IN – Talk by John Sykes “Walking England” on 8th February 2023

Feb.8, 2023.  IN meeting at Alte Feuerwache, John Sykes on Walking England
Even as John Sykes was introducing himself, we knew we could expect an informative, delightful afternoon. He‘s an Englishman living in Cologne, as he himself says, „most of his life“. He‘s an author, a tour guide in Cologne, a translator, and a hiker. That‘s the project he wants to tell us about, hiking around the edge of England. This means 5,300 km., about 3,300 miles, with and without designated paths. This plan is to do various sections within the next 10 years. In 2022 he left his family home in Southport, north of Liverpool, on the west coast of England, and headed south. He completed a walk of 11 days to Chester, then along the English-Welsh border to Knighton. His plan for 2023 is to complete Offa‘s Dyke Path and the Welsh border in April (he showed us some Photos of this area with its amazing oaks). Then hike south west from Bristol in early summer, start the Southwest Coast Path in late summer and autumn. He has stressed that his descriptions of hikes are not detailed enough to be used as guides, but are his personal impressions. For him hiking is not a sports competition, but relaxation and being one with nature. He enjoys walking alone but also likes to have companionship. Not only is Mr. Sykes an avid hiker. He is also, or perhaps mainly, interested in the ecological aspects of the changing coast. He showed us photos of dune areas which are now covered with vegetation, so-called green beaches. Also, the docks of Liverpool, as industrial architecture, are of special interest to him. We were so impressed by Mr. Sykes and his lively, informative talk , that we spontaneously invited him back, to fill us in on his further adventures. I highly recommend his website, www.beatingthebounds.eu, which is filled with information and photos. He also posts pictures on Instagram (johnstuartsykes). 19 ladies attended today‘s meeting.

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