AN experienced writer was fascinated by waterways as he navigated his way through the middle of the country in a million steps for his latest book.

Nick, 60, dad of two, walked from the north west corner of England to the south east coast, passing through Northwich and Middlewich, for ‘Diagonal Walking’.

Nick said: “The idea this time was to walk both through and amongst England, to take the temperature of the country as it enters what might be one of the most traumatic periods of its history since the end of the last war.

“The walk took 39 days and I completed it in five stages after a million steps.”

The route was 250 miles, however Nick ended up walking more than 400 miles by the time he had negotiated natural and man-made obstacles and he used the River Weaver to work his way through the two towns.

Nick said: “I started the walk this time last year, and I ended up walking through one of the hottest summers in living memory.

“I stayed at a bed and breakfast in Middlewich which was not far from the canal and it was the only weekend during my walk where it rained a lot.”

Despite the weather, Nick was intrigued with the area, especially the towpaths and canals.

He said: “When I reached the town the canal had been drained due to a collapse.

“As a canal enthusiast it was absolutely fascinating for me to see that, especially considering that there are three different canals running through the town.”

The sun did come out for Nick.

Nick said: “The weather in Northwich was glorious and I absolutely loved the marina area. I spent a lot of time on a bench just looking out over there.

“My experiences of both towns were really positive.”

Nick followed canal network and he met many residents on the rivers and towpaths.

Nick said: “A lot of the areas on my walk were quite secluded but because here I had to walk alongside rivers which are clearly popular walking routes, I saw a lot of people.

“I made an effort to say hello to everyone I walked past and a great number of people took an interest in my t-shirt and then went on to ask me about exactly what I was doing, the people were very friendly.

Nick stayed with friends and in Airbnb’s on his trip.

He said: “I didn’t keep track of how much I spent but I tried to budget for about £50 a night.

“I nearly took a tent with me but after experiencing the weather throughout the walk I am glad I did not do that because I definitely could not have carried anything.”

Nick has more than 20 books to his name and his first saw him document his journey down the canal system from Skipton to Banbury in 2000.

‘Walking on Water’ explored the positives and negatives of his journey and offered insight into the country at the turn of the millennium.

Nick said: "I wrote the book on the canal system 20 years ago, when I had two young children and I wanted to find out more about the country they were going to grow up in.

“Now, 20 years later and I wanted to do something similar in case I have any grandchildren on the way.

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