Welcome to Alison on Foot!

I’ve always loved to walk. I come from good walking stock (translation: not many of my extended family drive, and the ones that do aren’t particularly good at it!). In fact, we didn’t have a car when I was growing up and, coming from the Isle of Man, we didn’t really need one so walking was the obvious way to get around.

The Isle of Man is a walker’s paradise and has everything from short strolls through beautiful glens and plantations to long-distance paths around the coast.

View of the Calf of Man from the Raad ny Foillan coastal path on the Isle of Man
Raad ny Foillan coastal path, Isle of Man

The Island also has a strong tradition of competitive walking with the pinnacle of long-distance walking being the Parish Walk, an annual 24 hour walk which starts and finishes in Douglas and circumnavigates the Island calling at all 17 parish churches for a total of 85 miles.

I’ve taken part in the Parish Walk many times over the years but have yet to finish it (my personal best is 52.5 miles before I retired footsore and weary over 12 hours later).

The Parish Walk has been taking place in its current form for over one hundred years – long before the advent of flashy sportswear and isotonic drinks. My uncle was the winner in 1963, finishing in a time of 17 hrs and 4 minutes and wearing what look like his work boots in the photos we have.

Joe Brown winning the Isle of Man Parish Walk in 1963
My uncle, Joe Brown, winning the Parish Walk in 1963

I know I’ll never match his achievement (the course record now stands at 14 hours and 40 minutes) but I do hope one day to reach the finish line within the time frame (even if I come in at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds it’ll do!).

Another passion is travelling and walking is a great way to explore new places whether that’s on a city break, or a dedicated walking holiday.

One of my favourite holidays was a group walking trip along the Lycian Way in Turkey starting out from Kayakoy and finishing in Simena a week later and, years later, I’m still in touch with some of the others in the group.

View of the Mediterranean Sea from the Lycian Way in Turkey
Hiking the Lycian Way in Turkey, October 2007

In 2017 I moved to Andalucia in southern Spain. With my partner, Mark, I live in the village of Castellar de la Frontera on the edge of the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales so I’m surrounded by excellent walking and hiking trails.

View of Castellar de la Frontera and Castillo de Castellar in Parque Natural de Los Alcornocales, Andalucia
Castellar de la Frontera in Andalucia, Spain

If you want to know more about life in Andalucia feel free to take a look at my other website Alison in Andalucia.

Happy walking!