After such an amazing walk through the heart of England in 2020, I’ll continue my journey this year in Scotland. My quest is to find the Orkney Islands where there is much of interest including the pilgrimage of St Magnus. This pilgrimage looks rather special because it has its own iPhone app so it will be easy for me to find my way and to gain instant expertise on the life of St Magnus. That’s assuming I can pass two covid-19 tests before boarding the ferry.
I plan to start my walk on 24 July at the beginning of the E2 European Long Distance Footpath in Portpatrick on the south west coast and follow the Southern Upland Way to Cockburnspath on the east coast. After that comes the John Muir Way (the same John Muir as in the John Muir Trail in America but this one is a pleasant stroll between Costa Coffee shops) which takes me through Edinburgh to Lennoxtown. Here I will head north along the popular West Highland Way and then the Great Glen Way, drifting in and out of souvenir shops, tartan, shortbread biscuits, whisky distilleries etc. until I reach Inverness. It should be a breeze.
After that, I will head north across uncharted territory, the so-called John O’Groats Trail, which clings to the cliff tops of the wild Caithness coastline, to find a ferry to Orkney. And that is a whole new world.