Hit The Road

Hit the Road Just Giving Page

Total amount raised from Hit the Road 2024:  £21,788.  Well done everyone!

The planning to this year’s Hit the Road walk started back in September 2023.  I spent a warm day walking around the Wembley area looking for a place to start and crossing the beautiful Fryernt Country Park following the Capital Ring route. We decided that starting near to Wembley Stadium would be a good idea and heading across to the country park would work. The fact that the winter from 2023 to 2024 was one of the wettest in the UK did not help with the route planning. The Capital Ring takes you through parks when possible but the fact that there were very few paths through the Country Park made this section of the walk challenging to plan. I had already discussed the mud in the park with Caroline but she clearly didn’t believe me and in a trial walk at Easter, dragged two friends, one wearing brand new white trainers across the park! I decided on a final route on Wed 1st May after a couple of days of sunshine. However, thunderstorms and another day of rain meant that Fryernt Country Park was back to being a quagmire!!

Anyway, the big day arrived and the sun was shining on Wembley Stadium where a huge number of walkers congregated ready to set off on their 20-mile walk.  After the usual speeches by Peter Luck and Fr Dominic Howarth, precariously balanced on plinths, we had one of the best group photos ever, taken on the steps up to the stadium.

Off we went. The only thing I can say about the mud in Fryernt Country Park is ‘Sorry, but it wasn’t too bad three days before’. The route then passed along the side of Welsh Harp reservoir and across the M1, by bridge, and the A5. We then followed the route of the North Circular through parks. How could we be so near to all of those big roads and yet in a park? We passed through some very up market areas and arrived at East Finchley Station which we were able to walk through and into Cherry Wood. There we found our fantastic helpers taking names and handing out water and Mars Bars to the walkers who were just starting as well as those who had already completed 10 miles. The café in the park were doing a roaring trade and very pleased to see us there.

The walk continued through woods in Highgate and then to the Parklands walk which is along a disused railway and takes you into Finsbury Park. From here we headed to Highbury, then Islington and through the City to our finish at the Brewdog Pub, where another group of fantastic helpers were waiting to give out certificates.

As usual, there was a wonderful atmosphere in the pub and gave everyone the opportunity to catch up with people that they may not have seen since we last Hit the Road.

These walks would not work if we didn’t have volunteers to help out on the day. Maria Davies and Kim Crane have been stalwarts over the years by the going very early in the morning to the start and then straight on to the mid-point to register people, answer their questions and make sure they have bottles of water and snacks. This year, we were lucky to have even more helpers to share the load – a big thank you to Sandra, Tania and Annette!  Once again, Kevin Walsh drove the minibus for us. This year, he was joined by Tom Chester who, despite crutches had travelled up from Plymouth to be with us. At the Brewdog, Tony Peters and Christine Noddings gave out certificates to the almost 600 walkers who had taken part this year. Another record.

We must thank Waitrose in Upminster for their donation of chocolate bars and other goodies and to Catering Manager, Jo Landers who did a great job, once again, in trying to persuade the companies that she deals with to donate water and other snacks. If anyone can help with similar donations for next year, we would love to hear from you.

So, another successful Hit the Road walk which will probably be remembered as ‘the muddy one’.

We really hope to see you all again next year and hope that the people who were not able to take part this year will do so next year on 3rd May 2025.  Make sure that you save the date.

Barbara Kenlin
on behalf of the Hit the Road Team

To read an account of the day from a sixth former's perspective please click here.