News Shopper staff are set to join hundreds of walkers on a magical night time walk through the striking urban landscapes of London and into the gorgeous countryside of Kent. DAN KEEL explains.
We are proud to announce we have joined forces with children's charity Widehorizons to launch an event which will bring smiles to the faces of readers in Lewisham, Greenwich, Bromley, Bexley and north Kent while raising vital money for the area's youngsters.
Walkers of all abilities have the chance to see the sun set in London and then rise again in Kent - all in the space of a few hours.
Walkers who sign up will have a choice of a 25km or 50km event with hundreds of florescent arrows showing you the way along the carefully planned route.
Meanwhile, everyone will be treated to soup and bread rolls at the half-way point and a hot breakfast on the finish line.
Here are just some of the fantastic sights you will see along the Nightline route:
The Green Chain Link
A path which provides access to many of south-east London’s outdoor spaces.
It is overflowing with wildlife including foxes, voles, squirrels, woodpeckers, and jays.
You will walk just part of this 50-mile path which begins at the River Thames.
It does what it says on the tin – it circles London and stretches a whopping 152 miles in total.
You will walk along the London Loop to Foots Cray Meadows – a beautiful park which was once the site of an 18th century mansion.
During the early evening, you could spot some exotic ring-necked parakeets.
Darent Valley Path
The 19-mile path starts at the edge of the Thames in Dartford and goes right through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The rolling hills and picturesque villages are truly stunning.
North Downs Way
Once you hit the North Downs Way you’ll be following in the footsteps of Medieval pilgrims who historically journeyed along this route to Canterbury and on to the White Cliffs of Dover.
The views across the High Weald are stunning and you will pass two of the eight castles on the North Downs Way on the Nightline route.
Widehorizons Environment Centre
Set in a gorgeous nine-acre site in Eltham, Widehorizons Environment Centre is a hidden green gem in an urban setting.
Children of all ages use this centre to explore the outdoors, from ponds, to forest, to meadow.
The centre's goats and chickens are also an exciting attraction for visiting schools.
The official training ground for the Addicks and one of the first landmarks that you’ll pass on the Nightline walk
Foots Cray Meadows
The largest open space in Bexley borough and was once the site of an impressive 18th century mansion estate.
Five Arches Bridge
The bridge crosses the River Cray and is one of the few remaining structures from this estate.
Widehorizons Horton Kirby Centre
The facility near Dartford is surrounded by farmland, woodland, and country meadows, nestled right next to the River Darent in a beautiful Kent village.
This early Norman castle was built from 1085-1087. The castle is unusual in that it didn’t have a tower.
This historic manor house was built in 1497 and has been in the possession of the same family ever since.
Queen Anne and Henry VIII were frequent visitors to Lullingstone and "Queen Anne’s Bath House" is hidden within the grounds.
There is also an 18th Century Ice House on site.
Trosley Country Park
This beautiful country park covers 170 acres of woodland and famous chalk downland on the Kent North Downs.
The park is well known for its colourful displays of bluebells in the spring and for some exciting birdlife including the green woodpecker, lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers, tawny owls, and sparrowhawks.
Widehorizons Margaret McMillan House
Set in an amazing 26-acres of its own grounds, the centre has been providing outdoor adventures to children since the 1930s.
Originally opened in 1936 by King George VI (the Duke of York at the time) it was the fulfilment of a long-held dream of Margaret McMillan, who believed that the outdoors vastly benefitted the health and wellbeing of poor children living in the slums of Deptford at the time.
- We will soon be bringing you moving stories of how Widehorizons has changed the lives of many of the area's youngsters.
- Visit newsshopper.co.uk/nightline or widehorizons.org.uk/nightline to keep up-to-date on the event's progress.
Date: Saturday June 21
Time: Registration from 6.30pm. Walks start at 7.45pm in Eltham and 11.30pm in Horton Kirby
Distance: 25km (5-6hrs) or 50km (10-12hrs)
Eltham or Horton Kirby (near Dartford)
Finish Location: Horton Kirby (near Dartford) or Wrotham, Kent Registration opens from 6.30pm.
Minimum Age: 16
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Call: 0845 600 65 67
Cost: £10 registration fee. £90 minimum fundraising
WHERE WILL MY MONEY GO?
Charity Widehorizons provides life-changing adventures for children and young people.
Currently, 80 per cent of people in the UK live in urban areas meaning many are becoming disengaged with the natural world around them.
Widehorizons offers day visits and residential courses to schools. Additionally, they also offer an Outreach Programme where Widehorizons’ tutors bring adventure to schools, using even the smallest of outdoor spaces to help children learn.