I should point out that the book isn't actually about long distance walking even though it is about long distance walking. It is about Harold, and his wife Maureen, and people he meets along the way, and people and incidents in his past. This last aspect is the most important driver in the book as we start out with very little knowledge of Harold's history and more and more gets revealed as the book progresses. All this sounds like what I would normally dismissively refer to as a "worthy" book but it is so well written, engaging and sometimes even funny that it is easy to overlook the worthiness.
If I may be permitted to share a bit of a spoiler with you: yes, Harold does make it Berwick in the end. This is important to know because a very handy map showing the location of all the towns he walks through is included on the very last page of the book. I only discovered it when I got to the end but it would have been extremely useful to refer to as I went along. My knowledge of English geography was good enough to have a reasonable idea of where he was at any time (and in one or two cases even brought back vivid memories of specific stretches of road) but I was struggling for context at some points, particularly as he reached the less civilised northern part of the country. Of course, that might just be the way my mind works, you may not find this important at all.
It becomes obvious early in the book that there is more to Harold's back story than meets the eye and it is a delight to see the way that each new character he meets helps flesh out his story as much as their own. Nonetheless, plenty of clues are given out and by the time Harold and I were striding past Newcastle, perhaps even as early as Darlington, I had pretty much worked out what revelations were still to come. Regardless of whether you have the same experience, keep reading and enjoying. I found the last few chapters a little untidy and disjointed but it must be said that Harold found the same.
This book is profoundly sad in places and yet overall it comes across as happy and uplifting. The main characters are truly human, hurt and damaged but still capable of attracting our attention and affection. A good book, easy to read, uplifting of spirit.