Sign up to The American magazine's newsletters (below) to receive more regular news, articles and updates on America in the UK.
The Special Relationship In Action: The Bryson Line
Alex Eichhorn tells us about The Bryson Line, a group of Brits and Americans walking the length of the UK together for charity
Just before they set off, Alex Eichhorn of Tanager Wealth told us why he and friends are walking 569 miles from Cape Wrath to Bognor Regis along some of Britain's most renowned trails and paths. They started Walking the Bryson Line on Saturday June 9th, and will finish on July 8th - check out a great opportunity to walk the last 11.5 miles of their journey to Bognor Regis (and celebrate with a drink afterwards!) via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/walk-the-bryson-line-the-home-straight-tickets-46148214552
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself - where are you from - UK or USA?
I am British born and bred with a healthy dose of German and Spanish blood. I grew up in East Anglia and now call Surrey home.
The Bryson Line is a huge challenge, but for a great cause. How did you get involved, and why?
I was the one who had the stupid idea. I was reading Bill Bryson’s latest book The Road to Little Dribbling while I was training for a charity night marathon walk. In the forward he defines the Bryson Line and I mentioned to Kate Hedges that we should walk it. She called my bluff and here we are.
The Bryson Line is also a great celebration of the Special Relationship, and the US and UK working together. What does being part of this Transatlantic team mean for you?
Americans in the UK make a huge contribution to our society. At a time when immigration is high on the news agenda it is important to recognise the positive impact immigrants can and do have on our society. I work with Americans and our company helps Anglo-American households in the UK and the US and I can confirm that we are divided by the same language as George Bernard Shaw (allegedly) said. In reality, we are closer, culturally, than we often realise and I treasure the friendships I have made.
The walk supports several different charities, how does it feel to be supporting those charities?
We never meant to support so many charities, however with so many of the core walking team having such personal experiences we decided to support five: Bloodwise, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Royal Brompton Hospital, Papworth Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Personally, it is great to be able to finally give back to Great Ormond Street Hospital who saved my life in 1974.
The walk's route stretches from Cape Wrath all the way across Britain down to Bognor Regis - is there a section of the walk you're looking forward to, or perhaps nervous about?
I am incredibly excited and nervous about the first day. Not only is Bill Bryson joining us but we have to navigate a ferry (weather dependent) and then a minibus ride to get to Cape Wrath and the start of our adventure. We also have a couple of days where we will walk a lot of elevation which will be tough on the knees!
Where does this challenge rank among those you've faced in your life?
Having started two businesses, each of which presented different challenges, this ranks by far and away as the biggest personal challenge I have undertaken. I have discovered that I can walk long distances. I am about to find out if I can do this day after day for 30 days!
How will you celebrate completing your involvement in the walk?
A beer, and a cuddle with my wife and children.
What would your advice be for other Americans in the UK looking to explore the UK on foot?
Get out there! By far and away the largest concentrations of Americans in the UK are in our cities. Get in the car or on a train and get out and walk. I am learning so much about my own country and it is amazing what you see.
Finally, what do you hope to take away from the experience of participating in The Bryson Line?
Being fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to spend 30 days walking across the UK with some wonderful people. We only get one shot at life so if you want to do something, go and do it!
The American magazine will be joining the team for one day of The Bryson Line Walk on June 30. Do support the cause - donations can be made via www.thebrysonline.com/donate/ - and do browse The Bryson Line website for more details on this great example of the Special Relationship in action!