Families, friends, hikers, health fanatics, companies and canines are all invited to stretch their legs and enjoy the beautiful Kent countryside for charity at the KM Charity Walk.
The KM Charity Team will be holding its annual stroll on Sunday, June 24 – starting and ending at the 450-acre Mote Park in Maidstone, an expanse of greenery, woodland and rivers overlooked by a Georgian mansion.
And you could end up travelling much further afield – everyone who raises £200 or more individually for their chosen cause will have their name put into a draw to win two Eurostar tickets.
Walkers can choose whether they’d like to tackle the five-mile route, which should take around two hours at an average walking pace, or go large on the ten-mile route.
Both routes are fairly flat with a few hills, so they’re suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Children are welcome – they’ll be given activities to do along the route by Kent Wildlife Trust – as are dogs on leads.
The five-mile route goes through Downswood, round to Otham and back to Mote Park, passing Otham War Memorial, Stoneacre – a medieval National Trust property – and the 11th-century St Nicholas’ Church.
The ten-mile route offers walkers ample reward for their extra efforts, as it also passes through the pretty village of Leeds and skirts the grounds of Leeds Castle before returning via Broomfield and Langley Heath. Both routes are fairly flat but there will be some hills.
Organiser Sophie Wallace, from the KM Charity Team, said: “This is in some ways our best fundraising event, because it’s such a lovely experience that you would do it just for fun (and some people do).
“Beautiful countryside, warm summer weather and a huge sense of community and wanting to help others – this is Kent at its best. Every time we hold this event I feel so lucky to live in the garden of England.
“The five-mile route is popular with families as even little legs can manage it, but if you are a keen walker you’ll probably take ten miles easily in your stride.”
Last year’s event attracted 250 walkers aged between six months and 80 years, who between them raised £10,000 for 20 charities. Participants can choose to raise funds for any charity. All the sponsorship raised will be split 70/30 between the chosen charities and services for schools covering literacy and road safety.
All walkers will receive a goody bag and a medal and will be invited to an outdoor family fete afterwards at Mote Park. There will be a barbecue, food and drink stalls – including Homemade With Love Cakes and Priscilla the Pimms Pod – and music from Kent band the Acoustic Tones.
The KM Charity Walk is supported by Mote House, Berry Gardens, Glosrose Engineering, Simply Ice Cream, Maidstone Ramblers, Kent Wildlife Trust and the Woodstove Trading Company.
For more information, or to book, visit www.kmcharityteam.co.uk/booking