Cancer charity’s Big Hike challenge is coming to Swanage

Launched as an outdoor fundraiser in 2021 amid the pandemic, Cancer Research UK’s Big Hike challenge was so popular in other iconic beauty spots, that it’s now coming to Purbeck this summer.

There’s an open invitation for residents and visitors to join in the charity challenge that starts and finishes at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre near Corfe Castle on Saturday 9th July 2022.

Jurassic Coast Big Hike route

The route starts and finishes at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre near Corfe Castle

Circular 25.3 mile route

The Jurassic Coast Big Hike, as it is being called, is a circular 25.3 mile route that starts inland, heads towards the coast at Kimmeridge and then follows the South West Coast Path to Swanage before returning back towards Corfe Castle.

While this long distance hike is aimed at both new and experienced walkers, this route involves around 850 metres of incline, so participants are being advised to prepare well for the Big Hike.

Chapman's Pool on the Purbeck coast

Chapman’s Pool along the South West Coast Path is en route

Big Hike challenge 2022 locations

Last year the Big Hike was launched in four popular locations for walkers. This year, as well as adding the Jurassic Coast Big Hike, there’s also a new Big Hike at Loch Lomond in Scotland.

  • Big Hike South Coast: 2nd July – 25.7 miles
  • Big Hike Jurassic Coast: 9th July – 25.3 miles – New event
  • Big Hike Yorkshire Dales: 3rd September – 25.1 miles
  • Big Hike Brecon Beacons: 11th September – 24.9 miles
  • Big Hike Loch Lomond: 17th September – 23.5 miles – New event
  • Big Hike Peak District: 25th September – 25.8 miles
St Aldhelm's Head, Worth Matravers. St Aldhelm's Chapel dates back to the thirteenth century.

The Jurassic Coast Big Hike route tracks along the coastline at St Aldhelm’s Head near Worth Matravers in Purbeck

“It’s great to be able to bring this event to Dorset for the first time”

Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Dorset, Elisa Mitchell said:

“Walking is a great way to boost mental and physical wellbeing and it’s no surprise there has been a rise in the number of people taking up hiking since the start of the pandemic.

“This past year proves – more than any other – the value of investing in science and medical research.

“Big Hike is the perfect way for people to make the most of stunning scenery, while raising money for vital cancer research as part of a group or with friends and family. It’s great to be able to bring this event to Dorset for the first time and welcome experienced hikers or novice ramblers.”

Swanage Bay viewed from the Downs

The Big Hike goes via Swanage Bay

Lunch and a hot meal at the finish line included

The entry fee for Cancer Research UK’s Big Hike is £25. This covers the cost of staging the event series and means that money raised in sponsorship can go to help beat cancer. The suggested fundraising target for participants is £300.

While anyone could walk this route any time they wished, joining in with this organised event has the added benefit that the hike is fully supported. Participants will also receive lunch en route followed by a hot meal, snacks and a medal at the finish line.

All routes are fully planned with plenty of marshalls along the way and maps provided at registration.

There is exclusive access to toilet facilities, first aid, and experts on site – so all people have to do is focus on the walking, while raising money for charity.

In addition Cancer Research UK has teamed up with hiking experts to produce a comprehensive training plan, if you want one.

Every year around 37,300 people are diagnosed with cancer in the South West

According to Cancer Research UK, every year around 37,300 people are diagnosed with cancer in the South West, based on NHS stats for 2019. But, thanks to progress in research more people than ever across the UK are surviving their cancer for 10 years or more.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Cancer Research UK’s formation. The charity’s work has been at the heart of some of the biggest developments in cancer, from radiotherapy to some of the most used cancer drugs around the world today.

Wareham to Swanage train Corfe Castle Wednesday 14th June 2017

Walkers may even spot one of Swanage Railway’s historic locos at Corfe Castle

“Urging people in Purbeck to pull on their walking boots”

Elisa added:

“Every day we see the benefits of research we’ve previously funded being realised, helping people live longer and healthier lives. It’s thanks to our supporters, we’ve come so far. And we will go much further.

“That’s why, as Cancer Research UK marks its 20th birthday, we’re urging people in Purbeck to pull on their walking boots and help us keep making great strides forward.”

According to Cancer Research UK, it spent more than £2 million in the South West last year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.

Further information

  • Sign up to Cancer Research UK’s Big Hike via its website

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