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This is our second ‘virtual’ walk, in 2014 we did a virtual walk from our office to John O’Groats completing the 947km early in December, and raising just under a £1,000 for a local hospice at the same time.
This year we decided to repeat the challenge, and, after a certain amount of deliberation we selected the Monarch’s Way, (www.monarchsway.50megs.com) a long distance walk following the escape of route of Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester 1651, as the route to follow. We selected the Monarch’s Way for two reasons, firstly it was the right length, we can just about cover 1,000km in a year with each member of the group covering 5km a week and secondly Northampton(shire) has strong historic links with the Civil War, albeit not necessarily with the ‘right side’. Still Charles II did extract ‘revenge’ on Northampton by pulling down the town walls and partially destroying its castle.
Our winter route follows the metalled pathway along the River Nene, passing the site of the Civil War Battle of Northampton (July 1460), before turning into Beckets Park, which is overlooked by Beckets Well, erected in 1843 over a spring outside the old town wall. This was the spring at which it is reputed Thomas Becket rested and drank on his flight from Northampton Castle.
By the end of January we had completed 124km and had cover almost a half of the first section of the Monarch’s Way covering Charles II escape from Worcester and journey to Stratford-Upon-Avon. We had travelled with the King through much of Worcestershire to be within a few miles of Boscobel where the King famously hid in the Oak Tree.