In 2018, during the hottest English summer on record, I walked a line cut at 45 degrees through the very middle of England, as defined by the Ordnance Survey; using only footpaths, bridleways, towpaths, byways and minor roads. The walk began in April amongst the gorgeous sand dunes of Formby in Lancashire, and finished on August 31st at Littlestone, near New Romney, on the pebbly Kent coast. My own version of the coast to coast walk involved just over 930,000 steps, a total of around 410 miles (including some wandering about), and was completed over five stages. Broadly speaking, the route looked like this:
Stage 1 (April) got me from Formby in Lancs to Alsager in Staffs, via Liverpool, Widenes, Runcorn, Northwich and Middlewich
Stage 2 (May) got me from Alsager to Alrewas, still in Staffs, via Stoke on Trent and Abbots Bromley
Stage 3 (June) got me from Alrewas in Staffs to Newport Pagnell, just north of Milton Keynes, via Atherstone and Northampton.
Stage 4 (July) got me from Newport Pagnell to Dagenham in East London, far out on the District Line.
Stage 5 (August) got me from Dagenham to my end point at Littlestone, outside New Romney in Kent.
The map below was used to track my progress, with the added benefit of providing some picture snapshots and captions. Feel free to navigate it by moving it round and zooming in. You'll find a series of map points each with a bit of information. Taken together, these map points describe the diagonal line. For more details, subscribe to the podcasts (with chats from those who 'walk with me') or the YouTube channel, or check back for regular blog updates. Better still, install an RSS feed.
By the way, if you're wondering why there's so much activity around the High Wycombe area, off the diagonal route, this is because this is where I was when most of the blogs were written (it's a software thing)!