‘I love walking and I love pubs’ says Harpenden man who walked 300 miles from the Strathmore Arms to the Strathmore Arms

IanThurman at The Strathmore Arms in Herts

IanThurman at The Strathmore Arms in Herts - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden resident has completed his self-set challenge: to walk more than 300 miles between two pubs both called The Strathmore Arms.

Starting out in County Durham on September 8, Ian Thurman walked up to 25 miles a day to reach the pub of the same name in Hertfordshire. So far he has raised more than £1,500 for Rennie Grove, with money still coming in.

Ian said: “People have been so generous with their support – and the kindness of strangers is truly humbling. Going at walking pace, you meet so many people and have chance to chat.

“Several people I had never met before gave me a donation when they heard what I was doing. The owners of many B&Bs and pubs where I was staying gave me back some of the money I had given them to pay for my stay!”

Ian finished his walk on September 27 and says he is still pretty tired: “Once the adrenalin goes you feel exhausted,” he admitted.

Although Ian had to tape up his knee because “it felt as though knitting needles were digging into it coming down the Pennine Way”, he enjoyed the challenge because it was so personal.

“I love walking and I love pubs! So for me it was the perfect combination. I’m no super-fit athlete and at 59 I managed to do it. My advice to anyone wanting to take on a personal challenge would be to pick what suits you. Do your own thing, your own way.”

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Ian found that it also helped to have all the logistics planned in advance and all his accommodation booked from the outset. “On the one hand I could relax a bit and enjoy the walk without worrying where I was staying that night, but an additional benefit was that I was committed each day to a set distance and it kept me on track.”

Ian’s final piece of advice for anyone wanting to take on a personal challenge is to do it in aid of a local charity. “I had loads of support from Rennie Grove and it really helped me stay motivated. I knew that my difficult days were nothing compared to what the people helped by the charity are going through.”

When the going got tough, Ian had plenty of support and encouragement from friends along the way. “Of the 20-odd days en route, I only spent one evening alone and five days walking by myself,” he said.

“Friends joined me for different parts of the walk – one day I had 10 friends walking a stretch of the route with me. Despite that great turn-out, it does seem that I have more friends who like eating and drinking than walking!”

Now Ian is taking a well-earned rest, although people do keep drawing his attention to a Strathmore Arms in Scotland!