Veteran on epic 16,000 mile coastline walk in aid of Armed Forces charity reaches Thanet

Daniel and Partner Charlotte chat to residents as they make their way through Kent

A Royal Artillery veteran who is on a mission to walk the entire UK coastline to raise funds for Armed Forces charity SSAFA has been making his way through Thanet this week.

Daniel McNeil, 27, has covered thousands of miles since setting off from his hometown, Dalbeattie, in Scotland in March 2021.

He is undertaking the 16,000 mile journey in a bid to give something back to the charity that helped him.

Dan joined the Army when he was 16 and served in the 19 Regiment Royal Artillery. But, towards the end of his military career he was diagnosed with auto-immune disease and struggled with chronic pain, leading to depression. His life was on a negative spiral when he asked SSAFA for help.

In an interview with SSAFA Dan said: “I joined the Army when I was sixteen and served in 19 Regiment Royal Artillery. Since returning to civilian life it has been tough for me dealing with chronic pain, depression, and anxiety.

“In my darkest hour, my SSAFA caseworker turned up at my flat and put £20 on my electric meter and filled my fridge. This simple act of kindness somehow lifted a weight off my shoulders and allowed me to see a way out of my hopelessness. I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done.

“A bit later, lockdown challenged my mental health again, especially not having a job and a routine. One day I sat quietly and meditated for four hours, asking the world what I needed to do. Finally the answer came to me: walk.”

Dan controls his auto-immune disease symptoms with diet, meditation and exercise.

A year into his challenge Dan met Charlotte, who started to walk with him and became his partner. Together they have walked hundreds of miles.

Now the pair have reached Thanet, travelling through Margate and Broadstairs and spending today in Ramsgate before heading off to Deal tomorrow.

Dan said: “I am absolutely blown away by the beautiful coastline Thanet has to offer.

“The white cliffs have been a blessing to see as I have been walking on endless miles of sea wall for the past two months.

“The people have also been very kind and generous, helping me with accommodation, food, hot drinks and showers. My experience so far has just been wonderful and I’m buzzing to see places like Sandwich, Deal and Dover.”

Daniel has covered more than 5,200 miles, gone through nine pairs of boots, and eight tents and snapped the tendons in his ankle during the epic journey which he estimates will be completed next year.

If you’d like to donate go to:

To buy Daniel a coffee/meal visit:

1 Comment

Comments are closed.