Over the last 49 years John has walked over 225,500 miles - more than
ten times around the world , wearing out 136 pairs of boots, 47 rucksacks, and more than 1,700 pairs of socks in the process.
He is acknowledged as being Britain's most experienced hiker and the world's greatest marathon walker.
He has completed a remarkable and unequalled number of marathon walks - walking more than 28 miles per day on average - including being the first person to walk around Britain - 7,000 miles - in ten months. He has walked across Europe - 3,000 miles,
Africa, India, Nepal, Asia, America - 4,263 miles, and along the great trails of America - the Appalachian Trtail - 2,500 miles; the Continental Divide - 3,000 miles, The Pacific Crest Trail - 3,000 miles ; the Buckeye Trail in Ohio - 1,300 miles and Canada, including Niagara Falls Trail - 450 miles. He has completed many Pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela - Le Puy - 1,100 miles; Via la Platta - 750 miles; through Portugal - 650 miles,
Canterbury - five times,, Walsingham - four times and Oslo to Trondheim - 450 miles, St. Olav's Way in Norway. Many more marathons and
pilgrimages are planned. See a full list of his walks on this site.
He has written more than 460 guidebooks to his walks, most of which he prints
and publishes himself. After his coast walk he realised the fame game prevented
his from doing what he was destined to do, and that was to simply walk and
write. He purposefully left the stage and concentrated on what he wanted to do.
He does not consult anyone, promote or seek publicity; preferring to follow his
own quiet spiritual path through life. This means he can write a book, on
average one every month. He is not beholden to anyone, just a free spirit, with
no staff, agents or editors. As a result he is not rich in money terms but in
life and places walked to, a millionaire.
He is not a loner, quite the reverse, but to get the material and accomplish his
walks - "he who travels alone, travels fastest". And, by going alone you never
forget. He is guided and has a very deep spiritual faith and has never come to
any harm or put a foot wrong. The only way to be close to nature and mother
earth and see its huge variety, is by walking; no other sport/exercise gives you
that connectedness to the earth. He does no research beforehand, preferring to
walk around the corner and come to a church, historic house, sacred site etc.,
and discover for himself their secrets. To be aware of what's next is to dampen
"A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step."
Lao Tzu (The Tao Te Ching).
I am on my third stage of my journey as an intuitive master, which continues
daily - one life is not enough.
"Do not seek fame. Do not make plans.
Do not be absorbed by activities.
Do not think that you know.
Be aware of all that is and dwell in the infinite.
Wander where there is no path.
Be all that heaven gave you, but act as though
you have received nothing.
Be empty, that is all."
In July 2010 he was ordained as an Multi-faith Minister - see his companion site for full details - www.thejohnmerrillministry.co.uk.
My 134th pair of boots (2018) and new 2019 boots No. 135!