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HolkhamThe Thirteenth Norfolk Family Walk for Brain Tumours is being held at Holkham Hall Estate, near Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR23 1RH, on Sunday 4th October 2020 from 10 am to 4pm. There is ample parking on the estate – a £4 car park fee is charged which is redeemable at the shop.

This walk, which is growing in popularity year by year, is in aid of brain tumour research and support and has a choice of distances – one, three, six or ten miles – to suit all ages and abilities. All are through the beautiful parkland, beside the lake and through the woods where deer can be seen grazing. There are no hills to climb on any of the walks and dogs on leads are welcome.

HolkhamA tombola will be held at the start/finish with great prizes for all ages!

The one mile walk is aimed at children. This walk is suitable for prams and wheelchairs as it is all on a hard surface.

The three mile walk takes you around the beautiful lake where a great variety of wildfowl can be seen – this walk is a favourite with many people with children as there is so much to see!

HolkhamThe ten mile walk also takes in the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea with its quaint shops and lovely quay where you can stop for a drink or partake in the traditional enjoyment of fish and chips sitting on the wall and watching the world go by (if you’re not it too much of a hurry of course!) After a walk on the bank path towards the sea, you will find a café where you can enjoy an ice cream or coffee to refresh you before walking alongside the pine trees which mark the start of your return journey to Holkham (there are toilets here too).

If you are planning to do the ten mile walk, it is advisable to get to the start around 10am to allow ample time to finish by 4pm. If you are doing one of the shorter walks, it’s ok to arrive later. A map is available to assist you on your way and the route is well signposted too.

Once the registration fee of £5 has been paid (children free), walkers are then free to support the brain tumour charity of their choice. You can download a registration form to save a little time on the day, or you can do it on arrival.

Linda and AngelaIf you have any non-walkers in your party, they will find there is plenty to amuse them while you’re doing the walk, including the house (open for viewing on Sundays), museum, walled gardens, shop and a free woodland play area. Click here for more details on what the estate has to offer

Once you have arrived back (don’t forget to book back in), you can then sit and relax outside at the Hall restaurant if the weather is amiable or there is plenty of room inside – a great way to catch up with family and friends!

The Norfolk Family Walk has grown over the years and is Astro Brain Tumour Fund’s biggest fundraising event. In 2018, a total in excess of 1,900 miles was walked by over 350 adults and children, plus numerous four legged friends. The weather was amenable, the atmosphere was predominately happy.

Following are some notes from Rod Barrett with his view of the walk:

Holkham“The date of the Astro 10 Mile Holkham Walk is one of the first in our New Year diary. If nothing else, it would be an excuse to visit one of the most beautiful places in North Norfolk; but it is much more. We started going more than 10 years ago when we were led round this lovely walk by our late niece Gemma. Gemma had already been diagnosed with a brain tumour but you would never have known. She was an inspiration; and she still is. It is now an opportunity for family and friends to come together, to walk, to remember and to support the charity that Gemma herself favoured. We don’t all walk 10 miles, through the grounds of Holkham Hall before breaking out to Wells-next-the sea and back along the wooded path, skirting the beach. Distances range from 1 mile to 10 miles, all with the inviting prospect of a chat over tea and cake in the cafe after reaching the finishing line. It’s not a race; it’s a walk. What’s not to like!”

Each year, many of the walkers are sponsored by family and friends – could you get sponsorship for your efforts this year? You can download a sponsorship form here. To get you started here are a few tips:-

Why not set yourself a minimum sponsorship target – say £25 for the one mile walk going upwards to £50 for the ten mile walk. Think how good you’ll feel if you exceed your target! If you have children walking in your party, consider putting their names on the sponsorship form and go for the sentimental approach!

If your workplace has lots of employees, instead of asking to be sponsored for a random amount, ask everyone for a specific amount, say £2 or £3, to avoid the embarrassment of people not knowing how much to donate or feeling that they need to give more than they want to.

Try to collect the money at the time of asking to avoid having to go through the onerous task of asking for it later. Make sure you point out the Gift Aid box – the charity can claim another 25p for every £1 donated if this is ticked.

Alternatively (or additionally), to make it easier for yourself you could open a Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving page in order for your supporters to sponsor you online.

On the registration forms for the walk, participants are asked who/what is their inspiration for taking part. Here are some of their answers for the 2018 walk. Some are remembering loved ones who have passed away from a brain tumour, some are walking in hope for loved ones diagnosed, some recently, some many years ago. We also have brain tumour patients taking part and others who just want to support the charity. We even had one couple in training to walk the Great Wall of China! Whatever their reason for taking part, it’s a happy and reflective occasion - everyone says how much they enjoy the event.

Linda and Angela

For further information on the Walk, please contact Mary 01485 525279 or just turn up on the day. Sponsorship Forms can be downloaded here.