Veteran walking entirety of Britain's coast 'absolutely loves' Suffolk

Jim Morton Aldeburgh Beach

Jim set off on his journey in April last year. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

A Royal Navy veteran who is walking the length of the British coastline has praised the generosity of people in East Anglia.

Jim Morton, 61, began his journey last April and has been on the road for close to 330 days, travelling more than 5,000 miles and raising around £16,000 for charity.

He reached Aldeburgh on the afternoon of Friday, March 4. 

Assisted by wife Susan, who helps plan routes and supports him from their campervan, Yorkshireman Jim is taking on the challenge to fulfil a lifetime goal of visiting all the UK's lighthouses, as well as raising money for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Jim Morton Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Jim is taking on the challenge because of a lifetime ambition, as well as to raise money for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Jim said: “It’s been my lifelong ambition since I was seven years old, I was fascinated by lighthouses, so I decided it’d be a good idea. 

“It’s a bit of a different prospect when you're 61 years old and it's reality!"

Jim, who has holidayed in Suffolk in the past, says that he "absolutely loves" the region, and has received a good reception from people along the way.

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“We’ve had a lot of generosity from the people of East Anglia. We’ve stayed in pub car parks and campsites. We’ve been taken in and given sandwiches and coffee and tea," he said. 

Jim Morton Aldeburgh

Jim has so far completed over 5,000 miles. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

“Everybody asks what’s the nicest place, but it’s not about the places – it’s the people, the generosity. 

“Most nights we stay on somebody's drive who we’ve never met before, connect to their electricity, sometimes we’re invited in for meals or we use their washing machine."

The journey has not always been smooth, as Jim had to be airlifted to hospital after he fell from a cliff in Scotland.

Jim estimates the journey will come to a total of around 7,500 miles spread across 500 days. He said he hopes to complete the challenge by August.

The former Royal Navy serviceman is hoping to raise £50,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, which supports Gurkha veterans, their widows and communities.

“My first ship in the navy was HMS Gurkha, so I’ve had an affinity with the Gurkha’s since 1977," Jim explained.

If you would like to keep up to date with Jim's journey more information can be found on the 'I may be gone a while' Facebook page.

A link to Jim's JustGiving page can be found here.