Gloucester Chorister Kirstie’s Fundraising Walk

Congratulations to Year 7 pupil Kirstie, a Gloucester Cathedral Chorister and pupil at The King’s School, who has raised over £500 for the Dornakal English Medium Diocesan School after completing a 26 mile sponsored walk with her parents in August.

Kirstie, with her parents Josephine and Ken

The family decided to walk the Clarendon Way from Salisbury Cathedral to Winchester Cathedral as a family challenge. When friends asked if they were doing it to raise money they saw an opportunity to help the Dornakal school, which King’s has supported for 14 years. The school needs money for books and equipment and to help fund places for children from disadvantaged families, who would otherwise be unable to attend school.

Kirstie’s Mum had the idea for the challenge after reading an account of the main character walking the Clarendon Way between the two cathedrals in Tracy Chevalier novel’s A Single Thread. The family began training by walking in the countryside near their home in Stroud at weekends earlier this year and gradually increased the distance up until the walk itself.


The family drove to Winchester and visited the Cathedral before heading to Salisbury by train. Kirstie commented: “There are many kings buried there, and a lot of art such as paintings, but Gloucester cathedral feels more welcoming. Also the organ in Winchester cathedral is a lot smaller, and not as impressive as Gloucester’s.”

The Clarendon Way is a pilgrim route and the path was marked with bishop mitre’s symbols. It passes through the Clarendon Park estate, passing the ruins of the 12th century royal residence Clarendon Palace, in a field of llamas! They walked through woodland, past fields of corn and through the Wiltshire villages of Pitton, West Winterslow and Middle Winterslow, with their pretty churches and cottages.

Their arrival in Broughton, Hampshire, marked the completion of the first 13 miles. Day two’s route took them through beautiful Hampshire countryside including woods, fields and wild flower meadows. But they were relieved to get their first glimpse of Winchester Cathedral!

The Clarendon Way winds its way through fields and woods around the outskirts of the city before crossing water meadows, passing Winchester College, the Bishop’s palace and a house in which Jane Austen lived. Finally arriving at the cathedral, Kirstie and her parents enjoyed a very welcome drink and cake at the Refectory café before walking uphill back to the car to drive home to Gloucestershire.

Winchester’s warm welcome

Kirstie’s parents said: “We’re really proud of Kirstie for walking such a long distance –without complaining! It should certainly stand her in good stead for doing D of E expeditions in the future. We’re so grateful to all the people who have generously sponsored us. The money will help give more children in Dornakal access to education.” Kirstie adds: “it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but I liked the food and the views!”

If you would like to sponsor Kirstie and her family, there is still time. You can do so on Kirstie’s JustGiving page.