Howard and Jill Poll’s Pilgrims Way Walk for Charity

Howard&JillPollTheir Story….

Howard, and I will be celebrating two significant birthdays this year – I will be 60 in April and Howard will be 65 in May. We wondered how we could celebrate – we didn’t particularly want a party but wanted to mark it somehow and to include our beautiful family, while raising money and awareness for an amazing charity.

We both love walking and decided that we should do a long distance walk – then the Pilgrims Way came to mind! So – we will leave Winchester on May 15th (tomorrow) and arrive in Canterbury on May 25th – the itinerary is complete and all we have to do now is to get ourselves fit! We do walk regularly, but nothing quite like eleven days on the trot – 9.6 miles being the least we will walk and 14.6 the longest – so lots to do!

The Pilgrims Way runs from Winchester to Canterbury and is roughly 130 miles long. Canterbury is a beautiful city and it is where all our children were born – and we have so many happy memories.

The reason we have decided to walk for Child Bereavement UK, is not only to celebrate our birthdays but to walk in memory of our beautiful daughter, Ellen, who was born in Canterbury. Ellen was a twin and sadly died when she was just three weeks old in 1979. When this tragedy happened to us there was no-one to talk to, no-one to help our family – we just muddled on – that would never happen now. Child Bereavement UK would have been there for us now, as it is for many families.

Child Bereavement UK is the UK’s leading national organisation that supports families and provides training to professionals across the entire spectrum of child bereavement.

They support families and educate professionals both when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. Every year they deliver training across a breadth of issues to around 5000 professionals at the front line of bereavement support.

Jill Poll

If you would like to support Howard and Jill and donate to the Child Bereavement UK charity go to

Updates on the walk will be posted here on the Henley Herald

Day 1

Amazing first day – my dear Mum had arranged for us to be met by the very lovely Canon who took us through the cathedral to a private chapel and said a prayer and blessed us and we then lit a candle for Ellen. It was very emotional and a Day1walkgreat way to start our journey. We’re now at Marne Cottage – a wonderful B&B in Arlesford. Julia Morgan who runs it has donated our room for the night. What incredible people there are.

Day 2

day2walkHas been good – 13 miles and no rain!! Went through fabulous countryside and now in Alton.





Day 3   End of day 3 – Off to relax now.Day3walk

Day 4 Finished day 4 – so we deserve a drink!! Now in Guildford. Going to rest ready for tomorrow.


Day 6 Ready for the off


Day 7  75 miles so far – another 15 today.  Hopefully less hills today!!


Day 9 – 20 miles today.  Both very tired!


Day 10 – Sam is with us today


Day 11 – Canterbury here we come!