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Your Progress – The Great Community Virtual Challenge

We thought we’d provide you, our supporters an update of our virtual travel progress. Look how far we have come!

Thank you for your help and miles so far!

Mileage from your daily exercise (within government guidelines) has been added up – so far we have travelled 3100 miles virtually from Bath to Cherbourg in France via the twinned cities of Alkmaar in the Netherlands, Brunswick, Germany, Kaposvár in Hungary, Aix en Provence and Ambarès-et-Lagrave, Cressy-sur-Somme, Artannes-sur-Indre and Oudon in France.

We have only 575 miles to go before we reach our final destination – please tag your final miles on social media, Facebook @MentoringPlusBathNESomerset Instagram @mentoringplus Twitter @mentoringplus or email ruth.keily@mentoringplus.net – no mileage is too small – this is a community effort! A donation of £5 would be great if you can – this will help Mentoring Plus undertake its work in these challenging times. Thank you.

More information about the Great Community Virtual Challenge can be found here.

Leg 6 – The distance from Libourne to Cherbourg, France

20 May – Day 56

Miles accumulated 3100

It’s been 50 days since we were last at a ferry port – waiting for the Harwich ferry to the Hook of Holland – and now we are awaiting our crossing from Cherbourg to Poole on the final leg of our journey back to Bath. Since our last update you have kindly donated 651 miles from your lockdown exercise. This has enabled us to virtually visit our remaining destinations – the village of Cressy-sur-Somme twinned with Swainswick, Artannes-sur-Indre twinned with Bathford and the fine castle at Ouden, twinned with Batheaston.

To date, you have donated 3,100 miles, allowing us to travel to all 10 locations twinned with Bath and NE Somerset. We have 575 miles left to reach our final destination back in Bath. We are so close, but yet to far.

We believe that exercise is really important for our mental health and The Great Community Virtual challenge has involved over 100 participants taking regular exercise during this period of lockdown. As it is Mental Health Awareness week, we welcome all to join us on 23/24 May to take a stroll, hike or cycle and donate the remaining miles we need to us.

Please send your donated miles, photos and a donation, if you can, to Mentoring Plus and help us support young people in Bath and NE Somerset in these extraordinary times.

Thank you!


Leg 5 – The distance from Aix-en-Provence to Libourne, France

7 May – Day 43

Miles accumulated 2449

With your donated miles, we have worked our way over the 1000m peaks in Parc national des Cévennes and have made it the few hundred miles directly into the wine making areas of Ambarès-et-Lagrave and Libourne, near Bordeaux, our 5th and 6th destinations (twinned with Midsomer Norton and Keynsham).

Libourne, a bastide town, has been shipping wine to England and the Netherlands via its river port since the 13th century. Named after an English steward, Roger de Leyburn, Libourne is occupied by many fine Châteax and is situated at the confluence of the Isle and Dordogne rivers. There is even surfing to be had on lunar tidal bores – but time is pressing and we must move on…our 7th destination at Cressy-Sur-Somme is calling.


Leg 4 – The distance from Kaposvár, Hungary to Bath and NE Somerset’s fourth twinned city, Aix-en-Provence, France

1 May – Day 37

Miles accumulated 2000

It’s 1st May and we are gathering the miles at pace now… We have extended the challenge to include all nine twinned locations associated with Bath and NE Somerset, where we predominantly work.

Today we are celebrating reaching our 4th destination, Aix-en-Provence.

We made it to our 3rd destination Kaposvár, Hungary a week ago – the leading city of Trandanubia, 70 miles South West of Budapest. With a population of about 66,000, it notably produces sugar beet and tobacco. After a quick look around – we continued on.

The intervening 761 miles towards our 4th destination, Aix-en-Provence, have been beautiful but tough. After leaving Kaposvár, we skirted the North West of Croatia and into Slovenia. Travelling through the heart of the capital Ljubljana, we entered Italy, then on to Vicenza, Verona and the stunning Piedmont region. Climbing though the Southern reaches of the Alps we arrived in Aix-en-Provence, tired but ready for our well-earned local delicacy – salad Nicoise and a refreshing drink.


Leg 3 – The distance from Brunswick, Germany to Bath and NE Somerset’s third twinned city, Kaposvar – Hungary

17 April – Day 23 

Miles accumulated 1068

Virtual distance travelled – Bath to Vienna, Austria

After leaving Brunswick you have helped us travel virtually through the rest of Germany, over the Lusatian Mountains into the Czech Republic, through Prague and to Vienna, Austria. The birth place of the childhood ‘Pez’ sweets and the humble snow globe, the UNESCO world heritage city is also famed for classical composers such as Mozart, Haydn, Schubert and Strauss. Artist Klimt and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, are also associated with the city. Vienna is believed to be the second most livable location on the planet, behind Melbourne, Australia!

Famed for their Melange (Viennese coffee), Wiener Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel, Vienna will be a tough place to leave…next stop Kaposvar, Hungary!


Leg 3 – The distance from Brunswick, Germany to Bath and NE Somerset’s third twinned city, Kaposvar – Hungary

10 April – Day 16 

Miles accumulated 793

Virtual distance travelled – Bath to Leipzig, Germany

We’ve smashed it and made it to Brunswick, Germany – our second destination in this Great Community Virtual Challenge. Thanks to everyone so far. Despite being so far inland – Brunswick is still connected to the North Sea via navigable rivers and is a major centre for scientific research. It has a population of 250,000 and suffered widespread bombing WW2. We have made it this far by numerous means including a smoothie-making bike!



Leg 2 – The distance from Almaar, Netherlands to Bath and NE Somerset’s second twinned city, Brunswick (Braunschweig), Germany

7 April – Day 13 

Miles accumulated – 500

Virtual distance travelled – Bath to Lingen, Germany

Well, we reached Alkmaar a few of days ago – virtually. Famous for its traditional cheese market and the making of John Lennon’s first guitar! A population of 109,444 and only 5 meters above sea level, positioned on one of the oldest polders in existence. But we couldn’t stay long, as the miles keep coming and we have now made it to Germany. Not far to Brunswick, another of Bath’s twinned cities and our second destination.

Leg 1 – The distance from Bath and NE Somerset’s first twinned city of Alkmaar, Netherlands

31 March – Day 6 

Miles accumulated  – 181

Virtual distance travelled – Bath to Harwich International Port.

We have made it, virtually, with big help from Nic who has joined the team – cycling at home on his static turbo bike. We are waiting for our ferry to the Hook of Holland from Harwich, the site of departure for English pilgrims to set-sail to N. America in 1620 – all virtually of course. Who is going to help us reach the continent – please send us your miles from home like Nic or out doing your daily exercise?

29 March – Day 4 

Miles accumulated – 105

Virtual Distance travelled – 105 miles – Bath to Marble Arch, London


26 March – Day 1 

Miles accumulated – 18.

Virtual distance covered – Bath to Caln