THE self proclaimed ‘Welsh Wanderer’ Tom Davies plans to return this Saturday (August 26) to the Offa’s Dyke Centre in Knighton to launch the book he wrote about his epic walk around Wales.
Tom began the 1,100-mile walk around Wales’ perimeter from his home in Presteigne on July 26 and finished it nine weeks later, raising £6,700 for the Alzheimer’s Society in the process.
His book, A Welsh Wander – An Epic Trek Right Around Wales, is his open and honest story of that walk and is bursting with facts about the places he visited along his route.
Illustrated with stunning images of the scenery he encountered along the way, Tom describes some magical encounters with wildlife and records some bizarre anecdotes of incidents that occurred, including some moments of life-affirming generosity from strangers, as well as a few dark moments when he thought he’d bitten off more than he could chew.
Tom will be joined during Saturday’s launch by TV presenter and Welsh meterologist Derek Brockway.
“I’m really excited to be officially launching A Welsh Wander with Derek in a centre which I passed through on the first day of my challenge,” said Tom. “Little did I know that on that drizzly July day just what was in store!
“My dad suffered from dementia, Tom’s grandmother died of Alzheimer’s and now his grandfather has developed the illness too. I decided to offer my support and join him on part of his trek of a lifetime, to help raise awareness of this terrible condition,” said Derek. “It has been a pleasure for me to get to know Tom and one day I hope to follow in his footsteps and complete my own Welsh Wander!”
The joint event will include a chance to meet Tom, his loyal backpack ‘Wilson’, and Derek at a book signing and a question-and-answer session. The event will take place on the day of the Knighton carnival and attendees are encouraged to meet Tom and Derek during the morning before the procession.
The book also includes practical tips and checklists for anyone thinking of taking up long-distance walking.
Offa’s Dyke national trail officer Rob Dingle said: “For anyone planning to walk around Wales, or along the Offa’s Dyke Path or who just wants a good read about one person’s walking adventure, I would highly recommend that you read Tom’s A Welsh Wander.”
Tom grew up in a close farming family in Presteigne, developing a love for nature and the great outdoors. While at Bangor University, where he studied Primary Education, he joined the Mountain Walking Club, becoming treasurer and a leader and spent most weekends taking groups to Snowdonia.
After graduating, he spent four years teaching. He is now combining his love for teaching and the great outdoors by working as an outdoor activities instructor.
A Welsh Wander – An Epic Trek Right Around Wales by Tom Davies (£12.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.