Wye, Canterbury and Dover were buzzing with cheerful voices on Saturday 22 June as more than 600 happy walkers gathered on the Pilgrims Way Challenge charity fundraising walk.
Early estimations are that the event will raise more than £90,000 for Pilgrims Hospices!
Walkers enjoyed a 25km 35km or 55km hike through the beautiful rural countryside along one of England’s oldest and least trodden national trails. Young and old alike took to the rolling fields and picturesque villages along the Pilgrims Way to the historic city of Canterbury and onwards to a coastal finish at Dover Castle.
The Pilgrims sponsored walkers collectively walked over 21,500km between them, the equivalent of walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats more than five times!
In true Pilgrims style, walkers were supported throughout the journey with well-stocked rest stops where walkers could take a welcome break in the grounds of some of Kent’s amazing and historic churches. Delicious cakes, sandwiches and strawberry teas were a welcome treat at Chartham Hatch and a hot meal at the Canterbury hospice for walkers who were finishing the 25km route. For those who undertook the 35km and 55km routes, Pilgrims staff and volunteers welcomed the walkers with snacks and treats in Patrixbourne, Womenswold and Waldershare before reaching their final destination and a hot supper at Dover Castle.
Every walker is an inspriation and it’s our pleasure to support them every step of the way.
Robert Grew, Pilgrims Hospices
All participants received a medal in recognition of their fantastic achievement.
Robert Grew, Pilgrims Events Manager, said: “It was incredible to see so many people turning out to walk the Pilgrims Way Challenge in support of our end-of-life care. It was an enjoyable but tough day for all, especially with how warm it was in the sun, and with a bit of determination, the finish was finally reached.
“Every single walker is an inspiration and it’s our pleasure to support them every step of the way on the challenge as they raise vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices. The money they raise enables Pilgrims to continue caring for more than 2,400 people and their families each year, providing comfort, alleviating pain and enabling them to live well in the time they have.
“Our thanks go to everyone who took part in making the Pilgrims Way Challenge such a success – including our fantastic team of volunteers!”
The Pilgrims Way Challenge will return on Saturday 20 June 2020.