Have you entered our Facebook competition yet?
You can Win a night’s stay with us Bed and Breakfast in an Executive Bedroom with Chocolates and Prosecco on arrival and all you have to do is LIKE our Business page and LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT on the competition post.
Winner will be drawn when we reach 2500 likes, so get sharing folks and GOOD LUCK!!!
With 2016 drawing to a close, we look back on the year with fond memories at some of the great sporting, historic and life events that all took place in 2016.
It was a phenomenal year for many and a successful one in particular for TeamGB out in Rio for the Summer Olympics, to name but one of many memorable events and success stories of 2016!
With success in mind, this called for celebration and what better way to celebrate the year than on New Year’s Eve with a right royal knees up of a party!
For the second year running, I was lucky enough to attend our New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner and Disco at The Kimberley as a guest and a pleasure it was too!
The scene was set for a sparkling and delectable night of New Year’s dining, dancing and debauchery (of the classy kind of course!), we are not THAT sort of establishment!
On arrival we were greeted with delicious canapes and a glass of my favourite fizz, Kir Royale.
We also met more friends at the Hotel who were joining us for the NYE celebrations.
I love these occasions, for reasons like this, bringing friends together from far and wide over the festive season, to laugh and joke and enjoy good food and drink around a table together, there’s just nothing better!
Shortly after, we were seated in the Restaurant for our Gala Dinner, where the tables were dressed in white and gold and looking very elegant indeed.
We began with our starters, which of course none of us could remember who was having what, after selecting our choices several weeks previous!
I have been on the other side of this scenario as a waitress serving before and it’s frustrating, but amusing for both parties!
Here we have the Artichoke and Mushroom Veloute and the Goats Cheese Bon Bons and some delicious homemade bread.
After arguing over who was having what, we finally tucked into said starters, which were all delicious and kept us all quiet and out of mischief, for a short while anyway!
Accompanying us during dinner was an Electric Guitarist, playing hits from the 50s right through the Decades.
He was great and got the crowd singing along and even got some up dancing towards the end of his set and after dinner!
After the starters, we were given a mini Cherry Sorbet with Kirsch Cherries each to cleanse the palate before mains.
Whilst we awaited mains, we opened our NYE favours boxes, which everyone had in front of their table setting. Each box contained a streamer, a party horn, a party popper and a long balloon that you have to blow up through a mini straw and then you let it go and it flies off in all directions, making a silly raspberry/whining noise as it’s going down; they’re lots of fun!
Last year they were a real ice breaker, getting people in the party spirit and resulted in half the restaurant in fits of laughter, as they’d fly off in all directions and land on people’s heads or nearby tables, but this year they were somewhat less well received, so we put away until after dinner.
Out came the mains which were simply divine! Here was my Fillet of Beef, which was so succulent and juicy and cooked to utter perfection!
To follow, I had a Raspberry, Milk and White Chocolate Mille Feuille for dessert, a delectable treat to finish off a wonderful meal with!
Tea and Coffee and Petit Fours followed, by which time Derek the DJ was in full swing pumping out the party tunes for us to disco dance the night away to into 2017!
As midnight drew near, we charged our Champagne flutes ready for Big Ben’s chimes.
As the clock struck twelve, we wished one another a Happy New Year, exchanged hugs and kisses with loved ones and proceeded to cross and link arms and sing the traditional Auld Lang Syne to see in the New Year!
The Disco and celebrations continued through to 1am and we’d all had a wonderful night, staff included as we celebrated another year passing and a new one beginning.
From all of us at The Kimberley Hotel, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
All the best for 2017, make it your best year yet!
With the Big Day just days away, there’s still plenty of time to get those last minute Christmas bits, or even begin your Christmas shopping, should you not have done so yet (which I know will be many)!
After years of practise, I buy throughout the year, so come Christmas, there’s just little nick nacks to get for people and I can enjoy the festivities, rather than stress about present shopping and finding that perfect gift.
As we will all know, it’s always when you’re not looking for something that you find something truly wonderful!
I headed over to friends in Headingley late afternoon last Saturday armed with Xmas Jumpers for us all to wear! My friends either hate me or are really good at humouring me! Either way, they knew they were going to have to wear one, but surprisingly they got right in the spirit, boys included, one of whom picked the elf dress with bells on, suit you Sir!
We took a taxi into the City centre around tea time in high Christmas spirits and were greatly looking forward to evening market shenanigans ahead!
On arriving at the market we headed straight to a fried cheese chalet that one of my friend’s had been telling me about on the way. It sounded amazing and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it before as I love the likes of deep fried Brie and so on!
There were all sorts of different selections on offer, most of them on long wooden skewers; from mushrooms and cheese, ham and cheese to just vegetables or onion rings and mozzarella sticks.
I (eyes bigger than belly as always) opted for both the mushroom and cheese and a salami and cheese skewer.
I’m sure they seemed smaller behind the counter but they were huge when the lady handed them over to me out of the frier!
They were also served with a selection of sauce. The name of the sauce I had now escapes me, but it was very nice, not too disimilar to a thousand island dressing.
Here was my friend Becky’s plain cheese skewer.
To my dismay however, I now had no hands free to shop! We walked a little further and round the corner where we saw some tables and long benches, so we stopped here to eat our skewers.
It had been heavily raining just before we arrived at the market, so unfortunately we were left to stand, which was preferable to a soggy bottom, had we sat!
I managed one and a half of my skewers, then on we continued, conveniently coming to the mulled wine and hot chocolate chalet next.
As always at these markets, I get carried away and excited and go straight in for the most interesting sounding drink on offer, so I chose Mulled Wine with Amaretto, Rum and Cream.
It was served in a Franfurter mug, which you paid a £3 deposit on and could either keep or return for your deposit back.
The drink was £5.50 and the mug was small, so initially it was £8.50 for the drink! I was thankful that later I was driving, as at those prices, I wouldn’t be having many if I wasn’t driving anyway!
It’s a captive audience and they certainly know how to charge at these places. Our next find was white and milk chocolate covered marshmallows and fruit.
I chose a white chocloate covered strawberry and marshmallow skewer. £4! It was nice, but a nice price too. I spend money like it’s going out of fashion at the best of times, but I recall saying to the marshamallow chalet ladies, “I’m going to have to print some more money!”.
Still we remained in high festive spirits and we knew what to expect with prices, but in true Yorkshire-man style, it never fails to shock me how much things cost sometimes!
On we went, meandering around the market, where there was live music and also a big chalet designed like an alpine ski lodge, which of course was the main bar!
It’s not overly big, but has a few rows of chalets to it, with the usual beautifully crafted traditional German Christmas bits on offer amongst other various bits and bobs.
It was more for a wander than to buy anything and there were a few bits I spotted that I had already bought from craft shows in the Summer, for example at the Harrogate Flower Show and Great Yorkshire Show.
Halfway around, we debated a go on the Carousel, but at £3 each and the speed it was going, we didn’t bother in the end. It was making us dizzy just watching it, so on we pondered, coming to a fab stall that sold personalised pegs!
Don’t ask me why, but I love pegs and collect them, so revelled in the fact I could buy personalised ones and formed somewhat of a queue with my excitement and mass order of pegs!
I drew quite a lot of custom to what was previously a quiet empty stall with my peg-happiness!
Next it was time for a giant long Bratwurst sausage and when I say long, I mean LONG!
I ended up sharing mine with one of the girls, one was definitely
enough between two after my cheese and marshmallow skewers collectively!
We did a couple more laps around the chalets and stalls, whilst enjoying and singing along to the live music and bought a couple of bits, which I can’t tell you about in case the family read this! Pics to follow on those after Christmas, but ornamental, pretty trinket type bits.
All in all an absolutely cracking evening out with friends and there’s even a few fair rides and stalls just out of the market to enjoy and also a life size snow globe that four of you can go in and play around in, but again at a delightful cost of £8!
The market is still on until December 18th, so head on over, we’d highly recommend, but wrap up warm and take plenty of cash!
On Friday 30th September, we held our annual coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support, joining others around the country in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
We decided to hold ours all day from 8am to 6pm in Reception, replenishing the cakes and treats throughout the day for guests to enjoy at their leisure.
We had a lovely day for it as Harrogate was bathed in the morning Autumn sunshine and the green balloons danced merrily outside the main entrance.
Our staff had done a spectacular job of laying a lovely table, set up with cakes, scones and goodies just waiting to be tucked into and enjoyed!
We had the right idea holding our Coffee Morning up in Reception this year, as more people spotted us and lots of check ins and check outs enjoyed a nibble whilst in Reception.
At 11am, our Social Media Manager hosted a live #elevenseshour down in the Resident’s Lounge, where some local people we tweet to and network with online were able to pop by, say hi and enjoy face to face elevenses as opposed to the usual virtual one we all enjoy together on Twitter!
This was great fun and a great opportunity to build a more personal rapport with some fellow Harrogatonians and make some new professional relationships, all through eating cake together for Macmillan!
We ran our Coffee Day as we like to call it, late into the evening and we managed to receive a grand total of £160.80 in donations from both staff and members of the public alike, which isn’t bad going considering how many events were on in our town alone, let alone up and down the rest of the country!
We had also hoped for a few more people from Twitter to join us for #elevenseshour, but due to health and work commitments, sadly this wasn’t possible for some, but never the less, we had a fabulous day all the same and raised more money than last year, so we’re more than happy with that and we’re sure Macmillan are too.
Thank you to everyone who came along and also a huge thank you to our chefs and staff for all their hard work that went into our Coffee Morning, making it the success it was; everyone commented how yummy everything was, so give yourselves a round of applause for being star bakers!
We’re already looking forward to next year’s, but if you can’t wait til then, here’s a nifty little cake recipe from MacMillan, in keeping with Halloween!
A friend and colleague recently completed Tough Mudder and here’s his summary of the day!
Tough Mudder was so much fun, it starts off in the warm up area where they get you doing all sorts of interesting things to get you warmed up before heading out to the course.
They had us lying on the floor rolling around, spinning around in circles then sprinting across the warm up zone, star jumps and running on the spot.
From there we ran along the course for about half a mile until we came across the first obstacle, unfortunately the spectators dont get to see all the obstacles so there aren’t as many pics as I would have liked. The first obstacle was climbing over several hay bales, easy enough.
After that we ran another half a mile and were faced with angled walls that we had to get over, thanks to my gym I was able to pull myself up and get my head over but didnt have the strength to get my body over, thanks to a helping hand from my team below I got to the top and then helped pull up the rest of my team.
We then ran on and got to mud mile, we had to leopard crawl through mud with barbed wire not too far above our back, we had to keep low and go for it, slightly challenging but so much fun.
The next obstacle was several even higher walls to get over, thanks to teamwork we all got over apart from my brother in law lol, he is just too heavy.
The next obstacle was crawling through a pipe, that was easy enough.
The next obstacle was a bit of a challenge, I cant remember what it was called but it was pits of muddy water about waste deep, there were five of them one after the other, we had to somehow climb out the mud up a near vertical wall of mud to get over the top, slide down the other side and repeat until we got out the other end, I think that was my favourite one of the day, my sister and I got through it quickly.
The next was crawling under a net against the floor and climbing over a hay bale all covered in the net, the team helped a lot here holding the net up making it easier
Then it was the pyramid, my sister and I got there, the rest of the team were making a pyramid trying to get over, they were struggling, so my sister made an on the spot decision to run up it! She made it up and over on the second attempt, I made it up and over on the first attempt, it was a tad too easy, then from the top we helped the rest of the team up.
After that was block ness monster, I loved that 1 as well, about chest deep water with massive rotating blocks you can just reach the top of, you need to somehow get over them, there were four in a row.
Then onto the last one, phew, Everest! My mission for next time is to make it over that, I did four attempts, sprinting up managing to grab the people on top’s hands, but my hands were wet and slippery and I just slipped out and went sliding straight back down. My sister was the only one in my team to actually make it over. Several girls face planted that wall and one was escorted past by the medics, her nose was crooked and bleeding!
All in all though, it was so much fun and I am so looking forward to doing it again!
On Friday 30th September, we will once again take part in The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, raising funds for MacMillan Cancer Support.
We always have lots of yummy treats on offer, homemade cakes, brownie, scones and cupcakes to name but a few, along with lots of tea and coffee as standard and this year’s will be no different!
This year, we’ve decided to host our coffee morning up in Reception, so everyone checking in and out of the hotel will be able to enjoy the goodies too and also stop for a brew, nibble and natter with us, should they wish.
Although it’s a coffee “morning”, ours will run all day from 9.30am to 5.30pm, so if you’re passing on your way to work or have some spare time before the school run perhaps, then come say hello and refuel, whilst helping a fantastic cause!
Don’t despair if you’ve no spare pennies either, as this year you’ll be able to donate via text message too!
Be sure to look out for the green balloons outside the hotel and if you head in the main entrance, Reception is immediately on your left.
We all know that cake tastes better together, so let’s make our 2016 Coffee Morning a great one and do MacMillan proud!
On Wednesday 13th July, we headed out to Harrogate for our annual trip to the Great Yorkshire Show.
Taking the train from York, we set off in Summery clothes, after rising to glorious weather, excited for the day ahead!
It seemed we were going to enjoy lovely weather and there was a warm Summer’s haze to the morning air.
Arriving a short while later in Harrogate, we disembarked the train and proceeded to board the free bus to the Showground.
This ran every 20 minutes, so we didn’t have long to wait until one came along.
Come this time, clouds had set in and I was a little worried in my shorts and vest top, with only a cardigan to battle against the potential turn in weather!
Sure enough, just as we got off the bus at the Showground, the heavens opened and there was a massive downpour.
We ran in, after hurrying the stewards along to scan us in quickly and ran straight over to a gazebo directly in front of us, where people were huddled taking shelter from this unannounced shower!
The guys on the stand that we were all huddled around, took the opportunity to see if we wished to purchase a car whilst there!
“Anyone want to buy a car?” “Not today, but thank you so much for the shelter!”
It soon passed and we were grateful of said gazebo, after not bringing a raincoat or umbrella and off we trotted to begin exploring the show.
We made our way through some agricultural and farming machinery sections to start with and were wowed by a huge combine harvester worth half a million pounds!
Although we know little to nothing about all this equipment, it’s fascinating and mind blowing to see it all, particularly the shear size of some of them!
On we headed towards the Events Hall and brand new Events Centre, taking pictures and looking at various things, cars, machinery, stands and tents along the way.
The route we had chosen was rather gridlocked with a thick crowd of people, pushchairs and trolleys, so we soaked in the atmosphere as we meandered slowly towards the halls.
The weather was trying to make it’s mind up, but once again the heavens opened and down came another rain shower.
Now was a good time to make our way indoors we decided, but we weren’t the only ones with that idea.
It was a nice time for lunch, so we headed towards the Yorkshire cafe in between the Events Hall and new Events Centre, as this was indoors and we could take temporary shelter and refreshments here whilst waiting for the weather to clear.
On making it to the cafe, it was like a cattle market! There was a hoard of people waiting for tables and queuing for food. We ended up having to hover round tables that were potentially leaving, ready to claim it as our own. Even when we’d claimed a table, there was a constant battle to keep the seats from being taken, when the others in my party went to go get their food. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing lunch, but it refuelled us all the same.
I would recommend if you’re going to eat at the show, be prepared to pay high prices. £3.50 for a small cup sized latte alone, is just one example of the prices there!
On finishing lunch we had a nosy at the displays in the brand new Events centre, then made our way out the back, as the sun had some back out and we continued to explore outdoors.
Out the back of the Events centre, there was a performing arts group performing some hit songs from the musical “Hairspray”. We stopped here and had a little sing along and boogie with them before moving on again.
The next lot of stalls and displays we came to were bits for the garden, including recycled keg log burners and a posh gypsy style caravan (see pics attached at bottom). There was a also a stone wall building area by the DSWA – Dry Stone Walling Association, where a wall was being built live for you to see. You could also try your hand at it yourself!
Opposite, was a big kids area and a tent full of children’s activities. It looked fab and there were lots of educational and interactive things for the little ones to enjoy here. There were also a few school outings in here we noticed and thought what a fun day out it must be for the school children!
On we travelled and came to the Hives and Honey Pavillion and the Yorkshire Beekeepers Association Pavillion. I love honey and a friend of mine is also obsessed with bees, so we relished the opportunity to look in here and perhaps find bee gifts for my friend too! We got some lovely bits and stayed here sometime listening to one of the beekeepers outside as he was explaining about the bees habits to another couple with some real bees in a hive in front of them (protected via a screen of course!).
Around the hill and down we went, heading off to discover more great attractions at the show.
We found further children’s areas with games and activities for all ages, where parents could happily leave their children to play and have fun, whilst they went off and had grown up time at the show.
Further down the hill we headed to discover what can only be described as a massive chess board spread out across the floor, held down on it’s edges and corners with hay bales. It seemed we’d found the chillout/picnic spot and other show visitors were relaxing here in the lovely Summer sunshine.
Said giant picnic blanket and this surrounding area also happened to be advertising and promoting milk, in particular Arla, which just so happen to produce my absolute favourite, Cravendale! I got rather excited here as I love milk, I drink it anywhere and everywhere, so I was in my element here!
After re-fuelling on milk, we continued downhill and explored the Army area and even got to sit in a tank! Although I learned from an ex-soldier on my train journey home that this in fact was not a tank, but another type of army machinery.
We headed round to the live demonstrations and watched in awe, as birds of prey flew over our heads with giant wing spans and almighty grace, a phenomenal sight!
We continued with an animal theme as we stopped to watch some hound and gundog presentations, saw some timed sheep shearing and cooed over some cute ferrets.
We then went and saw some sheep, pigs and another favourite, the goat building!
From here we visited the robotic cow milking, which we’d heard about and seen before on TV, so was keen to see this in real life!
It’s as though the cows know when they need to be milked and what to do, there was even a queue at one point, brilliant to watch!
I have a farmer friend and he’s longing to get these installed on his farm, but as they are leading technology, they don’t come cheap and he needs two, but he enjoyed seeing my first hand research all the same!
From here we took refreshments at a lovely outdoor cafe around the back of the main showring and watched the riders as they warmed up for their horse trials and show jumping.
Whilst the others in my party rested, I’d clocked the milking parlour and off I trotted in search of milk!
There were cows being milked and fresh milk being collected throughout the day and it was really exciting and educational to watch.
I rejoined my party and we continued further through the showground to parts we’d not yet seen and found ourselves amongst the stables and junior horse trials and events. We spotted ponies and Shire horses and took more fab pictures along the way.
We’d almost now done a full lap of the showground, but sadly were running out of time and hadn’t nearly seen everything.
The show is spread across acres of land and in an ideal world, we’d have loved two days to enjoy everything at the show.
We managed to get a look at some lovely cars and motors before having to depart on the shuttle bus back to the station to catch our train home.
We were thankful of everything we did see and had a fantastic day as always and are already looking forward to returning next year.
The only thing we’ve not really touched on in this year’s review, were all the lovely crafts and gifts for sale at the show. Fabulous, handmade, unique products as always and we love buying at these type of shows and putting away as Christmas presents!
If you’re yet to visit the show, add it to your calendar for 2017!
Don’t believe us, check out this video of 2016 show highlights!
Also check out Great Yorkshire Show’s official review on their website:
Here are our photos from the day over on our Facebook page, enjoy!
Harrogate Flower Show is enjoyed bi-annually by garden lovers around the globe!
This year we were lucky enough to visit the Spring show on St. George’s Day!
The weather had been glorious, with some lovely Spring sunshine, right up until we arrived, sod’s law of course, but it wasn’t going to dampen our spirits!
We entered the Yorkshire showground and were immediately greeted with a strong crowd of show-goers and to our delight, one of our favourite craft stalls was positioned just inside the entrance/exit too!
They’re called “Earth Born” and our house looks a lot like their stall, as we regularly buy from them at the Flower Shows in Harrogate each year!
They hand craft so many different quirky things for the home and garden, including our favourites, the tree men!
We love getting gifts for Christmas from here too and decided to purchase some wares there and then before they depleted in stock, as they’re such a popular stall!
We had fun chatting to Hannah, one of the owners, who kindly offered to keep all of our purchases until the end of the show, where we could collect them on our departure.
We continued up into the Showground, where this time it was slightly different, as they are building a new Events Hall on the right hand side just inside the main entrance.
Along the left hand side, was a temporary undercover structure which housed many plant, seed and herb stalls. We were casually swept along with the thick-flowing crowd, until it opened out into the sort of square of the showground that the Flower Show is based around.
We perused a few of the outdoor stalls, before heading indoors to Hall 2.
In here, there was all sorts, from kitchen demos to gardening tools, weaving displays to the bee keeping society, this Hall had it all!
Right at the back we spotted some of our online friends, “Urban Herbs”, who regularly exhibit at the Flower Show and stay at The Kimberley Hotel.
It was fab to meet Andy and we had a great natter and it was brilliant to see how well they’d done with their herbs at the show.
He kindly donated some herbs for the hotel and we shall look forward to using some of these in cocktails and food recipes alike, e.g strawberry/pineapple mint for a twist on a Mojito!
Whilst in Hall 2, we took advantage of the Yorkshire Cafe and took a well earned break for a nice lunch.
At a nice price too, they’re defintely catering to a captive audience.
This is my only criticism of the show, that there are no discounts for OAPs on tickets and food/drink prices are very high. Take plenty of cash!
After refuelling, we continued wandering around the show. We came across the Rydale clothing stall to our rapture and had a good gander here, as we love thier clothing. I bought some pink welly toppers for festival season!
Continuing down the hill, we headed for “The Avenue”; an inspirational section of various gardens with differing concepts.
We really enjoy seeing what everyone has come up with and this was also another chance to meet another lady we network with on social media, named Lorna.
She had won Gold for “George’s Garden”; a concept by her and her team – “Yorkshire Garden Designs”, bringing colours, light and sounds to life in her stunning Sensory Garden, which will be permanently homed in Killinghall, now that the Flower Show is over.
We really enjoyed meeting and chatting to Lorna and her husband and also got to meet George and his little brother too!
Following the footpath up to one of the other Halls, I could see Winnie the Pooh and the Queen of Hearts up in the distance and thought, how curious!
I had to take a further look after having an Alice in Wonnderland themed birthday party earlier this year!
It was a fabulous exhibition from “Robert James” with bronze cast and pewter statues of a whole array of characters from Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows and more! They even had handmade jewellery to gaze at too.
We chatted to the owners for a short while, then proceeded indoors for a coffee and to warm up, as our fingers were becoming numb from the bitter chill in the Spring air.
I was now in a huge exhibiton hall which housed a variety of displays of plants and flowers, with fascinating colours and fabulous scents, providing a treat for the senses.
This year there was a theme of “Rio 2016” in prepartion for the forthcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so the carnival had definitely come to Harrogate, with ostentatious and flamboyant displays galore!
There was certainly lots to look at in this Hall and we made our way round, taking it all in, getting photos and having a general nosy at it all!
So much effort had gone in to every single exhibit. There were some absolutely cracking and highly innovative displays to feast your eyes on and we’d like to wish a very well done to everyone who took part.
Time had gone nowhere and there was now just under an hour left of the show! We made our way into the next marquees that housed food and craft goodies.
As previously mentioned, I adore the craft stalls at these shows and was delighted to see some familiar faces that I bought from at the Autumn show!
Had a great catch up with several folk. One I’d remembered from last time, his friend was minding his stall in Autumn as his wife had gone into labour, he remembered it well and told me I’d just missed the baby as they’d been in for a visit that day! His stall has handmade jewellery from old sixpences and three penny bits and I bought some smiley face earrings (the face is carved out of the sixpence, very clever!).
Another chap sells Scrable art and had a giggle with him trying to find a ring with my letter initial on. I was supposed to be purchasing gifts for others, but had now resided to just buying for myself, to which the chap found very amusing!
With just half an hour left of the show, I finally found my Twitter buddies “Amos and Toms Popcorn” in the food court.
We regularly network online and it was so nice to put faces to names! Had a lovely natter and giggle with Melanie and her partner and sampled some of their yummy popcorn.
I went away with three bags containing banoffee, cherry bakewell and cheesy flavoured popcorn, nom nom nom!
Looking forward to seeing them again at Driffield Show later in the year.
Sadly the show was now drawing to an end and it was time to make our way home.
We took a leisurely stroll back towards the main entrance/exit, upon where we returned to see Hannah at Urban Earth to collect our purchases from earlier in the day.
We chatted for a few minutes and there were some other gentleman there too. They asked if I was worn out now and I replied “No, I’m used to it after my charity walk!”
I then proceeded to tell them all about our recent charity walk for Hayden’s Sanctuary Project and Acorns Children’s Hospice and one of them kindly donated £5, before heading off home himself, bless his heart!! People can be so very kind, it fills me with pride and joy and was a really lovely way to end our day at the show!
We’re already looking forward to the Autumn edition in September, see you all there!
We’d like to wish a huge congratulations to all the walkers and everyone else involved in the charity walk for Hayden’s Sanctuary Project and Acorns Children’s Hospice this weekend!
Three teams completed 318 miles collectively this weekend, which is an outstanding achievement and we are extrememly proud of every single one of them.
Monies are still being donated/collected and there are plans for a fundraiser event in July for the same causes, so these proceeds will also be added to the pot, but so far, the JustGiving page is well on it’s way to hitting £1K at present and that’s without tallying up everyone’s sponsor forms yet too!
The route had to be amended somewhat on the days, as it attempted to take us down A roads, which were often dangerous at times and highly uneven ground to walk on for a lengthy amount of time.
Team 1 consisted of two people who encountered massive setbacks in training, therefore they did their very best and walked as far as they could around a park instead, completing 24 miles each which is great considering they thought they would have to pull out alltogether.
Team 2 was myself and two others. We awoke at 4.30am in Leicester where we were staying on Friday and Saturday night and caught an early morning train to Wolverhampton, setting off from our starting point around 8.15-8.30am.
We had glorious weather all morning with some lovely Spring sunshine to spur us on our way.
At around 3.30pm we reached Tamworth, our halfway point for Day 1, after only having stopped on a couple of occasions for toilet breaks and a quick stretch.
Like I say, we had to negotiate some tricky A roads and roundabouts, which unfortunately slowed us down a bit.
We took rest, shelter and food in a restaurant on The Jolly Sailor Retail Park in Tamworth, as on reaching this point, the heavens were starting to open and heavy rain was setting in.
We spent over an hour here refuelling and waiting for the rain to clear and pass over a little bit.
Socks were changed, stretches done, several toilet trips made and off we trot again, attempting to make headway towards Leicester for the second leg of Day 1.
Further A roads and roundabouts were negotiated along the way, still in the slight drizzle of rain that remained, until we finally approached a B road and some pavements/footpaths again at last!
We continued through the Staffordshire and Warwickshire countryside, meandering our way through towns and villages and enjoying the sights and scenery along the way, until the rain finally stopped and a lovely sunset emerged on the horizon of the evening sky.
We reached a village named Warton at around 9pm, when one of our group was struggling and we needed to stop.
We took this opportunity as a welcomed break to put our feet up and refuel on tea and coffee at a lovely pub in said village, named The Fox & Dogs.
They warmly welcomed us in with friendly smiles and on hearing we’d walked from Wolverhampton all day, seemed shocked, worried and asked why! They had fabulous senses of humour and were interested in hearing all about what we were doing and the charities we were doing it for.
They plyed us with tea and made us feel at home, allowing us to put our feet up and rest on comfy sofas.
During this rest period, we could see it going dark and after being out for over 12 hours already, decided to call it a night.
We were still 20 miles away from Leicester, our destination for Day 1 and it would have meant walking through village then country road and so on for said 20 miles, with limited street lighting too. Plus we still hadn’t properly eaten since 4pm, so we took the sensible option to call our emergency driver and ask to be picked up and taken back to our hotel in Leicester so we could get to bed and feel refreshed and ready to start Day 2.
Team 3 consisted of three more people who were attempting the full route in 20 hours, setting off from Wolverhampton at 7pm and going right through the night.
Our driver was also on hand for teams 2 and 3, to meet at check points with water, energy drinks, food, aid etc.
He needed to make a stop with team 3 after collecting us from Warton, so we met up with them before returning to our hotel that night.
It gave us all a boost seeing the other teams and we wished the night team well as they trekked off into the dark, armed with their head torches and high viz vests!
On arriving back in Leicester, we received a call to say a member of Team 3 had pulled a muscle and couldn’t continue. He hobbled on for 10 miles bless him, then they called it a night at the 30 mile mark. Our other emergency driver who was waiting in Stamford (our finishing point) on standby, came out to the rescue!
Team 3 retreated to Stamford and the remaining two uninjured members had 2 hours rest, then continued for a further 30 miles around Stamford, taking them through to Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile back in Leicester, after a lovely night’s sleep, albeit not long enough, my team got up around 9am. We knew there would have to be further amendments to the walk that day, so we leisurely got ready and enjoyed a hearty breakfast before checking out of the hotel around 11am.
On liasing with Team 3 and realising the route would once again take us down a 15 mile streth of a dangerous A road, we made alterations to our plans for Day 2.
I followed our emergency driver in my car up to Stamford and parked up there.
We then got a lift 5 miles back out of Stamford to a village called Ketton, where it looked safe to walk i.e. there was a footpath!
We walked back into Stamford, then generally wandered around Stamford town, clocking up a further 10 miles on Day 2, before having to once again call it a day.
People waiting to see us at the finish line, which was Hayden’s house, needed to get off, as it was getting late into Sunday evening now and Hayden was also going to bed and we wanted to see him before he did so, as after all, it was all for him and Acorns of course, so this made it all worthwhile seeing his little happy smiling face!
I have already completed just shy of two full marathons, but have decided to complete another 40 miles over the next week or so, in my own area, to make it upto the original 80-90 mile target.
Once again a huge well done to everyone involved and a huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your kind donations!
We even received random donations from strangers along the way too, which was really lovely of them!
We will keep you informed of how much we raised when we have a final total, but the JustGiving link remains live for now, should you still kindly wish to donate.
Until the next one troops, on behalf of everyone at The Kimberley Hotel, thank you and very WELL DONE!!!
Each year, we try and do our bit for Charity wherever possible, whether it be with our MacMillan coffee mornings, #XmasJumperDay or other activities throughout the year.
Either way, we love to be involved in a good cause, often being a cause extremely close to our hearts.
On April 9-10th, I am taking part in a sponsored charity walk from Wolverhampton to Peterborough, arranged by my friend Sonya who is from Wolverhampton.
The walk will take place over two days, with an overnight stay in Leicester.
There is another group that are setting off twelve hours after the first group and attempting the walk in one go, walking/running through the night! I shall not be in that group!
It is a big enough personal challenge for me as it is, as I have never been one for long distance. Love my dance and fitness, but always used to try and duck out of cross country at school, so this will indeed be a challenge for me!
We finish the walk in Peterborough where my friends Corinne and Michael live with their sons, one of whom is Hayden, the boy we are raising funds for, along with Acorns Children’s Hospice.
Hayden is three and a half years old. He is non-verbal autistic and has a GDD of 11 months. He suffers with OPD and hypermobility and has severe learning needs and no danger awareness. He is currently having tests to find a reason for his recurrent seizures. He will also need corrective surgery on his feet to ensure he does not end up in a wheelchair. Hayden is a happy lively little boy who loves to play and run around. With these vital funds raised, we hope to be able to build Hayden a sensory room, giving him a safe environment to play, learn and sleep.
With the funds raised, Hayden would benefit greatly and so would other children affected with similar conditions.
Acorns Children’s Hospice have multiple branches and perform a great service and help to parents.
To find out more visit Facebook and search ‘Hayden’s Sanctuary Walk’ and ‘Hayden’s Sanctuary Project” https://www.facebook.com/events/138479069853882/
50% of the donations will go to funding ‘Hayden’s Sanctuary Project’ to build him a sensory room; a safe place to learn, play and sleep, containing special lighting, music, and sensory objects. It can be used as a therapy for children with limited communication skills and low danger awareness.
The remaining 50% will go to the registered charity Acorns Children’s Hospice, which provide care and support to life limited or life threatened children & their families across the heart of England.
To find out more about the charity visit https://www.acorns.org.uk/our-care/where-to-find-us/acorns-in-birmingham/
Sonya has set up a Just Giving page where people can kindly donate should they wish to do so. This can be found at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/sonya-williams13
I also have a personal sponsor form for all my friends and family to sponsor me on. Some think I won’t complete this, as it is some 88 miles, but I have bags of determination if nothing else and as you have read, it’s for an absolutely fantastic and worthy cause!
If anyone is in the area on the above dates and sees us walking/running by, do cheer us on, stop and say hi or give us a wave! =D
I shall be keeping you updated on my training and progress in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, wish me luck!!