Discovering bluebell woods with the Isle of Wight Walking Festival
Discovering bluebell woods with the Isle of Wight Walking Festival - an ideal spring walking route
Meet Daisy – the 20-year-old who walked 185 miles in eight and a half days.
Daisy Farrington’s #GetOutside pledge was to walk the 185 miles from her parents’ home in Oxford to her childhood home in Aberystwyth. The 20-year-old took the epic journey to raise funds for a course to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming an actor.
She completed the challenge in just eight and a half days and is now encouraging others to get outside following “the most amazing, life-changing week of her life”.
I’d always wanted to do something physical such as a walk, run or jog. I wanted to do something challenging and big where I would push myself and feel invincible afterwards. It ties in with the acting which I also believe is challenging, physical, and where you have to push your boundaries.
After many years of auditions, I have received an offer from the incredibly original and innovative Fourth Monkey Theatre Company. Unfortunately this particular course doesn’t qualify for a student loan. I need to raise the £6000 fees plus living and travel costs myself.
I’d already raised the first instalment of £2,000 (mainly by many hours of waiting tables). The walk has helped raised another £1,000. Thank you everyone.
I used to live in Wales where I walked a lot, but since leaving I haven’t done much walking at all. I missed it. Buying walking boots and leaving the city felt great.
My family live in Oxford and we used to live in Aberystwyth. I wanted the last part of the walk to be in the countryside rather than the city. And I chose to end up at the sea so I physically couldn’t walk any further forward!
I bought six Ordnance Survey paper maps which I kept with me every step of the way. I chose paper maps just in case my phone ran out of charge.
I also used the maps to work out where best to stop off for accommodation. I sometimes had to change my route for an available B&B or a camp site.
My family were by my side at certain legs of the journey but I was mostly alone. It was the most raw and real experience. They were the longest days and the toughest days.
The day before I finished, my sister walked with me. She has a way of making things a lot better. It was a Saturday, the sun was shining and we were in mid-Wales. I started to recognise places and names from my childhood. And I saw the sea for the first time!
The Wednesday. My muscles were hurting and my tendons decided to call it a day. I had no company, it was raining and I started to worry I wouldn’t hold up. I was tired and knew I had a few days ahead of me to go. I was frustrated at my body but I didn’t have a choice – I had to go on. I had to put one foot in front of the other as I couldn’t have lived with the hurt of giving up.
The endless fields, the endless footpaths…. The day I couldn’t find my way out of an apple orchard for an hour outside Hereford. The time I was chased by a huge black dog in Hurstly – and sprinting through fields of calves and cows. The wildlife I saw. At the end of every day I had a simple cup of tea which jerked a few tears.
Simple home comforts. I spent the first part of the journey thinking of things I was going to do when I got home. I missed make-up and dressing up but in a way it was nice to go back to basics.
The maps. I often had one in my hand the entire day. They were especially handy in the Forest of Dene and Cotswolds areas where there were lots of left and right turns. A compass was therefore very useful, as were blister plasters and fresh pairs of socks. My walking stick became my best friend!
I had forgotten how determined and strong I am, and how deep you can dig when you don’t have your home comforts. The messages of support I received were enormously helpful. It’s such a boost to know that someone has taken time out of their day to acknowledge what you’ve done.
Definitely do it, it’s life changing. It really pulled things into perspective. Things surfaced that really mattered and I forgot about things that didn’t really matter. Nothing bad will happen. Only good things can come out of an adventure like this.
I’m definitely hooked. I love the city but for the rest of my life I will have to take a week out a year to go climbing and walking.
Wanting to do the course so much inspired me to do this. And the fact that I fractured my wrist last year and I haven’t been as active as I’d have liked to be. I had to get outside.
Anyone who is thinking about doing a similar challenge or just wanting to push their boundaries.
It’s not about worrying what you look like, it’s what your body can do.
The hardest but the most amazing, life-changing week of my life so far. The sense of achievement is indescribable.