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'Our Spectrum Adventures' – Autistic father and daughter set off from Dunnet Head on a six-month backpacking charity walk across Britain


By David G Scott

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A father and his eight-year-old daughter have set off on a UK backpacking journey from Dunnet Head to Lizard Point in Cornwall to "raise awareness of autism and challenge associated stereotypes".

Ian Alderman and his daughter Eve, who are both autistic, set off from the most northerly point of the UK mainland at Dunnet Head last week and intend to walk the length of the British mainland on a six-month journey that will "hopefully create a new Guinness World Record".

Ian Alderman and his daughter Eve both have autism and wish to raise awareness of the condition and also funds.
Ian Alderman and his daughter Eve both have autism and wish to raise awareness of the condition and also funds.

As the pair travelled down past John O'Groats and headed to Wick via Sinclair's Bay, Ian said: “We’ve met some lovely people so far on our walk, who have gone out of their way to help us. Thank you all.

"It was awesome seeing the famous signpost and the new John O’Groats Trail archway."

The pair took some time out to enjoy Reiss beach where Eve wrote messages in the sand. “My favourite bit so far was walking on the beach," said Eve. "I liked the waves and the beach and the coloured houses [at John O'Groats].”

Eight-year-old Eve wrote messages on Reiss beach.
Eight-year-old Eve wrote messages on Reiss beach.

Ian said the scenery in Caithness has been "stunning" and how they had fun playing on the beach. "The cliffs are extreme in places and it was a challenge for both myself and Eve to try to navigate,” he added.

Eve has painted lots of rocks to hide along the route that she calls "OSA Rocks" – which relates to the name of their journey, Our Spectrum Adventures. She hid one near the RNLI lifeboat station at Wick harbour and hopes it will soon be found.

Eve painted a rock and left it around the lifeboat station at Wick harbour.
Eve painted a rock and left it around the lifeboat station at Wick harbour.
Eve with one of the OSA Rocks she has been hiding along the route.
Eve with one of the OSA Rocks she has been hiding along the route.
Eve met a friendly dog while staying at a 'stunning location' overlooking Wick harbour.
Eve met a friendly dog while staying at a 'stunning location' overlooking Wick harbour.

"Eve has also put a geocache trackable in the cache at a Dunnet Head with the idea of trying to get it down to Lizards Point," added her dad.

The pair stayed in an "awesome" three-storey house overlooking Wick harbour and shared images on their social media page.

View over Wick harbour shared on Ian and Eve's Facebook page.
View over Wick harbour shared on Ian and Eve's Facebook page.

Father and daughter hope to reach Lizard Point, which is beyond Land’s End and the most southerly point of Britain, within around six months. They are raising funds for the National Autistic Society – a cause close to their hearts as they both live with the condition.

"Both of us are autistic, hence our name – Our Spectrum Adventures. OSA is about my daughter Eve and I getting outdoors," said Ian. "We are all about camping, hiking, climbing, paddling, swimming, and bushcraft – as well as home education, autism, charity, and of course adventure."

Ian and Eve have a break for provisions at a Wick supermarket.
Ian and Eve have a break for provisions at a Wick supermarket.
Eve in the centre of Wick.
Eve in the centre of Wick.

Ian hopes that the the adventures that the two will have along the route will "inspire others to be courageous" and do things that push them beyond their perceived limitations.

If you would like to support Eve and Ian there are three fundraising links to visit:

There is also a Facebook page called OSA Rocks - Our Spectrum Adventures which can be found at: www.facebook.com/groups/osarocks

The OSA website for further info is at: ourspectrumadventures.com/


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