Molly and Daisy taking the strain on the South Downs Way in 2014

As I think it’s probably best not to venture too far from home this summer in the hope of giving that stealthy and villainous virus a wide berth, my wheels will be staying firmly put this side of any seas or oceans or watery channels.

Goose on full power heaving wagon up hill

Instead, sometime in early August, I’m swapping my bike wheels for four wheelbarrow ones as I fancy attempting to walk the 100-mile length of the South Downs Way with my three boisterous offspring: Molly (13), Daisy (10) and Jack (6). Molly’s school friend Lucy will also be coming with us. We will be pushing and pulling, hauling and heaving a Walking Wagon (a large glorified Dutch wheelbarrow) containing all the camping kit and clobber that we need to keep us going for a fortnight or more.

Stopping for a breather on top of Harting Down

I last did the walk with Molly and Daisy and 11-month-old Jack (he crawled a lot of the way) in 2014 accompanied by my Dutch friend Anoek, her young daughter Mila and Anoek’s ex-PE teacher friend Guust (Goose) who helped to push the wagons. This time I will be the only adult so it will be hard work as the Downs are very steep and the Walking Wagon is leg-quiveringly heavy. Oh, and my knees are a bit dickey.

Jack making a break for freedom

Daisy and Jack are raising money for their primary school to help buy sports and play equipment that the school needs. If anyone would like to sponsor them please go to:

Molly and Lucy are raising money for the NHS (National Health Service). If you would like to sponsor them please go to:

I will try and send an update on our progress (or lack of it) on my Facebook page ( we hit the ups of the Downs. I will only have solar power to charge my phone so if all goes quiet from me, I think you can safely presume it’s raining. Either that or there’s been a mutiny and my wagon-pushers have abandoned ship. Both options are high possibilities.

To give you a taster, here are some photos from the SDW mission we did back in 2014.

Walking back down the Down to pick up Wagon Number 2

Meeting some cyclists and rather wishing I had gone by bike instead.

Emergency nappy-changing

Glastonbury without the music and crowds – just sheep

Tent city

Wagon One half way up

After pushing a wagon up a hill I would retrace my steps to retrieve the pram. No wonder we got nowhere fast

Bits like this made the effort all worth while

Jack contemplating his next escape

We camped anywhere we could along the way: when small legs get tired you just have to stop

Mila and Daisy having an in-depth discussion about a handful of stones.

Molly in pensive mood near Ditchling Beacon

Gary joined us on Butser Hill for half a day’s push and pull

Jack’s first birthday in a field near Newhaven

Bearing down on the Seven Sisters!