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Step by Step Great Wall of China Trek 2023

Challenge level: 3 out of 5

When can I go?

11 May - 19 May 2023 On Sale
Duration 9 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info $523
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

Step by Step Great Wall of China Trek 2023

Are you ready for our next Step by Step adventure? We're excited to see many of you have joined our amazing women-only treks and in 2023, we're taking on the Great Wall of China!

This iconic challenge takes us from the old section of Wall at Huangyaguan to the must-see city of Beijing on our expertly-crafted route that we just can't get enough of!

Prepare to discover the rugged countryside, the traditional rural towns and the futuristic cities of China as we trek on and alongside the Great Wall of China on a trek like no other! We will tackle epic climbs and a wide variety of terrains, including forest trails, village roads, emerald hills, and original and restored sections of the Great Wall.

With enchanting panoramas, enthralling insight into China’s culture and history and a team of inspiring women by your side, you'll make lifelong memories and friendships, conquer a phenomenal feat and become immersed in the mind-blowing Middle Kingdom of China.

Our unbeatable charity challenge finishes in the mind-boggling city of Beijing, where we'll celebrate with a guided tour of the city's famous sites, including the Forbidden City Palace Complex Museum, the Royal Lakeside Retreat of the Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square.

Your itinerary

Days 1 & 2
London - Beijing - Huangyaguan

Our adventure starts at the airport in London, where we catch our group flight to China's amazing capital city of Beijing.

Our awesome local team greets us at the airport and we transfer by coach to our hotel at Huangyaguan (Yellow Cliff Pass).

This area receives few Western tourists and so we can get a taste of traditional Chinese culture while admiring the Great Wall of China and the stunning views of rugged, green mountains.

After lunch, the afternoon is free for you to spend as you wish. You can kick back and relax at the hotel or explore the beautiful and fascinating town of Huangyaguan, where the new China meets the old and traditional China.

In the evening, we meet again for our group dinner.

Day 3
Huangyaguan - Qiangjian | approx. 6 hours walking

Waking to breakfast at our accommodation, we ease ourselves into the challenge today with a gentle trek through the beautiful countryside that surrounds our hotel, with a picnic lunch along the way. This gives us a fantastic first taste of rural China and its ancient architecture.

Huangyaguan, which translates to Yellow Cliff Pass, is widely thought of as a miniature of the Great Wall. Exploring this area, we may have a chance to see the stone base built in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 557) and the brick battlements laid in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). We’re also likely to see a range of Watchtowers with different shapes.

We hike both alongside and on the wall, testing ourselves with a few demanding climbs and descents; a perfect warm-up for much more to come during the following days! At the end of our walk, we return to our hotel at Huangyaguan and settle down for dinner.

Day 4
Huangyaguan - Mr Kong’s Farmhouse | approx. 12km/6-7 hours

Fuelling up with breakfast, we start today with a tough climb along the Great Wall to the top of the mountain, where we’re rewarded with breathtaking views. We also get a sense of how the Wall has changed throughout history, walking on a section that underwent extensive restoration in the 1980s. We follow the ruins of the Wall, walking on mountain paths and occasionally on the Wall.

A further steep section takes us along a paved path through forest. This first ascent is challenging and certainly one of the most demanding climbs of our event. A steep descent through the forest follows with one or two climbs and descents, before we reach our picnic lunch stop.

After lunch, we continue with some downs, but with more ups, on the pretty, forested trail that leads us onto more sections of the Great Wall. We’ll know we’re approaching the end of our day’s hike when we meet a steep descent.

This takes us into Qianganjian, a small farming village, where we have a chance to gain great insight into the local lifestyle by staying overnight at a traditional, hostel-style farmhouse. The accommodation is a typical example of Chinese lodgings, with several rooms containing Chinese-style sleeping platforms. Mr Kong’s Farmhouse offers clean but basic accommodation, with Wi-Fi and the opportunity to buy a beer, as we settle down for dinner.

Day 5
Farmhouse - Jinshanling | approx. 6-7 hours walking

We leave after breakfast to walk down the local village road into the woods. Then, we’re in for our toughest climb of the day. The trek may be tough, but it’s more than worth it to reach a spectacular section of the Great Wall, with panoramas across the countryside.

Hiking on these epic sections of the monument provides us with a real sense of their former strategic importance the great feat the builders must have gone through. After a few hours, taking in our enthralling surroundings as we go, we descend into a local village for our picnic lunch.

After lunch, we hike along local, joyously flat farm roads for approx. 9km and pass through a number of villages. Having conquered today’s challenge early, we enjoy a generally downhill route this afternoon and immerse ourselves further in Chinese rural life.

Finally, we reach the road where our bus awaits to transfer us (approx. 3 hours) to our accommodation and the next section of the Wall at Jinshanling.

Day 6
Gubeikou - Jinshanling | approx. 16km/7-8 hours

After breakfast, we’re transferred to our starting point for today’s trek at Gubeikou, the impressive section of wall built to protect the northern gateway to Beijing. This spectacular 40km stretch of the Great Wall boasts 143 watchtowers and 14 beacons and dates back to the Ming Dynasty.

We seem to trek through time as we encounter both restored and unrestored sections of the Wall that vary in width and some may be steep. Some are so rustic that they’re impassable, so for these stretches, we walk alongside the Wall instead. Trekking from watchtower to watchtower, we see the Gubeikou Wall merging with the Jinshanling Wall.

Here, we stop for a picnic lunch in a shady field by the Wall and then climb back onto the Wall for our final section of the day. At last, we reach Jinshanling, a section often believed to be one of the most spectacular and picturesque parts of the Great Wall of China. From here, we can walk directly to our hotel.

Day 7
Jinshanling – Beijing | approx. 7km/3-4 hours

Our final day sees us exploring different (some of them very steep) parts of the Wall, until we reach our finish line at the highest accessible point.

This 700m vantage point is a fantastic place to end our amazing challenge, with views of the Great Wall disappearing into the distance.

After some well-deserved celebrations, we descend towards our bus for an approx. 3-hour transfer to our hotel in Beijing for dinner. This evening, you can choose to experience a traditional Chinese foot massage, a perfect end to a tiring, yet truly rewarding, trek.

Day 8
Explore Beijing

Today after breakfast, we have the fantastic chance to explore the mind-blowing city of Beijing on an exclusive guided tour of the city's world-famous sites, including the Forbidden City Palace Complex Museum, the iconic Royal Lakeside Retreat of the Summer Palace and the infamous plaza of Tiananmen Square.

Minds full of the incredible history of China, we'll end the day with a fantastic Celebration Dinner.

Day 9
Beijing - London

Bidding goodbye to Beijing, we transfer to the airport this morning to catch our daytime flight back to the UK. Touching down in London, we part ways and you make your own way home, no doubt buzzing to book your next Dream Challenge!

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Funding options

Sponsorship

Pay your registration fee (£349) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £350), and fundraise £3,100 or more for your chosen charity.

$4,500

Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £349, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Fundraise the minimum sponsorship target of £3,100 for a charity, animal shelter or hospice of your choice at least 12 weeks before your challenge.
  • The challenge costs cover your flights, (excluding airport taxes and fuel surcharge, approx. £350), entry to the Great Wall of China, food, accommodation, exclusive guided tour of Beijing, transfers and luggage transportation, guides and medical support, including a UK doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £350) and your visa (approx. £175)
  • Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we contact the charity you want to support on your behalf. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
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Self Funded

Pay the registration fee (£349) and challenge costs (£1,550) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £350).

$2,250

Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £349, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay the challenge costs of £1,550 yourself 12 weeks before your challenge starts.
  • The challenge costs cover your flights, (excluding airport taxes and fuel surcharge, approx. £350), entry to the Great Wall of China, food, accommodation, exclusive guided tour of Beijing, transfers and luggage transportation, guides and medical support, including a UK doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • Choose to fundraise as much as you can for the charity, animal shelter, or hospice of your choice or make a personal donation.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £350) and your visa (approx. £175)
Book my place

FAQs
Step by Step Great Wall of China Trek 2023

Our Step by Step Great Wall of China Trek is tough, with lots of steep and uneven terrain. However, it is designed for women of all fitness levels looking for an amazing trek to train and get fit for. No matter where you are on your fitness journey now, you can certainly accomplish the challenge if you put in some training beforehand. 

Once you register for the challenge, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we depart for China. We also recommend checking out our top trekking tips here.

This amazing charity challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, improve your own mental and physical health and raise make a huge difference for your favourite charity, whilst having the adventure of a lifetime.

We strongly recommend you train for the trek. The more you prepare, the more you'll enjoy it.

Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.

Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for our Great Wall of China Trek in 2023. Please use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising.

You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up with.

Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that women of all ages will come together to do something very special.

Everyone who is 18 years old or over by the challenge date is more than welcome to join our Step by Step challenge.

If you would like someone under the age of 18 to join you on the challenge please contact us to discuss (01590 646410 or bookings@dream-challenges.com)

Your registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge, pay deposits with local suppliers and secure your seats with the airline.

Your challenge costs of £1,550 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:

  • Your international flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £350).
  • Meals throughout the challenge (except for your lunch on your free day on Day 8).
  • Accommodation.
  • All transfers and luggage transportation in China.
  • Entry fees where applicable.
  • A team of awesome, outdoor remote first aid trained challenge guides and Dream Challenges staff.
  • Full support from the Dream Challenges office in the lead-up to and during your challenge.
  • Medical support, including a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will accompany us throughout the challenge.
  • Exclusive guided tour of Beijing on Day 8.
  • Your Step by Step Great Wall of China Trek 2023 medal.

In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and either paying the challenge costs (£1,550) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target, you will need to budget for your:

  • Airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (approx. £350).
  • Visa for China (currently £175 but subject to change).
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses and gratuities.
  • You may also choose to pay £200 for a single supplement at our accommodation and have a room/tent to yourself on the nights where this is possible.

The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.

Once you have registered, we will send you regular email updates with all the information and details you need, including a realistic training programme, a full kit list, information about the challenge destination, the structure of an average trekking day, plus advice on arranging your visa. We will also send you fundraising ideas and training tips to help you prepare for the trek in China.

We anticipate the group size to be around 30 people.

You will need a pair of quality hiking boots with ankle support as these are essential for trekking on uneven terrain. Please also bring your own 2-litre water bottle. We'll supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the charity challenge in China well before your departure date.

Travel Insurance
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.

Dream Challenges has information on an example policy, which also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19 and we will send you details of this in the lead-up to the challenge.

You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in China. Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.

Please purchase your travel insurance as soon as you can after you register, so that it covers both your booking and the challenge in China itself.

Visa
You will be required to obtain a tourist visa for entry into China, currently £175 but subject to change at the discretion of the Chinese embassy. We will send you all the relevant information and forms to do this before the challenge.

We'll experience a whole mix of accommodation during this challenge, including hotels with stunning mountain vistas, simple campsites under a canvas of stars and traditional farmhouse lodgings.

Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. However, on some nights, you will be sharing with two or three fellow participants.

If you would like to pay for a single supplement and have a room/tent to yourself wherever possible, please get in touch at least 17 weeks before the challenge and we can arrange this for you at an additional price.

Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in this amazing country, please get in touch with us at least 17 weeks before the challenge and we can arrange this for you at an additional price.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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