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Autograph - Jon Monks

Jon Monks was a former Hill Shepherd before turning his passion for walking into a full time job after creating Shepherds Walks. He has grown Shepherds Walks over eight years to be the largest walking provider in Northumberland. Over that time Jon has also bought a sock business, Capricorn Mohair Socks which is now the second largest Mohair sock producer in the country stocking over 40 retailers around the world and selling over 20,000 pairs of socks every year.

- What inspires you to get up in the morning?

The thought of another day walking in the Northumbrian Countryside with good company, and best of all getting paid to do it.

- What makes you want to stay in bed?

Rain beating down on the bedroom window on a Sunday morning and the promise of a bacon butty in bed.

- When you look in the mirror – who would you like to see?

Myself 20 years younger, ready to start my working life with what I know now.

- Where would be your special place to have breakfast?

Sat on top of my favourite summit in Northumberland, Windy Gyle, watching the sun rise on a winters morning when the sky is crisp and clean.

- What is your most vivid childhood memory?

Mastering to ride a bike without stabilisers, then wearing a track around the garden after cycling around in a circle all day.

- What canít you do without?

My rucksack, walking boots and my Mohair Socks, but I had to say that didnít I !

- Which is your favourite room in the house?

The kitchen, especially when I have a couple of steaks cooking under the grill that have been bought from the local butchers that day.

- What was your first car – what do you drive now?

Vauxhall Chevette, which had been registered in the Isle of Man. I used to have to top it up with break fluid every week as the brakes where not quite as good as they should have been. I now drive a not very glamorous Shepherds Walks van, which we use to move our walkers luggage around in when they are on one of our holidays.

- What in the North East would you like to change?

I would quite like to see Newcastle United nearer the top of the league

- What in the North East would you never want to change?

The emptiness of the countryside, the large skies that Northumberland has to offer and the friendly people that you meet wherever you go.

- What would you do with a spare £1 million?

Invest it into my business to make it into 2 million

- Where in the North East is your favourite place to eat?

The Coquetvale, Rothbury. Just walking distance from home and superb Pan Fried Fish. Then a quick pint in the Queens Head Hotel on the way home.

- What makes you hopping mad?

Laziness, and people who blame everybody else for their own failings.

- What makes you smile?

The first hug of the day that I get from my children. It is if they have not seen you for weeks, even though it was just the night before.

- Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

First and foremost my wife and children, but closely followed by Jess my Border Collie. They all keep my feet firmly on the ground.

- Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, true explorers.

- What is your favourite piece of music?

November Rain, Guns n Roses

- What do you hope to get done before the end of the day?

Finish off this bottle of wine!

- Which of your achievements makes you most proud?

Turning a hobby into my job and now running three businesses; Shepherds Walks, Shepherds Walks Holidays and Capricorn Mohair Socks.

- What sends you to sleep?

The thought that I have put every ounce of energy into the day that has just gone.

- What is your worst nightmare?

The thought that I had not put 100% effort into anything I have done, whether it has been successful or not.

- What would you wish your epitaph to be?

I told you this was the wrong way!

Web Sites –

Shepherds Walks –

Shepherds Walks Holidays –

Capricorn Mohair Socks –

Telephone – 01830 540453