I’ve been walking the hills and mountains of the UK all my life. I’m 56, single with 2 children aged 21 and 25. I brought them up on my own from 1 and 3 years old, so they have been on many of the hikes with me.

My philosophy is simple: low weight, low cost, low stress – and getting in as many walks as I can before I’m dead.

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Me after 2 months wild camping on my Dover to Cape Wrath walk and now on The Skye Trail

I set up this website Wild Walking UK to help and encourage others to enjoy the adventure and freedom of long-distance walking and wild camping in the UK.

Dad and me in the 1970’s – the beginnings of my love of walking…
Walking the Pennine Way with my children in 2012

…continuing the tradition with my children

My life – Up until recently… 

I left school with few qualifications but found a job wood-turning. Going self employed when I was 20 and continuing my business for nearly 30yrs. (they’re my turnings on Prince Charles’ Oak Pavilion at Highgrove House) But family circumstances meant I had to close down my turning business. I then spent a few years doing whatever work I could get, while all the time renovating my own house.

Sadly I’m not always in the hills! This was a more usual day… renovating my house

In 2022 I sold my house and car and moved onto my Striding Edge narrow boat, to live a low impact more minimalist lifestyle. Living on a boat certainly makes you think about conserving resources and limiting waste.

Striding Edge Narrow Boat

Long-distance walking

Wild camping in Scotland

I love the freedom and challenge of the hills with nothing booked. Preferring to camp wild, as this means I can change my walk to suit the weather, family demands, my mood, or even the quality of the pubs! (I know I said low cost, but I see it as my contribution to the local economy…) You can read my 11 wild camping rules.

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Contributing to the local economy in the pub

For many years I carried too much weight – often 20kgs (44lbs) or more, due to old gear and lack of knowledge. As I got older I was just doing day walks because I didn’t enjoy carrying heavy loads. Then a few years ago when I sold a property and down sized, I had the money to change all my walking kit. So I learned as much as I could about the latest and lightest gear available, and hunted down the best deals. Which lead me to purchase a waterproof tough phone with GPS and mapping and replace all my hiking gear.

This has given me a new lease of life in the hills. Since lightening my pack weight and improving my navigation safety, I have taken on long distance hikes that I would have never considered before: the Cape Wrath Trail, the TGO Challenge and in 2019 I walked (and wild camped) 1200 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats via Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. Then in 2020 probably my best hiking year to date, 1100 miles from Dover to Cape Wrath and The Skye Trail.

Finishing my 1200 mile Lands End to John O’Groats and 3-peaks walk, having wild camped most nights

I now class myself as a lightweight hiker rather than ultralight. My winter base weight is around 10kgs (22lbs) and in summer around 7 or 8kgs (17lbs). I haven’t always gone for the lightest weight items. I’m more interested in safety and comfort in the hills, rather than ultimate weight saving.

This blog is designed to share the highs and lows of my adventures. I hope it will inspire people to enjoy what our beautiful country has to offer, without it costing the earth. And maybe try something that they didn’t think they could do. It’s also to give a little back and hopefully help others, as I’ve been helped over the years.

Gear Reviews

I write reviews of all the gear used on my walks. Most of the gear has been purchased by myself, but I have been given a few products to test and review. A big Thankyou to EDZ merino wool clothing, Inov-8 and AtomPacks.

1100 mile Dover to Cape Wrath walk wild camping gear

The reviews on my blog are just my opinion and how I feel about the products, companies and walks. When I find something I like or a company that is especially good (particularly if it’s a British company), I like to tell others to help them.

Walking with children

My children often hike with me and I’ve found that the same walk with my family can be a completely different experience. My children find fun in things I had barely noticed – hide and seek in the heather, playing in a mountain stream or the thrill of walking in the dark. As a family, we’ve completed Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, the Pennine Way, the Cumbria Way, the Weavers’ Way the Boudicca Way, Southern Upland Way and the Cape Wrath Trail.

Children crossing a stream up in the hills
The fun of stepping stones over a river – even in the rain!

The children walked a lot further than I expected them to, even from a very early age. They especially loved it if there is a hill to roll down or a river to dam up. The children look forward to the next pub just as much as me – obviously not for the pint that I’m after, but the bag of crisps, fizzy drink and game of cards. They loved the 24/7 attention and even now they are older often still join me in the hills. Recently I had a great time walking the Cape Wrath Trail with my 23 year old son and this year we completed the Southern Upland Way.

Wild camped by Lochan Fada on the Scottish National Trail part of my 1100 mile Dover to Cape Wrath walk, wild camping every night.

2022 onwards

In 2021 I purchased the Striding Edge narrow boat for holidays. I enjoyed touring the canals so much that in 2022 I sold my house and car to live on the boat. I’ve loved it and had an amazing 2022 summer touring the River Great Ouse and River Nene area. Then spending the winter on the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals, enjoying walks into the Derbyshire hills directly from the boat. Check my wildwalkinguk Instagram for more info.

My Striding Edge narrow boat and my children on the Llangollen canal Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

April 2023 Update; Sold the boat and spent the summer hiking around Scotland and with my kids. I’m now looking for another property to renovate, in between hikes. The boat was great fun but the winter was pretty boring, stuck in such a small space. Last year also cost me as much as living in a house. But no regrets at all.

2024 Update; I’ve really missed living on my boat and life on the canals, so have purchased Bumble B narrow boat. I’ve been fitting solar panels and modifying the boat to my liking. So I’m now back touring the UKs canals and living on a boat again.

Thankyou for your interest and support

Thank you very much to all the people who have supported me by buying me a coffee and coming back to use my product links. It is very much appreciated and makes it possible for me to continue paying the website costs.

Please message me with your opinions on the blog and my gear reviews so I can improve and add to the site to make it as helpful to others as I can. Thank you for reading and happy trails.

Walk from the Macclesfield Canal – Bollington, Cheshire

Further Reading

My favourite piece of gear for convenience and safety

My Ulefone Amor tough phone review

Striding Edge Narrow Boat

1100 mile Dover to Cape Wrath walk

Dover to Cape Wrath Gear Review

1200 mile Lands End to John O’Groats and 3-peaks walk

My 11 Wild-camping Rules

Wildwalkinguk is a blog run by myself in spare time, and I pay for its running costs myself. I do have some Amazon affiliate links and adverts on the site. If you click on these adverts or links and buy what you need (it doesn’t have to be the item I’ve linked to), the company will pay a small commission to us. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This money goes towards the costs of hosting the blog. I would be extremely grateful if you could consider using our links when you next need to buy something from our advertisers. Alternatively, you can buy me a coffee here. Thank you so much for your support. Mark.

22 Replies to “Mark Webb: about me”

  1. Hi Mark,

    I’ve just discovered your website, excellent reading and resource! I’ve always been an outdoors person, loved fishing, wild camping etc. With everything going on lately it’s made me rethink a few things, I’ve just purchased some camping gear for me and my 17 year old daughter (I have five children) and we’re looking to do the Isle of Wight coastal walk soon.

    I’m very conscious of the environment and the importance of being outside, I’ve even been studying foraging and bushcraft. I run a green cleaning company in Romsey, Hampshire called Green Clean (I’ve put my website in the form). I only use plant based and biodegradable products and methods.

    Thanks for the inspiration and may see you out there one day 🙂

    Cheers

    Mark

    1. Hi Mark
      Thanks very much for your message. I’m just back from a few days hiking around the Norfolk coast with my 17 year old daughter. It was a special time and it’s great that they still want to hike with us. The Isle of Wight coastal walk was probably our best family wild camping trip. Not always easy to find a wild camping pitch that meets all my wild camping rules but is possible. Enjoy and good luck with the weather. Mark

  2. Still buzzing to have met you today in the beautiful Scottish Borders hills Mark . Made my day !!! Ice bath is calling me now which is always a treat . All the best for the next 4 weeks my friend !!! Peace & One Love

  3. Hi Mark,

    Just want to thank you for a fantastic blog. What a great way to share your experiences and thoroughly enjoyed reading them.
    I found you looking for John O Groat Trail information and have found that you have provided the best review of it I can find!
    Even seeing your adventure for the West Highland Way which I’m doing in October provided me with a lot of insight. You’ve already got me rethinking some of my kit…

    Great to read your reviews, understanding your thoughts and feelings with products. It’s good to find reviews on items where the actual life of the products are considered.
    If you ever are hiking back through Glasgow please let me know!

    Thanks again,

    Mike

    1. Hi Mike

      Thanks so much for your message – it’s very kind of you to take the time to contact me. I’m so glad you have enjoyed reading the blog. Good luck with the West Highland Way in October. You will love it. I’d be interested to know which bits of your kit you have been rethinking?
      Best wishes
      Mark

  4. Hi Mark. I just wanted to tell you how much I love your website/blog! I stumbled across it earlier today, and have been browsing through your list of best walks.
    I’ve done quite a few of those walks myself (C2C a few times, Pennine Way, Cumbria Way, the Challenge a number of times), and so I was very happy to see that all of the walks in your list were truly great ones, including some that I’ve not done yet.
    I’d highly recommend the GR20 in Corsica, if you’ve not done it yet. Quite fantastic, although I did it before the rule came in about booking accommodation/camping places in advance. I’m not sure how that works, but it’s a fabulous walk.
    I had to stop backpacking when I got a dog, unfortunately, because she hated it! Used to cry all night in the tent and refuse to eat her breakfast. Duh… But I’m now thinking of starting again with, prolly, the Dales High Way this July, and so I’m looking at tents and stuff. I have an Akto, which is a great tent, but I like to the look of the Notch…
    Well, I just wanted to say thank you for such a great site. I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of it, and I’ve subscribed.
    With very best wishes, Shirley

    1. Thank you Shirley, your message is very much appreciated. I’d love to do more hiking abroad, like the GR20 but I never book ahead, I always wild-camp for the freedom. Since my 20s I’ve always wanted to do the GR11. I’m currently planning to walk Te Araroa this winter or next. I’ll also walk the Cape Wrath Trail again at the first opportunity.
      Best wishes and thanks again for your lovely message.
      Mark

  5. Hello Mark,

    Just a quick message from The Netherlands to say thanks! What an incredibly useful source of information. I’ve been reading through many articles all afternoon…;-)
    I almost decided to go and walk the Camino all the way from NL this summer. And now I’m doing research, because I’ve never done hikes longer than 1 day. Deciding upon which tent is the most pressing one at the moment. I especially appreciated your blog about the Notch Li, which is not for sale in EU and out of stock in USA. Bummer. Most 1-person tents do have this condensation-problem, I keep reading about that. Even your recommended Nordisk Telemark 1 and Terra Nova Laser Compact/Competition 1 do seem to have this issue.
    Anyways.
    For now: thank you for what you’re doing!
    Marnix

  6. Hi Mark,
    Great source of information. I’ve done quite a few long distance walks e.g. c2c, Pennine way, Te Araroa. I’m planning LEJOG this spring. If you have any advice for planning wild camping such as lists or areas where it is quite easy or really difficult, that would be a great help. I plan to stay on official campsites where possible but I’m guessing there will be places where wild camping is the only option?
    Thanks, Andy.

  7. Hi Mark, I came across your website today and I am glad I did. I have read almost all content already and would like to say you are an inspiration. I am not in a position to rush out and buy everything but after reading some of your articles I think I will start to trickle a steady exchange of my gear. Absolute pleasure reading about your exploits and I have no doubt I will read through them all again.

  8. Hi Mark,
    I’ve just spent the past two days reading your Dover to Cape Wrath blog. Absolutely brilliant! I was totally riveted and enjoyed every word.
    I’ve done the Coast to Coast before back in September 2020 but have never wild camped. I want to do the Coast to Coast again, but this time East to West and wild camp the whole way. On the back of that is the West Highland Way, which I originally had planned to do in 2020, but something happened to put that on hold. For the life of me, I can’t think what that was now 🙄.
    As I was reading your D2CW blog, I just thought, “I’d love to have the guts to wild camp, but wouldn’t it be good to learn from someone experienced”. Just to get in shape and test my gear I’m planning to do the Angles Way, the Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way in the next couple of weeks. The Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way, I originally walked in 2020 as well. My brother lives up near Kings Lynn and currently I’m based around Cambridge. If you ever fancy a few days walking in East Anglia, then let me know. I’ll buy you a pint and a bar of chocolate in exchange for some wild camping tutelage.
    I plan to read the rest of your blogs, but just wanted to extend my thanks and appreciation for taking me along on your D2CW journey via your blog. It was really enjoyable. Absolutely.
    Hope to get to meet you on a mile path at some point.
    All the best to you Mark. Cheers, Graham 👍

    1. Hello Graham
      Thank you very much for the coffees, it’ll go towards the running costs of the site and is much appreciated.
      I’m just back from 6 weeks away and the wild camping seems to be a lot more difficult than it used to be. Scotland was ok ish as you’re allowed to wild camp there but south of the boarder the farmers and National Park employees and possibly even the police seem to be on the look out for wild campers. Just carrying a large rucksack seemed to cause suspicion outside the normal hiking areas. The wasters camping in inappropriate places and leaving rubbish during covid seem to have put land owners on edge. I had to be very careful where I camped and didn’t feel as comfortable wild camping as I used too so will probably not be doing any wild camping locally. I like to camp in/usually find unused pieces of land, junctions in paths and uncropped corners of fields etc. I do often have to walk miles further than intended thou. Camp as it gets dark and be gone as it gets light – not easy this time of year when it’s only dark for a few hours. In Scotland you’re allowed to wild camp but some land owners still don’t like it and often the ground lower down the mountains is too rough/overgrown, so it’s not always easy. It’s possible on the West Highland Way as so many people do, it keeps the ground clear and the land owners are use to it. Good hike and I highly recommend it, but it can be busy.
      Best of luck with your walks and thanks again for the coffees.
      Mark

      1. Hi Mark,
        Just finished the Angles Way, Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way, all done back to back in the reverse direction on each. Absolutely fantastic. Played it by ear with the wild camping and followed your advice to the letter. Bit nerve wracking the first couple of nights, but I settled down. Pitched late, left early (one morning I was off at 3:30am, but what a morning!). I used the track margins and you’d never know I’d been there. Struck gold in Scratby. I thought there was a camp site there, but it was only static caravans. However, on the way up from the beach, I bumped into a local couple and they said, “Any problems and you can pitch on our side lawn”. Which is exactly what happened. A cup of tea and digestives were brought out whilst pitching my tent and then I was offered a lovely curried Dahl and bread for dinner and the use of their wet room shower. The following morning they insisted I topped up my rice, oats and lentils from their larder. I was blown away by their kindness and hospitality. The following day I was paying forward the kindness showed to me to everyone I had a personal encounter with. I highly recommend the Scratby Bakery for a morning bap.

        Next walk at the end of this week is likely to be Offa’s Dyke.

        Once again, thanks for the advice and inspiration from your blog Mark 👍. I met quite a few people who wanted to wild camp and walk, so I’m even more grateful to have found your blog, which definitely tipped me from “thinking” to “doing”.

        You can’t beat those early morning and late evening hours alone with Nature. Magical! All the best, Graham

        1. Great to receive your message Graham. The posts take me days/weeks to write (I’ve never passed an English exam) and I’m glad that I’m not wasting my time.
          Thank you.
          Mark

  9. Thanks Mark
    This is a fabulous resource; extremely useful. I particularly like the fact you wild camp.
    I’ve spent the past twenty odd years hiking around the Himalayas, Andes and other exotic trails. Now I have a young labrador Retriever I’m looking to walk closer to home and ‘god!’ what have I missed. Not too late now though and I’ll enjoy having the company of my dog. I was initially interested in the Wye Valley River walk but I can see there are lots of other brilliant options. Any advice on walking with a large dog? Any routes more amenable or any routes that aren’t suitable?
    Wishing you well. Have a good new year.
    Regards
    Richard

    1. Hello Richard

      Thank you for your kind words. I wouldn’t like to suggest exact walks with your dog, there’s so many options. All have good and bad points, freedom to let the dog run and but others with sheep and land owner issues. Often changing depending on the season, lambing etc.
      This link may be of interest https://mistysminiguides.wixsite.com/mistysminiguides?fbclid=IwAR0NWzRbb6LLQdO6It5Wkw4uLB6iXuVbcxydHHKSslLF-G4seddAyDVHnek
      Best of luck
      Mark

  10. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your wonderful site. As a Dutch Hiker who started hiking after 30 years last year with the coast to coast, I plan as you to hike as long as possible. At 65 I still hope on many years. I have learned a lot from people like you, got my backpack weight back from 15 kg to 9!
    However, one question I find little information. What do you eat as lunch? Breakfast I get. Dinner I get too. Bars and so as an in between too. But bread and fillings are heavy and last only two days. Can you share your thoughts on this?

    Kind regards,

    Ed

    1. Hello Ed

      On long distance remote hikes I tend to carry dehydrated meals for lunch. (Also Breakfast and Dinner) to save weight and they last. They are expensive but it’s quick and convenient and high calories. I usually have 800 calorie meals for Dinner and 600 for lunch and breakfast. Adding chocolate etc and meals in cafes and pubs when ever I pass one.
      Thanks for your message
      Mark

    1. Hello Nelly & Pip
      Thank you again for your help through the locks and the link, it’ll be nice to follow your progress.
      It was a pleasure to meet you, hopefully see you again.
      Mark

  11. Hi Mark,
    I have already thanked you last summer for your fantastic blog when I did the first half of the Cape Wrath Trail (CWT). I have a question for you about walking some of the more remote paths on the CWT. Back in 2020, you talked about getting the ” Memory Map ” app to help with navigation, especially with making a route. Is there any way that you can use this (GPS?) to inform your loved ones back home of your progress. I especially thinking of the danger of a falling, breaking a bone and no one turns up. So For example My partner could sound the alarm if I don’t make progress after a couple of days.

    1. Hi Alan

      I still use the same Memory Map on my phone and don’t think it’s possible to remote track with it, but not sure as things are forever changing. There are dedicated tracking devices available and you can also use them for emergency messaging if you’re in trouble. But I’ve no experience of using them.
      I’ve never needed them as none of my ex-wives have been too worried where I was 🙂
      Well done for completing the first half of the CWT.

      Thanks for your message
      Mark

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