This summer sees the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Dark Mountain manifesto – and the departure of our co-founder Dougald Hine who is moving on to new projects. To mark this, Dougald and his family are planning an eight-day walk along the Thames. Collaborators, friends and supporters of Dark Mountain are invited to join them for part (or all) of the way.
At the time the manifesto was written, Dougald was living in London and Paul in Oxford, so the two of them made a lot of journeys between the two cities, usually travelling by coach. Ten years on, this is a chance to retrace that journey at a more reflective pace.
The path follows the river so it should be gentle walking – and we will have a four year old with us, so the pace will also be on the gentle side.
Day 1 – Monday 8 July – Hampton Court to Staines
Day 2 – Tuesday 9 July – Staines to Windsor
Day 3 – Wednesday 10 July – Windsor to Cookham
Day 4 – Thursday 11 July – Cookham to Henley
Day 5 – Friday 12 July – Henley to Reading
Day 6 – Saturday 13 July – Reading to Streatley
Day 7 – Sunday 14 July – Streatley to Wallingford
Day 8 – Monday 15 July – Wallingford to Culham
Day 9 – Tuesday 16 July – Culham to Iffley Lock, Oxford
For full details of the route, including meeting points, times and contact number, see this link – and if you are planning on joining, send an email firstname.lastname@example.org asking to be included on email updates.
Please note: there are good public transport links to the start and end points for most days on the walk. If you are planning to join for more than one day, you will need to organise your own accommodation.
You are also invited to join us for a tenth anniversary party at The Isis Farmhouse, Iffley Lock, Oxford on Wednesday 17 July.
Photograph: Andy Broomfield
Well I sure wish you well on your next ventures, Dougald. I’m a latecomer to Dark Mountain, both the website and the journal, to which I have begun a subscription, as well as purchasing the package of back issue pdf files. It will take me months to get through it, but with much pleasure (if that is the right emotion). I have long wanted to walk the Thames, and seeing your itinerary only made my plans more defined. Perambulation is not only my main exercise, it is absolutely essential to my mental well-being, allowing an airing-out of the brain pan with the miles. What you and your colleague Paul have created is essential reading for our down-spiralling times: oddly enough, Dark Mountain gives me hope. Not, necessarily, for civilization, nor even for humankind, but a hope that there is a wide and growing community of people who see in storytelling, in art and in action, some form of redemption for the damages we have done and continue to do. All the best,