Bloxham School pupils raise hundreds in charity walk to Longleat

Bloxham School students Ben Keyser (right) and Tom Evans at the start of their 200-mile walk to Longleat from Middle Tysoe for charity. NNL-170908-093128001
Bloxham School students Ben Keyser (right) and Tom Evans at the start of their 200-mile walk to Longleat from Middle Tysoe for charity. NNL-170908-093128001

Two Bloxham School students raised hundreds of pounds for charity by walking more than 200 miles from Middle Tysoe to Longleat last week.

Tom Evans and Ben Keyser took a non-direct route via Evesham, Monmouth, Bristol and Bath over 13 days, finishing on Friday (August 4).

Tom (right) and Ben arrive at Longleat. NNL-170908-093211001

Tom (right) and Ben arrive at Longleat. NNL-170908-093211001

The 18-year-olds from Hook Norton and Middle Tysoe respectively raised more than £900 for Mary’s Meals, a charity which provides food for children in third world schools.

Tom got some bad blisters on the fourth day due to his new walking boots and was forced to do the majority of the challenge in flip flops.

“I found walking in flip flops fine actually, it was quite nice to have my feet free. It was an amazing experience. Ben had the idea of doing it recreationally anyway so for me I am pleased I did it and I would do it again for charity,” he said.

“But it was very tough and towards the end I was thinking of the charity and how we had raised so much more money than I thought we would and that drove me on as I needed to finish for them.”

Ben setting up camp NNL-170908-093200001

Ben setting up camp NNL-170908-093200001

Ben decided he wanted to do a long walk after finishing his A-levels and enlisted Tom, who came up with the idea with his family to do it for charity. The teenagers chose Mary’s Meals as Bloxham School has close links to the organisation so they knew it would be well-supported.

The pair set off on Sunday, July 23, from Ben’s home, and walked on average around 18 miles a day, either camping or staying in hostels overnight.

Tom said his highlight was walking through the Wye Valley in Wales as it was stunning scenery and the route was well-signposted, which was not always the case leading to some occasions were they got lost, adding to the miles.

Tom’s blisters were not the only test they had as he was also ill half way through, but they got to Longleat on time, where they spent the weekend resting at Centre Parcs.

Tom walked most of it in flip flops NNL-170908-093140001

Tom walked most of it in flip flops NNL-170908-093140001

To donate, visit marysmeals.org.uk/fundraising/project/tom-evans/the-long-way-to-longleat.

Tom crossing a precarious-looking bridge over the River Wye NNL-170908-093150001

Tom crossing a precarious-looking bridge over the River Wye NNL-170908-093150001