Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make a few changes to The Frontline Walk 2020.
The Frontline Walks in 2020 - The Western Front and The Normandy Beaches will no longer take place. Instead we will run 'The Frontline Walk: The Home Front'. This will take place in south-east England.
Please see the FAQs for more information. If you are already signed up to The Frontline Walk 2020 you have already been contacted by e-mail - please e-mail Amy on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 811 3960 if you have not received this.
If you were hoping to sign up for either The Western Front or The Normandy Beaches we recommend that you sign up for The Frontline Walk 2021 - registration is now open.
If you'd like to take part in The Home Front you can still register up until the 31st July. Get in touch with Amy on email@example.com if you have any questions.
The Frontline Walk: The Home Front
Walk 100km of south-east England. Learn about the people of London, Surrey and Hampshire and the role they played during WWI and WWII.
Dates: 8th - 11th October 2020
Fundraising: £1,250, with £600 due by the 31st August 2020
- All transfers whilst on the trip
- Accommodation throughout on a single room basis
- All meals and snacks, except breakfast on day 1 and lunch on day 5
- Trip historian
- Experienced tour guides and support crew, including medics
- A full bespoke training guide
- Discounts on equipment
- Frontline Walk t-shirt and finishers medal
- Optional return coach to London (supplement applies)
Have a question?
Visit the FAQs tab for more information, or contact Amy on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7811 3960.
See the photos from previous walks below.
Emotional, but inspiring.Judith Tetlow, 2018 participant
Photography © Ed Smith Photography: http://edsmithphotography.com/
The full itinerary for the Home Front route is below.
Day 1: London – Weybridge
Meet at Wellington Barracks to begin our journey – as did thousands of troops during the First and Second World Wars.
Today we walk ~ 35km through south-west London to Surrey. Travelling via Wandsworth and Richmond Park – where East Surrey trained their new recruits until 1941 and the infamous ‘Phantom’ was based before finishing in Weybridge.
We overnight in Guildford – a town rich in military history. Visit Garden of Remembrance & the Guildford Memorial
Distance approx 36km.
Day 2: Brookwood Military Cemetery – Shalford – Witney Common
An early departure to our start point – Brookwood Military Cemetery. The largest CWGC cemetery in the UK, it contains over 5,500 graves.
Today holds another 35km trek through the Surrey Hills. We’ll be walking through history, as most of this area was made into a military camp during WWI and WWII.
Along with many individual stories from the many CWGC graves in village cemeteries and war memorials along the way, we’ll pass through Jacob’s Well and a memorial to a plane that crashed during WWII and Witney Common – a huge Canadian camp in both World Wars.
Distance approx. 34km
Day 3: Petersfield to Southwick Park
Day three is our final day of walking.
Starting at Petersfield War Memorial, with the stories of some of the 100 WWI and 53 WWII soldiers. Also commemorated here are 2 soldiers from the Falklands.
Then passing through the historic villages of Petersfield, Buriton and Clanfield, our finish point is Southwick Park. Now the Regimental HQ of the Royal Military Police, in WWII it was where General Eisenhower, General Montgomery and Admiral Ramsay engineered D-Day. The original maps can still be seen in the Map Room.
That night our celebration dinner takes place in Portsmouth.
Trek approx. 30km
Day 4: Portsmouth – London
A free morning before we all make our way home. An optional coach transfer to London will leave at midday.
COVID-19 & The Home Front - FAQ's
Below we have answered as many questions about the changes to The Frontline Walk and the upcoming UK based event 'The Frontline Walk: The Home Front'. This will be updated regularly as we receive more questions.
What changes have you made, and why?
What changes have you made to The Frontline Walk
We will no longer be going to France/Belgium in October for The Frontline Walk. A UK based Frontline Walk will take place instead, in the south-east.
It's only June - why have you decided this now?
This is for two reasons:
- The Frontline Walk is a high commitment event - we ask you to raise £600 by the end of July to confirm your spot, in these times it has become increasingly difficult for people to fundraise, and this was worrying many of the people signed up. We decided to make these changes sooner rather than later to ease this worrying.
- It has become an almost certainty that there will be some level of social distancing required on the event. We investigated a socially-distanced Frontline Walk but this increased the costs by 75% - more than we could justify asking the charity to pay.
Why did the costs increase so much?
This was for several reasons
- We needed several extra coaches. Each extra coach requires an extra driver which brings with it hotel & food costs as well as Eurotunnel tickets.
- Everyone would need their own room.
- Each Doctor and medic would need PPE for each person they treat - including during foot clinic.
Why can you still run the event in the UK?
Running the event in the UK meant we could significantly cut down on several costs, including:
- Fewer coach journeys, and drivers would not require hotels.
- We would not incur the Eurotunnel costs.
- Without the travel days we have one less night in hotels
- The euro/pound conversion is no longer an issue
Do I still need to raise £1,250?
Yes - the event in the UK costs roughly the same as a non-social distant event in France due to single rooms, PPE and more staff and coaches than we would normally require.
Do I still need to raise £600 before the event?
Yes – but we have pushed the deadline back to the 31st August 2020.
What will the dates be?
The event will take place over the 8th - 11th October 2020.
Where will we depart from?
Wellington Barracks as normal. We will meet early in the morning in Wellington Barracks in London and start the walk straight from there.
Where will we finish?
We are aiming for the finish to be Southwick Park - now the HQ of The Royal Military Police, in WWII it was where General Eisenhower, General Montgomery and Admiral Ramsay engineered D-Day. The original maps can still be seen in the Map Room.
What will the format be?
Three days walking, three nights’ accommodation. We will walk directly from the start in London
Will there be anything to see?
Yes! Steve Roberts and Terry Whenham have been working overtime to discover the history of the route. We’ll be passing old Army Camps, including the base of ‘Phantom’ (GHQ Liaison Regiment), the site of several RAF and Luftwaffe plane crashes, Brookwood Military Cemetery – the largest CWGC cemetery in the UK and the incredible Southwick Park. On top of this we’re working with the CWGC, Terry and Steve to tell the story of all the individuals we pass along the route, both in village cemeteries and war memorials along the route. We’ll bring the route to life with talks, information boards and are looking into an audio tour.
We also spend two nights in Guildford, a town steeped in history and we recommend you visit the Garden of Remembrance and the Guildford Memorial.
Where will we stay?
We will stay in Guildford for the first two nights and Portsmouth for the third night.
Will all food, travel and accommodation still be included?
All food and accommodation will be included, we will also provide all transfers from the start/finish to the hotel
Will you take us back to London?
We’ll finish in Portsmouth and you’ll make your way home from there. If you’d like a coach transfer back to London, we can provide this at a cost of £30pp.
Do I still need travel insurance?
No, unless you are an international participant
How do I confirm my spot in The Home Front?
Please fill out the questionnaire with your preferred dates (we’d appreciate as much flexibility as possible) by Wednesday 24th June 2020 and we’ll confirm on Thursday 25th June 2020.
What happens to my fundraising page if I take part in The Home Front?
Your fundraising page will stay the same - you can continue using it as normal.
COVID-19 and staying safe
How will you ensure the event will be COVID-19 safe?
We will follow Government guidelines and send out full instructions closer to the event. A lot can change between now and October but we envisage we will:
- Ensure everyone has their own room (except walkers from the same household)
- Food on the walk will no longer be self-service, even at break stops.
- Staff and medics will wear appropriate PPE when serving food or providing medical treatment
- Reusable cutlery will no longer be used – disposable cutlery will be provided.
- Briefings and history briefings will not be done in large groups unless there is space for everyone to follow social distancing guidelines.
Are you still going to do blister clinic & offer massages?
We will try – it will be based on necessity and we will manage the queue so there is never more than 1 person waiting
How will meal times work?
Breakfast and dinner will be managed by the hotels – we will take guidance from them.
Lunch will still be provided on the route, but will no longer be self-service and we will not be asking you to bring your own cutlery.
I don’t want to take part in The Home Front – What are my options?
You can transfer your fundraising and registration fee to 2021
What are the dates?
The dates for 2021 are:
- The Normandy Beaches: 6-10th October 2021
- The Western Front: 13th – 17th October 2021
Will 2021 be able to take place?
We can only go on guidance given by the Government, but we have every confidence in the event being able to take place in more normal situation in 2021.
Do I need to have raised my £600 to transfer to 2021?
No, if you transfer you'll now have until the 31st July 2021 to raise the first £600.
Donate your registration fee and fundraising to the charity
Why and how can I do this?
If you are in a position to donate your registration fee to ABF The Soldiers' Charity, we would be incredibly grateful.
We expect an increase in the number of requests from support from both individual and from partner charities whose income has been/will be affected by COVID-19 and as always, our priority is to continue to provide grants to soldiers, veterans and their families in times of need.
We have provided over £2.5m worth of grants since the lockdown began with a significant reduction in income. However, we have been bowled over by the scale and generosity of support from across the community and are in a good position to continue to support soldiers, veterans and their families in need.
You can tell us you'd like to do this by e-mailing Amy on email@example.com or fill out the questionnaire. If you don't take part in The Home Front, transfer to 2021 or request a refund by the 31st March 2021 we'll treat your registration and fundraising as a donation to the charity.
Request a refund
We completely understand that you may have your heart set on France. Because of the unique situation which has caused this change we are offering a refund on registration fees and fundraising to anyone who may want one.
How to I request a refund?
We can only refund donations to the original donor. Please ask them to e-mail Amy directly on firstname.lastname@example.org to request this. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Steve Roberts is the historical guide on The Frontline Walk.
Steve Roberts Military Ancestry offers a reliable, bespoke research service based on twenty years’ experience at numerous archives and repositories throughout the United Kingdom.
Steve is an ex-serviceman with a keen interest in military history, he holds a Masters Degree in British First World War Studies and has a proven track record in researching Britain’s armed forces for individual clients and a number of television documentaries.
Classic Challenge has been leading the way in charity challenges since they originated the concept in 1992. Since then more than £100 million has been raised for hundreds of charities. 65,000 people have cycled, trekked, run, climbed mountains and ridden horses to all corners of the globe while taking part in a charity challenge event for Classic Challenge.
Terry offers a research service for people interested in finding out about their family connections to the First World War. He does not charge for his service, but asks for a donation to be made to The Soldiers' Charity instead.
Terry is also a tour guide, having previously worked with Leger, Holts and RBL. Terry offers a bespoke tour package, either following your relative's First World War journey or the key landmarks on the WWI battlefields.
The 2020 Frontline Walk will be sponsored by Annington.
Annington is one of the largest private landlords in the UK following the purchase of over 57,000 homes from the Ministry of Defence in 1996. Most of these properties are leased back to the MOD and provide homes for Service personnel and their families. A significant number, however, have been handed back to Annington.
In the years since 1996, Annington has invested time, money and expertise in regenerating thousands of these homes and returned them to the national housing stock. To date, Annington has helped over 18,000 homebuyers, many of whom were first time buyers and key workers.
Last year a team of five Annington employees completed the Frontline Walk and raised £43,000 for ABF The Soldiers' Charity.
You can read more about the partnership here.