From a Royal Home to the Home of The Royals

From a Royal Home to the Home of The Royals
(A Royal Adventure)

A Royal Home
Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a rallying point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis. I couldn't even guess at how many people have their photo taken outside it's gates every year, but in a couple of weeks I will be one of them.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been? 
I've been to London to visit the Queen!
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there? 
I man with a rucksack and thinning grey hair!

Yep, I'm going to London to visit the Queen, OK so I don't have a knighthood to collect or even know if she's going to be in. To be honest she's not the reason I'm going to London at all. The reason I'm going to London is to see Alastair Humphreys He is going to be on the top floor of the Iron Duke pub by Victoria station (half a mile south of Buck House) from 6.30pm - 9pm on Tuesday March 9th. 
Alastair was grateful for the help of a long distance cyclist when he was planning his own trip around the world, so now he is offering his services to anyone who is planning something similar. So if you are going on an expedition and need some advice, or indeed if you have experience of expeditions and are willing to share your knowledge with others, then get yourself down the pub and share a bit of wisdom and a pint with other like-minded people. I'm going, and I'm also using this an excuse for a mini adventure or two. 
First of all I'm going to be a 'tourist' and get myself photographed outside as many tourist attractions in London as possible in one day. Then I'm off to the pub to meet Alastair for a couple of hours and to get my breath back for a little bit of night time training. I'm going to walk home from the pub, that's normal. Much better than drinking and driving and much cheaper than a taxi. Especially as the taxi would have to drive 40 miles to take me home.
The Home of the Royals
You see I don't live in London but Reading, just round the corner from The Majedski Stadium or the 'Mad Stad' This is where London Irish play their Rugby and it's also the home of Reading Football Club aka The Royals.
Anyway, back to the night training...The Iron Duke Pub is 40 miles from the Majedski Stadium, which is a stones throw from my front door. This is a bit shorter than the distances I'll be covering each day when I do my 'Another Long Way Down' challenge, but not being one to turn down a golden opportunity for a bit of training and a mini challenge, I have decided to walk back from the pub, just me and my rucksack, with a set of waterproofs just in case. I'm calling this little bit of training "A Royal Adventure" 
Another Long Way Down
What am I training for anyway? March 22nd is the start of my 804km bivvy challenge, 500 miles to us imperialists* I got the idea from The 84km Bivvy Challenge but me being me, I thought I'd do a few of them back to back. I'm basically flying to Glasgow, then walking back to the Mad Stad, via the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, a charity ball in Leeds and the Peak District. I shall be living on whatever I can carry on my back, sleeping under the stars and washing in anything that doesn't appear to have too many creatures in it. All of this in under 10 days, that's about 2 marathons a day to save you looking for your calculators. Once back in Reading I'm having a party at the Jazz Cafe, where you are all invited to join me if you fancy a curry/chilli and a couple of beers. Click here for details of that night out. The 'Another Long Way Down' and 'Another Good Night Out' at the Jazz Cafe are to raise money for a couple of charities 
The Royal Adventure is just because I want to, no fundraising, no ulterior motive, no big sponsors logo on my sleeve. Nothing in fact apart from the fact that I want to, I'm going to and no bugger is going to stop me!

I do however need some help...
I was going to take the most direct route home. You can see this route on the map below, which is interactive so you can zoom in and follow the roads etc. but Alastair has suggested that I take the Thames Path. This may be a better route, certainly more interesting, but as you can see on the last map, twice as long. So I'm leaving the route I take up to you lot. Please reply to this blog or let me know on twitter or facebook, which route should I take? 
Route 1. The Straight Line
Route 2. The Thames Path

View Larger Map

* I am of course talking about lovers of measurements in feet and inches here, not Lenin's theory of imperialism.


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