Last week Christine and I walked the Hadrian’s Wall Path.  Reviewing my journal, I’d learned a few lessons.

Many can be linked to business, relationships, love and many other areas of life.  Here’s my top 10.

1) Signs lie.  At the start (in Wallsend) the sign says ‘Bowness on Solway 85 miles’.  It’s closer to 100.

It’s like when someone asks you, ‘Have you got a minute?’ They really want 10. 

2) There is such a thing as the wrong weather.  The famous (Billy Connolly?) quote, ‘There’s no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes’, was clearly written by someone who wasn’t walking Hadrian’s Wall in the wettest start to October.

Just because it’s a famous quote doesn’t mean it’s true.  

3) We talked to everyone.  This slowed us down but we met some amazing people, all with a story, all walking, all sharing.

A stranger can only be a stranger for a minute.  

4) We were inspired to walk the wall by a friend’s son who ran the whole thing in 22 hours (!) a couple of months ago.  We took six days. Others were taking ten and even two weeks.  We became a wee bit jealous of the lady who was taking two weeks.

It’s not a race. 

5) When walking up to 20 miles in a day, you can eat what you like… not! I had this mindset and actually put on a kilo.

I don’t regret a single cooked breakfast, pint or pudding. 

6) Hadrian’s Wall has stood for almost 1,900 years. The main reason big chunks are missing isn’t because of poor building, it’s because we nicked the stone to build roads and houses.

You can’t change the past, but you can embrace it. One local Cumbrian said to us, ‘Look around, the Wall is everywhere!’ 

7) This icon started with great foundations.

Doesn’t everything? 

8) We walked in the pitch dark, with a severely sprained ankle, soaked to the skin, with knee-high floods and eight-inch-deep mud.  I don’t want to go all David Goggins on you, but it’s amazing what you can achieve when you just keep going.

You can do more than you think.

9) We only live a few miles from Hadrian’s Wall but we had never visited the whole thing.  We’ve travel the world looking for beautiful places.

We discovered one of the best is on our doorstep. 

10) You take six times as many photographs on the one sunny day as you do on all the others.

I never want to be a photo bore, so I haven’t posted any with this newsletter.  But if you would like to see some pics, you can view some here.

10.5) Never underestimate an epsom salts bath. 

Be Brilliant!


PS We’re looking for our next walking challenge.  Where should we go for our next adventure? Please leave your comments, thoughts and ideas below.


  1. October 10th 2019 by Jack

    Walk The Byker Wall … with £10 notes pinned to your jackets.

  2. October 10th 2019 by Roy Clark

    What about walking the length of the river Tyne? Or the Thames?

    And well done on walking the wall – I’ve done a few miles of it myself and it’s an incredible place!

  3. October 10th 2019 by Rob Pickering

    Brilliant. Of course.

    Isn’t it interesting how, by talking about something, you can inspire others to follow – even when you’re not trying? I want to walk Hadrian’s wall now. But probably not quite enough to actually do it:-)

    Thanks for the interesting diversion during lunch hour.

  4. October 10th 2019 by Veronica

    Apparently the Cornish coastal walk is stunning.

  5. October 10th 2019 by Paul Taylor

    Another thought provoking article with the learning adapted to life and business
    This year my wife and I walked the St Cuthbert’s Way -it’s a pilgrimage route lots of learning on this one and being together with other some strangers at the start and the Abbey Way in Scotland
    Both are Brilliant

  6. October 10th 2019 by Philorden

    There is an ancient Roman pathway that circumvents the Baleric island of Menorca, most of it is off-road and has wonderful sea views. It is trully stunning although you probably want to avoid peak summer!

  7. October 10th 2019 by Koulla

    Walk the Camino! Amazing! Even if you did the last 100 km Sarria to Santiago De Compostela – collect your stamps every day, eat cheap gorgeous home made food and get your certificate at the end and your name in Latin.. what more do you need from a walk! 🙂 Buen Camino.

  8. October 10th 2019 by Alan Rafferty

    Try Offa’s Dyke. The problem with what you were eating was it was high carbs. To lose weight you need lower carbs and walking so your body burns fat. Having said that I wouldn’t regret those pints, puddings or breakfasts either. A real problem if I am training for a Marathon or Half Marathon.

  9. October 10th 2019 by Clifton Witt

    Well done Michael you just might have inspired me to did the same like the photos

  10. October 10th 2019 by Louise

    Loved this newsletter. Loved the photos. Brightened up my Thursday pm. I have walked sections of the SW coast path in Cornwall-might be one to join up at a later date.
    If you’re looking to shift a few puddings, try your local parkrun on Saturday morning; you don’t have to run it and you’ll meet more lovely people xx

  11. October 10th 2019 by Gillian

    Thank you for sharing your photos. I wasn’t able to walk the Wall this year and seeing your photos has made such a difference. It really is the most beautiful area and the people are great too.

  12. October 10th 2019 by Amanda

    The Cleveland Way, the views are stunning!

  13. October 10th 2019 by Chris Marley

    What about St Oswald’s Way, Holy Island to Heavenfield? Not for the faint hearted.

  14. October 10th 2019 by John Gillan

    Great photos and I now want ham, egg and chips for tea! Always enjoy your e-mails!

  15. October 10th 2019 by Andreas Nest

    Many thanks for the inspiration Michael, this walk is now on my bucket list 🙂

  16. October 10th 2019 by Malcolm Bullough

    Stunning! Especially when you are tucked up warm in bed. You spoke at a Kleeneze conference I attended and I enjoy your musings keep sending the emails.

  17. October 11th 2019 by Dominic Curran

    Very well done! Like you, it is really on my doorstep and when my brother and I completed it in the summer we too met some amazing people from all over the world, very few locals! Our next challenge is going to be the West Highland Way which goes through the spectacular Glen Coe. Give it a go!

  18. October 11th 2019 by Jill Ellicott

    We did Hadrians Wall in 2005! We walked some of the coastal path in Wales at Easter – New Quay to Llangrannog was beautiful.

  19. October 11th 2019 by Frances

    Beautiful picture and a great message. The west highland way is amazing and one you should try 😉🥾🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  20. October 12th 2019 by Cathy Coutts

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

  21. October 13th 2019 by Steve Bell

    Keeping it local I’d suggest St Cuthbert’s Way next. Starts in Scotland and crosses the Cheviots into Northumberland. Ends with the fantastic walk across the mud flats to Lindisfarne. Once you’re there reward yourselves with a lobster for lunch!

  22. October 13th 2019 by Beth Brook

    Come and visit us in the Heart of England Forest, the country’s largest new native broadleaf forest and see what can be achieved by people in the fight against climate change. You can walk the Heart of England Way which runs through a lot of the new Forest. Give me a shout and i can give you a part guided tour and some coffee to keep you going!

  23. October 14th 2019 by Will

    wThank you for sharing. So good for the soul and even better that you were able to do it together. How sad that those warring folks all that time ago, didn’t just sit down together to enjoy and admire the view. Plus they could have solved their own housing crisis instead.

  24. October 15th 2019 by kevin green

    When I was 16, I innocently and strugglewise, walked/crawled the pennine way with a couple of school friends before we went on to college. It was like a sorbet after the intense ‘o’ level taking.

    Later on in my thirties I walked the south downs way (close to where I live). And then the coast to coast (awesome initial trek through lake district) and finally the Chilterns way… all of the above separately over five or so years.

    What I’ve learnt is that going at a walking pace really helps clear and then focus the mind: onto the small vital details and elemental surroundings.

    And also I experience noticing on the very first few hours that my life is chaos and that wow! I’m gaining remarkable insight into what I should do upon my return to the ahem ‘real’ world. Then again, the next day I plan out more of this new freedom.
    However, by day three, I’m reflecting that day twos’ thinking was rubbish..and so it goes…
    A peace descends, arises, evolves that just cannot at home.
    The mind is broadened, hope is revived and plans are described or dismissed.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  25. October 17th 2019 by Toni Sheppard

    Well done to you both. Brilliant that it’s inspired you to do more! The coastal path around the Isle of Wight is invigorating, beautiful and around 72 miles long. It encompasses incredible coastline and impressive and many loved sites like The Needles. Let me know if you’d like a tour!

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