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Allenbourn Middle School

Progress & Updates

We made it!

An incredible 800 miles was logged over the past three days meaning that we easily made it back to Wimborne by Sunday evening.

Thank you so much for all the efforts over the past three weeks, efforts that have meant that over 5000 miles has been covered by the Allenbourn family.

It has been a real pleasure to see the variety of activities that have been undertaken by so many students, staff and parents during the challenge. From walks to runs, pogo sticks to kayaks, cycling to golfing, tennis to swimming, and many others as well.

We left Cromer on Friday morning and headed through Norfolk, taking in a section of the Norfolk Broads. On in to Suffolk and then to Essex and having visited Barry Island in week one, we called in on Billericay to see if Mick, Pamela and Smithy were home. 

Following the North side of the Thames Estuary, we headed for Central London and that was our destination for Friday evening. Taking in the sights and enjoying a nice meal.

On Saturday, we headed due East to take in what used to be the longest pier in the world at Southend on Sea. We then sailed across the Estuary and landed at Whitstable in Kent and targeted Margate for afternoon snacks. After a brief stop, we travelled in land to visit the city of Canterbury and having made good time, we were able to make it back at to the coast and Dover to spend the night.

And so dawned our final day. With the sun on our backs, we said farewell to the White Cliffs and proceeded along the South Coast. The towns of Folkestone, New Romney, Hastings and Eastbourne came and went during the morning, with a brief stop for coffee at Battle, near Hastings.

Onto the stony beach at Brighton and then to Worthing. The castle at Arundel loomed large on our left and then we popped in on Bognor Regis and Chichester before reaching Portsmouth for an ice cream.

The final straight lay ahead of us and with the sun now ahead of us, we traversed the New Forest and cruised into Wimborne.

​​​​​​​A final massive thank you to each and every person who has made a contribution to completing this challenge. We sincerely hope that it has led to some increased physical activity patterns and some trips that will lead to some taking on other challenges in the future. We also hope that we may have highlighted one or two places around our Isles that may be added to the 'must visit' lists of some families.

We wish all of you a great Summer Break and look forward to returning in September, when in time Physical Education will return to something approaching normal. We will also find time to plan a Challenge for 2021.

The PE Department

Awash with the joys of the East Coast...

A Full English breakfast in York filled us for the days adventure that lay ahead. Bridlington and the lighthouse at Flamborough Head was where we hit the coast having traversed our way across the southern reaches of the North Yorkshire Moors.

A quick call in at the pottery in Hornsea, led us to the Humber Bridge and over what at one stage was the longest single span suspension bridge in the world and into the city of Hull. After a quick stop, we moved on into Lincolnshire and enjoyed an ice cream on the pier at Cleethorpes. We traveled along the coast through Mablethorpe and headed in land at Sutton on Sea. East Kirkby was our target and having visited the Railway Museum on Wednesday, it was the Aviation version yesterday. The Second World War collection of Lancaster Bombers, Spitfires and Hurricanes sat against the more modern fighter jets was a really impressive sight.

Down the road to Boston for afternoon tea, and then across the Fens to Kings Lynn. As we headed up to the North Norfolk coast, we took the opportunity to take in another of the Royal Estates, Sandringham. From there, we made it to Hunstanton and with the setting sun at our backs, we ended the day as we started by heading due east along the coastline and finished the day in the traditional coastal town of Cromer.

As the last of the light faded away, we can now look forward to the the last big push over the next three days. With just over 500 miles to go, it is hoped that come Monday I will be able to report that we have completed our amazing journey around Britain and Ireland. I look forward to reading the many ways in which students, staff and families make the most of the weekends weather. Good luck and thank you for the efforts.

Back in to England....

A bright and crisp start to Wednesday morning and with the sun on our face, we headed east along the southern coastline of the Firth. On reaching North Berwick, we turned right and headed for the border. 

Following on from the theme on Tuesday, we came across the three bridges of Berwick-Upon Tweed. This a delightful Walled town, but we had no time to stop as we continue to head south. The stunning sight of Lindisfarne, standing out like the set of a blockbuster movie was our next stop off and a late morning coffee was enjoyed whilst watching the tide come in and cover the causeway.

Thankfully there was no 'fog on the Tyne' as we headed the towards the Toon. Crossing the Big Bridge, into Gateshead we found the A1 and made it the Angel of the North for a late lunch.

The afternoon was spent cruising down to the historic city of York. A city where there is so much to enjoy from the Jorvik Viking Centre to the National Railway Museum. Strolling through the narrow streets including 'The Shambles', we found a nice place to enjoy and evening meal and plan our route for tomorrow.

Tomorrow's target is to reach Norfolk.

 

Our final full day in Scotland saw us depart Aberdeen and follow the coast south. It was to be a day of cities and bridges, with some history thrown in as well.
The first bridge of note to be crossed was the Tay Bridge into Dundee. Refreshed by a morning coffee and slice of the local cake, we proceeded down the coast to the home of golf, St Andrew's. A stroll down the 18th hole highlighted how the course is in the centre of the City and the University is another collection of impressive buildings.
After lunch, we continued on the road to Edinburgh, calling in on Auchtermuchty and then the battlefield at Bannockburn. The is the scene of Robert the Bruce's victory over the army of Edward the Second over 700 years ago.
 
Back on the bridge trail, we crossed the Kincardine Swing Bridge near Falkirk, before the dramatic crossing of the Firth of Forth via the road bridge. Looking across to the rail crossing, you can understand why it was considered one of the iconic visions of 19th Century engineering.
Our final night in Scotland, was spent in Edinburgh and we enjoyed a glorious sunset sat on Arthur's Seat overlooking the city.
Amazing to read of one of our Year 5 students who managed to ride 40 miles with their dad over the weekend.
Our target is to average approximately 200 miles a day for the rest of the week. That will get us back to Wimborne by sundown on Sunday.
Good luck today in dodging the showers!

The long road home starts here...

Sat having breakfast in John O'Groats, all roads lead South. 

One thing that has become really apparent in the last few days is how big Scotland actually is!! Another 200 miles covered on Monday, but still another day will be required until we cross the border.

Skibo Castle near Dornoch was the first of the stately homes that we came across on Monday morning. No time to rest, it was onto Colloden, venue of one of the most infamous Battles of the 18th Century.

Travelling on through the dramatic scenery of the Cairngorm Mountain Range, one can only imagine what a paradise it is for Winter sporting enthusiasts it is when the snow comes. Having come through Aviemore, the gateway to National Park, it is for the Royal residence of Balmoral that we headed for. It is easy to see why the Queen sees this place as a stunning retreat and an opportunity to escape from the hectic life of London. 

From there, we headed back to the coast and our destination for the night, the Granite City, Aberdeen.

Sitting, staring out to the oil fields of the North Sea, it allowed time to reflect on the previous few days spent enjoying the wilderness of Highland Britain. 

Next stop Edinburgh.

Sailing up the West Coast through villages and towns......

It's been a blustery weekend, but that has not stopped us getting nearly 500 miles covered. 
Friday morning saw us leave Loch Lomond and head towards the foothills of Ben Nevis. First point of call was the Gruffalo Trail and then on to Ben Nevis. The trek to the summit of Ben Nevis is an arduous one, but happily the clouds parted and we got a stunning view at the top. Friday afternoon saw us descend from Britain's highest point and then travel to Loch Ness. A delightful evening was spent on the banks of the Loch, keeping an eye out for Nessie.

Saturday saw us travel along one of the most scenic stretches of road in Scotland. The journey from Inverness to Skye is just scintillating and one if travelled that will never be forgotten. The scenery, including cascades and waterfalls is awesome. At the end of the journey, we crossed the Kyle of Lochalsh over the Skye Bridge and spent the rest of the day exploring the Isle. It may take longer to get to than the sunny beaches of Spain, but I would recommend that the West coast of Scotland including Skye is put on a list of places to visit.
Our circuit completed, we returned to Inverness for the night.
If Saturday was a spectacular main course, then Sunday was a stunning dessert to complete the penultimate weekend of the challenge. On in to the Highlands, we passed the Munro's (mountains over 3000 feet) of Stack Poly, and Foinavon, went through a variety of villages and towns like Gairloch and reached Durness. Whilst John O'Groats is the famed North East tip of the British mainland, Cape Wrath situated near the remote town of Durness is the North West and is home to the coastal Smoo Caves.
 
Sunday evening; and it never seems to get dark at this time of the year along the northern coast, saw us reach our intended destination of John O' Groats. 
We have just over 1300 miles left of our challenge and hope to get back to Wimborne sometime next Monday. Over the weekend, pupils of all year groups, their families and also the staff have all been involved, with every method movement from kayaking to pogo being used. Let's keep it up over the coming days. 

A day of very contrasting destinations to call in on.

Our Thursday morning started in Gretna and we have worked our way up the first part of the West Coast of Scotland. The 212 miles covered during the day has led us to call in on a wide variety of places.
The Cocoabean Company in the quintessential Scottish town of Kirkcudbright was our first port of call and after our early morning coffee, we headed for the coast and the Killantringan Lighthouse. One of our traditional style lighthouses, that sits proudly on a rocky headland.
Continuing North along the coast, we see the famous hotel at Turnberry and walk along the sea front at Troon. The tide is out and the sands stretch for miles. A perfect place to enjoy a lunchtime pasty, and watch the world go by.
From the coastal town, it's now on to Glasgow and the hustle and bustle of Scotland's second city. The grandiose older buildings sit perfectly among some of the more modern and contemporary architecture. After an afternoon in the city, it's back on the road and we head for our evening destination, the beautiful Loch Lomond. 
 
Friday will see us taking on Britain's highest peak in Ben Nevis, so after a lovely walk along the banks of the Loch, it was time to rest up for the challenge ahead.
Thank you for all the efforts this week. It is nice to read that places like Badbury Rings are being visited for family walks and that mum's are carrying golf bags around for their children. Hopefully the weekend will stay dry and more miles will be covered, without families being tempted to spend too long in the re-opened cafes.

A Wednesday spent wandering...

After our evening in Blackpool, we woke early, excited about what our second Wednesday would have in store. We waved goodbye to Lancashire and headed towards Cumbria. First stop was Sizbergh Castle to pick up some Kendal Mint Cake, actually in Kendal.

Then on to the awesome scenery of the Lake District. Lake Windermere was resplendent in the late morning sunshine and then we headed for Scafell Pike. The view from England's highest point did not disappoint. 

                                                 

After a fairly quick descent, we headed for the border with Scotland and our destination for the evening, Gretna.

200 miles covered by the Allenbourn family yesterday, with some family runs and walks taking place alongside some golf and garden football. 

Can we make around Scotland by Monday?

Back to the mainland.

So after our 5 day sojourn to the other side of the Irish Sea, we have returned to the mainland. A quick trip from Belfast to Dublin allowed us to catch the ferry back across to Holyhead.

Back through Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, over the Menai Bridge and a trip along the North Wales coastline, brought us to our first adventure back in Wales at Zip World in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

 

 

After that thrill ride, we cross over the border into England and call in at the delightful walled city of Chester before pushing on across the Wirral and then crossing the Mersey for a quick visit to the home of the recently crowned Premier League Champions, Anfield.

Leaving the sights and sounds of Liverpool, we crossed the Melling Road and continued to head along the wonderful coastline. Our final destination for the evening was Blackpool. The illuminations were on and we sat at the foot of the Tower and enjoyed a portion of fish and chips.

Just over 300 miles covered in another busy day. Our Wednesday target is to take on the second of the Big Peak and fingers crossed for nice weather in order that we may enjoy the views of the Lake District.

One Giant step.....

On a breezy Monday morning, we left the Republic behind and crossed over the border into Northern Ireland. Passing through Enniskillen, we headed for the North Coast. On the bucket list to visit, is of course The Giant's Causeway. It did not disappoint! 

From there, we headed towards Belfast taking in the delights of Portrush and the stunning Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge at Ballycastle. 

Our evening was spent in Belfast and taking in some history at the Titanic Shipyard.

Our target for Tuesday is to get back to Dublin and then get the boat back to Holyhead.

 

 

 

 

Nice to read of peoples activities yesterday which included a game of golf at Ferndown and a bike ride to Upton House and back.

Hope you stay dry today!

A weekend of Discovery!

The exciting thing about taking on a challenge is coming across those unexpected treats and features that give you that unexpected wow moment.

Taking in the additional loop of Ireland, has certainly given us plenty of virtual highs and caused me to think that a trip to the Emerald Isle will definitely be on the agenda in the future.

Friday saw us depart from Waterford and continue to work our way South West. Calling in at Tipparary, in many ways to say, 'it's been a long way', we briefly stopped to look at the foreboding Cashel Castle. The next stop and tourist destination to tick off was the Blarney Stone. Friday afternoon was then spent on the rocky outcrops of the South West tip and some stunning views were enjoyed before we finally stopped for the evening overlooking the Ring of Kerry.

Saturday was a another day spent working up the west coast. The golfing 'heaven' of Balybunion was visited in the morning, lunch at Spanish Point and then the evening watching the sun set after a damp day at the Cliffs of Moher, before spending the night in Galway.

 

To end the week and after a hard slog on Saturday, Sunday was a calmer day. The tranquil site of Kylemore House was one of the stop off points during the day, before we once again were able to take in another iconic coastal feature at Downpatrick Head. Our final night in the Republic was spent in Sligo.

Monday will see us hopefully push on to Belfast.

Thank you for the efforts over the weekend, a stunning 700 miles has been covered across the last three days. This was a fantastic total, especially with the wet weather on Saturday. It was nice to read of some of the adventures that pupils and families have been on, including the Churchill's who discovered a tiny frog on their walk across Holt Heath.

Thursday trip through Passport Control!

Our adventure took us over the sea to Ireland. The 65 miles from Holyhead to Dublin went smoothly and we passed through Passport Control without a fuss.
 

 

 
 
 
 
The morning was spent looking around the sights of Dublin, before taking the road south. Today's hidden gem, were the Wicklow Mountains. Simply stunning views!
From there we spent the afternoon cruising down to Ireland's oldest city, Waterford and the evening was spent wandering the streets, before enjoying an evening of Irish hospitality.
It has been a fabulous first week, with very nearly 2000 miles clocked up by the Allenbourn family. Keep up the efforts over the weekend and we will return with a bumper blog on Monday morning, when we will reflect on the places we have visited and report on the challenges that people have undertaken in and around the Wimborne area.
Stay safe, but keep active.

 


Wonderful Wednesday!

With the sunshine bursting through the curtains, we were up early on Wednesday morning and headed North up the Welsh coastline of Cardigan Bay. It was nice to visit the town of Aberystwyth and spend some time at it's castle. We then kicked on along the stunning coastline taking in places like Bala and Porthmadog until we reached the foothills of Snowden. With the weather being so glorious, we decided to go up Crib Coch in order to take in the special views. Without a cloud in the sky, the views from the summit were stunning. 

No time to rest, it was down on foot following the railway route and then off to the North West of Wales and Anglesey. Crossing the Menai Bridge on to the Island, you discover another one of those hidden gems of the British Isles.

              

Our final destination for the evening was Holyhead. A perfect place to sit and reflect on what has been a stunning first 5 days of the challenge. Our progress has been so amazing that we have decided to pop on a ferry at Holyhead and add the coastline of Ireland to our virtual tour. This will take our total journey over 5000 miles.

It has been lovely to read peoples comments about their activities, to hear about the bees buzzing and the beautiful flowers that are being seen on walks, runs and cycle rides. It would be nice to recognise some of the personal efforts of those taking part each day and whilst we have to conform with certain guidelines, please feel free to pop either a first name and initial or family surname in the comments section on the form. We will try to mention at least one person or family every day. 

Thanks again for all the efforts and please take on plenty of water and wear sun cream if out and about today.


Tremendous Tuesday!

Over 40 members of the Allenbourn Community made the most of the wonderful weather and took us another 200 miles yesterday. 

                             

Leaving Barry Island, we headed West along the stunning coastline of South Wales. Having taken in some delightful beaches, we stopped in Swansea for lunch at Verdi's Cafe on the Mumbles. We then pushed on along the Gower Peninsula and into Pembrokeshire. Our evening target was to reach St David's, Britain's smallest city in terms of population. After a late afternoon scramble around the jagged cliffs of deepest South West Wales, we made it to our planned destination. 

Wednesday's target is to make it round Cardigan Bay and onto Anglesey, having taken on the challenge of Mount Snowden.

It's been a great start and let's keep pushing on, but please remember to keep hydrated and slap on the suncream!


A monster Monday of activity!

Year 5 would have been staying in Bristol this week and hence we used some of the 300 miles from today, seeing the sights, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge. We have then taken the Severn Bridge and crossed into Wales. Passing Newport, we then spent the afternoon wandering around the delightful city of Cardiff with the castle looking resplendent. 

Clifton Suspension bridge            Millennium Stadium Cardiff Castle

The evening saw us stop at Barry Island. Sadly Ness wasn't on duty down the arcade, but the welcome was great and we are fuelled, rested and ready to push on along the fabulous South Wales Coastline on Tuesday. Can we make it to St David's Head?

Thank you again to all those who logged on. It is great to see how many are committing to be part of the challenge.

Barry Island

Monday Update

Wow!

An amazing first two days of our Allenbourn Challenge has seen us make it all the way round to North Devon! With just over 450 miles completed over the weekend,  we are resting our weary limbs on 'the longest day' in Croyde Bay.

As we enjoy the sunset, we are looking forward to making the most of the sunshine in the coming week. Can we make it to the Severn Bridge on Monday?

Thank you to the more than 60 students, staff and parents who contributed to the effort over the weekend.