Heather, Emma and Rachael complete the Journey to the Edge challenge

Journey to the Edge of the World was a unique, challenging and amazing experience

(L-R Heather, Rachael, Emma)


“Raising a glass with friends at the start of 2022, I was glad to see the back of the previous year! Following an initial breast cancer diagnosis in 2019, I’d undergone further surgery, which resulted in time off work to convalesce.

Could there possibly be a better way to put a difficult year behind me, I thought, than to embark upon a challenge and to raise some funds for breast cancer. I was looking for a challenge which would test me both mentally and physically, but something which would be achievable, bearing in mind my reduced fitness levels. 

A few years previously, I’d seen a documentary called ‘Pilgrimage’ about a group of celebrities walking the Camino Trail in northern Spain and I remember thinking what a fantastic adventure it looked. So, when I came across ‘Journey to the Edge of the World’, organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, I felt that it was meant to be! The challenge involves walking 75 miles of the Camino in three days – the less travelled path from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre. After giving the matter some thought, I nervously signed up, initially thinking I’d be walking as part of a larger group.

However, after recounting my plans to two of my friends Rachael and Emma (both of whom are avid and experienced walkers) they were very taken with the idea as well. Before long they had signed up too!

Initially, the fundraising target of £750 seemed pretty daunting, as we were keen not to rely too heavily on the generosity of friends and family (who nevertheless went above and beyond with their support). With this in mind, we decided to hold a fundraising quiz night at our local Village Hall with the aim of raising £500. In order to make the quiz a real village event and to get as many people as possible to attend, we sold tickets and within the price, we included a homemade meal of chilli and rice. 

We actually held the quiz after our challenge. With the support of the Walk the Walk team (who kindly lent banners and other branding material), we decorated the hall with photos and memorabilia from the walk. With the added help of our husbands and children, as well as with the amazing support of local businesses who donated raffle prizes, we managed to far exceed our target by raising over £1,500!

The challenge itself seemed daunting too, walking 75 miles over three days (especially as I’d never walked the distances we’d need to walk in one day, let alone on three consecutive days). Whilst the training plan provided by the lovely and hugely supportive Walk the Walk Team helped prepare me for the walk, having to fit training around a busy career and family commitments did prove tricky at times. I got into the habit of walking most days (even if just for half an hour) and I supplemented my walking with regular visits to the gym. It all helped to increase my fitness levels. My long walks each weekend were a highlight – not only did I walk countless miles of the local Grand Union Canal (lovely scenery but a bit flat!), but I also enjoyed the scenery of the Malverns and Cotswolds, breaking in my new boots along the way.

The Galicia region is not a part of the world I’d visited before and each day presented a new experience. The scenery was stunning - miles of forests and coastline and beautiful villages, where each day we stopped for a well-earned lunch and experienced the best of Galician hospitality. The walk was relentless at times, but with an abundance of group camaraderie and the assistance of our brilliant local guide Alfonso, we managed to keep going. 

Sharing the Camino experience with my two friends made the experience even more special, but the camaraderie formed within the wider group was unlike anything I’ve experienced before, and made the miles seems less unforgiving. 75 miles and three days later, we finally arrived at the lighthouse at Finisterre, where we enjoyed a much needed glass of fizz, together with plates of tapas. Looking out at the sun setting across the ocean with my fellow walkers is a moment I’ll never forget and I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced the magic of the Camino.

This is a challenge I’d definitely recommend – whilst brutal at times, it was also one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.  If you’re thinking of signing up, my advice would be to go for it, but to follow the training programme as closely as time permits and to take both trail shoes and walking boots. I made the mistake of taking just one pair of walking shoes and there was little release from the blisters which inevitably appeared.

If you’re signing up as a single walker, don’t be daunted either. Each of us within the group shared a passion for walking and having fun. I’ve kept in touch with a number of my fellow walkers and am currently planning my next Walk the Walk adventure”.


“Journey to the Edge of the World was a unique, challenging and amazing experience. 

Nina from Walk the Walk and our local guide were wonderful and took care of all the transfers, accommodation and meals, which was a great stress-reliever and also meant we enjoyed some fabulous food! But we were there to walk rather than eat our way along the Camino and walk we did! I’m not going to lie, the three days were challenging. This was mainly due to getting blisters on the first day, despite taking all the recommended precautions, which meant days two and three were harder than they needed to be. But the training we’d done beforehand really paid off and fitness-wise, the distances were fine.

There were plenty of distractions to take my mind off my feet, from the spectacular scenery to the brilliant friends I was walking with – both those I arrived with and those who became friends along the way. And of course what ultimately kept all of us putting one step in front the of the other, no matter how difficult that became as the miles ticked by, was that we were raising money for such an amazing cause.” 


“All three of us were apprehensive ahead of our Journey to the Edge challenge, but we need not have been. The reality of this experience was more than I could have ever imagined. Over the 75 miles, we shared stories, encouraged each other, walked alone, walked in groups, ate together and shared intimate details of the condition of our feet!!!

We realised by the end of day one that we were lucky. We were among a group of wonderful people, we were walking a stunning route, with incredible support. To top it all off, by the end we could call ourselves Camino Pilgrims. The Camino Way is extraordinary – Heather, Emma and I each came away a little changed.

Go for it and sign up! In return you will experience the most incredible emotionally charged, physically challenging and rewarding event I have ever had the pleasure to take part in. Buen Camino!!”

Thank you for sharing your stories, Heather, Rachael and Emma. Sign up now for Journey to the Edge 2023


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