About the Trail

It's official... We are mad! We are planning to walk from Lands End to John O’Groats on a 'Folk Trail' from April 1st to June 27th 2011.

On the way for as many nights as we can, we want to meet with the local folk community at pub sessions; the usual club night or festival should it happen to coincide, or anything else the group might like to suggest – but we may not be up to dancing!

At each event we will be recording the evening – not just your 'best' singers and musicians, but a typical gathering. From this we will produce an archive of CDs/DVDs plus a journal, blog and selection of audio podcasts from along the route.

No commercial use will be made of the material. Copies will be offered to the English Folk Dance and Song Society at Cecil Sharp House and the Oral History Archive of The British Museum. All this will be done informally by amateurs with no pretensions and needing just reasonably fit adults and their combined skills to carry it out.

The aim is a 'snapshot' of Folk activity en route in England and Scotland in 2011, and to enjoy a terrific, challenging, fun experience! This is not a stamina or fitness test – walk all or part of it, all day or half a day, drop in and out as you wish, don’t worry if you find you have taken on too much and want to drop out.

Press releases and publicity photos are available on our dedicated press site

Meet the Walkers

Clare

Since I cooked the idea up and have been pushing it like mad since last August I have probably bored people enough about me!

Folk music has been an integral part of my life since the folk revival of the 60's. It has been and still is a source of enormous pleasure, solace in times of sadness and at times a medium for the expression of deeply held views. It's how I have made most of my closest friends and a great circle of acquaintences.

I reckon it is just as important to other people and apart from reasons I've been banging on about over the past 8 months I want to meet a few, put 'folk' as it is being expressed today on record, and indulge in what for me will be the walk of a lifetime.

Chris

The faint but familiar voice on crackling telephone line said something like “We are hatching a plan to …… Going to Join our Goats …… Would you like to join us?” I replied that I couldn’t hear a thing. The line cleared for a moment and I heard “I knew we could count you in!” The next day I heard that I had agreed to walk on the Folk Trail to John o’Groats, so that’s how it happened.

I’ve just executed my physical training - a morning walk around my local park, and now I’m slowly building up my alcohol to blood ratio ready for the Folk Trail event. I had walked the Two Moors Way in 1996 with the Pennymoor Singers, with whom I had been associated since 1984.

Naomi

When Clare first told me of her idea to walk from Land's End to John O'Groats, stopping off at music sessions, I though it was a fantastic idea. I have luckily been able to work this walk into the theme of my archaeology masters degree dissertation, which is looking at traditional music as intangible heritage.

"How does this relate to archaeology?" I hear you cry! Well, most people are familiar with tangible, physical elements of our heritage (think pottery, flint tools, castles, gold coins, Roman villas) but are less familiar with the intangible elements (music, song, stories). Music is one of these key elements, but obviously you can't dig up a song or a tune! I will not only be looking at the tunes and songs people play, but also why they play it, where they learnt it, who/where from, when, where and what it means to them. .......plus a three month long folk session was too good an opportunity to miss!

John

Although, I grew up in a city, I have always been drawn to the countryside, and the opportunity of taking part in so many outdoor activities. On one occassion having had a very enjoyable day in the mountains of North Wales, we ended the day in the pub being entertained by a local folk group. Hence a new interest.

A couple of years ago whilst walking in Galicia, North West Spain (The Pilgrim Way - English Path). Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela, we were entertained by local singers. So when Clare proposed a long distance walk with folk entertainment on the way how could I not take this opportunity.

Moira

I first heard of the plan during last years summer festivals and jumped at the walk of a lifetime. Or rather, I could think of nothing better than a three-month continuous folk session! Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing some beautiful scenery along the route.

When not walking, Moira also plays in Devon ceilidh band Back to Square One and pursues an interest in finding and restoring early music instruments..

Press & Publicity

Press releases and publicity photos are available on our dedicated press site

Walk Status

Miles completed


Messages of Support

Nig and Jue Hesdon

Nig and Jue Hesdon
Good luck to all, what a brilliant trip with such a mad bunch. John your Grandaughter Emm sends her love and Jue and I wish you all the best, enjoy every minute all of you. Again what a trip but you have all definitely lost it.

Katrina Taylor

Katrina Taylor
Special thoughts for John and to all of you at this time. Keep those tired legs moving and onwards with your musical endevours. Love to you all...Katrina

Add your message here!

View all 242 messages of support