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Spitalfields Music's 25KM for 25 years

n/a days
Grade 1

About the challenge

Join us for this walk around the Tower Hamlets borough of our capital city, taking in historic streets and well-known landmarks, parks, old docks and of course the Thames, as we trace our 25km route through an area that covers much of historic East End of London as well as the redeveloped Docklands and Canary Wharf. This is a challenging one-day event through the urban landscape; there will be full support throughout the challenge with marshals and water stops along the route. En-route there will also be fun musical interludes which will boost the great community feel of this Spitalfields Music event and really commemorate the 25th anniversary of their Learning and Participation Programme.

The itinerary

We meet early at Shoreditch Church, a regular Spitalfields Music festival venue, for registration and a short briefing, then enjoy a musical send-off on our day’s challenge! Our first section takes us through the community of Spitalfields, firstly taking in Arnold Circus (which will host Spitalfields Music’s community event for 1000 voices on 21 June) and Boundary Gardens, which stood at the heart of the Victorian poverty-stricken area that was notorious as ‘the worst slum of London’ in the late 1800s, before being razed and re-built. As we walk south, we pass Brushfield Street (the charity’s home), The Old Spitalfields Market and Hawkmoor’s Christ Church, another festival venue favourite. This area of Spitalfields, along with Whitechapel, was infamous in the 1880s for the murders of Jack the Ripper; we pass close to some of the sites, though the actual streets have been largely built over. Heading down the famous Brick Lane to Whitechapel, we pass one of Spitalfields Music’s community partner organisations Royal London Hospital and head south, picking up the canal to Shadwell Basin and the Thames. The Thames path takes us through the historic London Docks area to Limehouse, much of which has since been filled in and re-developed. Continuing on to the Isle of Dogs, our route takes us via Canary Wharf, now home to some of the UK’s tallest buildings, and through Mudchute Nature Reserve. We walk north into Poplar – roughly our halfway point – and onto the scenic canal towpaths of the Limehouse Cut. We now follow waterways north, passing part of the Olympic Park, and loop back towards Spitalfields via Victoria Park and Regent’s Canal. The final few kilometres bring us back to Spitalfields, passing another Spitalfields Music partner, the Spitalfields city farm, and we finish our long walk with a musical celebration!

Total distance: Approx 16 miles / 25 km

Detailed information

What's included?

The cost includes experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support staff throughout to manage the event safely and enjoyably and marshalling stops with lunch, water and snacks

What's Excluded?

It does not include personal insurance (optional),  any parking fees or transport costs or accommodation if required.  Approx. £50 is recommended for personal expenses. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency. Please note public transport to the start / finish points is plentiful.

Walking Information

Groups may set off at staggered intervals (depending on numbers) but you can go at your own pace.
The full 25km walk should take approximately 5 - 7 hours for fit and strong walkers; others should allow longer.
This is not a competitive event! You can go at your own pace, but if we are concerned about you being able to finish the distance safely, we will recommend you stop early. We trek on tarmac paths and pavements around the city and its parks.


Be prepared for any weather! This is a full-day event, and you will need appropriate, good quality footwear and clothing to cope with the weather conditions, terrain and distance.

Clothing & Equipment

We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Each person should bring a small daypack to carry lunch, camera, waterproofs, sun cream, a warm fleece and any other items needed during the day.

Preparing for the challenge


This is a long one-day walk and it is important that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. The more training that you do the more you will enjoy the experience!

Trip Safety

Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with mobile phones, first aid kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires – is all done with your safety in mind.

Worldwide Sustainable Tourism

Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.  AITO, our Trade Association, has recognised the work we do in this area and has awarded us 5 stars as a Responsible Tour Operator.

Discover Adventure Projects

We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up. Please see our website for more details.

Carbon Offsetting

We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with The Conversation Volunteers and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at or call 01302 388883.