30th anniversary of Challenge Walk
This May is the 30th St Leonard's Way Challenge Walk!
Posted Jan 24

30th anniversary of Challenge Walk

On Saturday 2nd May, our 30th anniversary Challenge Walk will take place. 

The 20 mile circular walk is an annual event, started by a group of walking enthusiasts in 1989. Only one year was missed, due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, which makes this the 30th Challenge Walk. Over the years this event has raised over a quarter of a million pounds for St Leonard’s.

The walk takes place in Bronte country, starting and finishing in Haworth in West Yorkshire. The route follows bridleways and paths, and incorporates part of the South Pennine Way. The countryside varies from woods to open moorland and passes some fine examples of industrial architecture.

This year, to celebrate the milestone, there will be a presentation of photos from the walk from throughout the years in the church hall at the start and end.

Gary Bacon has been taking part in the St Leonard’s Hospice Challenge Walk for many years. He says: “I became involved in the St Leonards Way twenty plus years ago. An old friend, Steve phoned and said, “The local hospice does a 20 mile walk out of Haworth - do you fancy it?” Of course I fancied it, 20 miles in the South Pennines with some nice navigation!

There was no starting gun or person with a stopwatch, all the marshals were friendly and there was an ice cream van at Hardcastle Crags!

I’m not sure exactly how many times I’ve completed it since, but it is well over twenty times. I have walked with my wife, both of my sons, numerous friends and lots of times on my own over the years, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.”

Sarah Atkinson, events team leader at St Leonard’s Hospice said, “This is called the Challenge Walk for a reason, but anyone joining us can expect good company, beautiful views, great exercise, and the knowledge that their day out will directly help support the work done here at the Hospice. People can sign up individually, with friends and family, or as part of a corporate group.

“This is a very special year as not only is it the 30th anniversary of the sponsored walk; it is the 35th anniversary of the opening of St Leonard’s Hospice. The walk has been taking place for nearly as long as the Hospice has been open.”

Entry is £17.50 including a post-walk meal. Places on the walk are limited so it is advisable to book early, which will also allow plenty of time for collecting sponsorship, though a donation can be made in lieu. For information contact Sarah Atkinson on 01904 777 777 or you can sign up here.

Here are some photos from the Challenge Walk 30 year history!