Monday, 11 December 2017

Our 5 favourite Christmas walks to try over the festive period

The Christmas holidays are nearly upon us, giving friends and families the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together while enjoying the great outdoors. Wrap yourself up with the new hats, scarves and gloves you received for Christmas, and head outside for a refreshing walk. Afterwards, you can head home or find a cosy pub or cafĂ© with a crackling log fire and enjoy  a warming hot chocolate or two!

Whether you choose to walk along a seaside promenade, take a ramble through the countryside or stroll through woodland, the fresh air will blow away any lingering cobwebs you may have from over-indulging over Christmas, plus its great training for those of you taking on the Just Walk challenge next year.

We’ve put together this handy guide to 5 of our favourite festive rambling routes around England covering walks in Sussex, Surrey, London, Yorkshire and Devon.

We’ve deliberately picked walking routes that come in at less than 10km, making them more suitable for younger families, varied fitness levels and ages alike, take a look and see…

1. Seven Sisters & Birling Gap, Sussex 

Starting point: Tiger Inn, Birling Gap
Distance: 9km (5.5 miles)
Time to complete: 2 hours (average)

A classic winter’s walk that takes on one of the UK’s most photographed stretches of coastline, the chalk cliffs of The Seven Sisters. Start at the Tiger Inn and follow the South Downs Way along the coast from Birling Gap to Belle Tout Lighthouse (which has featured in numerous films and TV programmes) to make the most of The Seven Sisters before circling back inland to the pub.

Top Tip: It’s easier to walk this loop to the coast and back anticlockwise so the prevailing wind is at your back.

For further information of this Sussex walk, please click here.

2. Temple of the Winds Walk, Surrey

Starting point: Black Down National Trust Car Park
Distance: 3.2km (2 miles)
Time to complete: 1 hour 30 minutes (average)

Follow in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s footsteps and take a walk through Black Down’s beautiful woodland and heathland. The highlight of this walk is finding the ‘Temple of Winds’, named after a Bronze Age circular bank and it is here you find the best views of the South Downs National Park. Sit on the charming curved stone seat in this little-known spot and admire the views of the West Weald.

Discover more about this Surrey walk here.

3. Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire

Starting point: Stable Courtyard
Distance: 2.2km (1.4 miles)
Time to complete: 45 minutes (average)

Enjoy the peace and tranquillity as you stroll round lakeside paths and discover the enchanting Menagerie Garden. Originally created as a home for exotic species such as monkeys, colourful birds and even lions, Nostell’s Menagerie House and Garden is now the scene for a stunning lakeside walk.

There’s still plenty to see, from the Swiss bridge arching over the lake to the gothic archway that welcomes you as enter the Menagerie Garden and which is now home to roosting bats.

Find out more about this Yorkshire walking route right here.

4. Richmond Park, London

Starting point: Richmond Park
Distance: 5.5km to (3.5 miles)
Time to complete: 1.5 – 2 hours (average)

A place of outstanding natural beauty, stepping into Richmond Park will make you feel like you are a million miles away from London. One of London’s largest enclosed green spaces, it is even more beautiful in winter with its frosted white forestland, icicle covered trees and expansive lakes, sometimes iced over in places. If you are lucky you may even catch sight of the beautiful fallow deer or even bats that inhabit the park.

Discover the Isabella Plantation woodland gardens with its extensive range of rare and unusual plants, refuel at Pembrooke Lodge tea rooms with a warming cup of tea and enjoy distant views of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound.

Discover more about this London walk here

5. Killerton Garden Walk, Devon

Starting point: Stable block
Distance: 1.6km to (1 mile)
Time to complete: 1 hour (average)

Take a stroll around the chapel and the delightful house gardens where you can admire winter and early spring flowers including wintersweet, the hellebores and the amazing coloured stems of cornus.

During this one-mile walk, wander through the garden’s lofty heights where you can enjoy sweeping views across the parkland to Dartmoor as well discovering hidden areas such as the Bears Hut and Rock garden.

Learn more about this unique Devon walk here

We’d love to hear from you and find out what your favourite walk is and where it is. Please feel free to comment on our blog… we may also share these on our social media platforms too (thank you in advance).

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

5 reasons to take on the Just Walk challenge…

We would love you to come and join us for a day of walking across the South Downs on Saturday 12th May and make every step count. It doesn’t matter what reason you have for signing up to the ‘Just Walk’ challenge, from a seasoned pro to a walking newbie, we will be right alongside you offering help, advice and support.

Here are our top 5 reasons to take on the ‘Just Walk’ challenge…

1. For charity
If you have a cause close to your heart, then a ‘Just Walk’ challenge is a great way to raise funds and really make a difference. Due to the unique nature of our challenge, once you have paid your event fee, any money raised after that goes directly to your chosen charity.

2. Personal challenge
It’s time to take you outside your comfort zone and push yourself to your limit to see what you are really made of both physically and mentally. There is a route for everyone – providing the perfect opportunity to realise your potential.

3. Fitness 
Whatever your fitness level, walking is a great way to stay healthy and the benefits are endless. Not only will you see your fitness levels increase but it will also brighten your mood and boost your self-esteem. You could also join a walking group as part of your training which will be a great social factor too.

Top Tip: Wear a Fitbit or pedometer as part of your training programme so you can track the number of steps per walk and see how you progress over the coming weeks and months.

4. Family time 
Sometimes life is very busy and can impact on quality family time together. Taking up a walking challenge as a family is a great way to enjoy spending quality time together that will make memories to last a lifetime. Bonding over a unique and positive experience has also been shown to be very beneficial to your child’s mental and social development.

5. Team building
Whether you are a group of friends, family or work colleagues, this challenge is a great way to build strong bonds and work together as a team. Supporting one another through the training, motivating each other on the day and achieving your goal as a group is a wonderful feeling of comradery.

Sound good? Interested? Ready and willing to participate?
Then what are you waiting for… sign up for the ‘Just Walk’ challenge today!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) by our Just Walk walkers

Below are some of the answers to the questions that we are asked about the most from people thinking about joining the Just Walk challenge.

Can I do this challenge?
Yes! Due to the nature of our challenge and the fact that we have various routes for all abilities, from the novice walker to the seasoned-pro, we truly believe that you can find a walk suitable for your fitness level and goal.

Do I need to raise money for a charity?
No, not if you don’t want to. You can do this as a personal challenge and find out just how far you can push yourself, or if you would like to, you can raise money for a worthy cause close to your heart.

Can I support any charity?
Yes, the great thing about this event is that you can raise money for any charity of your choice. You pay the event fee to enter directly to us and all the money you then raise you can give directly to your chosen charity – there are no extra costs.

I’m interested – now what do I do?
It’s simple, you can book your place today either online or call us on 01297 300 504. As soon as your registration is received we’ll send out confirmation, plus an event pack, updates and information throughout the build-up to the event.

What’s included? 
You will have full ‘Just Walk’ support and advice throughout plus marshalled checkpoints along the route with drinks, snacks, (these vary from route to route) logistical and medical support, big smiles and lots of encouragement. When you cross the finishing line you will receive a Just Walk medal plus a certificate emailed out to you after the event. Once you have booked your place join your relevant Facebook group page, where you’ll receive training tips, kit advice, route information and have the chance to chat with other Just Walkers before the event.

Why have the distances changed for 2018?
If you are a previous ‘Just Walker’ you may have noticed, we have extended the distances on 3 of our routes for 2018. You can now choose to walk 10km, 25km, 35km, 45km or the BIG 60km and enjoy the stunning scenery across the South Downs for longer. We are always looking to enhance your Just Walk experience and ensure you have the best day possible; by adjusting the distances it means we can provide further support during your walk.

What time will the event start?
The 35km, 45km and 60km routes start between 08:00-08:30
The 25km and 10km routes start between 10:00–10:30
Please note, however, that timings are subject to change and we will notify you in advance if this is the case.

You will need to sign in on the day at Goodwood Racecourse between 06:30-07:30 for the 35km, 45km and 60km routes and between 08:40–09:40 for the 25km and 10km routes.
Please allow yourself plenty of time to sign in. It is also very important that you do not start the walk without signing in!

How long will the walk take me?
This will depend a lot on your experience, the conditions on the day and your fitness. The table below will give you a guide based on previous years’ walkers.

Faster Speeds
Average Speeds
Slower Speeds
10km finish time (having started at 10:00)
Around 11:15
Around 12:00 – 13:00

Around 14:00 
25km finish time (having started at 10:00)
Around 11.45
Around 13:00 – 14:00
Around 15:00
35km finish time (having started at 08:00)
Around 12:00
Around 13:00 – 14:00
Around 17:00
45km finish time (having started at 08:00)
Around 14:00
Around 15:30 – 17:30
Around 20:00
60km finish time (having started at 08:00)
Around 18:00
Around 20:30 – 22:30
Around 02:00 (Sunday 13th)

How fit do I need to be?
All of the routes chosen have been designed to be challenging yet achievable as long as you have been training beforehand and are realistic about your level of fitness. Also, the great thing to remember about these walks is that it’s not a race, so you can walk at your own pace and enjoy the day.

Is there an age limit to Just Walk?
Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult on all walking routes. No under 16’s are allowed on the 35km, 45km and 60km routes. There is no upper age limit but everyone's medical condition is taken into account when being permitted to take part in the walk.

What equipment will I need?
A good, decent pair of walking boots and walking socks are essential, and it is vital that you train in them so they are already broken in for the day to avoid blisters and general discomfort. A lightweight rucksack and lightweight clothing are recommended. We also advise you dress in layers so you can easily remove or add layers depending on temperature change. Waterproofs are a must!

What will I need to carry?
We recommend you carry a rucksack for the items you might need throughout the day such as food, drink, first-aid kit, sun cream, sun hat, wet weather gear and of course your camera.

Will there be food and drink available?
For those walking the 35km, 45km and the 60km race there will be hot breakfast rolls and drinks provided at the start. For all other routes, you will receive a free hot drink and you can buy food onsite. 

Checkpoints along the route will have drinks and snacks, plus a packed lunch on route for all those walking the 25km, 35km, 45km and 60km routes 

For 45km walkers, there will be hot soup and for the 60km walkers, there will also be a hot meal served on route included as part of your registration fee.

Are dogs allowed?
Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed on this walking challenge. However, there will be an exception for working dogs for the deaf or blind. Please do not bring your dogs and leave them in the car.

Is Just Walk suitable for wheelchairs or buggies?
Unfortunately, due to stiles and the terrain on the walking routes, they are not suitable for either wheelchairs nor buggies.

I’m a bit nervous about walking on my own, do you have any advice?
Don’t be nervous, there will be lots of people in the same position as you, so we are sure you will meet someone else to buddy up with. We have always found participants to be very friendly and always willing to help one another around the route.

What support is there on the day of the event?
You will be fully supported throughout your Just Walk challenge. We have checkpoints across all routes that will be fully marshalled with drinks, snacks, logistical and medical support as well as lots of encouragement. We also have a safety back up team, plus a full medical support team should you need it.

What if the weather is bad on the day?
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee good weather. Only in the event of very severe weather conditions and a warning issued for that area will the event be cancelled. We recommend that you look at the weather forecast in the days prior to the event and wear suitable clothing as recommended in your kit list. Remember to bring kit that prepares you for all weather conditions as the weather can quickly change.

I can no longer participate in the walk, am I entitled to a refund?
We will offer a 50% refund if you cancel your place on the walk up to 28 days in advance (before Saturday 14th April 2017). Any places that are cancelled within 28 days of the walk are not entitled to any refund. Full terms and conditions can be found in your event pack which you will receive once you have registered.

How do I go about raising the sponsorship?
All charities will want to know that you are taking part in a fundraising event for them and it is a good idea to make contact early on. Once you are signed up, contact the charity (their contact details can be found on their website) and tell them about Just Walk. Ask for a fundraising pack which will include sponsor forms, and ask if they are associated with an online giving site such as Just Giving. If they wish to know more about the event, please ask them to contact us directly and we will be happy to answer their questions. It is important to remember to send all of the money you have raised directly to the charity and not to us at Just Walk, Across the Divide.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Did you know you’ve raised in excess of £1 million since 2007?

We are delighted to say that our amazing supporters and participants have raised more than £1 million from our ‘JUST WALK’ events for a variety of worthwhile charities since we started back in 2007.

Due to the uniqueness of our challenge, it means that once you have registered and paid your total event fee, every penny you raise will then go directly to the charity of your choosing. Plus, if you add the option of Gift Aid, it will increase the money you raise even more.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your chosen charity on our list on the website, you can still choose any charity or worthy cause that you wish to raise money for. Just include the charity name when completing your registration and you can start supporting them straight away.

So, if you want to feel good and give something back to a charity that is close to your heart, click here and book your place today.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Save up to 30% on group bookings with Just Walk

Just Walk on the 12th May 2018 is a unique challenge event where you can raise money for any charity of your choice or take on a personal challenge. Choose a walking distance to suit your fitness level or goal, and decide on one of five routes: 10km, 25km, 35km, 45km or the BIG 60km! You pay the event fee to enter directly to us and all the money you then raise, you can give directly to your chosen charity - there are no extra costs!
It’s a stunning scenic walk that offers a great day out and although you will certainly meet lots of wonderful people on the day, it’s often mentioned to us that our Just Walk walkers enjoy training with their walking / rambling groups and / or friends and family. For this very reason, we have put together a great deal for group bookings so you can rally your own group together. 

Just Walk offer several discounts for group bookings depending on your group size, so whether you are walking with friends, family or work colleagues we want to help save you money. Plus, your group can be made up of different Just Walk distances which means there is a route for everyone to join in and be part of.

How the group discounts work:

·         For groups of 10 - 14 people:             receive 10% off full prices
·         For groups of 15 - 19 people:             receive 15% off full prices
·         For groups of 20 - 29 people:             receive 20% off full prices
·         For groups of 30 - 39 people:             receive 23% off full prices
·         For groups of 40 - 49 people:             receive 25% off full prices
·         For groups of 50+ people:                  receive a massive 30% off full prices

So, what’s next?

It’s simple: gather your group together (the more the merrier) and then register, either by calling us on 01297 300 504 or if you’d prefer, email us at 

Reap the benefits and make your group booking today!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

What to expect from the BIG 60km Just Walk route…

Our BIG 60km Just Walk is the perfect route for those who are physically fit, mentally tough, and those wanting to take on an ambitious challenge. Whether you are doing this as a personal challenge, a memory walk, or to raise funds for a charitable cause – you will not be disappointed with this route!

Not for the faint-hearted, the BIG 60km offers many highs throughout your walk (and that’s not just the hills!), it provides a great variety of terrain and stunning scenery, and is the perfect way to experience the broad and sweeping landscapes of West Sussex. The feeling of exhilaration and the tremendous sense of achievement when you cross the finish line will make it all worthwhile.

Here is a little taster of what you can expect when walking the 60km route:

The first 3km: Once you exit the racecourse you’ll go off-road through the woods and into Selhurst Park. Despite being deep in woodland, you’ll enjoy glimpses of the stunning views to the south including Halnaker Windmill before crossing into Eartham parish.

6km – 13km: Amble through the wild coppiced chestnut woods and rolling arable fields following the Monarch’s Way for a small section. The paths through the woods are 4x4 tracks and, if wet, will be a little muddy in places. Heading south you’ll follow bridleways to picturesque Slindon with its thatched cottages.

13km – 21km: So far there have been very few hills, but the first incline comes after crossing the A29 as you pass through the last of the coppiced woods (complete with deer and a wide range of birdlife). From the top of Rewell Wood, this is where the 40km route splits from the 60km route - make sure you follow the 60km route signs!

From Rewell Wood you’ll descend into Arundel and walk through the streets of this historic castle town and head into Arundel Park, for your third well-earned rest.

21km – 27km: Your surroundings change dramatically in this section of the route, as you drop down and then climb up through rolling parkland before descending to the River Arun. Once again in wet weather, this path by the river can have puddles and be muddy underfoot. After 1km you’ll leave the riverside and continue North where you’ll continue to walk for a further 1km before encountering The South Downs Way for the first time.

27km – 38km: At this stage, all your training will be kicking in as your body starts to be tested. This next section is the longest between Power Stations so it will feel like a tough stint; on the plus side though it is the flattest section! You’ll walk through the quiet village of Amberley and cross the flat and eerie Amberley Brooks. These are low lying brooks and will be wet and muddy and even high in water at some points, so be prepared and have some dry socks to change into. You will now be past the halfway point (hooray!) and after re-joining the River Arun for a short distance you’ll start heading West. Crossing the A29 again at Coldwaltham, you’ll head along sections of quiet county lanes and forest tracks and into a private estate, the perfect rest stop for a well-earned drink and bite to eat.

38km – 45km: You will start heading towards the village of Bignor and approaching the biggest and most challenging climb of the whole walk; as you walk up Bignor Hill. In total, this is a 170-metre continuous ascent and will take you to the peak of the South Downs, as you once again join the South Downs.

45km – 48km: Once rested and the views explored, you’ll be pleased to know this section of the route is surprisingly flat. You’ll walk over the open chalk downs before dropping down and crossing the A285 (this is a busy road so please cross with care). You’ll now be back on The South Downs Way and will start climbing upwards again, although don’t worry; this is steep but short at only 110 metres.

48km – 55km: You are now at Graffham Down, famous for its unique wildlife. Shortly after here at 50km, after what will seem like a very long walk over the hills, you’ll start the long drop down through forestry towards Charlton.

55km – 60km: After following the route through the village's houses and cottages you’ll start a long, steep ascent up onto a track and back towards the racecourse. Here you’ll have your first glimpse of the finish, as you start walking along the final stretch into the grounds of Goodwood and the finish line!

Congratulations - you’ve just walked the BIG 60km!

If after reading this blog you’re excited to walk in our BIG 60km, simply, book your place today.

Once you’ve registered, you can join our dedicated 60km walkers Facebook group, where you’ll receive training tips, kit advice, route information and also have the chance to chat to other 60km Just Walkers before the event.

Please note this route could be subject to change, we will keep you updated with any changes.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Early Bird gets the Just Walk 2018 discount

Now that the next Just Walk date has been announced for 12th May 2018, many Just Walkers, old and new, are already taking advantage of our fantastic Early Bird offers – and you can too!

The excellent value doesn’t end there either. Since we have made changes to several of the routes, you now get to enjoy even more of the spectacular South Downs countryside. Plus, for those walking the longer routes – 35km, 45km and the BIG 60km - we are working on adding a few exciting extra benefits, giving you even better value. Watch this space as we will be announcing these very soon.

So, book before the end of November 2017, and here’s what you will pay*:
  • 10km (over 14's): now just £13.50      (cheaper than 2017!)
  • 25km (over 14's): now just £27           (cheaper than 2017 + longer route!)
  • 35km (over 16's): now just £45           (longer route + more to be announced soon!)
  • 45km (over 16's): now just £58.50     (longer route + more to be announced soon!)
  • 60km (over 16's): now just £72          (added value extras to be announced soon!)

Waiting until payday rolls around again? No problem! So that you get the chance to bag yourself a bargain, we are running the Early Bird offer for even longer this year, right through until 30th November 2017.

Remember, you choose how to take on Just Walk: by yourself, with friends, your family or work colleagues, for any charity of your choice or as a personal challenge – it’s up to you.

To book your place today, please click the button below – or contact us here if you have any questions. See you at the start line!

*Excludes Under 14’s, Family Tickets and Group Discounts.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Save the date: our 2018 walking challenge is back, bigger and better than ever before!

Grab your walking boots and start your training, as we are delighted to announce our Just Walk 2018 event is confirmed for Saturday 12th May 2018.

Now in its 12th year, our unique one-day walking challenge is back bigger and better than ever before including a few new route changes. Here are all the details you need to know:

The date: Saturday 12th May 2018
The venue: Goodwood Racecourse, near Chichester
The routes: 10km, 25km, 35km, 45km and the BIG 60km

Once again you can walk and raise money for a charity of your choosing (you pay the event fee and any money you raise goes directly to your charity), or take on Just Walk as your own personal challenge.

There are a variety of distances to choose from, so there really is something for every level of fitness. From 10km up to the BIG 60km, all routes take place across the stunning South Downs and West Sussex countryside, starting and finishing from Goodwood Racecourse.

As well as being a fantastic fun event for all the family to enjoy (our 10km and 25km routes are for all ages), we guarantee you will meet up with old friends from previous Just Walk events as well as making new friends along the way.

Prices start from just £15 and if you book by 30th November 2017 you can take advantage of our Early Bird discount!

If you are interested in joining in and having a great day, then click here to book your place today!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Well done & congratulations to all of our wonderful #JustWalkers!

Just Walk 2017 START

Well, what can we say about this year’s Just Walk 2017 event apart from a massive THANK YOU to each and every one of you; our Just Walkers, supporters and volunteers.

With a record-breaking 1,121 walkers registered for the challenge for our 11th year, you can all proudly say you really did “Walk the distance and made a difference”. Whether it was fundraising for a cause close to your heart, a special memory walk for your loved one no longer with us, or as a personal challenge on your own, with a friend or with a group - well done. Those of you who offered support and helped us sign walkers in, a sincere thank you from the bottom of our hearts; you really did help towards making the event run smoothly.

What an amazing day with lots of laughter, a few tears (of joy), new friends made, and many stories shared. The atmosphere throughout the day was incredible from start to finish. There was a real buzz around Goodwood Racecourse in the morning as everyone registered, chatted with other walkers and then gathered for the warm-up before setting off to enjoy the beautiful scenery that our Just Walk routes offer.

We witnessed real enthusiasm and comradery throughout the day, which helped many of you (including us) through the last 3km trek up ‘that’ hill and back to the finish line. It’s not until you look back down once you’ve reached the top, you realise just how steep that hill actually is and what an achievement it is to conquer!

Watching and cheering our walkers as they passed the final bend, down the home straight, and through to the finish line is one of our most memorable moments of the day, and each year it continues to grow bigger and better. We understand how much effort everyone puts in to this event, and the sheer joy and pleasure on your faces as you complete the challenge makes our job so worthwhile.

We hope your Just Walk medal is proudly on display and your memories are as fabulous as ours. We have now emailed over your Just Walk certificate, but if you haven’t received it, please email us, and we will send one to you.

We are already starting to plan for our 2018 Just Walk, so look out for our newsletter (you can sign up here), and announcements on our social media pages regarding a date.

p.s. Don’t forget to share your stories and photos…

We are loving reading through your comments and looking at your fabulous photos on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please share your story and photos with us using the hashtag #JustWalk!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Join over 1000 walkers this Saturday – book your place today!

The wait is nearly over! Just Walk, one of the UK’s biggest walking challenges, will take place this Saturday 13th May at Goodwood Racecourse, Chichester. While we let that sink in, we’d like to remind you why we’re here and of the treat in store for you (or could be in store for you, if you sign up here – there’s still time!).

Organised by our global sister company Across the Divide, Just Walk allows you to choose the length of your walk – between 10km and 60km – in order to raise money for a charity or cause of your choice.

All of the routes are circular, and you’re offered the opportunity to explore the rolling hills and landscape of the West Sussex countryside, starting and finishing at the iconic Goodwood Racecourse, near Chichester.

Your entry fee for the day’s walk includes medals and certificates, logistical and medical support, drinks, snacks and plenty of encouragement and cheers from the Just Walk team.
Those of you who walk further than 20km will get a free packed lunch, while those walking further than 40km will be provided with a hot breakfast at the start. There will also be hot soup for those walking the 40km route and a hot meal for anyone walking 60km.

Why else should you Just Walk? Well…
Mark Hannaford, Head Walker and founder of Just Walk and Across the Divide, said, “Just Walk is about getting as many people outside and active as possible, while raising money for worthy causes, and that’s why we’re delighted to have had over 1000 registrations so far.

“With our team of organisers and helpers, walkers can be sure that everyone’s safe and well looked-after, and can focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

“It doesn’t matter if you walk 10km or 60km, it all helps, and you’ll struggle to find a better-looking part of the country for a challenge like this!”

Prices range between £20 and £70 for adults (depending on length of route) and £7.50 and £15 for under-16s.

Although you’re are free to raise money for whatever cause you choose, our two charity partners are particularly close to our hearts: Rockinghorse and First Days.

Tickets are still available for Just Walk 2017, so if you haven’t signed up yet, now’s your chance – just click here.

Rockinghorse works to improve the lives of sick children in Sussex, and First Days distributes clothing, toys, equipment and furniture to deprived children.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The Whole Kit and Caboodle…

You’ve booked your Just Walk place, your training is underway but how else can you prepare for the big day? 

A big part of being prepared for any physical challenge is making sure you have the right equipment for the job. Not only will it give you more confidence in taking part in the challenge; as the saying goes, you need to ‘dress for success’, but by having the right kit, it will ensure you are as comfortable as can be when taking part in the Just Walk challenge.

Using our experience of the event and speaking with our ‘Just Walker’s’, here are the essentials you will need to bring with you on the day:

What to wear on a long walk (kit check): 

Comfortable sturdy walking boots (rather than trainers), preferably waterproof. We recommend you buy the best pair of walking boots you can afford. They need to support your feet, keep them warm and dry, and most importantly they should feel comfortable! Now is the perfect time to buy them so you can train in them, and 'break them in' to minimise blisters on the day.
Thin lightweight trousers or shorts. Whatever you choose to wear, ensure you train in the clothes you will wear on the day to minimise friction burn and chafing.
Walking socks. Try a few options out first to see what suits your feet and boots. A good pair of socks absorb shock, help prevent blisters, regulate temperature and promote good circulation
Layers of clothing. At least two thin top layers, so you can adjust your temperature more easily.
A lightweight, zip-up jumper. A medium fleece top would be perfect and the zip-up enables you to adjust the airflow to your body.
Walking poles. A personal choice as to whether you will find these useful. Give them a go in your training programme and see how you get on with them, they can be very beneficial in hill climbing and descending.

Top Tip: Wear every item of clothing you are planning to wear on the day, on at least 3 training walks. There is nothing worse than an annoying label you discover a mile in to the walk!

What to carry on a long walk (useful items):

Waterproof jacket and trousers
Sunhat, with rim if possible
A couple of spare top layers including a warm fleece (see above)
Sun lotion / block
Spare walking socks
Water bottle or Camelback/Platypus style container that holds 2 litres (something that can be refilled at power stations)
Small first aid kit (plasters and Vaseline for potential chafing)
Mobile phone (fully charged)
Spare money, just in case
Snacks to sustain energy

Top Tip: Choose a rucksack that is lightweight yet strong. Padded shoulder straps and a harness that goes around your chest and stomach to give your back added support helps distribute the weight of items inside your bag, making it easier to walk and maintain energy levels.

Now you have your kit checklist (not including the kitchen sink) to get your prepared for the big day, it leaves us with just one last message…

“Good luck and enjoy!

We can’t wait to say hello to everyone and cheer you round the course, roll on Saturday 13th May!” 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Meet James: a veteran Just Walker with a moving story


Having just celebrated our tenth anniversary year, we decided to catch up with one of our veteran Just Walkers and find out what it is about the day that keeps bringing them back.
We caught up with 67-year-old James Kinsella, who kindly agreed to share his poignant story that inspired him to take on the Just Walk challenge; one of sheer determination, a big heart and an unwavering dedication to keeping on top of his game.

“Just Walk seemed like the perfect fit”

Just Walk (JW). What is it about Just Walk that first attracted you?
James Kinsella (JK). The main draw for me was the rural setting; I grew up on a farm in Ireland, which has given me a love for horses, farms and fields – it all holds a very special place in my life; my memories. Just Walk seemed like the perfect fit.

J.W. The South Downs certainly does sound befitting; how much of the beautiful scenery do you like to experience each year?

J.K. Well, I usually walk the 20k. This year [2017] though, I’ll be undertaking the 30k for the first time – I feel it’s time to push myself a little further now! Then the year after [2018] I’m going take the 40k challenge to celebrate my 70th birthday. 

J.W. We love your enthusiasm James… just how many times have you taken part?

J.K. So far ten times. I joined the first ever walk in 2006 and haven’t looked back! This year will be my 11th Just Walk and I’m determined to keep doing it for as long as I can.

“Life is far too short; get out there and engage with the world”

J.W. Many of our Just Walkers love to fundraise for charity; others just crave the personal challenge – what is it that drives your enthusiasm to Just Walk every year?

J.K. When I became semi-retired, I started walking to stay fit, healthy and active, but one of my biggest motivations is my grandson, Riley; he was born with a cleft palette and had to go through lots of operations at a very young age. Then, six years ago, he suffered a serious asthma attack and ended up in intensive care at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London. The care and support their staff provided Riley and my family has made me eternally grateful to them all, so fundraising for their charity is enormously important to me.

I’m driven to give back to others, particularly my grandson, and that was spurred on after the death my brother. An avid walker and mountaineer, he climbed Kilimanjaro in Kenya years ago, but after collapsing, he passed away in a nearby town. That made me realise life is far too short; you should get out there and engage with the world.

J.W. Do you go with friends or family each year, or is it a challenge you prefer to do undertake alone?
J.K. I usually attend the event on my own – I can be a little impatient, which is why you’ll normally see me amongst the first 2 or 3 people. That said, it is nice to find someone that matches my pace and rhythm along the way. Last year I walked a large part of the route with someone else and at the end we crossed the finish line together.

“Competition isn’t important; charity fundraising is what really keeps me going”

J.W. Impressive! You must keep fit to keep ahead of the pack – do you use a clear training regime in the lead up to the big day?
J.K. Well, I walk all the time, usually 20 miles a week on average. But leading up to the event itself I increase my distance every week, up to about 35 miles per week. It keeps my fitness levels in good condition.

J.W. Has your dedication to your fitness improved your time over your 10 years of doing Just Walk?
J.K. My quickest time doing the 20k is about 3 hours and 20 minutes, though I don’t do it to get a personal best. I always hope to knock off 5 to 10 minutes from my best time, but competition isn’t important; charity fundraising is what really keeps me going.

“Training! It’s absolutely essential.”

J.W. Do you have any top tips for anyone who has just signed up for this year’s event?

J.K. Training! It’s absolutely essential. If possible, start walking around three months before the event, but certainly as soon as you can. Also, add in hills to your route – they really do push you, particularly if it’s been raining.

Also – quality hiking boots! Mine are around £140. You must look after your feet and keep them protected to avoid blisters. The right socks, too; good ones to absorb sweat and give you the right support.
And take lightweight, quality gear – you don’t want to be too weighed down on a long walk.

On the day, begin at a leisurely pace and get a good rhythm going. Most importantly, enjoy it; the scenery, the wonderful people and all the wonderful charities being supported. It’s such a positive day!

J.W. Thank you, that’s great advice! Finally, James, could you share with us one of your best memories from the day?
J.K. A couple spring to mind; I remember seeing a mum who must have been unwell with her 4 or 5 children, being taken around the course. Seeing them do it as a family, supporting each other and supporting a wonderful cause - that was really touching.

The other has got to be the first time I took part in Just Walk. I am so proud I did the first one and that I achieved it with so many happy memories. I surprised myself that I was so capable; I wouldn’t, and haven’t, missed one since.

J.W. Thank you very much for sharing your touching story with us James, it’s been an absolute pleasure. We look forward to seeing you once again on the 13th May 2017!

J.K. And thank you too - I look forward to it!


If you would like to show your support for James’ 30k walk this May, head over to his donation page and donate to the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

For more information on Just Walk 2017, including training advice, handy tips and up-to-date event news, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you would like to book your place at the start line, sign up today!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Fundraise faster with JustGiving

Just Walk began back in 2006, our walkers have raised over £2 million for numerous charities and already we are seeing that number growing as we move closer to our next walking event for 2017.

Whether you’re planning on participating in the event on your own or with friends and family; Just Walk is a superb day out! Your day will be spent surrounded by lots of different people, some dressed in crazy costumes, some will be experienced walkers and for some it will be their first ever challenge – but everyone will have their own story to tell as to why they are doing this event. It may be for a personal challenge or it may be to raise funds for a charity of their choice.

If you wish to use Just Walk to fundraise, then a great way to do this is through the UK’s first online fundraising platform JustGiving.

Presenting JustGiving

JustGiving (the name is merely a coincidence, we promise) is one of the most popular and easiest platforms in the world for charity fundraising. We’ve signed up with JustGiving to help make it even easier for you to achieve your fundraising goals.

Follow our guide below to set up your JustGiving account and once complete you’re ready to walk the distance to make a difference.

6 easy-to-follow steps:
  1. Book your place(s) at the just Walk 2017 event choosing either the 10k, 20k, 30k, 40k or the BIG 60k – just click the button…
  2. Click the 'Start fundraising' button below to begin:
    N.B. For your convenience, by using this link, the Just Walk event on May 13th 2017 is automatically linked to your fundraising page.
  3. Fill out your details to create your account (alternatively you can login with your Facebook profile)
  4. Choose the charity you wish to support – you can fundraise for any charity around the world too, not just in the UK!
  5. Select the relevant options on the next page and click ‘Create your page'
  6. Now spread the word instantly via social media or email, and wait for the donations to come in. All donations through JustGiving are sent directly to your chosen charity.

Last minute fundraising tips:
Once you’ve set up your JustGiving page, you may be wondering if you have enough time to raise money for your chosen charity – you do, so don’t fret!
Take a look at these useful last-minute tips when fundraising through JustGiving…

  • Up to 20% of donations come in after the event has finished*, so just update your fundraising page after Just Walk on 13th May with how well it went and you might just see those extra pennies come rolling in.
  • Share your Fundraising Page on your social media platforms – Did you know that when someone likes your Fundraising Page on Facebook it could raise you an extra £5 in donations? *

Once you’ve followed these steps, you’re good to go! If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us, or see JustGiving’s FAQ page on their website here.

* Source: JustGiving