When Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army won the Battle of Worcester in 1651, the British Monarchy seemed to be at an end. The only hopes for survival lay with the son of the executed King Charles I, the young man who claimed the title King Charles II but was now a fugitive. After the battle was lost and won, his only chance was to escape the country and thereby keep hopes of a restoration alive.
The Monarch’s Way
This website has been inspired by the Monarch’s Way, a 625 mile walking route which approximately follows the path taken by Charles as he escaped the country. I am part of a small group who have completed around three quarters of the walk and aim to finish the rest over the next two years, bio-security conditions permitting.
The Monarch’s Way walk does not attempt to follow the precise roads taken by Charles as he sought to escape from the Roundhead troops – most such roads have long since been surfaced over. What the Monarch’s Way does instead is to join together the various towns, villages, country houses and inns associated with the escape using walker-friendly rights-of-way. The result is a unique lost-distance path – not merely because it is conformably the longest inland walk in the UK, but also because it covers a wide variety of different landscapes: it passes through the Midlands, including the Black Country, onto the Cotswolds and then the Mendips, skirts the Devonshire Downs and the Salisbury Plain and joins the South Downs before finally arriving at the Sussex coast. It is a spectacular tour of Western and Southern England.