Mark Walks LEJOG Day 25 – Norbury Junction to Market Drayton

Hullo. How are you? I hope you are having a good day. I’m Mark and I’m walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats…

Today was a day of two milestones; a new county and my first Everest – which is to say, my total ascent (29,440 feet) has now exceeded the height of the world’s tallest mountain by around 400 feet, which feels rather good.

I rejoined the Shropshire Union Canal in persistent rain this morning, which kept me nice and cool for the start of the walk. The rain eased after a few miles, leaving a slippy towpath to navigate for the rest of the day.

The 13 miles from Norbury to Drayton is straightforward and easy going – even Stan the dog seemed to take it in his stride.

It was another day of marvelling at the engineering ingenuity of Thomas Telford and his navvies. From impressive bridges and extraordinary cuttings to the achievement of the clever lock systems capable of raising heavy boats up steep hills and the aqueducts that carry the canal high above roads and valleys, I am continuously impressed by the attitude of our forebears.

It is no wonder so many people choose to eschew bricks and mortar living in favour of a life on the canals. The peace and the neighbourliness of those who do is amazing. And, in addition, the scenery is continuously varying whilst being invariably beautiful.

For days 23, 24 and today, I have walked with family and loved ones, which has meant being able to leave my heavy backpack in a car and have it delivered to me later. Combined with the relatively flat terrain, this has made it feel as though I have had three rest days. It has also been a delightful change to be with company whilst experiencing the countryside.

At Goldstone, we passed a slightly unnerving sign, informing us the path was closed due to a landslide. The trouble is, to me that just sounds like an invitation to an adventure. So we pushed on with a sense of play.

The sign was not wrong. There was indeed a landslide. In fact, there were many landslides, blocking both the towpath and the waterway. This resulted in a few seat-of-the-pants climbs up and down the cut.

It also resulted in finding myself ankle deep in sticky red clay on several occasions, which remained with me the remainder of the day and caused a look of slight alarm when I arrived at the B&B for the night.

Having made it through the cut and its numerous obstacles, it was then a really pleasant walk through the lock system at Tyrley Locks, which is a series of locks lifting narrowboats up and down the hill to Market Drayton, where the canal continues along the Berrisford Aqueduct, but where we dropped down some steep stone steps to the town centre.

Crossing over the river Tern, I passed from Staffordshire into the beautiful county of Shropshire, marking another county on my LEJOG tally.

Arriving into Market Drayton meant saying farewell to loved ones as I return to solo trekking tomorrow for the rest of the journey. Having them with me made recent days even more special.

I then headed for my accommodation for the night and started my regular hunt for somewhere good to eat.


The Day 25 Vlog


Fundraising for MacMillan Cancer Support

As I walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, I am hoping to raise £10,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support, who do such a wonderful job of supporting families through the most difficult times. If you are able to spare any amount and would like to donate to MacMillan, please do so through my Just Giving Page.


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4 responses to “Mark Walks LEJOG Day 25 – Norbury Junction to Market Drayton”

  1. John Sanderson avatar
    John Sanderson

    I can tell from the smiles that you enjoyed walking in company for a few days.

    1. Mark avatar

      It was extra special

  2. Ian Mc avatar
    Ian Mc

    Mark, I’ve been following your travels with interest and enjoy the Daily posts and youtube posts! I’m cycling the same route in April and walking back next year! I should catch you up next Month on or about your Day 60-64! I will make a donation. Many thanks. Ian Mc

    1. Mark avatar

      Thank you. Best of luck with your cycling. Wave as you pass me by 😆

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