See all stories
10 Sept 2020

Epic 500-mile walk completed

A young man and woman walk across a gravel area in front of a large stately home. A piper stands to greet them, along with a small group of people. The man carries a bouquet of flowers and holds his hand to his chest.
Welcoming Edoardo back to Haddo House, after 500 miles of walking
Italian archaeologist, historian and Visitor Services Supervisor at Haddo House, Edoardo Bedin, set out on a huge trek across Scotland on 28 July, in response to the recent COVID-19 crisis.

The Trust has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and we face a huge loss of income after so many of our properties were closed. Edoardo decided to undertake this epic journey to raise awareness of the jeopardy the Trust faces and to raise vital funds to help us continue to protect Scotland’s heritage.

Taking in 23 Trust places, Edoardo made his way from Crathes Castle, down the east coast of Scotland through Fife and on to Edinburgh, before making his way out west. His route took him across the central belt and to Glasgow, where he visited the Tenement House and Pollok House. After making his way through Ayrshire and over to Arran, he began his walk home, making his way back north past Bannockburn before returning to Aberdeenshire.

Head and shoulders shot of a man with a peaked cap walking through a garden door. He is holding a National Trust for Scotland umbrella.
Leaving Kellie Castle in Fife

Across Scotland, he was cheered on and helped by many. Edoardo and the Trust would like to thank all the rotary clubs, friends and supporters of our charity who hosted him for the night; all our colleagues who gave him a hero’s welcome on his arrival at their properties; and everyone he met along the way who lifted his spirits and kept him on track.

Edoardo was able to share his passion for Scotland with so many people during his journey. From the café who hosted a mid-journey celebration, to the builder who kept him right with directions through Edinburgh, and the three construction workers who cheered him along, offered him beer and even a lift as he passed through Drumgelloch, the support has been incredible!

A smiling young man wearing a navy peaked cap takes a selfie! In the background are three construction workers wearing high-vis clothing, standing by a large hole and a digger. They all smile and wave at the camera.
Edoardo and some friends he met along the way

On 30 August, after 34 days walking, Edoardo reached Haddo House. Upon his return, he was greeted by colleagues and well-wishers, including Lady Aberdeen. Edoardo has raised the amazing sum of £6,000 to date for the Trust.

He was crowned with laurel leaves, and given flowers, champagne and a box of treats to soothe his weary feet. Having been dubbed the ‘Trust’s own Roman Centurion’, he was also given the outfit to match – acknowledging his Italian birth, his love of history and his feat of marching 500 miles for the love of Scotland. Edoardo has yearned to be a Roman soldier since he was a boy!

A young man dressed as a Roman Centurion is being crowned with laurel leaves by a young woman. The stately home steps in the background are decorated with colourful bunting.
Edoardo the centurion
“If we all walk in the same direction and work collaboratively, we can achieve great things together!”
Edoardo Bedin

Whilst on his walk, Edoardo thought about some things we can all do to support Scotland’s heritage. Here are some of his suggestions:

  • Go for a walk and enjoy the paths maintained by our devoted rangers.
  • Take your child for an ice cream at a National Trust for Scotland tearoom before showing them a beautiful garden, looked after by a handful of very dedicated gardeners – they didn’t give up when faced with great challenges this year.
  • Step into the history of Scotland at one of our numerous, newly reopened buildings.
  • Leave a lovely review about your experience at a castle, house, estate or with a member of our passionate staff.

Congratulations to Edoardo on his truly inspiring journey, and a huge thank you from everyone at the Trust for the donations and awareness you have raised.

There’s still a little more time to donate! Visit Edoardo’s JustGiving page to make a donation and read more about his challenge.