• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Boy Walks 1,700 Miles From Sicily To London To See His Gran In Lockdown

Claire Reid

Published 

Boy Walks 1,700 Miles From Sicily To London To See His Gran In Lockdown

An 11-year-old boy has walked 1,700 from Sicily to London so he could give his nan a hug during lockdown.

Romeo Cox set off from Palermo on 20 June with his dad Phil, 46 - the pair went on an incredible journey passing through Italy, Switzerland, France and the UK.

Credit: Triangle News
Credit: Triangle News

They arrived in the UK on 21 September and Romeo is now isolating before meeting up with his grandma for that very hard-earned cuddle.

Along the way they've had encounters with feral dogs and wasps, and tamed a wild donkey - but Romeo, whose dad is English and mum is Italian, said the pair didn't even consider sacking it off and reckons everything they've been through will be worth it for his chance to hug his gran.

Romeo said: "We got lost a few times. We slept under a wasp nest which wasn't a good idea, got bloody feet, but we never thought about giving up.

"As we got closer I just kept thinking about seeing my Granny, and how excited I was.

"I can't wait to give her a cuddle, it's been over a year since I last saw her.

"She was all alone during lockdown."

Credit: Triangle News
Credit: Triangle News

"I'm feeling tired now - like an old 100-year-old man - but it was so fun."

As well as having 'fun' and getting the chance to hug his nan, Romeo and Phil also raised more than £12,000 for charity Refugee Education Across Conflicts. How nice are these two, eh?

Romeo, who moved to Palermo from Hackney in London last year, said he began secretly planning the trip to Witney in Oxfordshire during lockdown.

As there were no planes back to the UK at that point, he started to consider the idea of walking.

He said: "Even after quarantine, I thought walking might be a new experience.

"I asked my parents and they said no more than 50 times.

Credit: Triangle News
Credit: Triangle News

"Eventually they agreed - provided we planned everything was Covid-safe.

From Rome to London they mainly followed a pilgrim's trail - La Via Francigena - so were able to stay in convents and hostels.

The idea was to use no petrol, so they walked more than 80 percent of the journey, using a sailing boat and bikes as well.

When they arrived back at their old street in Hackney, all of their neighbours came out to applaud.

Credit: Triangle News
Credit: Triangle News

Phil said: "For me it was really great for my mental health - to participate in a child's imagination and a child's epic journey.

"It was a special time and moment to share with my son and something we both shall never forget for all our lives."

"We got lost a lot, and up to all sorts of adventures. Some things we agreed never to tell mum."

You can donate to their cause here.

Featured Image Credit: Triangle News

Topics: Inspirational, UK

Claire Reid
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Sport

Hulk Hogan 'can’t feel anything’ from the waist down after back surgery

31 minutes ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Sam Smith sparks debate about age restrictions over raunchy new music video

2 days ago