Simon Armitage set out on the Pennine Way in 2010. Most people walk it from south to north but Simon decides to do it in the opposite direction to virtually everyone else. He embarks on this trip without any money on his person, opting instead to pick up money through live performances of his poetry.
He wants to see just what it’s like to be a travelling poet and he collects the money in a trusty sock. The trip is well publicised and people recognise him along the way. His experience would certainly be very different from the that of another poet trying to make a similar journey.
The walk proves to be hardy stuff and he can quickly see why people go in the direction they do. It turns into quite a grind, with him getting soaked and afraid of getting lost somewhere along the way. I thought a man of Armitage’s skills would present a beautiful picture of the tough Pennine way but it appeared that he found it a real miserable trudge at times and I certainly had a similar experience in reading it.