Gary Steps Out Coast to Coast

Gary gets set to walk for Leukaemia Busters in memory 
of his son Christopher Meech (pictured far left)

Retired paramedic Gary Meech begins his walking challenge of 190 miles over 14 days across northern England from St Bee’s in the west to Robin Hood’s Bay in the east on the 10th May. There’s a very special reason for Gary’s walk. He’s doing this in memory of his youngest son Christopher who died with leukaemia 24 years ago at the age of twelve.  Gary, who is a keen walker, is expecting to raise a substantial sum of money for Leukaemia Busters said;

This is a great opportunity to raise money for Leukaemia Busters whose research work centres on developing new and improved antibody based treatments for childhood leukaemia. This is a cause close to my and my wife Jane’s heart after the personal loss of our own youngest son Christopher. It means a great deal to us both.

– Gary Meech

Any parent who loses a child wants to keep their memory alive and Gary’s walk is doing just that. At the same time his efforts will raise funds that will directly support our potentially life-saving research work, something we both know Christopher would have whole heartedly approved of. We thank Gary and wish him all the very best and most importantly a safe journey from coast to coast.

– Dr David Flavell, Charity & Scientific Director at Leukaemia Busters 

We shall be following Gary’s daily progress in a blog that will form part of this article so please do come back and visit daily from the 10th May onwards for the latest news.

Sponsor Gary’s Walk

If you would like to sponsor Gary for any amount, no matter how big or small please visit his Just Giving fundraising page via this link to make a quick and secure contribution online:

Gary’s Coast To Coast Walk Itinerary and Blog

Gary's route

Here’s the itinerary for Gary’s Northern Coast to Coast 190 mile walk. We’ll put each days blog beneath each date so please do watch this space!

Mon 9th:

Arrived at St Bees late afternoon to be met with rain and strong winds. Following a nice meal and a couple of pints with my walking buddy Andrew, the forecast seems slightly better for tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for supporting me and Leukaemia Busters with your generous donations and kind words of encouragement. I shall take them with me and draw on them through the tough times. Until tomorrow .


Gary and his walking buddy Andrew

Tues 10th: St Bee’s – Ennerdale Bridge (15 miles, 2,575ft ascent)

Day 1

Windy with intermittent light rain. Great walk today starting with a steep climb out of St Bees. 3 miles of coastal walking before turning east and heading into lake land. A stiff climb to the top of Dent fell at 660 metres and then an extremely steep descent. Gentle for the last few miles into Ennerdale bridge. 15 miles and 2,575 feet of ascent. Once again thanks for your support. Until tomorrow.


Weds 11th:  Ennerdale Bridge – Rosthwaite  (14.5 miles, 2,388ft ascent)

Day 2

 Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite. 15 miles we took the high ridge option,which took us up to Red pike at 756 m, then on to High stile at 806 metres, high crag at 744 m and Haystacks at 598 metres where you get the most wonderful view across Buttermere and Crummock water.(see pic)..We walked with lots of different people of various nationalities throughout the day. Today we actually did 4,773 feet of ascent,and it was possibly the best and hardest walk I have ever done.. Hugely satisfying and for a great cause also. Until tomorrow.


Thurs 12th May: Rosthwaite – Grasmere (9 miles, 1,873ft ascent)

Day 3

 Another great walk with Andrew and Jim and Jen. A beautiful walk up the Stonethwaite valley , a stiff scramble over Lining crag and over greenup edge.  A short descent followed by a slight detour over calf crag, Gibson knot and helm crag. Great views of Grasmere (see pic ) .Once again thanks for the new donations. Until tomorrow.


Fri 13th May: Grasmere – Patterdale (8.5 miles, 1,791ft ascent)

Day 4

Easier day today ,only about 9 miles. We were joined by Andrews son Alex ,who drove up from Warrington and is staying overnight. He was great company on todays walk. We set of from the beautiful Grasmere and headed up to Grisedale tarn.It was extremely windy and cold on top today ,but it eased as we walked down the Grisedal valley into Patterdale where we are staying tonight. Overcast all day ,but sunny now we have finished. Once again thank you all for your support. Until tomorrow.


Sat 14th May: Patterdale – Burnbanks  (11 miles, 2,785ft ascent)

Day 5

Hi,  gorgeous walk from Patterdale to Kidsty pike.(790m). Great views back over Helvelyn and striding edge, but I’ll have to come back again to climb them.. Descent was via the East ridge of Kidsty pike to the shoreline of Hawkswater. Long walk along an up and down path to the far end of the lake in bright sunshine and no wind. We’ll soon be leaving lakeland for the Yorkshire Dales, so a change of scenery, but hopefully not a change of weather. Thanks again to all the recent donations. Until tomorrow.

Sun 15th:  Burnbanks – Orton (12.5 miles, 1,302ft ascent)

Day 6

Hi, Some respite today with a gently undulating 12.5 mile walk from Burnbanks to Orton.Mostly farmland and moorland. Nice walking weather, no rain and not too warm. Roast beef dinner in the George Hotel and very comfortable accommodation. Feet and legs still feel OK. Tomorrow we walk to Kirkby Stephen, which is our mid point ,although not in distance. Anyway thanks once again for your support, it means a lot. Until tomorrow.

Gary ??

Mon 16th: Orton – Kirkby Stephenn (13 miles, 1,122ft ascent)

Day 7

Hi, 13 miles from Orton to Kirkby Stephen. Gently undulating walk across pasture and moorland. Great bird be seen. Not so hard on the legs today. Seven days in ,seven to go,although mileage wise the halfway point comes at Keld tomorrow. Hillier day tomorrow, so rest up this evening and we go again tomorrow. Heavy rain for about an hour today .picture shows wet clothes hanging from a tree under an old railway bridge. Thanks again for your support.Until tomorrow.

Gary ??☂️

Tues 17th: Kirkby Stephen – Keld (13 miles, 1,860ft ascent)

Day 8

Hi, Improving weather today. Walked up to Nine standard rig ,a line of 9 cairns on top of a fell at 665 meters. 360 degree views are amazing. The descent however was on the boggy side. Andrew can vouch for this as at one point he lost sight of his knees The views were again stunning, rolling dales and a river valley leading into Keld. Staying at Keld Lodge, which fortunately has a great drying room. 16 pairs of boots drying at last count. Thanks for your donations, until tomorrow.

Gary ??

Weds 18th: Keld – Reeth (11 miles, 1,680ft ascent)

Day 9

Hi, Keld to Reeth. We took the high route over Swinner Gill with great views of the river valley. Walking on and descending again to the old smelt Mill at Blakethwaite lead mine. After another steep climb we had a long gentle descent into Reeth. Jane and I spent a lovely week in Reeth a few years ago. The donations are still coming in and I am so grateful to all who have donated. Anyway on to Richmond tomorrow, so until then.


Thurs 19th: Reeth – Richmond (10.5 miles, 1,099ft ascent)

Day 10

Hi, A gently undulating 10.5 mile walk today through farmlands. Lots of sheep. Not to hard on feet and legs, which is just as well as we have 70 miles over the next 4 days. Richmond is lovely especially when the sun shines. Donations are still coming in and the total is now over 2,000 pounds. Massive thanks to all of you. Truly humbled. Until tomorrow.

Gary ??

Fri 20th: Richmond – Ingleby Cross (22.5 miles, 902ft ascent)

Day 11

Hi,  23 miles of pastureland and rivers and then lots of roads and lots of rain and more rain and more roads. Feet ache, legs ache, but we’re still smiling and we go again tomorrow. Only 12.5 miles tomorrow ,but lots of hills .whoopee Thanks again for recent and all donations. It’s what keeps me going. Until tomorrow.

Gary ??

Sat 21st: Ingleby Cross – Claybank Top (12.5 miles, 3,064ft ascent)

Day 12

Hi,  After yesterday’s slog today was a shorter but far hillier walk.5 proper climbs between Ingleby Cross and Claybank top and an unintentional detour which added 2 miles and made it a 14.5 mile day. The weather and views were great.  Long day tomorrow, 18 miles but dinner with Jane to look forward to will make it easier. Fund raising going great , you guys are amazing. Thanks , until tomorrow.
Gary ?.

Sun 22nd: Claybank Top – Glaisdale (18 miles, 1,194ft ascent)

Day 13

Hi, 18 miles today over the North Yorkshire Moors. Cloudy and chilly in the wind.Lots of bird life ,including Curlew, lapwing and golden plover.  Jane and Soo met us 3 miles from the end of the walk. So good to see Jane, I’ve really missed her. The four of us enjoyed a lovely Sunday roast this evening in a lovely pub. 19 miles tomorrow, hopefully it stays dry until the finish. Until then.

Gary ??

Mon 23rd: Glaisdale – Robin Hood’s Bay (19 miles, 2,192 ft ascent)

Day 14

Hi, 19 miles . All done . Great day today , good weather, lots of hills of course. great company. We finished the walk with Greg who lives in Colorado. We were met at the end by Jane and Soo, with a celebratory drink and a certificate. Donations are still coming in so thanks once again. I will post a further update in a couple of days when I’m not so tired. Until then

Gary ? ? ?

We really appreciate your support and Good luck Gary!