A man who used to be so anxious he was unable to leave his flat is now walking the entire coast of Britain to raise money for a mental health charity.
Charles Compton, from London, passed through Aberdeen yesterday and talked about his experiences so far on the 6000-mile trip.
He said: “Aberdeen seems really nice – I’ve never been before and it was refreshing to arrive somewhere in the sun.
“There’s certainly plenty to do here, but sadly I am only here for two nights.
“I started the walk in January and it has had its challenges. I’ve stayed in bothies in the north of Scotland, in hostels and, in Aberdeen, I got a kind offer of a warm bed and shower.
“It was quite a change to camping on a rock face last week during Storm Ali.”
In mid-July, he travelled from Fort William to Mallaig, covering a distance of 227 miles before walking to Ullapool and around the north coast.
He said: “There have been so many scenic areas in the last five weeks in Scotland, but two parts stick out for me. Firstly Knoydart, which is a remote peninsula with no roads to it.
“The scenery was beautiful, dramatic and very isolated, and secondly, the people I met were great.
“I would love to bring friends back to Knoydart one day.”
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During his adventures in the Highlands, he received a complimentary room from Clach Ghlas B&B in Milovaig, a free stay in a Skye Hobbit House in Torrin and the offer of place to pitch his tent safely in Uig.
Mr Compton was encouraged to embark on the mammoth walk around Britain’s coast after a significant struggle with his own mental health.
In 2013, depression caused the 30-year-old to quit his job as a bridge structural engineer and feel “completely isolated from the world, seemingly with no trigger and for no reason.”
Now he hopes that completing his coastal walk will increase conversation about the topic of mental health.
He said: “I used to be too scared to leave my own flat, so this is completely different. I do feel better, but time will tell when I get back home and see how things have changed.
“I have received messages from people who are going through similar situations as I did. Some have said they are inspired to take a small walk round their area after reading my blog which is good.”
Following in his footsteps
Yesterday's diary from Newburgh to Aberdeen. A cold start but a short, sunny day.
Keep up to date with Charles’ trip and see what he’s been getting up to on his website here.