Harold (Broadbent) discovers that a former friend and colleague of twenty years ago, Queenie Hennessy, has cancer and is in a hospice in Berwick-upon-Tweed.
The doctors say there is nothing to be done for her. Instead of posting his feeble letter of condolence, Harold instead embarks on a 600-mile walk from Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed, believing that in some way his journey will help his friend to live. "Tell her I'm going to keep walking and she must keep living," he says to the operator before embarking on his journey.
Without maps or waterproofs and only yachting shoes on his feet, he walks and walks, while his wife Maureen (Wilton) waits at home; at first angered by what she perceives as abandonment but eventually his distance allows her emotions to resurface. Remembering her husband as he once was and everything he once meant to her.
On his journey he reflects on his life, nature and the humanity of the people he meets. Based on the 2013 Booker long-listed novel by Rachel Joyce, this is sentimental but not cloying and will no doubt have you rummaging for your tissues.