Inspiring mother takes in West Cork on four year charity walk

Karen Penny (53) from The Gower in South Wales, is a mother and former legal professional who has just set off to walk the entire coast of Great Britain and Ireland, taking in West Cork, to raise money for dementia research. 

 She estimates that her incredible trek will take her three-and-a half to four years to complete (during which time she is not going to return home at all – her husband will drive out in a campervan to join her every six weeks). She has “guesstimated” a total distance of 20,000 miles. All this time she will be carrying a tent in her rucksack and camping along the way. 

Karen aims to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, having been moved to support the charity after the tragic deaths of both of her in-laws from dementia (her mother-in-law with vascular dementia; her father-in-law with Alzheimer’s disease).

Karen says: “I’m delighted to do this – I wanted to do something that would get a good amount of money. Both my husband’s parents died from dementia-related illnesses, and it had a massive effect on me. Alzheimer’s is something that touches nearly every family.”

 She set out on January 14 from her local primary school in Pennard, Swansea with a great send-off from the local community. From there she’s heading around the Welsh coast until she reaches Fishguard, and she will then cross  to Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland. If all goes to schedule she will arrive in Rosslare at the beginning of February. Then, after walking the entire circumference of Ireland (clockwise) she’ll return to Wales, head north and take in “at least twenty” Scottish islands on route before coming back down and around to her starting point in South Wales. 

An inspring woman, Karen is completely determined to complete this journey.

She has spent the last few months training hard for her epic voyage, covering between eight and 10 miles a day, with her full kit that weighs around 30lbs. She’s also been sleeping in her tent to get used to the weather conditions she’s going to be experiencing on route! 

For more information or to make a donation visit her Just-Giving page at

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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