Sophie (11) to join dad in 96-mile trek

Falkirk's Gregor and nine-year-old Sophie Ewing who are walking West Highland Way.
Falkirk's Gregor and nine-year-old Sophie Ewing who are walking West Highland Way.

A BUSINESSMAN and his young daughter are gearing up to tackle the arduous 96-mile West Highland Way.

Gregor Ewing and 11-year-old Sophie are fundraising for Cancer Research UK and will be camping out most nights and carrying their own bags.

Gregor, a partner at Falkirk-based Sovereign Property Developments, said the fundraiser was really Sophie’s choice.

He explained: “She has just finished primary seven at Comely Park, so we were looking for something to do or a challenge she could do over the summer before she goes off to St Mungo’s High.

“She had talked about doing the West Highland Way a few times so we thought we would go for it.

“It is a big challenge for an 11-year-old, but I think she’s going to do very well.

“It was also her choice to pick the charity Cancer Research UK.

“I have lost family members to cancer and Sophie has been aware of that.”

Gregor (40), a father of three, is a keen walker and has been enjoying taking Sophie to the great outdoors to get her ready for the long road ahead.

The 154 km route starts at Milngavie, follows the banks of Loch Lomond, and passes through Ben Lomond, the head of Glencoe, Loch Leven, Glen Nevis and finishes at Fort William.

Gregor said: “It is a big challenge, but we have been out to the Ochils and the Trossachs, and we also walked from Falkirk to Linlithgow.

“Her longest distance so far is Ben Ledi in Callander. She comes back very tired but she enjoys it.”

Sophie raised £80 at school before she left for the summer, and the family have also set up a website to encourage more donations.

Gregor added: “We’re aiming to raise £1000 so hopefully we will do that.

“I think one of our biggest challenges will be keeping the momentum up over the first few days.

“And, obviously, I think we’re going to have trouble with the midges.”

Gregor, who has been interested in trekking and hill-walking for several years, has conquered a few Munros over his time, but he’s never taken on the West Highland Way.

He said: “We are both excited.

“My wife, Nicola, has been very supportive and our family and friends have been great.

“We’ll also have extra support on the trip as we’re taking our dog Meg who’s full of beans,”

The Ewings are leaving for their expedition on July 22 and are expecting to be away for one week.

But, it seems that the adventures won’t stop there for Sophie.

The youngster, who also enjoys acrobatics and playing the piano, is also considering signing up for the Duke of Edinburgh award when she gets to high school.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Gregor and Sophie can visit www.justgiving.com/Gregor-and-Sophie-Ewing or e–mail gregorewing1@gmail.com.