Intrepid Chris Townsend Reaches Duncansby Head

It must have been with a great sense of anticipation that a lone figure made his way northwards along the cliff-top to Duncansby Head on the evening of Monday 22nd July. He had set off from Peel Fell on the English border on 29th May, and with only a few breaks for re-stocking food and supplies, had walked for 56 days, covering over 1,160km, and experienced both the landform and landscapes of Scotland in an entirely new way. Many thoughts crowded-in for him as he covered that final moorland terrain, with the bog-cotton heads nodding in the breeze, as if to salute his achievement. The storms he had encountered along the way were a vivid reminder of the power and unpredictability of the weather. His companions throughout had been the vast array of wildlife that he had enjoyed in almost every location along the way. He had so appreciated re-visiting a succession of mountains and hills that he knew well, and the rewarding novelty of discovering parts of Scotland which he had never visited before.

With these, and so many more memories to savour, he made that final few paces towards the trig-point and lighthouse atop Duncansby Head, with the North Sea lapping at the base of the cliffs on one side, and the Atlantic swell washing through the Pentland Firth on the other. The end of a long journey, on a dramatic headland, and the chance to stop walking in order to take-in the sense of place, occasion and accomplishment.

Ribbon of Wildness congratulates Chris, and looks forward to hearing and reading more of this immensely rewarding experience with Nature.