These notes describe possible routes between the stopping points suggested by James. I have worked from the OS maps with almost no local knowledge of the areas so they may be unsuitable. Checking the route over is highly recommended and comments from anybody with local knowledge would be welcome. Some maps may even be out of date.

There are three types of files here :

.mmo - Route files for Memory map, which I used to plot the routes.

.pdf - Acrobat files showing maps, produced by printing the Memory Map pages.

.gpx - Route files in a form that can be used by Google Earth and Google Maps.

You can import the .gpx files into Google Earth or cut-and-paste into a page such as Marengo (use the Load button) and see either a map or a satellite view of the route. There are other sites such as Sanoodi which may be more convenient if you can get them to work.

Time estimates are as calculated by Memory Map using an estimated walking speed of 2.5 mph and adding 1 minute for every 30ft ascent. This is slightly slower than the default, 'Naismith's Rule' which is 5kph and 1 minute per 30ft (but note that Naismith's rule was formulated for use on hills, not roads).
It would be very useful if some members of the group could do a test walk over both flat ground and steady slopes to find out whether this is realistic.

Edinburgh-Heriot

A772 out of city centre. A better (but longer) route might include some of the parks in this direction. Cross the A7 near Butterfly World on a dual roundabout. Join B6392 to Eskbank and B703 to Newton Grange, then B704 to Gorebridge. Route through Gorebridge (avoiding A7) is very windy, adding about 2 miles to A7 route. However, alternate route on A68 and B6367 through Pathhead is no shorter. Finally, A7 to Heriot. Not much option here.

Total 18 miles gaining 1900ft, falling 1280ft. Sounds like a lot for 700ft overall - maybe worth looking for an easier route.

Estimated 8 hours 17 minutes walking time

edinburgh-heriot-1.pdf
edinburgh-heriot-2.pdf
edinburgh-heriot.gpx
edinburgh-heriot.mmo

Heriot-Galashiels

Based heavily on A7 but most of the way an unclassified road across the river can be used. Rejoin the A7 at Bow Farm, or move to farm tracks (Bowland, Craigneuk, Torwoodlee then A72 into Galashiels). Could cross the river at Stow for midday stop.

Total 16.1 miles (15.4 if you keep on the A7), gaining 1400ft, falling 1860. Actually a very long 450ft descent with some up-down peaks of about 100ft maximum. How is this for wheelchairs ?

Estimated 7 hours 8 minutes walking time.

heriot-galashiels-1.pdf
heriot-galashiels-2.pdf
heriot-galashiels.gpx
heriot-galashiels.mmo

Galashiels-Jedburgh

Obvious route is A68 but a lot of this can be avoided by using what appears to be a cycleway near Melrose. This may avoid Melrose centre (don't know if that's desirable) and may cause difficulty with support vehicles, but is probably a lot more pleasant for walkers.

Follow river path from Galashiels to Melrose, then back road to Newtown St Boswells. Join the A68 until Forest Lodge, then use path along Roman road. The A68 could be avoided but adds a mile or so. If the footpath is inadequate for wheelchairs then there is an alternative to the west via Longnewton. River path again from Monteviot House, then stay east of river until Jedburgh.

Total 16.7 miles, gaining 1365 ft, falling 1470. Estimated 7 hours 22.

galashiels-jedburgh-1.pdf
galashiels-jedburgh-2.pdf
galashiels-jedburgh.gpx
galashiels-jedburgh.mmo

Jedburgh-Redesdale

Avoid the A68 on the first leg by using unclassified road to the east. However, it seems necessary to join the A68 at Camptown. A lot of climbing on this day as it's necessary to cross the pass at Carter Bar.

Total 17.4 miles, gaining 2214 ft, falling 1767. Est. time 8 hours.

jedburgh-redesdale-1.pdf
jedburgh-redesdale-2.pdf
jedburgh-redesdale.gpx
jedburgh-redesdale.mmo

Redesdale-Kirkharle

Again, committed to A68 until Elishaw, then the A696 which doesn't look much lighter. However, alternatives would be well off-route so will add mileage and this is already one of the longer legs. Maybe an extra day and a longer route is needed around here, but minor roads may well entail extra height changes.

Total 20.7 miles, gaining 1935 feet, falling 1406 ft. Estimated time 9 hours 15 minutes.

redesdale-kirkharle-1.pdf
redesdale-kirkharle-2.pdf
redesdale-kirkharle.gpx
redesdale-kirkharle.mmo

Kirkharle-Newcastle

A696 most of the way into city centre. Note Dual carriageway after Ponteland. Alternate route via Medburn & Dissington adds a couple of miles. Stopping point in Newcastle is the Millenium Bridge.

Total 21.6 miles, gaining 628 ft, falling 1154 ft. Estimated time 9 hours.

kirkharle-newcastle-1.pdf
kirkharle-newcastle-2.pdf
kirkharle-newcastle.gpx
kirkharle-newcastle.mmo

Newcastle-Chester-le-Street

Cross two roundabouts on the A147 then follow the B1296 until it crosses the A1. The map appears to show a tunnel or underpass avoiding the A1 junction. Follow the A6127 through Birtley and Ouston, finishing at Chester-le-Street Civic Centre. Nearby alternatives are the railway station and a leisure centre.

Total 8.2 miles, gaining 629 ft, falling 586 ft. Estimated time 3 hours 35 minutes

newcastle-chesterlestreet-1.pdf
newcastle-chesterlestreet-2.pdf
newcastle-chesterlestreet.gpx
newcastle-chesterlestreet.mmo

Chester-le-Street-Ferryhill

Follow B1284 to Great Luley and join the Weardale Way. It may be possible to use this for an off-road section, depending on path quality. Cross the river at Finchale Priory (this needs checking, as it is not a road - the support vehicles will need to use the A1 or the A167). Continue via Newton hall into Durham town centre, then leave on the A177, A688 and a minor road into Ferryhill.

Total 16.7 miles, gaining 1421 ft, falling 926 ft. Estimated time 7 hours 25 minutes

chesterlestreet-ferryhill-1.pdf
chesterlestreet-ferryhill-2.pdf
chesterlestreet-ferryhill.gpx
chesterlestreet-ferryhill.mmo

Ferryhill-Darlington

Take the A167 out of Ferrybridge, then divert through Newton Aycliffe, eventually returning to the A167. This is a major road, but it's possible the A1 takes most of the heavy traffic. If it turns out to be unusable on foot, an alternative route via Shildon and Heighington is only 2 miles longer.

Total 13 miles, gaining 434 ft, falling 827 ft. Estimated time 5 hours 25 minutes

ferryhill-darlington-1.pdf
ferryhill-darlington-2.pdf
ferryhill-darlington.gpx
ferryhill-darlington.mmo

Darlington-Northallerton

This route follows mainly B roads to avoid the A167. However, they may be quite narrow and winding : it may be better to use the A167 and provide better visibility than is possible on a narrow lane. The wider road may also have a footpath, and is about a mile shorter than the indicated route.

Total 17.7 miles, gaining 530 ft, falling 526 ft. Estimated time 7 hours 21 minutes

darlington-northallerton-1.pdf
darlington-northallerton-2.pdf
darlington-northallerton.gpx
darlington-northallerton.mmo

Northallerton-Ripon

There's a possible route using the A167 and A61, but again I have chosen the smaller roads. However, crossing the river Swale is awkward and the route shown uses a disused railway bridge and a farm track near Maunby. This requires exploration as it could be difficult with wheelchairs, and it is probably not possible for support vehicles. Alternate routes would be the A167/A61 or the A684 to Leeming Bar followed by the B6285.

Total 18.8 miles, gaining 573 ft, falling 606 ft. Estimated time 7 hours 48 minutes

northallerton-ripon-1.pdf
northallerton-ripon-2.pdf
northallerton-ripon.gpx
northallerton-ripon.mmo

Ripon-Harrogate

This route follows the A61. There are, however, some other possible routes that would be worth considering. One would start by taking the B6265 out of Ripon and passing through Studley Park and Fountains Abbey - good for tourists and photos. Another would start out on the Ripon Rowel walk along the Ripon Canal towpath, which is likely to be a better standard than most footpaths (but would still need surveying). The A61 route is only 10.8 miles so there should be room for some diversions.

Total 10.8 miles, gaining 773 ft, falling 539 ft. Estimated time 4 hours 42 minutes

ripon-harrogate-1.pdf
ripon-harrogate-2.pdf
ripon-harrogate.gpx
ripon-harrogate.mmo

Harrogate-Leeds

Avoids staying on the A61 by a diversion through Kirkby Overblow and then through the grounds of Harewood House. This gets a bit tortuous in the area of Eccup Reservoir and in any case relies on goodwill from the Harewood House administration. Some alternate paths through the grounds would be worth looking for. The route is quite hilly, and

Total 17 miles, gaining 1299 ft, falling 1507 ft. Estimated time 7 hours 27 minutes

harrogate-leeds-1.pdf
harrogate-leeds-2.pdf
harrogate-leeds.gpx
harrogate-leeds.mmo

Leeds-Wakefield

Exit Leeds via Middleton park. There are some useful footpaths and bridleways near here (approaching Thorpe-on-the-Hill) which might make the route shorter if they're good enough. The route into Wakefield passes a hospital which might be a good place for support, but the A61 bypasses it and is a little shorter if you prefer. As with most towns there are many alternate routes and the choice really depends on pavements, policing, photo stops etc.

Total 11.1 miles, gaining 731 ft, falling 717 ft. Estimated time 4 hours 48 minutes

leeds-wakefield-1.pdf
leeds-wakefield-2.pdf
leeds-wakefield.gpx
leeds-wakefield.mmo

Wakefield-Barnsley

Some confusion over city centre routes here - it's difficult to see how to avoid a short stretch of dual carriageway in both Wakefield and Barnsley, but probably obvious on the ground (or not a problem). I've followed a B-road route through Royston but the A61 is marginally shorter if the pavement is suitable.

Total 11 miles, gaining 853 ft, falling 702 ft. Estimated time 4 hours 48 minutes

wakefield-barnsley-1.pdf
wakefield-barnsley-2.pdf
wakefield-barnsley.gpx
wakefield-barnsley.mmo

Barnsley-Sheffield

Again, many routes are possible into a major town. This one mainly follows the A6135, past a hospital and avoiding the A61 dual carriageway. A slightly longer route could reach Meadowhall Shopping Centre, possibly a good publicity stop. There is quite a large height gain & loss, but no obvious peak, just a succession of ups & downs.

Total 13.3 miles, gaining 1272 ft, falling 1436 ft. Estimated time 5 hours 56 minutes

barnsley-sheffield-1.pdf
barnsley-sheffield-2.pdf
barnsley-sheffield.gpx
barnsley-sheffield.mmo

Sheffield-Chesterfield

Fairly easy to avoid dual carriageway here, with plenty of further options if the chosen route turns out to be unsuitable.

Total 12.8 miles, gaining 1011 ft, falling 920 ft. Estimated time 5 hours 37 minutes

sheffield-chesterfield-1.pdf
sheffield-chesterfield-2.pdf
sheffield-chesterfield.gpx
sheffield-chesterfield.mmo

Chesterfield-Mansfield

Mostly avoids main roads, butr there is a long stretch on the A617. This can be avoided by going via Sutton Scarsdale & Patterton, but the major road may be safer.

Total 12.8 miles, gaining 1044 ft, falling 977 ft. Estimated time 5 hours 39 minutes

chesterfield-mansfield-1.pdf
chesterfield-mansfield-2.pdf
chesterfield-mansfield.gpx
chesterfield-mansfield.mmo

Mansfield-Nottingham

Follows a major road (the A60), but the route is fairly built-up and should provide visibility rather than high speeds. Alternate routes are possible, with some extra distance required.

Total 14.8 miles, gaining 775 ft, falling 1032 ft. Estimated time 6 hours 17 minutes

mansfield-nottingham-1.pdf
mansfield-nottingham-2.pdf
mansfield-nottingham.gpx
mansfield-nottingham.mmo

Nottingham-Loughborough

Follows dual carriageway out of the city centre, but this passes County hall and the Cricket ground - I think it's bordered by wide footpaths. Remainder of the route follows the A60, as I think the worst traffic follows the A453 to the M1. The route passes close to Ruddington, but it might be worth diverting through the village to the country park or museum. Alternative B-road route is possible through Clifton, Gotham, East Leake.

Total 14.6 miles, gaining 640 ft, falling 600ft. Estimated time 6 hours 8 minutes.

nottingham-loughborough-1.pdf
nottingham-loughborough-2.pdf
nottingham-loughborough.gpx
nottingham-loughborough.mmo

Loughborough-Leicester

Exit on A6 but turn on to B roads as it becomes dual carriageway. Via Mountsorrel, Rothley & Thurcaston to Leicester cathedral. Alternate destination could be Abbey Park. Possible alternate route alongside Grand Union canal and R. Soar.

Total 12.6 miles, gaining 480 ft, falling 420 ft Estimated time 5 hours 16 minutes.

loughborough-leicester-1.pdf
loughborough-leicester-2.pdf
loughborough-leicester.gpx
loughborough-leicester.mmo

Leicester-Market Harborough

Route relies heavily on country roads to avoid the A6 while keeping the distance down. If the A6 is OK it may be a better route. Short piece of footpath to cross the canal at Foxton Locks (tourist spot) but this can be avoided. Check canal crossing for wheelchairs. It would be possible to use the canal towpath for much of the route but the tunnel near Fleckney is a problem.

Total 16.5 miles, gaining 1030 ft, falling 980 ft Estimated time 7 hours 10 minutes

leicester-marketharborough-1.pdf
leicester-marketharborough-2.pdf
leicester-marketharborough.gpx
leicester-marketharborough.mmo

Market Harborough-Northampton

A straightforward route following the A508, but note that the Midshires Way footpath follows the course of an old railway line very close to here - if the surface is good this might be a good alternative.

Total 17.6 miles, gaining 1034 ft, falling 1060 ft Estimated time 7 hours 32 minutes

marketharborough-northampton-1.pdf
marketharborough-northampton-2.pdf
marketharborough-northampton.gpx
marketharborough-northampton.mmo

Northampton-Bedford

Route uses the A428 here - a poor choice as I think there are sections with no footpath. But the alternative minor roads are further and it's already an overlong 21 mile section. Another possibility is to go via Wellingborough rather than Northampton - I haven't measured this but it looks more direct.

Total 21 miles, gaining 826 ft, falling 975 ft Estimated time 8 hours 47 minutes

northampton-bedford-1.pdf
northampton-bedford-2.pdf
northampton-bedford.gpx
northampton-bedford.mmo

Bedford-Luton

Follow the A6 into Luton, diverting into Silsoe and Barton-le-clay. I think it has a footpath all the way, except perhaps up the hill south of Barton (which is a slow dual carriageway). Stop at Wardown Park just north of Luton town centre (or continue to centre, or Stockwood Park on the south side).

Total 17.9 miles, gaining 783 ft, falling 517 ft Estimated time 7 hours 33 minutes

bedford-luton-1.pdf
bedford-luton-2.pdf
bedford-luton-3.pdf
bedford-luton.gpx
bedford-luton.mmo

Luton-St Albans

Straightforward route along B653 to Harbenden, A1081 to St Albans. Possible section north of Harbenden along Lee Valley Walk.

Total 11.7 miles, gaining 551 ft, falling 542 ft Estimated time 4 hours 56 minutes

luton-stalbans-1.pdf
luton-stalbans-2.pdf
luton-stalbans.gpx
luton-stalbans.mmo

St Albans - Edmonton

Keeps just off the dual carriageway through Potters Bar then crosses the M25 and joins the A111. I haven't thought too carefully about this section - I think the A111 has a footpath but I'm assuming someone local to London will have a better idea for this part, perhaps the A1005.

Total 16.4 miles, gaining 673 ft, falling 994 ft Estimated time hours 54 minutes

stalbans-edmonton-1.pdf
stalbans-edmonton-2.pdf
stalbans-edmonton.gpx
stalbans-edmonton.mmo

Edmonton - Westminster

Again, no idea about the best route but I've marked the Lea Valley Walk for much of the distance, finishing with the A10 and the Embankment. Main routes would be shorter.

Total 13.3 miles, gaining 214 ft, falling 259 ft. Estimated time 5 hours 24 minutes

edmonton-westminster.gpx
edmonton-westminster.mmo
edmonton-westminster.pdf