Karen Penny Halfway Done

Fifty-five-year-old Karen Penny resumed her 32,000km walk around the British Isles in April. On July 5, she arrived on the island of Guernsey, part of her journey along the Channel Islands. So far, she has completed approximately 15,127km around the UK, about halfway.

In February 2020, soon after she arrived in the Shetland Islands, COVID-19 postponed her walk. After isolating with her family for a few months, she resumed in August 2020. However, she couldn’t return to Scotland because of restrictions. Instead, she opted for a reversed journey from the coast of Wales to England’s east coast.

At the end of June 2021, she walked from Norwich to Lincolnshire. Here, she made an impromptu decision to complete her leg of the Channel Islands as soon as travel there was permitted. 

Karen Penny is raising money for Alzheimer’s research along the way. Above, meeting with Alzheimer’s Research UK in London. Photo: Alzheimer’s Research UK


A few days ago, she set foot on Guernsey and walked to St. Peter Port to catch a ferry to Alderney. She then trekked around Alderney. She and a local companion are now hiking along the rugged cliffs of Guernsey’s southern coast to Cobo.

She expects to end her Channel Islands leg at St. Helier in Jersey on July 19. Then it’s back to the mainland, where she follows her compass north. She aims to return to the Shetlands in autumn. 

Karen Penny in Hastings, May 2021. Photo: Karen Penny/Twitter


Penny continues her walking regimen of 24km a day, through wetlands, salt marshes, and occasionally even prison property. She has slept in a colorful variety of crash pads: abandoned castles, kind strangers’ gardens, and bird blinds. Locals following her Facebook page often guide her through their area.

So far, Penny has raised $120,000 for Alzheimer’s.