Chris Howard is walking 11,000 miles around the coast of the UK for BBC Children in Need.

One man's 11,000-mile charity trek around the UK coastline heading to Lincolnshire

Days are long, lonely and hard for a coastal walker facing a marathon challenge every day with a 25 kilo rucksack on his back.

By Chrissie Redford
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 4:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th February 2022, 1:54 pm

Four hundred and 18 days into his trek around the UK to raise money for the BBC Children in Need appeal, Chris Howard can almost smell the bracing Mablethorpe air - and he says he can't wait to explore the shores of a county he has never before visited.

It was on July 29, 2020 that Chris, a 36-year-old builder from Cambridge, began the 11,000 trek from Heacham South Beach in Norfolk - and he has kept going throughout the pandemic by walking a marathon a day to inspire others.

So far having raised nearly £33,000, the journey has not been easy and Chris says he endured hypothermia, the grueling pain of immersion foot and a good few cuts and bruises along the way.

However, the thought of beginning the final stretch of his challenge is driving him on.

"I always knew the challenge would be hard physically and mentally and it was the endurance side that attracted me most," said Chris.

"It can be lonely and I haven't seen my family since Christmas but the kindness of strangers along the way has been overwhelming.

"As well as bringing me food and drinks, on occasion I have been offered accommodation.

"But I have my tent and sleeping bag in my backpack and I've even slept in a lighthouse, a boat and a telephone box."

No stranger to adventure having explored Southeast Asia, India, Russia and much of Europe, he says walking around the UK is new territory for him

We spoke to him just a few miles away from Grimsby with the Lincolnshire coast on the horizon and Mablethorpe around four days away.

A bearded Chris said: "I'm really looking forward to exploring the Lincolnshire coast heading to Skegness, which I have never visited before.

"The coast around the UK is so different and diverse, which I love.

"Wales is beautiful and so is Scotland, but the going was particularly hard there as it was winter.

"As I approach Grimsby, it looks more industrial and I can't wait to see what Lincolnshire looks like."

The trek, which will go inland to Boston for when Chris crosses the River Witham, has not been made easier by gaps in the much-publicised Coastal Path.

"It was amazing in Wales and made such a difference but in other parts that was not the case, especially along the Yorkshire coast where in many parts it had eroded away," commented Chris.

A father of three daughters, Chris says it is his ultimate goal to raise as much money as he can for Children in Need that will spur him on the final stretch of his journey.

"I chose Children in Need having visited some really deprived areas on the UK and seeing how lucky my own children are," he explained.

"Children in Need seems to be the only charity really doing things to make a difference."

It will be two years when Chris finally returns to his home in Cambridge. "It has been a huge sacrifice being away from my family over the past two years," he said. "I am hoping I have building work to go back to when I get home but at the moment I am focusing on raising as much money as I can for BBC Children In Need."

You can make a donation to The Coast Walker by visiting https://thecoastwalker.com/ which links through to the Chris is Walking the coastline of Britain JustGiving page.

Page 1 of 2