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Grace reflects on 168km of walking in back-to-back DofE Gold expeditions

Our Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award candidates completed their expedition during half term, walking a total of 168km. Grace Murray (Broughton, 6a) writes about the wonderful shared experience with her classmates after a difficult few months.


Due to Covid-19 restrictions, not only could our Gold DofE Crew not head to the Himalayas as originally planned, but the policy was to remain close to home and to stop in a safe place away from the general public.

We were keen not to miss out completely and with 18 willing 6a volunteers already in our safe bubble, it was easier to sort smaller groups and we devised a plan to run our Practice and Qualifier expeditions back to back. We were granted dispensation to do this centred on the playing fields and to walk each day in and out of Birley’s Playing Fields. We walked on average 25-30km a day through the Kentish Countryside accumulating 168km in total (including the occasional navigational detour). 

The sports fields took on a new life for us with tents and a campfire and felt completely different in these circumstances. We journeyed with our mascot “James Bond – 007” due to the National express bus number from Canterbury to London, and we were saddened to hear that Sean Connery died aged 90 last week.

Whilst DofE should be challenging and put you out of your comfort zone, I think our year group have been put through enough these past few months and it was just lovely to be able to do something outdoors, together and share an experience with our friends.

Read more about DofE at King’s here.