2019 · Running events

Poppy Quest London 2019

I’d never heard of the Poppy Quest Walks until mum mentioned it.

Someone at her work had taken part in one and really enjoyed themselves, and had told mum all about it. Mum loves poppies and anything to do with remembrance/Royal British Legion etc, so I looked into the Poppy Quest London.

Stating: “Join us for a discovery walk using maps and minds to uncover city gems… The perfect way to discover the past and present of this historic city. On setting off from the Honourable Artillery Company, you’ll be armed with a map to navigate our trail and a set of questions to answer en-route which will get you to explore the city’s rich history,” the event sounded like a unique challenge, and lots of fun.

The website also mentioned that the ”walk is suitable for all ages and abilities. You can walk solo, with your dog or with family and friends – it’s completely up to you. If you’re walking on your own, you can meet up with fellow solo walkers at our Meet Up point at the start. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends and get your heads together”. Really sweet.

Registration cost just £16 each for adults (children under 18 could enter for free). All participants received a finisher’s medal and bespoke event t-shirt, along with other benefits such as soft drinks/snacks before and after the walk, fundraising pack with preparation ideas, map and quiz, and entertainment at the Event Village, with live singers and a meet & greet with the Poppy Mascot; plus a special gift for participants who raised over £100 in sponsorship. So generous! I didn’t hesitate to sign us both up.

So on Sunday 23rd June, mum and I caught the 8am train from Tonbridge to London Bridge, and then jumped on a quick and easy Tube to Moorgate. The Honourable Artillery Company was just a straight 4min walk from there. Our event t-shirts had arrived in the post a week prior, so we checked in at the registration desk to pick up our map and quiz. There were plenty of toilets inside the building, and the live singing was really good. A few tables held Royal British Legion merchandise, bananas and bottles of water; and a volunteer was offering free tattoo transfers! The event crew went out of their way to go up to walkers and say hello, and there was a happy buzz in the atmosphere.

I was wearing the event t-shirt with a black Primark Sports bra, USA Pro cropped leggings, plain bumbag and new Karrimor hiking boots with Karrimor hiking socks, resulting in a super comfortable outfit. The weather was warm and muggy, and thankfully dry!

When signing up, you could chose a time slot to start walking in, from 9:30am to 11am. I had chosen the 10am wave but we ended up arriving too early at 9am! The organisers kindly let us join the earlier time slot of 9:30am. We had a lovely, short warm-up from a live singer who serenaded us with “These Boots Are Made for Walking” as we stretched, and then we all set off to the sound of a klaxon as the singer sang: “Ok boots, start walking!” The timing was brilliant and it was a fab touch.

Our wave was a relatively small bunch, so we quickly got separated from the rest of the group, apart from another mother/daughter team who were such a delight. We walked with them the whole way around, completing the quiz and navigating using the map (without using our phones!). We had a laugh, stopped for a cheeky McDonalds and even managed to see the Changing of The Guards at 11am. The route was scenic, varied, and we got to see lots of London.

Poppy Quest London 2019

However we did go ‘off-piste’ accidentally and became slightly lost at one point! The route was labelled as ‘approximately’ 10K, however we somehow completed over 15K – although we all had a great time, and it was all part of the fun.

As we walked back into The Honourable Artillery Company, the volunteers all came towards us together, greeting us with cheers and claps. Bespoke medals were hung around our necks, and it was a really nice and special end to a fantastic morning. We checked our quiz answers off against the answer sheet (and only got one wrong!), picked up some merchandise (because who doesn’t love a charity teddy bear?!) and said goodbye to our new walking friends, before heading back to the tube.

I really enjoyed the Poppy Quest London – it was something different, and it was genuinely great fun. I can’t believe it only cost £16 to enter, either. We’ll definitely be taking part again and would recommend it to others, too!  😊

NEXT UP: City Relays (London Relay) 10K, Thursday 4th July 2019



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