The Frontline Walk

Walk 100km, following in the footsteps of those who fought for our freedom in WWI or WWII whilst supporting the soldiers and veterans of today.

Choose The Western Front walk to follow in the footsteps of those who fought on the Somme and Passchendaele battlefields or sign up to The Normandy Beaches walk to trek the Normandy coastline our ancestors stormed as part of Operation Overlord.

Dates: 2-6th October 2019 or 9-13th October 2019

Cost: £150 (£135 before the 30th November)

Fundraising: £1,250, with £600 due by the 31st July 2019

The Normandy Beaches

What is it?

A 100km walk passing the infamous beaches of Normandy, including Utah, Omaha and Sword Beaches and finishing at Pegasus Bridge.

When is it?

2nd – 6th October 2019.

The Western Front

Covering 100km of the Western Front, the Walk starts at Lochnagar Crater, the location of the start of the Battle of the Somme, and finishes at the Menin Gate, with the Ceremony of the Last Post.

What is it?

A 100km walk following the Western Front of the First World War.

When is it?

9-13th October 2019.

What’s included

  • Return transport from London
  • All transfers whilst on the trip
  • Accommodation throughout on a twin room basis (single rooms available at an additional cost)
  • All meals and snacks, except breakfast on day 1 and lunch on day 5
  • Trip historian
  • Experienced tour guides and support crew, including medics
  • A full bespoke training guide
  • Discounts on equipment
  • Frontline Walk t-shirt and finishers medal

Have a question?

Visit the FAQs tab for more information, or contact Amy on akenyon@soldierscharity.org or call 020 7811 3960.

 

The experience will stay with you for the rest of your life” – Rachael Lowen, 2017 participant

Normandy Landings

The itinerary for the Normandy Beaches route is below. Please note this is subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: London – Bayeux

Day 2: La Fière – Utah Beach

Starting at La Fière, the location of a priority objective for the Allies during the preparation phase of Operation Overlord the route passes through Sainte-Mère-Église before joining the infamous Normandy coastline at Utah Beach – the westernmost beach involved in the Normandy Landings taken by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.

Distance approx. 31.5km

Day 3: Pointe de Hoc – Omaha Beach – Bayeux

This day commences at Le Pointe de Hoc, a key tactical point between Utah Beach which was passed the previous day and Omaha Beach, our next stop. Omaha Beach was the key link between the American landings at Utah and the British landings at Gold. The day then finishes in the town of Bayeux, and the Bayeux British War Cemetery, the second largest WWII Cemetery in France.

Distance approx. 34km

Day 4: Arromanches– Sword Beach – Pegasus Bridge

The final day of walking follows the actions of the Second (British) Army and starts at Arromanches and the home of the Mulberry Harbour, an artificial harbour which was key to the invasion and allowed the landing of 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of material. The centre point of Gold Beach, which was captured by the British Army during the D-Day landings. The walk then continues past Juno and Sword Beaches before finishing at the famed Pegasus Beach, for a well-earned celebration meal

Distance approx. 35.9km

Day 5: Caen – London

We leave France to drive back to London, aiming to arrive in late afternoon (traffic dependent).

Menin Gate

The full itinerary for the Western Front route is below.

The top three fundraisers will have the opportunity to be part of The Soldiers’ Charity Frontline Walk team to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate, a once in a lifetime chance to take part in the emotional final salute to the fallen.

Itinerary

Day 1: London – Arras

We meet at Wellington Barracks, London just as thousands of soldiers did between 1914 and 1918.We will travel by coach and ferry to Arras, France

Day 2: Lochnagar Crater – Thiepval – Beaumont Hamel

We set off at dawn from the Lochnagar Crater, passing the stunning 38th Welsh Division Memorial. After a short break and historical talk at Flatiron Copse Cemetery we push on to Thiepval Memorial to the Missing and lunch.

After lunch we pass the Ulster Tower and walk through the preserved trenches at Beaumont Hamel. Passing the crater at Hawthorne Ridge, the site of one of the most famous videos from WWI we continue through the French countryside passing Sheffield Memorial Park before finishing in the French village of Hébuterne.

Distance approx. 34km

Day 3: Neuville St Vaast – Mont St Eloi – Vimy Ridge

Today’s start line is Neuville St Vaast German Military Cemetery – which contains the remains of over 44,000 German casualties. We follow the French country lanes past La Targette memorial, Ecoivres Military Cemetery before tackling the first major hill of the trip to Mont St Eloi. The route then continues uphill to Notre Dame de Lorette and the stunning ring of remembrance, where we break for lunch. We finish by passing through the trenches at Vimy, before finishing at the Canadian Monument at Vimy Ridge.

Trek approx. 35km

Day 4: Langemark – Tyne Cot – Ypres

Today we enter Belgium. Starting at Langemark Military Cemetery we stop at Poelcapelle Cemetery before heading on to Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in the world and breaking for lunch just outside of Zonnebeke.

After lunch the route goes through Polygon Wood, taking in Buttes New British Cemetery and the preserved bunkers before passing Black Watch Corner before regrouping outside of Ypres for the final march to the Menin Gate.

Trek approx. 31km

Day 5: Ypres – London

We leave Ypres to drive back to London, aiming to arrive in late afternoon (traffic dependent).

FAQs

What is the itinerary of The Frontline Walk?

The Frontline Walk takes place over 5 days. We meet in London on day 1 and return to London on day 5. The actual walking takes place over days 2-4.

The itinerary for each walk can be found on the specific tabs for The Normandy Beaches and The Western Front above

What route will we walk?

The exact route varies each year and will be released closer to the Walk. You can see the route outline by clicking on the specific tabs above

How far will we walk each day?

This depends on the route, but we will walk an average of 33km a day. The first two days of walking are usually further than the last day.

Where do we meet?

We meet in Wellington Barracks on the morning of the first day (either 2nd October or 9th depending on the walk you have chosen).

Where do we return to?

We will return to Wellington Barracks on the fifth day (either 6th or 13th October depending on which dates you are registered for).

What are the timings of the Walk?

Meeting times for Wellington Barracks will be confirmed closer to the date, but we will depart in the morning of the first day and return in late afternoon of the fifth day. Specific timings for each walking day will be confirmed on The Frontline Walk, as they are subject to change dependent on weather.

What is included in the cost?

Your minimum sponsorship target, of £1,250, covers your transport (from London), accommodation and meals from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 5, water on trekking days, snacks, medical support and a charity t-shirt.

Why do I need to have raised £600 by the 31st July?

The Soldiers’ Charity covers your travel, accommodation and food, plus other expenses such as medical cover and support staff. We ask you to have raised £600 by the 31st July to ensure these costs are covered.

What happens if I do not reach £600 by the 31st July?

Unfortunately, you will not be able to take part.

What happens if I do not reach the minimum sponsorship target?

We will do everything we can to help you raise the minimum sponsorship but failure to do so may prevent you from taking part in future events for The Soldiers’ Charity.

Is Gift Aid included in my sponsorship target?

Gift Aid is not included in minimum sponsorship targets.

Can we fundraise jointly as a team?

Yes, absolutely – it can make your fundraising target easier to meet if you fundraise together. You can even have a team fundraising page. Just remember that the sponsorship target is per person, so if your individual target is £1,250 and you fundraise as a pair, you’ll need to raise £2,500 together.

Is there an age restriction?

The minimum age is 18 for the Frontline Walk. There is no upper age limit, but if you are over 65 at the start of the Walk you will need a doctor’s note from your GP confirming you are fit and healthy and there is no medical reason that you should not take part in the Walk.

How do I apply for matched funding from my employer?

Many companies will match up to 100% of the donations you collect. Each company has a different policy and so please contact your HR or CSR teams to find out more.

Can you supply Charity materials to help with fundraising?

Yes, simply e-mail us at events@soldierscharity.org for a list of available materials.

Partners

Steve Roberts Military Ancestry

Steve Roberts is the historical guide on the Frontline Walk.

Steve Roberts Military Ancestry offers a reliable, bespoke research service based on twenty years’ experience at numerous archives and repositories throughout the United Kingdom.

Steve is an ex-serviceman with a keen interest in military history, he holds a Masters Degree in British First World War Studies and has a proven track record in researching Britain’s armed forces for individual clients and a number of television documentaries.

Classic Challenge 

Classic Challenge has been leading the way in charity challenges since they originated the concept in 1992. Since then more than £100 million has been raised for hundreds of charities. 65,000 people have cycled, trekked, run, climbed mountains and ridden horses to all corners of the globe while taking part in a charity challenge event for Classic Challenge.