The year that was 2023 and the year that will be... 2024

2023 was an outstanding year! Here's to 2024...

The year that was 2023 and the year that will be... 2024
The start of the Berwickshire Coastal Path in Cockburnspath on the 2nd of October 2023 (One of the few selfies of us all at roughly the same height!)

We started 2023 feeling the endorphins of 2022 still surging. The completion of hiking the length of the UK and raising £20000 for the National Autistic Society was a remarkable achievement that we couldn't have completed without your amazing support! 

We will forever be grateful to you all!

One year later, here we are, on the eve of another year that has come and gone. The achievements and the emotional rollercoaster, however, are no less remarkable than 2022.

We started 2023 with no firm idea of what we would do to equal JOGLE, so we quickly set about coming up with a shortlist.

We shortlisted 3 possible options;

  1. Hike the length of Ireland (1200 miles) - longer than it looks on a map
  2. Hike the Camino de Santiago (500 miles through France and Spain)
  3. Hike all 29 of Scotland's Great Trails (1954 miles)

As you will know, Eve chose option 3 which was also the hardest. Eve however, chose it for two good reasons;

  1. physically closer to Sarah (mum)
  2. logistics easier (not as long in a car, for example)

When we were discussing the options before choosing one, we all picked different options! I chose the Camino, Sarah preferred the idea of Ireland and Eve, well... you know what she picked!

On a cold and blustery mid-January day, Eve and I packed our backpacks and headed off to Callander to set off along the Great Trossachs Path.

The plan... complete all 29 great trails by the end of this year (2023) aiming to raise £10K for Scottish Autism as we go...! SIMPLE!

But... there's always a but!

It was never going to be that simple!

After a few months, Eve had some emotional struggles. These weren't with being outdoors or hiking every day, but with missing Sarah and wanting (needing) more " time with mummy".

So, Sarah and I set about adjusting the timescale to complete all 29 trails to give Eve (and Sarah) more time together. The new plan was to allow for a longer period of time to complete the trails, not finishing until (hopefully) before winter 2024.

This plan however had some serious implications, the biggest of which would be financially!!!

We had budgeted for a year so funding the additional time it would have an impact on other plans. This was one of the main reasons we tried to offer a membership-style website to help offset some of these additional costs, but that's for another day!

One of our big worries was how it would affect our target to raise £10k for Scottish Autism. Writing this now, it feels a long way off having only reached 38% and over 1000 miles in, but we are still hopeful and (excuse the pun) will keep plodding away!

2023 held several highlights for us. The biggest of which was being filmed as we hiked The West Highland Way, for a documentary showcase for the BBC (and other major broadcasters) by Stirling Univesity.

By the end of 2023 Eve and I have hiked 20 of Scotland's Great Trails. These are, in order;

  1. The Great Trossachs Path (28 miles)
  2. Three Lochs Way (34 miles)
  3. Rob Roy Way (79 miles)
  4. Clyde Walkway (40 miles)
  5. Mull of Galloway Trail (37 miles)
  6. West Island Way (30 miles)
  7. Dava Way (24 miles)
  8. Cateran Trail (64 miles)
  9. West Highland Way (96 miles)
  10. Great Glen Way (78 miles)
  11. Formartine and Buchan Way (41 miles)
  12. Fife Coastal Path (116 miles)
  13. Moray Coastal Path (45 miles)
  14. Ayrshire Coastal Path (100 miles)
  15. Berwickshire Coastal Path (30 miles)
  16. River Ayr Way (41 miles)
  17. Loch Lomond and Cowal Way (57 miles)
  18. Annandale Way (56 miles)
  19. Cross Borders Drove Road (51 miles)
  20. Forth and Clyde and Union Canal Towpath (66 miles)

Total (minimum) distance: 1113 miles

In 2024, Eve and I will complete (in no particular order) the remaining Great Trails of Scotland, hopefully raising the final £6124 for Scottish Autism as we hike!

  1. The Southern Upland Way (214 miles)
  2. Arran Coastal Way (66 miles)
  3. Borders Abbeys Way (68 miles)
  4. Great Glen Canoe Trail (60 miles)
  5. John Muir Way (134 miles)
  6. Kintyre Way (100 miles)
  7. Romans and Reivers Route - 52 miles
  8. Speyside Way - 85 miles
  9. St Cuthbert’s Way - 62 miles

Total (minimum) distance: 841 miles

Some of these trails are some of the best... including the longest, the hardest, and even one we have to do in a canoe! It's going to be epic and we can't wait to take you along with us for the adventure!

As I write this Sarah is busy packing (so I am going to have to go and help her) for a little adventure, to see out 2023 and welcome in 2024.

Tomorrow evening we will be sat on a quiet and secluded beach, campfire burning with marshmallows toasting, listening to the waves lapping the shore! It's a bucket list mini adventure and we are all buzzing!

Last but most definitely not least, from Sarah, Eve and I from the bottom of our hearts...


I (we) genuinely hope that 2024 is everything you want it to be and more.

See you all next year.

Ian, Sarah and Eve