As you settle down by the fire for a nap after Christmas lunch, spare a thought for one brave hiker, out there braving the elements.


Outdoor journalist and Countryfile Magazine contributor Phoebe Smith is to spend Christmas walking 100 miles across the width of Britain – in aid of charity.

Phoebe’s Walk the Wall challenge will see her set off from Sunderland on 22 December. From there she will walk north to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, before following Hadrian’s Wall to the west coast. She aims to arrive Bowness-on-Sands late on Christmas Day.

To add to the challenge, Phoebe plans to complete the hike alone, dressed as ‘Wander Woman’.

Phoebe Smith as Wander Woman
Phoebe Smith will cross the country in superhero garb - we hope she packs a fleece too

What’s more, she plans to do the whole thing with just a few stops to rest.

Phoebe is famous for her wild camping exploits – sleeping overnight on high mountains and wild clifftops – but on this route, that’s illegal.

Phoebe wild camping
Phoebe has camped in wild places all over Britain

Her solution is to walking through much of the night. With a full moon on the day she starts, she’s hoping for clear skies.

Phoebe is aiming to raise £5,000 for young homeless people, through charity Centrepoint. ‘Last year over 100,000 young people approached their local council for help with homelessness,’ she says. ‘Every single mile I walk will represent over 1,000 young people who need and deserve our help.’

Christmas walks for charity

And Phoebe’s not the only one walking for charity this Christmas.

Two more charities want you to take on a challenging walks before Christmas – to raise money for war veterans and their families.

Help for Heroes and Walking with the Wounded have jointly launched Waking Home for Christmas, which aims to get volunteers to raise money by volunteering to take on challenging walk. (Read more at .)


And if you’d rather wait for the warm weather, many other charities encourage supporters to walk in a good cause – including the British heart Foundation ( and Cancer Research UK ( ).


Joe PontinFeatures Editor