Former Royal Marine completes walk of perimeter of UK for mental health awareness

  • Watch: ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins caught up with Paul Harris as he neared the end of his journey

A former Royal Marine from Dorset has completed his walk of the perimeter of the British Isles - fuelled by 'coffee, cake and a whole lot of love'.

Paul Harris is a very different person from the one who started the journey around the UK 19 months ago; walking the coastal paths of England, Scotland, and Wales.

He says: "I was in a world of darkness. Being a man, and being a Marine, I kept everything inside. I didn't hate anything, but I hated that and I hated myself.

On a number of occasions, Paul says he was so low that he wanted to end his life - but a friend told him to walk around the UK and write a book.

So he did just that. With only £300 to his name, Paul set off with his backpack and didn't look back.

Paul Harris has been walking around the coast of England, Scotland and Wales, raising awareness of men's mental health along the way.

Paul explains: "I took a leap of faith on myself, courageously just jumped. I left, and now I'm four days from finishing."

He says it was the kindness of strangers that kept him going.

He says: "I left a lone wolf and now I'm coming home with a wolf pack. Thousands of friends all over the country. It's been the most healing,  happiest time of my life as well as the most painful, physically. "

Paul has been walking for 13 days straight without a break and says his body is screaming with pain.

Paul said he felt every inch of the 9,000 kilometres he covered.

But he turns his pain into positivity and has a clear philosophy.

"Just live in the moment. Appreciate what you've got. Test yourself. Have a passion, a purpose, and a 'why' that is bigger than you and you can do so many things. "

Now that he's finished, Paul says he is going to do it all again. This time he hopes to raise £1,000,000 for the mental health charity, Mind, and thank all the people who have changed his life along the way.

Paul finished his epic journey in Sandbanks in Dorset at the weekend.

To find out more about Paul's journey click here.