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Derek Adams, 81, feels ‘superb’ as he walks UK coastline for charity



Derek Adams, 81, feels ‘superb’ as he walks UK coastline for charity

By Kris HollandBBC News, Northamptonshire

Derek Adams Derek in his high vis vestDerek Adams

Derek is visiting every lifeboat station as part of his trek around the UK coast

An octogenarian said he felt “on top of the world” as he resumed his walk of the entire UK coastline for charity.

Derek Adams, 81, who is from Northampton but lives in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is aiming to complete the 4,500 mile (7,242km) trek before he reaches 85.

He has already walked about 2,400 miles and is visiting every lifeboat station.

Mr Adams has raised more than £5,600 in support of The RNLI, Cancer Research UK, and the British Heart Foundation.

Derek Adams Derek at Tees Transporter bridgeDerek Adams

Derek, pictured in Teeside, says meeting people as he travels is the best part of the journey

“I do have a wanderlust, but it’s meeting people that’s important,” he said.

“Maps are fine – and I love maps – but the best thing is asking local people.”

Starting in June 2022, Mr Adams has already trekked up the east coast of England and Scotland, as well around the south and west of England.

His said his walk around Wales earlier this year had been the highlight so far.

“It would be hard to beat the Wales coast path,” he said. “The Welsh people are absolutely fantastic, very hospitable.”

Derek Adams Derek with a musicianDerek Adams

Mr Adams says the Welsh coast has been his favourite part of the trek so far

‘No more sleeping out’

Heading off an adventure is nothing new to Mr Adams, who said he has visited “most parts of the world” through his career in youth and community work.

“I’ve had great opportunities. I also did walks for charity such as the Inca trail in Peru and the Great Wall of China,” he said.

One big change this time, he said, will be not “sleeping out”.

“This trip is very different,” he added. “Until I was almost 80, I slept out. I have a gortex bag, and when I’m tired, I crawl into it and go to sleep.

“Most people would start looking for a hotel at four o’clock in the afternoon, but I can walk until ten at night and then snuggle in my bag until five when it gets light.

“But now because I’m so old my family have said to me, ‘Please – do not sleep out’. I must say the police have advised me against it.”

He said that hotel firm Travelodge was offering him discounted accommodation, which felt “like a five-star hotel after 70 years of sleeping out”.

Derek Adams Derek Adams at Durdle DoorDerek Adams

Mr Adams pictured at Durdle Door in Dorset during his walk of the south coast path

The next part of his journey will cover Merseyside – before he heads up to Blackpool and onto Scotland.

A man who heard about his exploits on the radio also offered to drive him to Liverpool.

Mr Adams said he felt “superb” and “on top of the world” ahead of his latest stint, and thanked his “smashing family” and “wonderful wife” for their support.

When asked how he found the navigation, he joked: “As long as I keep the sea on my left, I know I’m going in the right direction.”

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