DarkMoor UK Trek 2017


Event type
UK treks and walks, Strenuous

10 miles
Minimum fundraising
Registration fee
Minimum age

14 years, under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

0845 052 4184
Princetown Community Centre
Tavistock Road
PL20 6QE

Help our nurses be a light in someone’s darkest hours by signing up to a 10-mile, night-time walk through Dartmoor National Park this summer.

On the evening of Saturday 19 August, Marie Curie Nurses across the UK will arrive at the homes of people living with terminal illness to provide hands-on care and emotional support throughout the night.

At that same moment in Devon, amazing people like you will be grabbing their torches and setting out on a moonlit trek across the moors to help our nurses be there when families need them most.

Our guides will lead you on an adventure through moorland and woodland – lit only by the moon, the stars and your torches flickering across the tors.

As you walk through the darkness, sharing stories with friends or making new ones, you can be proud that every step you take and penny you raise will help Marie Curie Nurses bring light in the darkest hours.

And as the sun rises at the end of your trek, you’ll be rewarded with a medal and refreshments. You can then have a well-earned rest and think about all those carers doing the same thanks to a Marie Curie Nurse and incredible supporters like you.

Darkmoor was very hard work, but the atmosphere, support and encouragement from volunteers was just amazing... It gives you a huge sense of achievement and it's for a truly wonderful cause.
Darkmoor 2016 participant

Where and when do I register on the day?

Registration opens in the Princetown Community Centre at 9:00pm and closes at 9:45pm, followed by a pre-walk briefing from the events team and our expert mountain guides. If you arrive after 9:45pm and miss the pre-walk briefing you will be unable to participate in the walk for health and safety reasons.

Will I still be able to take part if I am late arriving at registration?

Because of the length and difficulty level of this walk, and in order to manage it efficiently and safely, the registration window is very strict. Registration will be open for one hour with no exceptions followed by a pre-walk briefing carried out by the Marie Curie events team and our expert mountain guides, so if you arrive after this time we will not be able to register you.

What’s the best way to get there by public transport?

Due to the time and nature of this event you are advised not to rely on public transport. Please note there are no regular public transport links from Exeter or Newton Abbot to Princetown on the day of the event so please plan your journey in advance.

Will there be somewhere to park my car?

Yes, there is limited car parking in the Princetown Pay and Display car park. Upon arrival into Princetown, please follow the Marie Curie signage directing you to the car park. As parking is limited, please car share where possible.

Please do not leave vehicles on the roads or grass verges. Walkers and other visitors must safeguard private property, including all personal belongings. No responsibility can be accepted for loss or damage.

Can other walkers sign up on the night?

No. We must comply with the National Guidelines on this type of activity and undertake to manage this event responsibly in terms of the impact it has on the historic landscape and local community. You will therefore only be able to take part on the day if you have registered in advance.

What is the distance of the walk?

You will be walking approx. 10 miles over moorland and woodland, mostly on tracks.

How steep are the climbs?

You will be walking at heights from 889 ft to 1500 ft.

How long does it take to complete the walk?

This varies enormously depending on the weather and your fitness level.  As a rough guide, the average completion time is 4-6 hours.

Please remember however that we do not operate our event as a time trial or race. We ask that participants treat this walk accordingly and do not push themselves past their capabilities in order to achieve a ‘good’ time. Completing this walk is an achievement in itself!

Will I need to walk in a group?

As this is a night trek you will be setting off in one large group at 10pm. There will be a team of mountain guides who will lead the walk and follow on behind the last walker, as well as floating guides within the group as it naturally spreads out through the night. You will be provided with a map for your reference and there will be a series of checkpoints along the route to ensure we can monitor your progress through the night and make sure you are staying on course.

Are there any toilet facilities en route?

No. There are toilet facilities at the registration point in Princetown Community Centre where you will register in the evening and return to after the challenge, so please make use of these.

Can I bring my dog/s with me on the walk?

No dogs are permitted on this walk.

What happens upon completion of the event – do I need to sign back in?

Yes. Every participant must check back in at the registration point, whether you have completed the walk or retired early, so that we can account for all participants and ensure your safe return. Upon completion you will be greeted with a warm welcome, your finisher’s medal and a post-walk reception.

What happens if I am injured or ill and need to retire from the event?

Our marshalls / guides have full radio communications, alongside mobile first aid cover. In the event of a problem, please alert your nearest marshal / guide and arrangements will be made for your care or transport back to the registration point. 

If I am a parent / guardian accompanying a 14-17 year old and have to retire from the event, what will happen to them?

It is strict policy for this event that 14-17 year olds must be accompanied at all times by the parent / guardian responsible for them. Therefore, the young person/s would also have to retire from the event, unless another adult known to them was present in the group, was an experienced walker and willing to assume full responsibility for them from that point onward.

What will happen if the weather has been severe leading up to the event – will the event still take place?

Our outdoor pursuit company regularly monitors the weather along the route in advance of a trek, and they will advise us of any safety concerns before the event goes ahead. Any decision to cancel the event would be based on their expert advice. Should we be advised to cancel the event, all participants would be contacted by telephone immediately.

What will happen if the weather becomes severe on the day?

As above, the specialists assisting us on the day will be in regular patrol of the route and assessing the weather and terrain at all times. Any decision to cancel or curtail the event will come from them and will only be taken if they consider the health and safety of the participants to be in doubt should the event continue.

How do I cancel my place on the event?

If for any reason you are no longer able to attend the event, please notify us by calling 0845 052 4184 as soon as possible (registration fee is non-refundable). As places on this event are limited your cancellation may allow us to reallocate your place to another supporter.

Do I really need to train for this event?

Yes. All our UK treks and walks are physically demanding events. Trekking across the moors can be challenging in daylight so walking at night is no easy task and requires a certain level of fitness and stamina best acquired through training. The training you complete before the event will make a big difference. We provide advice and guidance on training and nutrition in participant Welcome Packs.

Do I need to bring water / food with me or is it provided?

You must carry sufficient water and food to last you for the duration of the walk. We will provide additional bottled water and snacks at registration before you set off, and there will be a water and snack station roughly halfway, but please ensure you arrive with enough water and food of your own.

What gear should I bring with me on the trek?

We provide an essential items kit list in participant Welcome Packs. The essential items on the kit list are required for your safety. Our outdoor pursuit company will not let you take part if you are missing essential equipment.

It is essential that every walker brings their own head torch and hand-held torch, with additional batteries for both items. Failure to bring these items may result in you being removed from the event for health and safety reasons.

What clothing should I wear?

We provide a list of recommended clothing in participant Welcome Packs, which is a mixture of warm weather and cold weather clothing. The weather is notoriously changeable on Dartmoor, which is often exposed to the elements and can be severe regardless of season. We therefore strongly recommend that you come prepared for all eventualities. In addition, walking boots are essential due to the terrain of the walks.

Will I need to know how to use the compass and map?

This trek is marshalled by mountain guides and is along a way-marked route. You will therefore not require a compass or map to complete this trek.

When is my sponsorship due by?

We ask that you raise the minimum sponsorship of £200 by the date of your challenge. People are more likely to donate the closer it gets to your trek, so really make the most of the weeks leading up to your trek to maximise donations!

Will the £200 I raise make a difference?

Absolutely! We hope that our UK treks and walks in 2016 will raise £213,000 towards Marie Curie’s work in providing hands-on nursing care and vital emotional support to people living with a terminal illness, and their families. Our nursing care is provided completely free of charge, and can make the difference in letting people stay at home with their loved ones. The money you're helping to raise will pay for more than 10 Marie Curie Nurses for a whole year!

Can I give you my sponsorship money on the date?

No. Please do not bring the money you have raised with you on the day of the challenge as we are unable to accept it on site. Instead you can pay your sponsorship to Marie Curie in the following ways:

Online fundraising

If you’ve been collecting money through a JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving page, the money will be sent to us automatically.

By telephone

Call 08700 340 040 to make a card payment over the phone.

By post

Send a cheque with your completed sponsorship forms to:

Supporter Relations Team
Marie Curie
PO BOX 23897
14 Links Place

Please make cheques payable to Marie Curie.

Do you organise any other UK treks and walks?

Yes, we do. Information on all our mountain challenges can be found on our event pages or by calling 0845 052 4184.