All the way from Land’s End to John O’ Groats

John Maclennan on the left and Pat Walsh on the right, the day before they left Somerset West for their marathon walk from Lands End in Cornwall to John O Groats in Scotland.

A rather daunting hike is under way by two men from Somerset West.

John Maclennan, 62, and his friend and former colleague Patrick Walsh, 63, are currently walking from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland.

They are walking unassisted, carrying what they need and have covered an incredible 800 miles to date.

Today is day 67 of their walking and they have yet to take a rest day.

It all started a few months ago at the Old Bridge Tavern, where the two had met for a drink. Both retired recently from Shoprite Checkers head office, where they worked together for more than 15 years.

Pat, an Irishman, who grew up in the United Kingdom, had read about this hike as a young man, and it has been on his bucket list for many years. They started chatting, and Pat asked John whether he would like to tackle this with him.

The rest is history. They started planning in earnest in January, and started training, walking many kilometres around Somerset West and in the Helderberg Nature Reserve, as well as working out at the gym.

They pored over maps and walking routes, checked out camp sites and places to stay, and eventually planned a route that seemed would take them about three months to complete. By day 67, they were walking from Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, heading for Inverness, and hadn’t even taken a resst day.

They have both been in good health, although they have lost quite a bit of weight. The going is getting tough but they are still in good spirits and determined to finish.

By Sunday August 6, they were on day 73, still have not taken a rest day, and sounding cheerful. They reached a town called Golspie on Sunday, which is in Sutherland and has the Dunrobin Castle nearby, the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland.

They are on the last lap now, and hope to finish by Sunday August 13.

John and Pat are supporting two charities – the Somerset West Village Garden, helping to give dignity to the homeless through the creation of a vegetable garden, and Karoo Foundation, an organisation training youths in Calvinia to run marathons and play golf.

Anyone who would like to get in touch with them, can visit, or check out their Facebook page, pat & John lejog

Carol Maclennan, who is John’s wife, sent Bolander this article.