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Mountain lake

Summit to Sea or “Earning the Bacon”

Here is an idea for a microadventure.

Head for the highest point in your county. Then travel from there to the lowest point. For many counties this will be the sea. For other counties you’ll have to do some investigating / guessing.

You can do it however you like, on foot or bike or boat or by paraglider. It doesn’t matter. The point of this journey is to encourage you to make arbitrary journeys. You do not need to have a purpose for heading out on an adventure. Merely inventing a purpose to get you started is sufficient to ensure that you will have a unique adventure along your way.

Depending on where you live, your experience of this microadventure will be very different. If you live in Norfolk, you have only to climb 103 metres to the summit of Beacon Hill and then dash down less than a mile to reach the sea! (Although if you live in far-off Thetford you’ll have a 100 mile round trip just to get to Beacon Hill!)

If you live in landlocked and low-lying Leicestershire then you won’t get to finish your journey at the sea, but you will get to begin it on the summit of an extinct volcano where England’s last bear is believed to have been seen.

And if you attempt this trip in Cumbria, then you will travel from the very highest point in England all the way down to a lovely expanse of beach, just beside a nuclear power station…

Tom and I slept on the summit of Scafell Pike then headed down to the Irish Sea.

Highest men in England

Sadly we didn’t get a beautiful view.

Highest men in England

Sleeping on the summit of England

But we did cook curry on a beer can stove.

Beer Can Stove

In the morning we dropped below the clouds in search of breakfast.

Summit to sea Microadventure

Summit to sea Microadventure

We chose a swim rather than a morning bath.

Bath time

Swimming England's Deepest Lake

Then we rode west, heading for the coast.

Lake District Microadventure

Summit to sea Microadventure

Seascale advertises its sand castles but not the massive nuclear power station next to the beach…

Summit to sea Microadventure

Mission accomplished!

Summit to sea Microadventure

Summit to sea Microadventure

Geeks like us take a lot of photographs of our bikes…

Taking a photo of your bike

And, at last, breakfast! It tasted better than it looks…

Microadventure Food

Why don’t you try this in your own county? Stick your pics in the comments section below, pop them on the Facebook Microadventure Page or use the #microadventure hashtag on Twitter.

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  1. Wow, so jealous, need to plan somehting similar! Yorkshire should make a good Summit to Sea journey 🙂 thanks for sharing

    • Alastair Posted

      Hi Jed,
      Whernside, Black Hill or High Stones are your three options, depending which bit of Yorkshire you live in.
      I reckon you should challenge yourself to get this done, with a mate or two, before the end of August….

  2. I from Devon but live in Warwickshire these days. Wouldn’t even know where to start around here. Ahh how I miss hills and the sea

    • Alastair Posted

      Hi Josh
      I reckon you need to head from Ebrington Hill down to the lowest point (guess) where the Avon leaves Warwickshire- Littleton Coppice looks about the spot…

  3. Love this idea! I’m from Cape Town, South Africa and will definitely be researching to find out a good option in my area. Thanks for the idea and a great blog!

  4. Lindsay Posted

    Love this idea, not sure about the highest or lowest points in Cheshire though…

    • Alastair Posted

      Hi Lindsay,
      I think you should give it a go!
      Make the trip from Shining Tor down to the banks of the River Mersey…
      It sounds great!

  5. Wow! Fantastic and reasonable 🙂 It’s a bit difficult for me to do that in Iran-Isfahan now. A part is because of so hot weather (40-45 C), and another is because of so far places of me like this. Anyway, I cannot tolerate anymore, I must go somewhere into the nature. 🙂

  6. Good idea and great pictures (as always)!
    I am already researching the highest and lowest point of Saxony and Lower Saxony.

  7. Sirveyor Posted

    It’s a must to take photographs of your bikes, just has to be done!

    Pen-y-Fan to Porthcawl-will have to be done soon!

    The only problem is getting the Mrs to let me go! Her and the in-law’s think i’m barking, cause i like things like the microadventures, sleeping in a tent, looking at the stars, they don’t know what they are missing!

    Keep up the good work Al

  8. Stephanie Posted

    Just discovered your blog & adventures and I am so inspired, it is all BRILLIANT!!! I have wanted to be a [micro]adventurer for so long and this gives me the impetus and encouragement I needed!

    Was also wondering what camera you use? Your photos are beautiful.

  9. Hi
    In Australia it is a bit of a hike.
    Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 m (7,310 ft)) to Lake Eyre (−16 m (−52 ft)). Using Google Maps and a bit of a guess it is just over 2000km.

    But… If you take the highest point in Australian territory it’s a bit further and a touch harder. A 5386knm row from Mawson Peak, Heard Island: 2,744 metres (9,003 ft) to Adelaide South Australia, then a quick run/ride to Lake Eyre of about a 1000.

    Might need a bit more than a Bivvy… but it would be fun.


  10. Eddy Prince Posted

    Hi – Yorkshire certainly does have some great peaks to trudge up and down.I’m going to take some time off work and get out there. I’m new to cycling and micro adventures and i’m no millionaire. Would you recommend some affordable sites for kit?



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