This boy was made for walking

In order to raise cash for charity, this fundraiser walked further than the distance from London to Beijing - without even leaving Britain

Nathaniel Severs
Nathaniel Severs
There was snow on the ground when 24-year-old Nathaniel Severs set off from a beach in Portsmouth on 10 January, with the hope of raising cash for three UK charities.

But this was no ordinary charity walk. Severs was embarking on a near 7,000-mile hike around the coast of mainland Britain, with a few islands thrown in for good measure, and has only just got back.

This distance, which is further than walking from London to Beijing, incorporated the coast of England, Wales and Scotland, and Severs decided to include all islands connected to the mainland by bridges – which meant that Anglesey and Skye were also on the agenda.

He vowed to stay true to the coastline, where possible, and camped every night, except when put up by kind hostel owners.

Severs arrived back in Portsmouth this month, ahead of schedule, after a clockwise walk that lasted 285 days and raised nearly £6,000 for the Stroke Association, the Mammal Society and Southampton General's Paediatric Physiotherapy department.

"At times, the state of the coast path made it very difficult because I couldn't trespass on certain bits of industrial or private land," he said. "But it was the trip of a lifetime, despite the pain."

Severs told Third Sector his lowest point came on Skye, when it rained every day for three weeks and he was forced to camp out in 60mph winds. "There's not much shelter sometimes by the coast, so you're completely exposed," he said. "And at times I lost the signal on my phone, once for more than three days, which worried my mum a fair bit."

Severs raised awareness for the walk primarily through digital media. He wrote a blog on his phone – or transcribed it to his brother – every three days, and posted on Twitter daily. His Nomad's Land website has now attracted nearly 50,000 visits.

"At the end of the day, it was a brilliant personal experience," he said. "I was able to see eagles in the wild, I rescued a horse in Wales that had fallen into a ditch and I paddled across the River Dart on a surfboard. And I was able to raise vital cash for three charities close to my heart."


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