Woman Attempting 4-Year, 20,000-Mile Walk Around Britain

A British woman has set off on what promises to be quite an adventure as she attempts to trek the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland nonstop. The journey is expected to take four years to complete and will cover approximately 20,000 miles (32,000 km).

Karen Penny set out on her long-distance trek exactly one month ago today and has now passed the 500 mile (804 km) mark. Her goal from the start has been to walk roughly 15 miles (24 km) each and every day, which would put her on track to complete her hike sometime in 2023. The trip is being done mostly unsupported, although her husband Mark will meet her every six weeks or so with the couple’s camper van, giving her a comfortable place to rest, restocking her supplies, and providing a bit of moral support from home.

While out on the trail, Karen is carrying a 37 pound (16 kg) backpack with all of the supplies and gear she needs to be self sufficient while trekking. That includes a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, clothing, food and water. To prepare for her undertaking, the 53-year old retiree walked from John O’Groats in northern Britain to Land’s End in the south last year, covering some 1100 miles (1770 km) in the process. After that, she was hooked and decided she wanted to take on a bigger challenge.

But this latest walk isn’t just for Karen’s own enjoyment. In fact, she has bigger goals in mind. She hopes to raise funds for Alzheimers Research UK. Her goal is to raise £100,000 ($128,000) on her Just Giving Page, and she’s already off to a great start. Just a month into her hike and she’s nearly a quarter of the way towards her goal. Raising that kind of cash may be even more impressive than completing this walk.

You can follow Karen’s progress on her Facebook page, which offers regular updates on her status. Considering she has the better part of four years yet to go, there should be plenty of interesting stories to read along the way.

Kraig Becker