The Great Big Walk, an Eden Project idea made possible by the National Lottery, saw 14 walkers cover over 1400 miles on foot between 29 May and 18 June. Why? To shine a light on ordinary folk going the extra mile to bring people in their community together, and walk up an appetite for The Big Lunch on 18 June.
The Great Big Walk teams left Batley in Yorkshire, and in five different routes made their way to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall and London – covering between 10 and 26 miles per day!
‘I had such an amazing time on the walk, it was one of the best experiences of my life and I was so privileged and honoured to be able to take part’
- Josh Quigley, Walker – Scotland Route
‘It's very hard to say who is my favourite [community project to visit] because all these people are doing great work for their community to bring them together. It was a great pleasure to meet with them’ – Mohammad Zaman, Walker - London Route
The Great Big Walk was an emotional experience for everyone involved. Over 150 community groups were visited along the way – from wheelchair dancers, to a ‘memory café’ for the elderly, to Men’s Sheds, to groups feeding the homeless and many more. One certainty from the experience is that small steps do make a big difference. There are so many ordinary folk all over the UK making the effort to effect positive change where they live, helping people and the environment around them. No act is too small.
The walkers and support crews had a helping hand from Bupa who ensured they were fighting fit, Renault who whizzed their bags from A to B, YHA who ensured a well-earned night’s sleep in a comfy bed, and Fitbit who kindly supplied walkers with their own device to help track steps and miles. The whole initiative wouldn’t be possible without the National Lottery who funded the majority of the walk and connected walking teams with some of the amazing community groups that do good, thanks to funding from National Lottery players. The Pears Foundation and The Prince’s Foundation also supported The Great Big Walk so a big thank you to all our funders and supporters who made it possible.
You can catch daily highlight albums to get an overview of the laughs, lovely moments and life lessons; see a map of the five routes; check out profiles for all the amazing walkers; find out more about our partners and read about the initiative over at thegreatbigwalk.com.