. I will be equipped with both GPS and video camera so anyone interested will see where I am and what I am getting up to. The vehicle will act as a mobile HQ for this and I expect there will be a base station back in Brighton – location to be determined but this could be a school. One problem that people may have advice on is that the trip will extend between two terms and the summer holidays, so how schools get involved may prove awkward.

I have also taken on a administrator for the 3 months prior to the trip. Her name is Pauline Chardon and she is a language student from Marbaix-la-Tour in  Belgium, and she has had some experience in organising and running events. Her role will be to liaise with everyone else prior to the Tour, including schools here and on route, creating and distributing material, and finalising the stopping places along the route. For various reasons the stops may be at pubs – a useful place for refreshments after a long walk, plus as I am intending to meet up with musicians en route, suitable venues for performing.

I am hoping that local children can get involved in the organisation and running of the tour. This could be in several ways.

First, I will need help in setting up the exhibition area – it could be that students create the whole thing from start to finish.

Next, I would like to organise a pre-walk competition based around the 12 stages of the route – 1 clue per stage released over 12 days close to the start. Once again I am open to ideas as to what this competition might be.

Finally it would be great if we could get a student or group of students to be “in charge” of each stage – their job would be to contact schools in each area – to let them know when we are coming and what we will be doing. The same group may be in charge of monitoring and blogging the relevant section during the walk.

Here are the dates and details.

Date Route Miles Average Date Route Miles Average
Wed 15 Aug
Tue 17 Jul Adrossan to Troon 12 Thu 16 Aug Glossop to Castleton 13
Wed 18 Jul Troon to Ayr 12 Fri 17 Aug Castleton to Monyash 13
Thu 19 Jul Ayr to Maybole 12 Sat 18 Aug Monyash to Mayfield 16
Fri 20 Jul Maybole to Barr 12 12 Sun 19 Aug Mayfield to Abbots Bromley 17 14.75
Sat 21 Jul Mon 20 Aug
Sun 22 Jul Bar to Glentroon 12 Tue 21 Aug Abbots Bromley to Lichfield 16
Mon 23 Jul Glentroon to Clatteringshaws 15 Wed 22 Aug Lichfield to Hurley 16
Tue 24 Jul Clatteringshaws to Gatehouse 15 Thu 23 Aug Hurley to Balsall Common 16
Wed 25 Jul Gatehouse to Kircudbright 13 13.75 Fri 24 Aug Balsall to Warwick 15 15.75
Thu 26 Jul Sat 25 Aug
Fri 27 Jul Kircudbrighton to Castle Douglas 12 Sun 26 Aug Warwick to Stratford 11
Sat 28 Jul Castle Douglas to Dumfries 17 Mon 27 Aug Stratford to Shipston 15
Sun 29 Jul Dumfries to Annan 15 Tue 28 Aug Shipston to Chipping Norton 12
Mon 30 Jul Annan to Gretna 15 14.75 Wed 29 Aug Chipping to Woodstock 15 13.25
Tue 31 Jul Thu 30 Aug
Wed 01 Aug Gretna to Carlisle 14 Fri 31 Aug Woodstock to Blackbirtd Leys 15
Thu 02 Aug Carlisle to Caldbeck 15 Sat 01 Sep Blackbird Leys to Christmas 15
Fri 03 Aug Caldbeck to Keswick 17 Sun 02 Sep Christmas Common to Bourne End 16
Sat 04 Aug Keswick to Chapel Stile 18 16 Mon 03 Sep Bourne End to Ascot 18 16
Sun 05 Aug Tue 04 Sep
Mon 06 Aug Chapel Stile to Stavely 16 Wed 05 Sep Ascot to Hartley Wintney 17
Tue 07 Aug Stavely to Sedburgh 15 Thu 06 Sep Hartley to Bradley 18
Wed 08 Aug Sedburgh to Horton 20 Fri 07 Sep Bradley to Winchester 16
Thu 09 Aug Horton to Malham 14 16.25 Sat 08 Sep Winchester to Exton 14 16.25
Fri 10 Aug Sun 09 Sep
Sat 11 Aug Malham to Lothersdale 15 Mon 10 Sep Exton to South Harting 14
Sun 12 Aug Lothersdale to Hebden Bridge 17 Tue 11 Sep South Harting to Petworth 12
Mon 13 Aug Hebden Bridge to Marsden 17 Wed 12 Sep Petworth to Washington 13
Tue 14 Aug Marsden to Glossop 17 16.5 Thu 13 Sep Washington to Hove 14 13.25
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