AN adventurer and his faithful border collie have completed a 1000-mile march in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce 700 years after the Battle of Bannockburn.
Gregor Ewing, 42, from Falkirk, re-created the route taken by the Bruce as he reclaimed his kingdom of Scotland. He said his first task would be to shave off his Robinson Crusoe look after walking and camping wild for 65 days.
Mr Ewing, accompanied by pet dog Meg, set out on the nine-week adventure on March 16 at Tyndrum, where Bruce was defeated in battle in 1306, sending him into hiding.
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The pair completed the walk at Bannockburn, near Stirling, the site of the Scottish king's most famous victory, over the English, in 1314.
Mr Ewing walked up to 18 miles a day and lost nearly two stone in weight.
He said: "Two years ago I walked 500 miles following Bonnie Prince Charlie's flight after his defeat at Culloden. Being 700 years since the Battle of Bannockburn I thought Bruce was the ideal figure for my next challenge.
"We walked for most of the daylight hours and wild camped at night. I'm looking forward to seeing my family. The first thing I need is a proper wash and shave to lose the Robinson Crusoe look. I've also lost up to two stone, so I can't wait to raid the fridge for fresh food."
Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scots in 1306 but suffered successive defeats in battle and fled the country before returning in 1307. Mr Ewing followed the route of Bruce's campaign of 1307-1308 to the north east of Scotland before continuing on to castles, battlefields and other locations critical to King Robert's eventual victory.
The property manager said: "People don't realise how much of a national figure Robert the Bruce was — there are so any places throughout Scotland with important links. He travelled the country trying to unify the nation, and it all came together at Bannockburn in 1314."
Mr Ewing suffered blisters, and an injured foot when he tried to hammer in a tent peg with his foot. He and Meg were also chased by 20 Highland cows on a road in Royal Deeside.
But he said he and his pet enjoyed their adventure.
He said: "Meg has a rucksack in which she carries her own food, water and equipment. When it goes on her she knows she's off on a big adventure.
"She's had lots of attention — not many people have seen a dog with a rucksack before."