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The man who has walked and still is walking, the Peak District

Britain, Europe and the World; he has no equal.

John Merrill 

 Walk Guides

"Hiking the sacred paths and trails of the world for others to follow".

"The miracle of life is not to fly in the air, or walk-on the water, but to walk on the earth"- Chinese saying.

"For every mile that you walk, you extend your life by 21 mins."

photo - John Merrill on the summit of Stake Pass, on the Cumbria Way - May 2022.


  • On walks throughout the world, John has so far walked more than 220,500 miles, wearing out 136 pairs of boots. He is still in the same body he was born with, and has had no replacements and does not use walking poles. (The average person does 75,000 miles in their lifetime).
  • The first person to walk around the entire British coastline – 7,000 miles.
  • Guiness Books of Records holder.
  • The first person to walk all the islands of the Inner & Outer Hebrides, Orkneys & Shetlands and the west coast of Ireland – 3,500 miles. (There are more 1,200 islands off the coast of Britain and John has walked around more than 1,000 of them).
  • First walk to link the then Ten National Parks in England & Wales, the major National Trails and highest peaks - 2,200 miles.
  • Walked the Pacific Crest Trail – Mexico to Canada – 3,000 miles, in record time.
  • Completed a unique 4,230 mile walk across America in 178 days.
  • First person to walk around the Buckeye Trail in Ohio – 1,300 miles.
  • Walked the Appalachain Trail – Georgia to Maine – as a training walk.
  • Walked every trail and climbed all the mountains of New Mexico.
  • First person to walk across Europe, the Alps and Pyrenees – 3,000 miles and 600,000 feet of ascent and descent.
  • Created more than 80 day challenge walks in Britain, which have been used to raise more than £1.5 million for different charities.
  • Author of more than 440 walk guides with sales over 4 million. This includes more than 120 books on the Peak District with sales over 1 million -include 104,000 copies of "Short Circular Walks in the Peak District" and 65,000 copies of "Long Circular Walks in the Peak District."
  • Created several major Peak District walks –
  • The Limey Way – 40 miles;
  • The Peakland Way – 100 miles.
  • The River's Way - 40 miles.
  • The Peak District High Level Route - 90 miles.
  • The gritstone Edges - end to end - 24 miles.
  • The Limestone Dales - end to end - 24 miles.
  • The White Peak Challenge Walk - 25 miles.
  • The Dark Peak Challenge Walk - 24 miles.
  • The Three Counties Challenge Walk - 28 miles.
  • The Happy Hiker Challenge Walk - 25 miles.
  • Has created more than 8,136 short and long circular walks in Britain.
  • The first walker to have his autobiography published - “Walking my Way”.
  • Awarded an Honours Master Degree from Derby University, acknowledging his walking and Peak District writing.
  • Acknowledged at Britain's most experienced hiker and the world's greatest marathon walker.
  • Known affectionately as Mr Walker, Mr Marathon man, and Mr Peak District.
  • Marathon walked to all the pilgrimage destinations in Europe, India, Nepal and Hong Kong.
  • Has a photographic collection of more than 300,000 photos.
  • Never been ill or broken a bone.
  • Never been too tired to carry on.
  • Breaks all the “accepted” rules of walking, but then a pioneer is always ahead of the field.

JNM – October 2016.