City stop-off on epic walk round UK

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Christian Lewis (centre) meets JMU Journalism’s Jess Grieveson-Smith and Daniel Moxon on his adventure in Liverpool. Pic © Daniel Moxon/JMU Journalism

A former serviceman who is walking the entire coast of the UK stopped off in Liverpool as part of his long-distance adventure this weekend.

Christian Lewis, 37, who served in the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment for seven years, started his journey at Llangennith Beach in Gower, Swansea over two months ago.

He plans to cover the full coastline of Britain and several of the UK’s larger islands, with Liverpool being his latest destination since starting out in August.

Christian is doing the gruelling challenge in order to raise money and awareness for the Armed Forces charity, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

Mr Lewis told JMU Journalism he had the idea for his trip after struggling to come to terms with life after the Army. He said: “I had a few difficulties after leaving the Paras – I was quite isolated and I didn’t get out a lot.

“I was a single parent, but SSAFA really helped. They were amazing. There’s a special place for them in my heart, and that’s why I’m doing this really, to help get the awareness out there.”

Twitter: Christian Lewis

The ex-Paratrooper, originally from Reading, Berkshire, expects his mammoth undertaking to take around two years to complete.

According to the Ordnance Survey, the mapping authority for the United Kingdom, the coastline of the main island of Great Britain is 17,820 km long. However, as Mr Lewis is also taking in certain islands, he will actually cover an even longer distance.

Even if he were to just stick to the mainland, he would have to cover on-average 25km per day to meet his two-year target . This number does not even take into account his rest days.

Mr Lewis said: “I was really excited to have made the crossing into England [from Wales]. Liverpool is probably the longest period I’m going to be staying anywhere. I don’t really want to be staying in any one place too long.

“As soon as I arrived in Liverpool people just talked and talked. There was a guy in a place called Lennon’s Bar – he saw the charity t-shirt and we got chatting, and the next minute he was on the drums and we were playing a song.”

Christian will stay in Liverpool until October 13th in order to fund-raise and bring awareness to the charity’s work.

About Daniel Moxon, JMU Journalism