Irene, a forensic nurse practitioner originally from London and currently residing in Poole has played her bagpipes in iconic locations on all seven continents, travelling 50,000 miles in 50 days to raise funds for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Julia’s House.

She started her challenge on 10 January with a performance onboard HMS Victory in Portsmouth in the UK and has played in the United States, Brazil, Antarctica, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa and Russia, before her last performance in London.

The iconic locations included New York’s Radio City Music Hall, San Francisco’s Alcatraz, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer Monument, Antarctica’s Paradise Bay and Neko Harbour, the Skywalk on Auckland’s Sky Tower, onboard Sydney’s Captain Cook’s Cruise, Tokyo’s crowded Shibuya pedestrian crossing, Hong Kong’s The Peak, Johannesburg’s Regina Mundi Catholic Church and Moscow’s Red Square.

Highlights from the challenge

There are many highlights to this spectacular challenge but here are some of the favourites:

  • Playing bagpipes on the infamous Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo
  • Reaching new heights as Irene played her bagpipes 192 metres above the city of Auckland in New Zealand
  • Gaining many fans of all ages, races and even species! Even a penguin came up for a closer listen to Irene in Antarctica 
  • Becoming the first person to play bagpipes in the infamous prison, Alcatraz

Irene said: “This incredible piping journey across seven continents around the world for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Julia's House has been out of this world. I feel humbled by the love and understanding that I have been shown along the way. In a nutshell, I don't think my journey is coming to an end but just beginning!”
Commenting on the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, Irene said: “The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity make every mile count to support serving and former members and their families. I am proud to be a member of The Royal Navy Pipe Band Association and because of this, I see at first hand the brilliant work that they do.”

Rebecca Saunders, Regional Fundraiser and Volunteers Advisor at The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, said: “We were thrilled to follow Irene’s bagpiping challenge; it was brilliantly ambitious and, just like the Royal Navy, her efforts were seen and talked about in all corners of the globe. The funds she managed to raise will help support our sailors, veterans and their families. Well done!”

Read our regular blogs following Irene's journey for a more in depth view at each location

Irene will continue to fundraise; for more details or to donate, please visit: