UKH

The Longest LineFri Night Vid

© Summit Fever Media

In August 2021, a pair of Scottish walkers completed what's thought to be the longest straight line route in Britain without crossing a road. This engaging short film by Summit Fever Media follows them in their 78km adventure.

"I had a mix of feelings, from monotonous and depressing to really joyful" said Maclean   © Johny Cook
"I had a mix of feelings, from monotonous and depressing to really joyful" said Maclean
© Johny Cook

For the whole journey from the A9 near Drumochter through the Cairngorms to the A939 near Corgarff, Calum Maclean and Jenny Graham stuck as closely as possible to a bearing of 67 degrees, taking in almost all the obstacles on the line. Thanks to the difficult path-less terrain, and the self-imposed rule not to stray off course unless absolutely necessary, the journey took them four days. 

High point of the route was the summit of Beinn a'Bhuird at 1197m, while the low point, figuratively, sounds like all the heather they had to plough through.

Jenny, a round-world record-breaking cyclist, said: "Walking in a straight line sounds like the simplest of all adventures but it turned out to be the most complex navigation of any trip I've been on."

"I feel like I know the Cairngorms really well, but this has taken us to completely different places."

The route was identified in 2018 by Ordnance Survey (OS) after a Twitter user asked about the longest distance it's possible to walk in a straight line in England, Wales and Scotland without crossing a road:

An OS cartographer determined the UK's winner was the A9/A939 route but commented, "I wouldn't recommend anyone do it unless they are very conversant with a map and compass. It is not following known tracks or paths and it looks like there may well be several scrambles along the way, too."

Other teams have tried, but it's thought that Graham and Maclean are the first to have completed it.

The Longest Line  © Summit Fever Media
High camp on the line


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