Another Festive Walk Success

Ideal walking weather brought out over 2,000 walkers and their dogs to Baddesley Clinton NT House last Thursday for the annual Lions Festive charity walk. This year net charitable donations of over £11,000 were received in aid of Sepsis UK, SoLO Life Opportunities & local causes. Whilst the Lions had carefully planned the routes weeks ago they were unable to plan for the record numbers who turned up and the exceptionally wet weather of recent weeks, which lead to somewhat muddy footpaths & tracks.

“At least the weather remained dry this year and there was no repeat of the snow and slush which almost forced the cancellation last year for the first time in 25 years”, said organiser Lion James Dawes. “It seems many families and groups have our walks on the Festive calendar every year, eager to get out from behind the TV and away from the sales and get some fresh air and exercise to walk off the excesses of Christmas. All in a very good cause.

“One of the effects of attracting so many walkers on the day is the pressure it puts on the limited car parking at Baddesley Clinton, and the knock on effect to the nearby public roads. This is something we are aware of, and will review for future events. We do hope no-one was inconvenienced too much, and generally a good spirit was observed throughout the day”

“We work closely with the National Trust at Baddesley Clinton who have allowed us to use their facilities for 26 years now, we greatly appreciate their cooperation and assistance.”

If you walked on Thursday and have any feedback, photos of your day, or would like to offer to help us organise next year’s event please get in touch now

Now is the time collect sponsorship, donations etc and pay them in using our sponsorship form or donations page

If you missed this year’s event please make a donation and then you can download a map of this year’s  mini, short & medium routes or long route to use to follow the routes perhaps when they are less muddy. NB The arrows designating the routes will come down over the next few days

Here are a few images taken by our President Bob Thurtle:

First walker of the day

Before the walk the ducks need feedingFestive garb from Shirley LionsLooking nice and clean before their walkDesigner label headwear was much in evidenceBack from the Favelas. Kristian Bennett the recipient of our 2018 Youth Travel Bursary starting the Festive Walk

Quick – let us beat the queue for the mulled wine

Phew! Finished. See you next year

and a few from Paula at the Sepsis Trust

And a few more from our Facebook page:

And finally from SoLO

Why not put Wednesday 27th December in your 2019 diary and set yourself a challenge of walking our longest walk for charity?

Posted in Festive Walk, News

Book the day

We have confirmation from the National Trust at Packwood House that we may use their car parking and other facilities again on Sunday 14 July for our 14th Heart of England Bike Ride

Last year almost 500 riders raised over £9,000 for our partner charities and local causes. let’s see if we can do better this year

Please join us

Book the date in your 2019 diary and watch this website for further entry details

If you would like to join our organising team or are in a position to sponsor this charity sportive/leisure ride please get in touch today

Posted in Heart of England Bike Ride, News

26th Lions Festive Walk

Thursday 27 December 2018

Baddesley Clinton National Trust House B93 0DQ (5 miles from junction 5 M42) (Map)

Start any time after 8:30, finish by 16:00 

It’s a great opportunity to ‘walk off the Christmas pudding’, explore the Warwickshire countryside and enjoy the fresh air with the great atmosphere generated by walkers who join us every year as part of their traditional post Boxing Day exercise.

You do not have to enter in advance. Please save time on the day print and complete an

for your group and bring it with you.

Entry as always is FREE but we would appreciate a donation for our new partner charities

SoLO Life Opportunities


The UK Sepsis Trust

with half of all the funds generated retainedfestive lion for Lions locally determined causes

To avoid disappointment for those who could not make it last year we have decided, (with the exception of the long walk), to repeat last year’s planned walks – same distances, same routes, hopefully not the same weather!

On the day you choose from 4 routes :

  • Mini (1.4 miles) – starting from the front of Baddesley House; with the others all starting in the opposite direction past the church
  • Short (3.9 miles)
  • Medium (5.3 miles)
  • Long (8.6 miles) – it is strongly recommended that our guests start this walk no later than 10:30
  • don’t forget to bring your walking boots or wellies – the walks include sections through fields on footpaths that may be muddy and wet. Please take particular  care at gates, styles etc 
  • the choice of routes should suit most levels of fitness, age and ability but are unsuitable for buggies or wheelchairs, sorry
  • all sign-posted circular routes along country lanes, canal tow-paths and public footpaths, some with stiles, the long & medium routes passing close to a pub or two, and
  • all returning to Baddesley Clinton House where there will be hot mince pies and mulled wine to enjoy with the Lions, you can collect your well-deserved certificate of achievement and then
  • visit the House and Gardens FREE, and the restaurant will be happy to serve refreshments.
  • dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome provided they keep their considerate owners on a lead. Seriously, there will be sheep in fields and not all dogs mix, so please keep your dog on a lead at all times.

Every £ donated will go to charity, when all our costs have been more than covered by our generous sponsors.

Why not get your efforts sponsored for our partner charities or designate your own special worthy cause – download a sponsorship form or use MyDonate to make a donation or ask your friends to sponsor your walk.

You can help to make this event a success by displaying a poster at your work, club, local shop or perhaps send it to those you know may be interested. Please download a flyer here.

If you have any queries or would like to help the Lions organising this fundraising event please get in touch today

Lion Santa Paul Wheatley meets up with this year’s partner charities: Maria Brown from Solihull Life Opportunities (SoLO) & Paula Evans from Sepsis Trust UK outside Baddesley Clinton House


As with all our events we try to cover the costs of running them through sponsorship from local businesses so as much money as possible will go to our charities. At this time we have one or two vacancies for sponsors. If your company would like to help us by supporting any of our fundraising events we would love to hear from you, so please get in touch now.

We are very grateful to following businesses and organisations for their generous support helping us to achieve this


Image result for Handle King





Posted in Festive Walk, News

Festive Walk launch

This week we launch this years 26th Festive Walk at Baddesley Clinton with the partner charities who will share half of all the proceeds with our Community Services who will distribute the other half to locally determined causes

Lion Santa Paul Wheatley meets up with this year’s partner charities Maria Brown from SoLO Life Opportunities & Paula Evans from Sepsis Trust UK

Our press release:

Lions Festive Walk Off the Christmas Pudding

This year’s Lions Festive Walk, the 26th organised by Knowle & Dorridge Lions from Baddesley Clinton National Trust House, will be on Thursday 27th December.

“This year’s event will offer 4 different signposted routes to follow of between 1.4 and 8.6 miles along footpaths, towpaths, & lanes” says organiser Lion James Dawes “Over the past 25 years our walks have raised over £200,000 for charity with anything upto 2,000 walkers (and dogs) making donations or getting their efforts sponsored each year.

“It seems that our Festive Walks have become key part of many families Christmas plans whatever the weather and by the day after Boxing Day many families welcome the chance to pull on their wellies or walking boots and get some exercise. After their walks they can visit Baddesley house and garden free and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie with the Lions”

Beneficiaries of this year’s Festive Walk are SoLO Life Opportunities and the UK Sepsis Trust, whilst the Lions will retain half of all funds raised for locally determined causes. “We are incredibly grateful to the Lions for choosing our charities to benefit from this year’s Festive Walk and Knowle Fun Run in May. We hope walkers & runners alike will get behind their efforts and donate generously to our causes,” say Paula Evans & Maria Brown from the charities.

Put 27 December in your diary now and visit for more details and to download a free registration form to complete and bring with you.

Posted in Festive Walk, News

Riders beat the heat

With 335 riders registered in advance and another 172 on the day I think we can safely say the Heart of England Bike Riders took on and beat the 30c+ heat on Sunday.

“With entry fees and donations totaling approaching £9,000 we have done better than we possibly hoped for,” said organiser Lion Paul Wheatley. “Our new 50 mile sportive route from Packwood House through Warwickshire through villages as far apart as Coughton, Great Alne, Snitterfield, Hatton and Wroxall proved particularly popular. Now we wait to see how much sponsorship has been raised by our riders for Headway, Breast Cancer Haven & local causes.”

Over half of the riders opted for the shorter 18 & 12 mile rides on the day no doubt a reflection on the hot weather.  The Lions offered 4 refreshment stations providing water to the 3 routes, and riders were sensible bringing plenty of water with them and topping up on every opportunity and after the rides they were able to enjoy burgers from Lyons BBQ & free entry to the House and Gardens at Packwood, to round off a great day out.

There are a great selection of images of cyclists taken by Mike Adams, here are just a few, visit his website – see if you can find yourself and perhaps buy it for posterity:

Here are a selection of images taken on the day:




Please send your images and feedback to us

If you would like to help the Lions organise next year’s rides please volunteer now


Posted in Heart of England Bike Ride, News

Join us & ride the Heart

An email has been sent to all riders containing IMPORTANT information for all riders and links to the .gps maps. If you have not received it, perhaps it is in your spam filter, or view it here

Join us for our 13th annual ride from Packwood National Trust House(map), just 3 miles from jct 4 of M42 – Sunday 8 July

There will be a choice of 12, 18 & 50 mile circular fully sign-posted routes – see .gps links here.

  • Adult only entrants for the 50 mile ride must set off between 8:00 & 8:45
  • All ages may enter the 12 mile ride & 18 mile ride and set off  between 9:00 & 11:30
  • All riders must return to Packwood House by 15:00, when they will be able to pick up their Certificate of Achievement, enjoy a hot dog from the Lions BBQ and a FREE visit to the House & Grounds

Discounted online advanced entries have now closed

We are delighted to announce we are working with the new Breast Cancer Haven in Solihull and Headway the brain injuries charity who will be our major beneficiaries


  • whilst we shall be retaining 50% of all the funds raised for Lions locally determined causes
  • If you wish to use our event to raise funds for your favorite cause please register and let us know
  • If you wish to get your ride sponsored please download the form here
  • Why not set up an online fundraising page. Please use


All riders must return to Packwood House by 15:00, when they will be able to pick up their Certificate of Achievement, enjoy a hot dog from the Lions BBQ and a FREE visit to the House & Grounds

Please download a poster & display it at your work or club, or email it to friends, relatives, anyone who may like to join you on our rides

See what last years ride was like, visit our photographers gallery, where you will also be able to find & purchase images taken on 8 July soon after the event

Be sure to like us and keep in touch via

facebook like us-logo

How to prepare for your charity bike ride – have a read of this, it may remind you.

If you would like to help us make a great success of this year’s event please get in touch now

HOE LROVERnWhy not get a team together?


We are delighted to welcome back our main sponsor

We are also indebted to to our loyal group of sponsors who help cover the costs of organising this bike ride:

Mike Adams Photography

If you know of a company who may like to support our event please get in touch now

We are also delighted to be working with who are providing registration services for us this year.

We are looking for new companies to come on board and help ensure all our costs are covered before anyone enters, such that every £ of entry fee and sponsorship raised will go to charity. Rather than passing on the costs of our new online registration provider we are looking for a corporate sponsor or more to cover the costs. Or perhaps you could sponsor the riders numbers, refreshments stops – with bananas, protein biscuits or similar. If you would like to help please get in touch now

Please note Knowle & Dorridge Lions are registered charity (no 509993) and our accounts are prepared, examined and lodged with the Charities Commission each year

Posted in Heart of England Bike Ride, News

We meet our sponsor

We held our usual launch photoshoot today at Packwood House and were delighted to shake hands with Simon McKenzie, Managing Director of Hollywood Monster

Here we have (L-R) Matt Price from Breast Cancer Haven, Julie Wedgbury from Headway, Trevor Jones our cycling Lion, Simon from Hollywood Monster who have already printed our lamp-posters, direction arrows and cycling event posters for us and Lion Bob Thurtle 

Places are strictly limited this year, so please don’t rely on being able to enter on the day but take advantage of the discounted entry fee if you enter online now, and perhaps get your day sponsored for our worthy causes.

Posted in Heart of England Bike Ride, News

Easter Eggs winner

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Easter raffle this year!!
We raised an amazing £1380 for Breast Cancer Haven, Headway and other local causes.
Thank you also to all the team at the Black Boy for your continued support.

The winning ticket no was 00894.

Organising Lion Adrian Harris presents hamper to winner Lyn Morris from Kenilworth

Wishing everyone a very happy Easter from all of us at the Lions

Our final evening sales team with Russell the Black Boy PH manager

We also thank our sponsors  the Black Boy P.H., Standley & Co Solicitors and Thornton’s shop in Solihull for making this all possible

Why not pop in for a drink and maybe something to eat from the varied menu and meet the Lions

Posted in Fundraising Events, News

Challenging but enjoyable day for 25th Festive Walk

That was how Steve Woodhall from Dorridge described his 17th Lions Festive Walk.

Steve Woodhall with his well-earned certificate of achievement and cup of mulled wine

Heavy snow the night before on top of already water logged fields meant that we had to curtail the number of walks we were recommending people undertook for this our 25th annual Festive Walk. This resulted in the number of walkers being substantially reduced from previous year’s, however nearly 800 hardy souls (and some dogs) joined us for this year’s Lions Festive Walk from Baddesley Clinton NT House.

The weather certainly did not affect walker’s enthusiasm and generosity with just over £3800 being raised for Breast Cancer Haven & Headway our two nominated charities, as well as local causes too.

Whilst we had four walks this year: 10.7 miles, 5.2 miles, 3.9 miles and the mini walk of 1.4 miles, we were recommending that people only walked the mini walk. That said we still had over 100 brave souls who ventured out onto the longer walks.

“The snow and rain overnight followed by freezing temperatures this morning together with waterlogged paths really tested the resolve of walkers this year,” said organiser Lion James Dawes. “I understand these were some of the worst conditions we have experienced in the 25 years the Walks have been going, and certainly nothing like last year when 2500 walkers donated a record £14,000. We are really sorry for the nominated charities who did sterling work supporting our members on the day.

“We have a great relationship with the National Trust at Baddesley Clinton and they helped us throughout the day in what were certainly challenging conditions. Our thanks go out to them, and the various other volunteers from the charities and wider community, without whom we could not stage such a popular event” said James Dawes, this year’s event lead.


Lucy, Cherry, Charlotte and Calise enjoyed their festive walk

Posted in Festive Walk, News

Just turn up…

Merry Christmas

Only a few days to go. Time you invited all your friends, relatives and work colleagues to join you on Wednesday 27th. If they cannot join you why not ask them to sponsor your efforts for Headway, Breast Cancer Haven & local causes.

Remember parking will be at a premium so fill up your car, bring your walking boots or wellies at least and download a free registration form for your groups to complete before you arrive. Then all you have to do is register, make your donation and walk.

Thanks for your support. Scroll down for full details

Posted in Festive Walk


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