I am on a one person campaign against Google. Let me explain that. A little while ago I discovered that one of my popular posts through organic search traffic (people clicking on Google) is called “Women who Walk Alone”. Turns out it’s the only post in a long stream of search results that talk about the positives of walking solo as a woman. Everything else is about kidnaps, attacks and fears… Great.
So, I am on a quest to replace these top search results with something more positive. Hopefully you’re reading this because I’ve succeeded!
Where to Find 100 Solo Female Walkers
My popular post was about one lady’s experience of walking alone. I’ve also written about my own experience walking alone. But I know it’s not just me and Ruth. There are hundreds of women who walk and run solo (running is just fast walking, right?). I secretly wondered if I could find as many as 100. Where could I find that many? I took to Twitter.
The response was unbelievable. There were so many responses that I haven’t even been able to include everyone. Please go check out the original tweet for the full thread. We are on over 170 responses and counting.
I’ve tried to split this list up into manageable chunks by activity and distance. (Sorry about all the subheadings – I have to do it to make Google love this article more than scary news stories.) Some women have gone on huge solo expeditions, others go on shorter ad-hoc walks. The split between short and long is not very well defined – so sorry if I’ve put someone in the wrong list! Then I’ve done the same for running – although it seems that most of the runners are really of the ultra-distance expedition type. That’s probably to do with my following and the wording of the question.
Long Distance Solo Female Walkers
1. Katrina Megget set out to walk the length of New Zealand along the Te Araroa trail. https://katrinamegget.com/
3. Emily Woodhouse (Me!) – in 2018 I walked the All the Tors Challenge solo and unsupported on Dartmoor.
4. Hazel Strachan says, “I walk solo – I’m accompanied on only a handful of Munros on each round.” And this is from a lady who’s on her 10th complete Munro round, and counting. More from Hazel here.
5. Anna Blackwell walked 1,000 miles solo across France and Spain. https://annablackwell.co.uk/
6. Katie Jane l’Herpiniere is heading off on a solo hike traverse of Iceland in July: https://katiejaneendurance.com/
7. Terra Roam became the first woman to walk around Australia solo and unsupported in 2018: https://terraroams.earth/
8. Ruth Livingstone is walking the coastline of Britain slowly. Her website is https://coastalwalker.co.uk/
9. Karen Penny is currently walking around the Coast of Britain and Ireland – a 4 year continuous solo walk. Two years ago, she walked John O’Groats to Land’s End. Follow her journey here.
10. Fiona Quinn says. “Emily, I walked 993 miles, John O’Groats to Lands End in 57 days solo/self supported (and the cycled & paddleboarded it).” http://fionalquinn.com
11. Sophie Pavelle’s most recent solo adventure ‘Sophie’s Wild Cornwall’, was a 300-mile trek around the entire Cornish coast. Her vlogs are on Youtube.
12. One Woman Walks – Ursula walked 3700 miles in Wales. She is currently walking solo across Europe. https://onewomanwalks.com/
More Long Distance Solo Female Walkers
13. Lindsey Cole says, “Yes, hello Emily. I walked the Rabbit Proof Fence in Australia a couple years ago, retracing the journey from the book about 3 aboriginal girls who were forcibly removed from their families and walked all the way home.” https://www.lindseycole.co.uk/
14. Sarah Marquis has done a huge selection of enormous walking challenges. Rather than try to list them, I’ll just leave you the link: http://sarahmarquis.ch/explorer/20-years-of-expeditions/
15. Rachel Clarke walked round the Isle of Wight on her own (and blogged it). You can read her blogs here.
16. Lisa McCoy says, “I’ve solo (mostly thru) hiked nearly 10 of the 19 LDWA National Trails across 3 countries including the South West Coast Path in the last 18 months. Just starting to write about it now….” You can find her on Twitter here for when she’s finished writing!
17. Shona MacPherson is blogging a lot about walking solo as a female, as she plans her PCT trip this year shonafitness.co.uk/adventure/
18. Christine aka German Tourist is a Triple Crowner, did the John O’Groats to Land’s End and many, many more. http://christine-on-big-trip.blogspot.com
19. Cheryl Strayed a lady famous for her book “Wild”, in which she goes on a very long walk to find herself: www.cherylstrayed.com
20. Michelle Gollins walked Wales coast path solo and currently walking Offa’s Dyke Path solo: https://twitter.com/Gollins68
21. Auld Mally Messenger (died 1856) was a famous character in Keswick, Cumbria. On a number of occasions, she walked to London and back (286 miles each way!)… although the person who suggested her didn’t say how long it took!
22. A Woman Afoot says, “I’m indeed a solo hiker/camper/walker as I can’t do it with others. I’ve been all over Europe, mostly for 2-4 weeks at a time.” awomanafoot.com
That’s Almost Halfway! 27 More Women on Long Walks..
23. Barbara Long walked solo for 8 days across Devon last year, following The Mariners Way. She had to make her own route from Barnstable/Bideford to Dartmouth/Torquay. “I raised £1500 for local hospice.” She wrote a short blog about it for their fundraising pages. Barbara’s Twitter and blog post.
24. Artemis Anderson walked the Pacific Coast Trail solo: artemishikes.com
25. Robyn Davidson walked 3000km across the Australian desert when she was 27… although she did have a dog and 4 camels for company! robyndavidson.com.au
26. Emily Scott undertook Project 282, climbing all of Scotland’s Munros in one go, solo and unsupported.
27. The Detour Effect says, “All my hiking is solo. I just did Rim to Rim to Rim backpacking trip at the Grand Canyon. Wrote a bit about it as part of a larger article here.”
28. Confessions of a 30-something year old girl says”Emily I walked Camino de Santiago last year, 850k across North of Spain and did the South Downs way in preparation, where I first wild camped alone too.” (sorry I didn’t catch your real name!)
29. Kathi Kamleitner says “I walked the Hebridean Way by myself in Scotland last year.” She’s on Twitter here.
30. Dr Julia Tratt of greencoffeepot.blogspot.com says, “I’m about to start the SW coast path on my own :)”
31. Outnabout in Scotland walked the Cape Wrath Trail solo. Her blog’s in hibernation, but she’s on Twitter here.
32. Ameena Rojee is currently walking the Via de la Plata. You can follow her daily blog here.
33. Phoebe Smith has made a name for herself as a sleeper, not a walker! But she did walk Hadrian’s Wall solo over Christmas 2018: www.phoebe-smith.com
Even More Solo Long Distance Female Walkers
34. Baker Baker says, “All hiking I do/have done is solo, I thru hiked the AT in 2017.” Here’s her Twitter.
35. Jessica Carol says, “Me! I’ve also got a big 50km non stop through the night hike on the Isle of Arran coming up raising money for Mind!” More from this lady here.
36. Lucy Barnard is attempting to become the first woman to walk the length of the world! And she’s doing it solo: tanglesandtail.com
37. Deah says, “I’m doing the #CaminodeSantiago solo starting next week!” palmtreemusings.com
38. Caroline says, “I go solo most of the time with my dog. Munros and long distance . Leaving next week for the Cape Wrath Trail but will have company on this one. Just Scotland though. I’m not a fast walker which was the reason I started on my own and ended up loving it!” More from Caroline here.
39. Nancy Gaffield walked the 270-mile Greenwich Meridian Trail from Peacehaven to Sand le Mere, an experience which informed her new poetry collection ‘Meridian” ngmeridian.wordpress.com
40. Alex Mason of Adventure and Avacados has got a huge amount of blog material from long distance walks like the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Coast Trail.
41. Kat Young has done lots of long distance walking. Here’s a list of them all, with links to associated writing: http://attitude-over-ability.com/long-walks
Are You Still Solo with a Donkey?
42. Hannah Englekamp walked 1000 miles around the perimeter of Wales with a donkey (I think that counts!) seasidedonkey.co.uk
43. Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path to try to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life. electricityofeverylivingthing.com
44. Zoe Langley-Wathen walks long distance – her repertoire includes the South West Coast Path, the Welsh Coast Path and the Camino. Twitter
45. Yvette, aka the Wayfaring Kiwi, hiked the length of Scotland. To read about it, start here: https://wayfaringkiwi.com/im-hiking-length-scotland
46. Rosie Stancer walked solo across a frozen lake, and broke a record while she was at it!
47. Erin Saver has done an unbelievable amount of long distance hiking solo. Take a look at her blog Walking with Wired, stretching right back to 2011.
48. Jacomijn has written about her experience of the first 200km of the Camino as a solo traveller.
49. Rebecca Morris walked 1000 miles for charity around Wales. Here’s a news article about her trip.
50. Frances Turauskis did the Camino de Santiago in 2017, 2 years after the epilepsy diagnosis. She’s also done a few smaller hikes in France and Scotland during 2018, plus many many day hikes/trail runs closer to home. www.francescaturauskis.co.uk
Shorter Distance Solo Walkers
51. Vagabond Vicky says, “I’ve done a lot of solo stuff in the UK and bits of Europe, mainly day walks but a few multi-day hikes. Haven’t written that much about it yet, but just about to do the The Great Outdoors Challenge.” Here’s her website in case she does write about it for us!
52. Liz Steel says, “Hi Emily, I’ve done a lot of solo walking in Scotland. Some LDWs such as Cape Wrath Trail, Skye Trail and just about to set off on the Hebridean Way. I don’t write about it though.” Part of me is thinking – why did I put this in shorter distance? But I guess if you look at Liz’s Twitter you’ll see it’s mostly her shorter exploits.
53. Kate Jamieson says, “Unfortunately, I just bimble solo at the weekends, never far enough :)” adventuresofkate.co.uk
54. Abbie Barnes does lots of solo walking – and she’s got a YouTube channel to prove it.
55. Lizzi Wake said, “Emily, I’ve just completed a (mostly) solo walk around Wales in stages over five years, camping for much of it.” I think it’s really important to remember that we can achieve big walks like this in stages. Here are her blogs about the expedition: lizziwake.wordpress.com
56. Samantha’s Wildlife says, “I’m getting into solo multi-day hiking but haven’t done anything note-worthy.”
57. Kristi says, “I started solo winter hiking in the Adirondack Mountains about six years ago. I love hiking on my own – well, almost alone – I bring my four-footed hiking buddy.” Kristi, I reckon that counts! Here’s more from her.
58. Heather of Exploration Project says, “I hike solo almost always, just day hikes so far though.”
Even More Short Distance Female Walkers
59. Girl on the Trail says, “I do solo day hikes all over Wales; no expeditions yet though 🙂 I write walking trails books and an outdoor blog.”
60. Emily Thompson says, “Me!! The Pennine Way was the biggest, but I’ve done loads of solo walking in the UK. Scottish winter is my favourite!” tinkadventures.com
61. J. Paisley asks, “What’s your definition of an expedition? I did 13 miles by myself deep into a forest without even my dog. That felt like an expedition to me.” thatwascooladdress.blogspot.com
62. Alison is a shepherdess and so walks solo a lot for her work. Her social media is full of lovely pictures of the hills and her farm.
63. Loren Cafferty of Maid in the North does some shorter solo walks.
64. Polly (Brighton Mama) says, “I’ve done a lot of solo walking all over the place, loads when I was living in Japan. I have a lot of travel content on my blog but most of the solo stuff was pre-baby and pre-blog. I did write for a travel/tourist magazine in Japan though.”
Yep, we’re still going!
65. Prof Emanuelle Tulle walks solo. She has a few Walk Highland posts and a very small piece for UK Hillwalking compiled by Ash Routen. “Mostly an academic and doing research on women hillwalkers in Scotland. Just need to write it up!”
66. Liz Nestrop has the exciting job title of “Walking Project Manager”. Her Twitter is here.
67. Megan Johnson of Red Around the World says she’s exploring the world one National Park at a time.
68. Catherine Edsell says, “I travelled solo for most of my time pre-kids. It’s the best way to travel.” www.cathadventure.com
69. Emma Framps the co-founder of Adventure Queens has done some solo travelling www.emma-frampton.com
70. Alice Ford says, “Me I hike solo all the time” www.alicesadventuresonearth.com
71. Katy MacMillan-Scott has done a huge amount of solo walking in memory of her best friend Harriet who passed away: www.adventuresforharriet.co.uk
72. Freya Heddinson tells the story of walking and camping solo near the Bolivian border.
73. Kathryn of Kathryn Anywhere has done some solo travels.
74. Jo McGain writes about her experience of walking alone in this blog post.
75. George Bream says, “Me!” Okay George, you’re on the list!
76. Linda Cracknell has done lots of solo hikes and is a regular contributor for Walk Highlands.
77. Louise Mclelland does solo walks and runs in Scotland. You can find her here.
78. Karin Marshal is another lady in Scotland doing solo walks. Here’s her Twitter.
79. A helpful commenter said, “I think of Travel with Irene instantly!”
80. Helen Iles says she does solo walks. Although she doesn’t seem to have written about them, she has some lovely photos on her website: www.heleniles.co.uk
Long Distance Solo Runners
81. Anna Mcnuff ran the Aotearoa trail in New Zealand and is currently running the length of Britain, barefoot. annamcnuff.com
82. Jenny Tough has done several solo running adventures (she’s trying to run a mountain range in each continent). Plus she makes short films about her experiences: jennytough.com
83. Emma Timmis ran across Africa and did the Australian Alpine Walking Track solo and unsupported. “Was way tougher than anticipated.” www.emmatimmis.com
84. Nikki Love has done lots of solo running challenges. This year, she’s going to run across Australia nikkilove.co.uk
85. Sophie Rooney describes herself as “probably the first woman to run the length of Scandinavia”. daringmightythings.blog
86. Totkat did 1070 miles of solo running on trails over 37 days. She had no crew and was completely self-supported. Here’s a link to her blog of the challenge.
I am sure I could do a 100 list of just runners if I tried!
87. Francesca Mills is currently jogging and camping 4500 miles around the coast of Britain over three Winters. www.asiwandered.co.uk
88. Elise Downing ran a lap of the UK’s coastline. elisedowning.com/blog
89. Faith of Great British Run ran from the northernmost point of the UK in Shetland to Lizard Point… and did a lap of Jersey to ensure that she’d actually done the entire length! She ran in aid of Parkinsons UK and @Longfield Care, raising over £5200.
90. Catra Corbett got a recomendation from another helpful tweeter: “She has had some epic adventures, enjoyed her book. I think she did a 200 mile run around her city this weekend just for fun.” catracorbett.com
91. Jill Homer caught the ultrarunning bug in 2010, but does a bit of everything (cycling/running/hiking). www.jilloutside.com
92. Ruth Allen ran 350km solo and self-supported from the Croatian border, through Bosnia’s mountains, to the border with Montenegro! whitepeakwellbeing.com
93. Mary Hickey ran around the coast of Ireland in her 60s to raise money for RNLI. Now she’s going round again on a bicycle: https://twitter.com/rnlilapofthemap
94. Tina Page is currently trying to run 1000 British summits in 365 days adventurehobo.blog
95. Melissa Talago said, “I’ve done plenty of solo walks, rather than long expeditions. I’ve written about many of them on the Glamoraks blog.”
96. The Great Outdoors Challenge – Thanks to whoever brought this to my attention. Plenty of women walk solo across Scotland every year as part of this challenge. In fact, a majority of participants are solo. You can find challengers’ blogs and photos here: www.tgochallenge.co.uk/challengers-blogs-and-photos
97. Lone Women in Flashes of Wilderness is a collaborative project exploring women’s thoughts and experiences of darkness, wilderness and being alone. www.lonewomeninflashesofwilderness.com
98. Maria Riley walks alone and also organises a regular “netwalk” in the local woodlands for local business people. If you’re local to London then here she is.
99. Solo walking Scotland I thought this was a group, but it doesn’t get an explicit mention in the article that was shared. Still, here’s the article for even more solo female walkers!
100. She Explores is a podcast about women in the outdoors, that has featured some women who walk alone. she-explores.com
Phew! You Made it!
Woah, well that was a mammoth list. If you don’t believe that women walk and run alone then I’m afraid you may be a bit deluded… sorry.