The Shard to Brighton pier - in 200,000 steps!

Posted by on 1 October 2013 | 1 Comments

At 8am on Tuesday 24th September, we set off from a fog-wrapped Shard in London Bridge for our 100K walk to Brighton. The aim was to raise £1000. All funds raised go to the Equinox service user council to fund life-enhancing activities in their services.
With plasters and painkillers packed, plus a tube of Deep Heat, a tin of Vaseline and support bandages, Phil and I set off on our ramble south.
We went up hills and down lanes, across fields and along side busy roads – all planned out to be a safe walking route, avoiding dangerous roads!  
Here’s a map of the route we took. 
And here’s a quick review of our journey....

It’s great to get a good send off
Equinox Service User Involvement manager, Ness, and Equinox service user rep, Patrick, joined us for the Clapham Common leg, 7 kilometres into the walk. 
Patrick arrived in his black cab, told a few jokes and whizzed along the park paths. He said the park was peaceful, then he suggested a swim in the pond. 
Ness and Patrick waved us off.
And Patrick gave his helpful advice for the rest of the walk. 

The joy of ignorance
We walked almost 40 kilometres on day 1 – it was a good decision to do the longest day first (when we didn’t know any better!).
We wiggled our way through South London and beyond – via Elephant and Castle, Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common, Tooting, Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Coulsdon, Merstham and Redhill.
We crossed over the M25 as night fell and celebrated at the Redhill sign.

One step at a time
Day 2 was the hardest. We ate the wrong breakfast (scrambled egg and beans on toast) – because we couldn’t find anywhere to get porridge. 
Leaving Redhill, there was a short thunderstorm for the walk up hill – but overall, we were very lucky with the weather.
Heading out towards Salfords, we walked on pavements next to busy roads - long straight roads that stretched on and on and on. 
We entertained ourselves by making up limericks – but we were already feeling the aches and pains when we arrived at Horley. Cue the caffeine boost, some nuts and fruit, then another very long stretch to Three Bridges – passing under the roaring bellies of low planes at Gatwick, crossing high railway bridges. 
At Three Bridges, we had 2 kilometres to walk until our lunch time stop in Crawley. By then, we could only take it one step at a time. Feet, legs, shoulders – ouch. Batteries on empty. We looked out for an urgent fuel stop, craving carbs and a sit down.
At a shopping mall in Crawley, we spoon-fed pasta into our mouths, applied some pain relief and then did a much-needed meditation in a quiet corner of the cafe. Phew!

A little help along the way
There were times in the 100K we definitely had a helping hand.
The second half of Day 2, the sun came out, warming our way out of Crawley, along to Pease Pottage, then Handcross. 
After a cuppa at Handcross, we went cross country – on a series of tracks, paths and lanes – for the last 10 kilometres of the day.
All started off well, the lanes were refreshingly cool and quiet. We went through chocolate box villages, through a churchyard, past graves, lakes and a mini-waterfall. We chatted to horses and sheep along the way. And we enjoyed the challenge of reading Ordnance Survey maps (haven’t attempted that since Geography lessons at school!)
Then the mist came down and the light began to drop – and we still had 5 kilometres to do across country. We took a wrong turn across a field and veered off course – we came across an abandoned farm house where there wasn’t a soul in sight to ask for directions. But it turned out to be a lucky mistake because the final stretch of the original route we’d planned was through woodland – and thanks to the wrong turning, we came out on a very quiet road, which took us the final 3 kilometres to our rest stop for the night. 
It was brilliant to arrive at the sign for Bolney. After a bat flapped overhead, my imagination took me to some thrilling places. Ghost horses and carts thundering down dark country lanes! 

Don’t count your chickens
The beginning of Day 3 in Bolney, Phil and I were feeling good. At 25 kilometres, it was the shortest day of our 100K walk. 
We started out well, meeting these two pirates as we left Bolney – and some friendly farm dogs and chickens.
We flew past Hickstead showground, on to Sayers Common, Albourne and Muddleswood. All going well – feeling chuffed with ourselves for making a great start. 
Then we got on to an equestrian route at Muddleswood and we were off track. A helpful gardener called Martin pointed us in the right direction.
We ducked through this 13th century church at Newtimber, had a peek inside the empty church.
Then under the motorway and up past the chalk pits, a very steep climb to the top of Round Hill on public bridleways.
Then we came face to face with a sturdy bull. He stamped his foot at us, so we backed off quickly, heading down a long track to our lunch time stop in Pyecombe.
After lasagne and juice, we climbed up the South Downs Way to the top of the peak, where we first spotted Brighton and the sea – only another 12 kilometres to go!
Then the long walk into Brighton – via Patcham and Preston. We did an A to Z of song titles to distract ourselves. 

It’s great to celebrate
The sights of Brighton were wonderful to see. Despite weary feet and sore legs, it was great to arrive in the town at nightfall, as the lights came on at the Pavilion and Brighton pier shone up ahead. 
It was an amazing feeling to step foot on Brighton pier. We had done approx 200,000 steps each to get there. The town looked beautiful at night and the sky was a mix of pink, yellow and blue.

And finally... 

Two lovely surprises.
The next morning, the Equinox Brighton team came out to meet us on the pier. They brought us some lovely flowers. 
Then Phil and I took the final walk up the pier to celebrate the journey.
We decided to do a few more photos on the pier – messing around with Frankenstein’s monster outside the Horror Hotel.
We spotted the carousel – and decided to do our final photo together there.
Phil noticed the coincidence. 
The horse he was standing in front of was called Philip.
And the horse I was standing in front of was called Charlotte.
Thanks Brighton for the welcome!

Charlotte and Phil's 100K walk - the full report

At 8am on Tuesday 24th September, we set off from a foggy Shard in London Bridge for our 100K walk to Brighton

We packed plasters and painkillers, Deep Heat, Volterol and Vaseline for the long journey.

Our aim was to raise £1000, with all funds going direct to the Equinox service user council to fund activities of their choice in Equinox services.

We walked up hills and down lanes, across fields and along side busy roads – all planned out to avoid dodgy roads and motorways.

Here’s a map of the route we took. 

And here’s how we got on....

It’s great to get a good send off

Equinox Service User Involvement manager, Ness, and Equinox service user rep, Patrick, joined us for the Clapham Common leg, 7 kilometres into the walk. 

Patrick arrived in his black cab, told a few jokes and whizzed along the park paths.

Patrick said the park was peaceful, then he suggested a swim in the pond. 

Ness and Patrick waved us off on Clapham Common. 

THE LONG FIRST DAY

We walked almost 40 kilometres on day 1 – it was a good decision to do the longest day first (when we didn’t know any better).

We wiggled our way through South London and beyond – via Elephant and Castle, Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common, Tooting, Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Coulsdon, Merstham and Redhill.

We needed these tea cakes at Coulsdon!

We crossed over the M25 as night fell and celebrated at the Redhill sign.

One step at a time

Day 2 was the hardest. We ate the wrong breakfast (scrambled egg and beans on toast) – because we couldn’t find anywhere to get porridge. 

Leaving Redhill, there was a short thunderstorm for the walk up hill – but overall, we were very lucky with the weather.

Heading out towards Salfords, we walked on pavements next to busy roads - long straight roads that stretched on and on and on. 

We entertained ourselves by making up limericks – but we were already feeling the aches and pains when we arrived at Horley.

Cue the caffeine boost, some nuts and fruit, then another very long stretch to Three Bridges – passing under the roaring bellies of low planes at Gatwick, crossing high railway bridges. 

At Three Bridges, we had 2 kilometres to walk until our lunch time stop in Crawley. By then, we could only take it one step at a time. Feet, legs, shoulders – ouch. Batteries on empty. We looked out for an urgent fuel stop, craving carbs and a sit down.

At a shopping mall in Crawley, we spoon-fed pasta into our mouths, applied some pain relief and then did a much-needed meditation in a quiet corner of the cafe.

Phew!

help when we needed it 

There were times in the 100K we definitely had a helping hand.

The second half of Day 2, the sun came out, warming our way out of Crawley, along to Pease Pottage, then Handcross. 

After a cuppa at Handcross, we went cross country – on a series of tracks, paths and lanes – for the last 10 kilometres of the day.

All started off well, the lanes were refreshingly cool and quiet.

We went through chocolate box villages, through a churchyard, past graves, lakes and a mini-waterfall.

We chatted to horses and sheep along the way.

And we enjoyed the challenge of reading Ordnance Survey maps (haven’t attempted that since Geography lessons at school!)

Then the mist came down and the light began to drop – and we still had 5 kilometres to do across country. We took a wrong turn across a field and veered off course – we came across an abandoned farm house where there wasn’t a soul in sight to ask for directions.

But it turned out to be a lucky mistake because the final stretch of the original route we’d planned was through very dark woodland – and thanks to the wrong turning, we came out on a very quiet road, which took us the final 3 kilometres to our rest stop for the night. 

It was brilliant to arrive at the sign for Bolney.

After a bat flapped overhead, my imagination took me to some thrilling places. Ghost horses and carts thundering down dark country lanes!

 

Don’t count your chickens

The beginning of Day 3 in Bolney, Phil and I were feeling good. At 25 kilometres, it was the shortest day of our 100K walk. 

We started out well, meeting some pirates as we left Bolney – and some friendly farm dogs and chickens.

We flew past Hickstead showground, on to Sayers Common, Albourne and Muddleswood.

All going well – feeling chuffed with ourselves for making a great start. 

Then we got on to an equestrian route at Muddleswood and we were off track.


A helpful gardener called Martin pointed us in the right direction.


We ducked through this 13th century church at Newtimber, had a peek inside the empty church.

Then under the motorway and up past the chalk pits, a very steep climb to the top of Round Hill on public bridleways.

Then we came face to face with a sturdy bull. He stamped his foot at us, so we backed off quickly, heading down a long track to our lunch time stop in Pyecombe.

After lasagne and juice, we climbed up the South Downs Way to the top of the peak, where we first spotted Brighton and the sea – only another 12 kilometres to go!

Then the long walk into Brighton – via Patcham and Preston. We did an A to Z of song titles to distract ourselves. 

It’s great to celebrate

The sights of Brighton were wonderful to see. Despite weary feet and sore legs, it was great to arrive in the town at nightfall, as the lights came on at the Pavilion and Brighton pier shone up ahead. 

It was an amazing feeling to step foot on Brighton pier.

We had done approx 200,000 steps each to get there. The town looked beautiful at night and the sky was a mix of pink, yellow and blue.

And finally... 

Two lovely surprises.

The next morning, the Equinox Brighton team came out to meet us on the pier. They brought us some lovely flowers. 

Then Phil and I took the final walk up the pier to celebrate the journey.

We decided to do a few more photos on the pier – messing around with Frankenstein’s monster outside the Horror Hotel.

We spotted the carousel – and decided to do our final photo together there.

Then Phil noticed the coincidence. 

The horse he was standing in front of was called Philip.

And the horse I was standing in front of was called Charlotte.

Thanks Brighton for the welcome!

Back at the Shard in London, the sun was out this time. 

If you would like to donate, please visit Just Giving.

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Comments

  • fantastic ... well done to you both ... love the photos .. cannot believe the Merry- go -round horses had both your names.. how strange is that? ... what a tribute ending to your walk though brill ... x

    Posted by Beverley Baker, 02/10/2013 11:24am (4 years ago)

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