'You'll be delighted to hear I made it without any mishaps, bar wet feet due to heavy dew and a couple of blisters. I was well supported by friends who joined me at various stages. We made it to Coventry on Sunday with time to spare to look around the ruins of the old Cathedral, take group photos outside the new and eat a delicious chocolate cake made by a friend.
The service was a great way to end the walk and was a very moving experience, especially when the heavens opened and the rain hammered on the roof! The singing and organ music were beautiful and we sat in the front row with our yellow T-shirts ablaze, gazing up at Graham Sutherland's enormous tapestry of Christ (the largest in the world apparently) and admiring the fantastic interior. We had to stand up and sit down rather too often during the service which caused a collective moan as our poor knees and thighs were stretched into use! I had sent an email to the Cathedral but unfortunately nobody seemed to have received it. We soon told them who we were, why we were there and what we had done!
The Oxford Canal is enchanting as it winds through some very pretty unspoilt countryside, with the occasional interruption of train and road but otherwise blissfully quiet, calm and under-used at this time of year. Although the weather was mild, the going could be tricky as the ground was wet, muddy and slippy, particularly in the morning with the heavy dew, and sometimes the towpath was not in great shape with banks eroded. We only got soaked in one downpour ten minutes from our hotel on the third day but tots of whisky soon put that right. The morning of the last day at 7.30 am it was raining but no sooner had we donned all our kit and got outside, it stopped, not to bother us again till we were in the Cathedral! How lucky was that!
I was amazed at the response to my suggestion of joining me to walk and I know there were many who would have loved to walk but had other commitments. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and to those who did walk I shall be eternally grateful as it made the walk such a delightful experience for me and such fun for us all.
Finally, many thanks for your very generous donations which I was touched by and I know the Macular Society will be very pleased to receive and will put to good use in finding a cure. Mum would have been thrilled by the whole project and the response I have received so a million thanks. I am very grateful.'
Baptistry Window with 195 lights of stained glass, designed by John Piper in partnership with Patrick Reyntiens, with the stone of Bethlehem below
Graham Sutherland's 72 ft high tapestry of 'Christ in Majesty'