Hiking events

Hike for palliative care in the first Folkestone Downs Challenge

DAY TO REMEMBER: Sophie Thompson and Naomi Lengyel got engaged during the walk

The sun was shining as over 350 keen hikers and runners laced up their boots for Pilgrims Hospices’ newest fundraiser, the Folkestone Downs Challenge.

The 36km course has been specially designed to showcase the dramatic scenery of the South Kent coast, including breathtaking views of the English Channel, Folkestone and Romney Marsh beyond.

September 3 proved extra special for couple Sophie Thompson and Naomi Lengyel, who crossed the finish line after popping the question as the sun set on Sandgate Beach.

The day was a huge success and early estimates indicate that over £50,000 has been raised for local end-of-life care services in East Kent.

More than 11,500 km were collectively walked by Pilgrim supporters that day – the equivalent of walking from London to Bangkok, Thailand.

READ MORE: Moot Horn announces upcoming sponsored walk in Hythe

Event organizer Robert Grew said: “We are absolutely thrilled that so many supporters have joined us in the hike for palliative care, and to have smashed our planned fundraising goal is awesome. .”

The money raised will help provide specialist palliative care services to people in East Kent at Pilgrim Services, Therapy Centers and within the community.

Supporters were invited to practice for this difficult and hilly challenge, and their preparation and determination paid off as they were greeted to applause and a well-deserved medal at the Folkestone Harbor finish line Arm.

Robert added: “Our team of staff and volunteers work very hard to ensure we have plenty of support along the route and well-stocked refreshment stops to keep our spirits up throughout the day. I want to thank all the volunteers who help make our events so special, we couldn’t do this without them.


This year, Pilgrims Hospices needs to raise £11million to run its full range of services.

Sponsorships raised at events like this help the charity continue to care for people at the end of life at their hospices in Margate, Ashford and Canterbury, as well as homes in east Kent.

Get all the latest news, updates and things to do in the dedicated InYourArea Feed for Folkestone, Kent.