Thanks for taking an interest in my attempt at the Macmillan Way. I start below, providing a little background into my attempt, undertaken during Easter 2003, and then continue with a day-to-day account. However, if you want to skip sections and go directly to locations that are of interest to you, you can do so by clicking on the itinerary link, HERE.

Hello! And welcome to the informal, irreverent part. My name is Jonathan Greatorex and I’m a teacher here in Stamford, Lincolnshire. I’ve lived in this neck of the woods for over ten years, having moved from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. So, although born and bred in Manchester, I’ve been a rural recluse for some time now. And that’s how I like it.

My odd surname originated in the Midlands and has been corrupted over the centuries from the original, ‘Great rakes’. A ‘rake’ is an old English word for ‘footpath’; so it follows that my ancestors trundled across the higher Pennine paths as walkers of the great rakes. You see, walking is in my genes even when I’m not in them!

I lost both of my parents to insidious cancer diseases, in the early 1990s. The Macmillan nurses at Didsbury’s Christie, and the Wythenshawe hospitals in Manchester treated them. The palliative care they received at the hands of the carers was outstanding and I had always wanted to repay this kindness in a practical manner. It was when I was out strolling near to my home in September 2002, that I first came across the way mark familiar to Macmillan Way travellers. I was intrigued and started to surf for more information…

That’s when Peter Titchmarsh’s name and project first floated into view. You can read a more detailed account of the MW’s inauguration in the History link, but suffice to say, I was hooked there and then.
I won’t bore you with the intricacies of planning, or the methods of obtaining sponsorship, at this juncture; all that you need to know was that I had my eyes fixed on through-walking the path during my Easter break, this year. (2003)

Because I’d elected to leave in early April, I had concerns regarding the weather. As it transpired, these anxieties were unfounded, but the English climate, particularly in early spring, is never predictable. The thought of carrying extra weight in the form of tent, bag & cooking utensils, worried me, specifically when I knew that I was having to average 25 miles a day over the best part of 2 weeks. Although the more expensive alternative, I decided to opt for the ‘bed ‘n breakfast’ approach.

The morning of April 7th was indeed glorious, with a deep blue dawn sky bereft of cloud. This is the view of St Botolph’s Church that you get when approaching it from the west of the town of Boston. I was told later that the true walker actually starts the journey from the top of the tower and descends the 365 steps of what is affectionately called ‘Boston Stump’ as a precursor. I was told this after walking over 150 miles