Big Keswick meet-up – what the participants thought


Meet-ups of 1000-mile challengers (or badgers, as they are often known, after the #walk1000miles badges many wear) are happening all over the place all the time. The recent Keswick meet arranged by the seemingly tireless Jay Mistry is a great example. But what's so good about joining a group meet, via the Events tab in the Facebook group? We asked the recent attendees in the Lakes...

I would never have had the confidence to get to the top of Cat Bells without the help and companionship of the fabulous badgers who came to Keswick. A great walk in the company of old and new friends in fabulous scenery.
— Ruth Francis

A group of strangers brought together by their passion, this certainly wouldn’t have happened without #walk1000miles. I’d like to think I’ve made some good friends for life. I come across as a big gob but that’s just a cover up for my low self esteem and lack of confidence in myself. We all have different levels of ability but we all helped each other achieve what we wanted to this weekend can’t thank Jay and Brian enough for organising – roll on the next one 😊.
— Lisa Mcatee
Lisa McAtee.jpg

Helen Smith.jpg
There was a degree of moaning on the climb from my two but they managed it. For Matthew I think it was the promise of Haribos at the top from the lovely Lisa that kept him going. This is the 2nd Keswick badger meet we have all been on and It was an amazing weekend, catching up with lovely people that we’ve walked with before but also making new friend’s and it was certainly a laugh a minute. Can’t wait to get out walking again with you guys.
— Helen Smith

It’s fun walking the hills with fellow badgers, and catching up with friends. It’s also nice to have quiet time and support others, and just have quality chill out time.
— Guy Brindle

I’m not a hill walker as I have a phobia of heights and have panic attacks. However I climbed Cat Bells, almost. I made it to within 15 ft from the summit before I had a panic attack. I would not have even attempted this on my own. But with encouragement I got as far as I could. People were so kind, comforting and supportive, making me realise I wasn’t the failure I thought I was. I now have a passion for hills and will attempt more and I will face my fear. I love these People, genuine, kind, supportive and so much fun. I’ve not laughed as much in a long time.
— Heather Peel

Vertigo sufferers went higher than they’d ever been and tired legs went farther than they’d ever been. They were an inspiration both on and off the fells and my picture highlights the enjoyment and bonding that the “apres-walking” sessions created - a fundamental and essential feature of the Keswick meets. Friends for life and all because of Country Qalking!
— Brian Stalker

This was my very first visit to the Lake District. Jay’s meets have brought a mix of people from all over the country. I’ve found so many new and wonderful friends I intend to keep in touch with and meet again on future adventures. I can honestly say they are all very beautiful and special people that made me laugh till I cried, and tugged a huge string in my heart as the weekend ended and we had to say farewell hugging each other returning on our journeys home. My whole experience will live with me forever with so many happy memories...
— Barry Plant

Julie Russell.jpg
This was my 1st badger meet as live in IOM so not easy to nip across re time and money. Now I want to go to every one! The cameraderie and bonding from 2 days together was absolutely amazing! No pressures re too fast too slow etc etc. I have quite a challenging job which is not easy to switch off from and some difficult circumstances this year caused me to lose my mojo but this group and this weekend has totally given me my mojo back. I feel healthier fitter and more positive than I have done this year and I have laughed so much and can’t stop smiling when I think of everyone I have met this weekend and the fun we have had. It has also given me confidence I can go and walk on my own in the hills with a map which my husband has always disputed!! Can’t wait to meet everyone again!
— Julie Russell

We arrived as strangers and left as friends. Challenged ourselves and supported each other in equal measure. So nice to meet so many new people from all walks of life with the common goal to enjoy the lake district and #walk1000miles.
— Paul Thompson