First walk


First Naked Walk from Land's End to John o'Groats started.

Spent night before sleeping amongst rocks at Penzance harbour. Took minibus to Land's End proper in morning. Met up with photographer who seemed a bit bored with his job. Stripped off to begin walk and was being photographed when I noticed some women in a group dressed in Islamic burqa / niqab (eyes only slit) a little way off. Don't think they noticed me.


First arrested in St Ives. I contacted local TV network who did a piece on me before entering town, but unbeknown to me they had also contacted police - I suppose an arrest made a better story; source of information: the police themselves. Got dressed to get out of custody, returned to spot where I was arrested, evening time. Stripped off in car park, walked through town around harbour, people out enjoying sun no problems. Other side of St Ives, about to leave populated area - attacked by group - broken nose, head cut, taken to hospital by ambulance - patched up. Next day returned and continued naked. Had stitches put in gash above eye - looked a mess.

Arrested again on coastal path early in the morning - police waiting for me - this in next town along from St Ives. Taken to police station then released - no charge. I had to walk miles back to resume. This happened before Newquay.


Arrested twice in Newquay. The police tried to make out that I'd walked by a school on purpose, but when they checked the maps I'd been using and realised the school wasn't marked on it and so I could not have known it was there, they dropped the accusation. It was a stupid idea anyway. As if I would have walked all the way from Land's End just to walk in front of one of their local schools.

Cut inland just before Bude - heading as directly as I could for Glastonbury, off maps using compass bearing. Arrested / released in Wellington. Big problem with blisters on both heels - pissing on them to stop being infected. Hard to sleep - throbbing legs due to stinging nettles. Stayed in Glastonbury extra day after losing phone (left mobile phone in phonebox) - hoped it would be returned - it wasn't. Weather stayed dry - all I can ask. Headed for Bristol - Severn bridge - crossed into Wales - no problems.

Next arrest was in Hay-on-Wye, kept for half-an-hour in police station, then released, again dressing whilst in custody. After release, I walked back into town naked to place of arrest, then turned around and walked out again.

Wasn't arrested again in England until the second-to-last village I went through on the Pennine Way before Scotland. Again they kept me for a while then I was released. Slept the night in a block of toilets - couldn't stop the cistern from flushing every ten minutes so my sleep was not great. Raining heavily outside.


A man trying to walk the length of the UK dressed only in his walking boots has reportedly been sent back to the start of his journey by police. Steve Gough, 44, from Eastleigh, Hampshire, was 10 days short of John O'Groats when he was arrested by police in Scotland, says the Times. Despite many brushes with the law under his belt, this time it was discovered he had breached his bail conditions in Cornwall. So Mr Gough was taken back to the county where he began his trip on 16 June.


A rambler arrested during a naked walk from Land's End to John O'Groats has had a case against him dropped due to lack of evidence. Steve Gough, 44, was arrested in Newquay, Cornwall, on 21 June just a few days after starting his 847-mile trek dressed only in hat, socks, boots and a rucksack. He was charged with a public order offence and listed to appear before magistrates in Bodmin, Cornwall on Thursday. But the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case against Gough due to insufficient evidence. Gough is currently on remand in prison in Inverness pending a trial at Dingwall Sheriff Court for breaching the peace while on bail.


A man attempting to hike naked across Britain has been locked up again to stop him completing his walk. Stephen Gough of Eastleigh, Hampshire, was arrested in the Scottish Highlands while trying to finish his journey from Lands End to John O'Groats. Mr Gough denies walking naked in the presence of the public in circumstances likely to produce a road safety hazard and a breach of the peace on Cromarty Bridge, Ardullie, in Ross-shire, on 3 October. The 44-year-old, known as the Naked Rambler, was remanded in custody until his trial on 7 November. He appeared from custody at Dingwall Sheriff Court wearing nothing but a beige blanket tied around his waist with a belt and his hands cuffed behind his back. He also denies breaching bail granted by Perth Sheriff Court and Inverness Sheriff Court.


The man dubbed the Naked Rambler has had sentence deferred after being tried in his absence at Dingwall Sheriff Court. Steven Gough, 44, from Hampshire, was earlier removed from the court when he refused to co-operate with proceedings while covered with a blanket.


A man attempting to walk the length of Britain naked has been arrested - just hours after being freed from prison in Inverness. Stephen Gough, 44, from Eastleigh, Hampshire, was given a three month prison sentence on Friday [2003-11-28], but was released because of the time he had already spent in custody. Gough restarted his walk on Saturday morning from Cromarty Bridge in Ross-shire, where he had been arrested at the beginning of October. He braved lashing rain, wind and low temperatures to get back on the road but was picked up by the police after he had walked about three miles. Police received a 999 call from a resident who had spotted Gough walking on Drummond Road in Evanton, Easter Ross. He is expected to appear in court on Monday [2003-12-01].


A man attempting to walk the length of Britain naked has been remanded in custody until the new year after appearing in court in the Scottish Highlands. Stephen Gough, 44, from Eastleigh, Hampshire, was arrested on Saturday morning - just hours after being freed from prison in Inverness. Appearing at Dingwall Sheriff Court on Monday, Gough denied committing a breach of the peace in Evanton, Ross-shire and breaching existing bail conditions. He was remanded in custody until his trial on 7 January.


A naked rambler has again been found guilty of breach of the peace and sentenced to a spell in a Scots jail. Stephen Gough, 44, from Hampshire, was convicted after walking through a village in Easter Ross in the Highlands clad only in a hat and boots. Gough has been arrested several times for his naked rambling, which he said is a protest against negative attitudes towards the human body. He could be released in days as he has already served a month on remand. Dingwall Sheriff Court heard how police received a 999 call from a resident who had spotted Gough walking on Drummond Road in Evanton, Easter Ross, on 29 November. He was arrested just hours after being released from prison in Inverness where he was serving a three-month jail term for committing a similar offence on Cromarty Bridge.

After arrests and detentions at Inverness and Dingwall I eventually got going on the final leg. There was now snow on the mountain tops which meant I had to keep walking to keep warm. I followed a railway line for a substantial distance, staying in the little railway huts for the workers at night. On the last night I got a good fire going in one of them and could dry out a bit. Had some whiskey someone had given me. Got going early on the last day. I had about 30 miles to walk if I was going to do it before it got dark. Met a camera crew half-way who gave me some food and water whilst I walked. In the final few miles people were gathered at various places cheering me on. A bus driver stopped and gave me a fiver and in a village I passed through people came out of their various abodes to clap and cheer - then there were all the press and TV waiting at John o'Groats itself.


The man dubbed the naked rambler has finally completed his marathon trek from Land's End to John O'Groats. Stephen Gough, 44, from Hampshire, finished his walk after seven months, much of which was spent in jail.

I don't know whether the laws being different are necessarily the reason why I have been convicted more in Scotland than in England. I rather think it is about how the term "reasonable person" is interpreted: is it a high objective standard based in reality (what's true) or is it the expected subjective opinions of the majority based on intolerance and prejudice?

Though I had a lot of problems with the police in Scotland I had some of the best encounters with the public. One man had driven around for days looking for me - when we eventually met he gave me a flask of home-made soup and some cake his daughter had baked. Another man whom I'd sought help from regarding my (new) mobile phone gave me breakfast. Lots of people generally - so I felt - were on my side.

I ran out of food and money at several points along the way and was forced to beg for both. Generally, I put my clothes on to do that. My sister sent me some cash later which I picked up at a Youth Hostel. I made a big mistake of not taking with me a cooker so all the food and fluid I drank and ate was cold - OK in summer, not so nice in winter.

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