Now onto its 38th major televised appeal, BBC Children in Need has raised a staggering £890 million to support projects throughout the United Kingdom. On the weekend of the 14th and 15th of October, beginners, intermediates and proficient walkers across the country donned their yellow Pudsey hats to take part in the Countryfile Ramble in aid of BBC Children in Need. Store and office colleagues from Blacks, Millets and Ultimate Outdoors supported the ramble to join in the fun and raise some money for a great cause.
On an unseasonably warm and sunny Sunday morning I joined some of my old colleagues, Stevie, Ben and Pip from Blacks Meadowhall, to do our part and ramble for Children in Need.
Armed with our walking boots and bright yellow Pudsey headgear we headed out to the Monsal Trail in the Peak District. As we pulled up to the car park it was apparent that everyone else was taking advantage of the uncharacteristic October weather too. After Ben grabbed an ice cream and the rest of us demolished some Celebrations (life’s all about balance), we set out to the trail.
Leaving the route planning to Ben, our chief navigator, he led the way along the trail. Having not walked in this area before I was content with the quiet, picturesque route (especially after a trip to The Leadmill in Sheffield the night before, remember: balance). The plan was to follow the trail until we reached Headstone Viaduct before turning back and heading home.
The trail, lined with trees and situated away from any main roads, led us to Headstone Tunnel. As the Monsal Trail is part of a former railway line it features six tunnels in its entirety, with four, including the Headstone Tunnel, only recently being opened to the public in 2011.
The tunnel itself has its own microclimate compared to the weather outside, If you’re heading out onto the Monsal Trail, I’d recommend a warm or waterproof layer for the tunnels, if you don’t want to be caught out by the cool chill or unexpected water dripping from the ceiling.
Once you’ve passed through the dimly lit depths of the tunnel you’re greeted by the Headstone Viaduct, and some truly stunning, to say the least, views on both sides.
Located 12m above the ground, the Headstone Viaduct towers over the River Wye and Monsal Dale giving you some very Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. After some carefully positioned self-timer group photos on the viaduct, we set off back to the car park via an obligatory visit to the local café (10/10, would recommend the cheese and ham toastie).
Overall we rambled approximately six miles, a distance just long enough for a group with mixed walking experience, but perfect for a slightly hungover Sunday afternoon in the Peaks.
Still want to get involved but missed the Ramble weekend? You can still organise your own ramble and raise some money! Visit the BBC website to download a sponsorship form or sign up to the virtual ramble webpage. If you want to catch all the action from the weekend you can watch the dedicated Countryfile episode on the BBC iPlayer.