How old do I have to be?

Entrants of any age are invited to join the walk. If you are under 16 then you go free, however you must bring an adult with you.

However, bike4hospices is a tough event and most under 16s will find it too much to complete the event in the time available. Please consider this before entering a child.

Can I reserve a place?

We are afraid not, with multiple methods of registration available and to be fair to all, applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis and no places can be reserved. There are no exceptions – sorry!

How do I know if I have got a place?

The events team will contact everyone within a week of receiving your registration. If you have a place you will receive written confirmation in the post or if you have registered on line you will receive confirmation by e-mail with all the information that you need to know about the walk.

How long is the route?

The full walking route is 43 miles over 2 days but shorter distances can be walked on each day.  Bike4Hospices has 2 distances available, 25 and 42 miles, both starting on Sunday. There is no bike event on Saturday. Look at ‘The Route’ on this web site.

Is the route hard to follow? Will I get a map of the route?

When you sign in on the day of your walk, you will receive an envelope with your walk or bike number and a detailed description of the route. There will be an Ordnance Survey map too. Please hand the map in at your Finish so that Hike4hospices can comply with the conditions of the user licence from Ordnance Survey. In addition to the South Downs Way and Monarchs Way signs, there will be Hike4Hospices signs to clarify certain tricky sections.

What time can I arrive?

This depends on your start point. Please check ‘The Route’ page of our web site.

How fit do I have to be to walk?

Depends. Hike4hospices takes place over hilly countryside and it is not going to be easy. You need to walk at a minimum of 2m.p.h. Much of the last leg is uphill and 12 miles is a long walk by most people’s standards. For that distance, a few 5 mile walks before the event will help increase your fitness and get you used to the walk challenges.Some Vaseline on the feet will help to prevent blisters. Only the most experienced walkers will be able to walk two legs in a day. Most people will have to train if they are to walk the whole distance of 43 miles in one weekend.

How long does it take to walk?

The shortest and easiest leg is from Devils Dyke to Botolphs. Most people will complete this 5 mile walk in less than 3 hours. The longest leg is from Botolphs to Amberley at 14 miles and will take on average 5 hours plus time for stops. Please plan your day carefully and so that you are confident that you can finish your Leg before the closing time of the Finish.  You must be able to complete a walk at 2m.p.h. or faster. See the route pages for closing times.

How fit do I have to be to cycle?

The two events are quite tough over rough track with many ascents and decents. Speeds of cyclists averaged between 6 and 7 m.p.h. Most people will need to train for the event or be regular cyclists.

What kind of bike do I need?

The route uses bridle ways with surfaces including smooth chalk which is very slippery when wet, muddy tracks, and sharp stoney ground. There are plenty of steep ascents and fast descents. So a bike with a strong but light frame, sturdy tyres, a good range of gears and efficient brakes is essential.

What do I need to wear?

You will be walking or riding mostly on the on the South Down Way or Monarch’s Way, which follow undulating country tracks, sometimes quite rough. If walking, we recommend that you wear comfortable, flat walking shoes and socks.  Please wear comfortable clothes, with plenty of layers to help you maintain a good body temperature. Unfortunately we our dependent on the English summer, so don’t forget you may need wet weather gear! Lightweight waterproofs are a sensible precaution. A hat is essential in hot sunny weather. Strong comfortable shoes that will protect your feet from sharp stones, and support your ankles are a good idea. Very often the footpaths are rough or muddy and you will have to climb over stiles.

Why should I wear the Hike4Hospices T-shirt and number?

Hike4hospices would love you to wear the free Hike4hospices T shirt that you will be given. Wearing your T-shirt with your walker number safely secured lets us know that you have registered for the walk and assists us to identify you, thus helping to ensure your safety. Cyclists will receive numbers which can be fixed to bikes.

Walkers who register before mid-August will receive it in the post. Late registrants will be given their shirt at the start when they sign in.

How do I get back to my starting point?

You could use the Hike4hospice bus service, which calls at the Finishes. Tickets are available at £3 per journey. The timetable is on this site. The timetable has been devised to allow walkers starting from Eartham, to bus to Eartham, from Goodwood.

How do I get my bike back to the start?

Transport back to the starts for both riders and their bikes will be available at the extra cost of £10. This must be pre-booked. See the registration form.

Can I use the bus on the day without pre-booking and Where does the money go?

You can buy bus tickets at your start point for the day but we would prefer pre booking so we can be sure we have enough seats. The money all goes on the cost of transport. Transport for bikes must be prebooked.

Can I park my car at the Start?

Parking is available at Pyecombe, Devils Dyke, Botolphs, Amberley, Eartham and Goodwood. Hike4hospices does not have car parking at Lewes but there are car parks near to the start, all of which charge for parking. Please see the route pages for details. Enquire at the Starts about closing times of the parking areas. This is particularly important at Amberley, which is controlled by the Amberley Museum. At Amberley, all cars must be removed from the car park by 6pm when the gates will be locked.

Are there any lockers to leave things in at the Start?

Unfortunately there is nowhere secure to leave your possessions at the starts. Please only bring with you essential items.

What happens if I injure myself?

The St John Ambulance will be on duty and will be able to provide first aid and advice. If the injury is serious, an ambulance should be called by dialing 999. Our Marshals will be on the route and there will be a ‘sweeper’ to try to ensure that nobody is forgotten. 

Can I get drinking water?

There will be limited supplies of bottled water and water to be dispensed into your bottle at Start and Finishes. Please bring your own water bottle. Refreshments will be on sale at Pyecombe, Botolphs,and Goodwood.

Can I bring my dogs?

Dogs are very welcome on the walk, and will be awarded with their own medal at the finish. Please observe the Countryside Code and keep your dog under control always. Dog owners will need to obey the requirements of the owners of the land the route crosses. Very often this will mean keeping dogs on leads for the protection of livestock.

What happens at the Finish?

There is a party at the Finish on the Sunday at the Lennox Stand of Goodwood Racecourse. Finishers get their medals and walk in along the Goodwood straight. There will be refreshments, hamburger and hot dogs plus some catchy music to entertain you after your long journeys. Bring friends and families. The access to the Finish is about 500 metres from the Main Goodwood Racecourse entrance going east.

Can we walk as a group?

Yes, the more the merrier! You will need to complete individual application forms to ensure that all participants are aware of the terms of entry. The best way to make sure that you all get a place is to send in your completed application forms in the same envelope or to register on line together.

Can I speak to anyone from the events team?

The events team would love to speak to you. They are contactable on 01243 527068.

Can I hand in my sponsor money at the walk?

Unfortunately we do not have the facilities to take money at the start, so please send in your money using the paying in slip provided in the pack given to you at your start. The sooner we receive your sponsorship money the sooner the hospices can put it to good work.

Can I gift aid my donation?

You can ask all of your sponsors to gift aid their donation by ticking the box on the form, this will help the hospices raise an extra 25p for every £1 you are sponsored. Please ensure that for each sponsor, their full name, home house number or name, post code and donation are clearly written as gift aid cannot be claimed if this information is not clearly readable.

Where does the money go?

The money you will raise will provide delivery of high-quality care and support to the patients and their families. The money raised is split evenly and donated to the four hospices St Peter and St James, The Martlets, St Wilfrid’s and St Barnabas House. Hike 4 Hospices do not have any paid staff. Sponsors are sought to cover as many event costs as possible to make sure we can give the maximum amount of funds raised direct to the hospices.

I am interested in sponsoring the event, how can I get involved?

Every little donation of cash or support is very welcome. We have a sponsoring office and they will be pleased to hear from you.Please e-mail frankgriffiths@gmail.com to make a contribution.

If you have any questions that we have not covered please do not hesitate to email webadmin@hike4hospices.co.uk, who will be more than happy to talk to you.