The long walk home – Charlotte Tuxworth

Charlotte and her Dad opt for the long way home from University

What to do when you finish University?

Go on a 300mile backpacking trip in order to get home! Just after taking my last exam at Portsmouth university my Dad and I packed up my room, filled our backpacks and set off walking until we reached Grantham, in our home county of Lincolnshire.

The journey could of been shorter but there’s no fun in a direct route. Instead we headed to the Isle of Wight and walked across to Yarmouth. Then took the ferry to Lymington, walked through the New Forest and connected to the Avon Valley Path up to Salisbury, took another diversion to Stonehenge, joined the White Horse Trail and then the Ridgeway until we reached Oxford. From here we followed the canals up to Watford, joined the McMillan way over to Rutland Waters and finally the Viking Way for the last leg of our journey up to Grantham. The weather varied highly, switching from napping in the sunshine mid-afternoon, to chasing hats blown off in the wind, to being completely soaked (through backpacks and sleeping bags) and spending the evening in the drying rooms, with lots of money going on tumble dryers.

One of the funniest moments is the day Mum joined us and having walked 15miles in the rain we were stood in a camping field as Dad tried to mend his tent they were sharing (not having mentioned it was broken earlier in the day!) with one lens of his glasses missing. We then served her a mix of baked beans and cheese pasta for supper in a mess tin.

A perfect welcome to camping!

Charlotte Tuxworth