Let’s face it. 2020 has brought a year-full of surprises for us all. The COVID-19 pandemic has rained on parade after parade, hitting our health services, charity sector, travel plans and our own homes like a storm stronger than the Beast from the East of 2018.
Several long months of lock-down, pandemic-related stress and postponed dreams have had the whole nation and much of the wider world, itching its feet.
But at Dream Challenges, we’re all about making dreams a reality – safely. And so, in late October 2020, that’s just what we did. With our industry-leading 14-step initiative in place to keep participants as safe as possible from the coronavirus, plus extra protocols taken to implement the Rule of Six, we were delighted to go ahead with our first ever Glastonbury to Stonehenge Pilgrimage.
Eleven fearless trekkers and four Level-Three Outdoor first-aid trained Dream Team members woke bright and early on a stormy Saturday and lit up their lock-down following part of the Celtic Way from Glastonbury to Stonehenge.
Conquering 52km in two days, they climbed the legendary Glastonbury Tor, before following part of the ancient Celtic Way.
Our route reflected a pilgrimage that dates back thousands of years, to when a group of Neolithic peoples carried sacred blue stones from the Preseli Mountains in Wales to the Salisbury Plains.
Starting in the park by Glastonbury Abbey, said to be the resting place of King Arthur and Guinevere, our trekkers hiked through the rain and the wind, with the strength of knights. They wound through fire-coloured autumnal forests and countryside and across the famous Imber Range military training zone in the Salisbury Plains, to a spectacular finish at the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge.
Safety always comes first and we took extensive measures to implement the Rule of Six and protect our knights from COVID-19. You can see the measures we took here.
The restrictions in place due to the pandemic meant that we, unfortunately, had to omit our visit to the legendary Chalice Well. We’re hoping that by the time our 2021 event rolls around, we’ll be able to explore this sacred site, where legend has it, the Holy Grail still hides.
Despite these alterations, the weekend was a glowing success, with our challengers rating it an average of 8.8/10 with a 9.5/10 likelihood of recommending Dream Challenges to the people they know.
But that’s enough from us. Every legend is told best from the heroes’ mouths and so we’ve taken the opportunity to ask what they thought of the challenge.
What was your reason for attending the challenge?
- "The reason for attending the challenge was because I thought it would be great to do something like this, as it didn’t look too difficult. I asked my friend if she fancied doing this and although I was a little apprehensive about the number of miles walking, we thought we would just go for it."
- "The challenge came up just at the right time, after a year where everything else had been cancelled, including a trip to Wales earlier in the year. It was like a beacon of light that we were able to do the challenge."
What appealed to you about this challenge?
- "I thought the challenge would be a good chance to fundraise even a small something for charity, in a year where we haven’t really been able to do much fundraising.
I really liked that there was no minimum sponsorship option so that it meant I was able to raise a small amount for a charity without having to worry too much about the fundraising aspect."
What have been the highlights of the challenge?
- "There were many highlights of this challenge. It has all been great, including the sunshine on the Sunday morning, the glass of red wine after a long day walking on the Saturday, visiting landmarks and finishing the weekend off at Stonehenge."
Did you feel the challenge was different because of COVID-19?
- "I didn’t feel the challenge was any different or less enjoyable because of COVID, the only noticeable differences were at mealtimes, where we ate in teams and breakfast was served rather than self-service, which was still enjoyable."
How do you think the challenge has been managed in line with COVID-19 guidelines?
- "The challenge has been managed brilliantly in line with COVID-19. All the staff were fantastic, they took so much care to ensure the challenge was carried out safely with many notable points.
I was really impressed with the Dream Challenges 14-step initiative, the teams were separated into colours and no more than six people. Although we all stayed separate, it didn’t feel like we were in three groups - more like one larger, spaced-out group.
The staff sanitisation was excellent, including the Dream Team members filling up our water bottles to stop any cross-contamination and ample hand sanitiser was provided. This was also handled very well at mealtimes in the restaurants where we ate in our teams."
- "Whilst everything around us was being cancelled, you guys came up with a really special event. You built COVID-19 protocols around it, so that we could take part safely. You even had to adapt it on the fly to cope with weather and the accommodation restrictions. But it worked! And it was huge fun."
We are as proud and ecstatic to have been able to conquer our pilgrimage, as if we had really found the Holy Grail. The success of our event in October 2020 has proven the effectiveness of our 14-step initiative and our ability to keep participants safe and happy no matter what the world throws at us. Although the weather was damp, our spirits were not and we can't wait to relive the weekend in the hopefully COVID-19-free future.
More about the Glastonbury to Stonehenge Pilgrimage
The Glastonbury to experience the best of South England, get in touch with your spiritual side and gain awesome insight into the myths and legends that surround the ancient pilgrimage from Glastonbury to Stonehenge.
Our carefully mapped route will enthrall you all the way, as we follow a trail so old it is no longer marked by a path and encounter Christian, Pagan and pre-historic sites, all swimming in myths and mystery. We trek on footpaths, tracks and some quiet country roads, over a mix of fantastic terrains.
After the success of our 2020 event, we're excited to be trekking again in April 2021, so why not join us and welcome in the spring at the sun-loving Stonehenge?Find out more about the Glastonbury to Stonehenge Pilgrimage 2021