Great Wall of China 2018

Register for the Great Wall of China Trek


Event type

Minimum fundraising
£3,450 - Marie Curie helps you with your fundraising target every step of the way.
Registration fee
Minimum age

You must be 18 years old to register for this event.

0845 052 4184

 The Great Wall of China Trek is a nine-day trip with five days' trekking. Trek the 15th Century Ming Dynasty hardrock wall, before descending on local trails to experience the rural life of people in the Hebei Province.

The challenge finishes with a day to explore bustling Beijing, a visit to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City as well as a shopping experience in the silk market.

Join us for a challenge you’ll never forget and help us care for more people living with a terminal illness. 

How do we help you?
What’s included
Download the brochure and offline registration form
Sign up online


Day by day, here’s what you and your trekking partners will get up to on your adventure. 

Trek grading: Challenging 

Day 1

Depart UK

This is when your adventure begins, meeting the group at the airport and taking an overnight flight to Beijing.

Day 2 

Arrival in Beijing

On arrival, you will meet your wonderful tour guides and head over to our hotel. This afternoon you are free to explore this fascinating city, try the local cuisine and relax after the flight. 

At dinner you will be able to get know your fellow trekkers and learn more about the exciting trek ahead of you. 

Day 3 

Gubeikou Trek

Approx 3-4 hours walking 

We'll drive you to Gubeikou at the border of the Hebei Province where today's trek begins. Once you leave Beijing, the countryside starts unrolling in front of you setting a stunning backdrop for your drive, and giving you a taste of what's to come.

After lunch you will explore a section of the Wall on a high ridge above the town. The trail snakes and continues to ascend to several prominent towers with great views. You then descend down the other side to a temple and onwards to the campsite. You'll be greeted to afternoon tea once you've reached camp, followed by dinner in the evening. 

Day 4 

Further exploration of the Wall at Gubeikou

Approx 7 hours walking 

Today you get to explore a spectacular section of the Wall above the Gubeikou valley. This section of the wall is seldom visited and offers unique views of a wild landscape. The terrain today will be very uneven with lots of loose Wall stones, narrow sections and some steep drops. 

The first part of the day is spent at the Ming Dyanasty Wall. You will then descend on a local trail to camp, where your crew prepare fresh local dishes for you to enjoy under the night's sky. 

Day 5 

Gubeikou - Jinshanling 

Approx 7-8 hours walking 

You have a stunning day's trek ahead of you as we trek in a remote area with fabulous views of the Wall unveiling before you. We set off early today, trekking through farm land and Gubeikou village, before ascending a short but steep trail to access the Wall. Once on the Wall, you will soon notice you are well off the beaten track. With broad sweeping views, it is easy to see how the Wall resembles a dragon's back weaving its way across this beautiful golden land. 

There are some steep drops but the Wall is wide, allowing for plenty of space to walk. Tonight our campsite is in the Hebei province. 

Day 6 

Jinshanling - Simatai

Approx 7-8 hours walking

Breaking camp in Hebei Province, you will climb onto the Great Wall following a steep forest path. Today you will walk towards a restored section, which was built in the 15th century. You will pass through the famous watchtowers, ascend and descend many sets of stairs and winding trails. 

The Great Wall was built by over 1 million people. As you trek this ancient section of crumbling Wall, you can imagine the hard work and structural genius that went into creating what is now a national treasure in modern day China. 

The final part of the walk descends on a winding trail. We'll be transferred to our final camp by Simatai Reservoir. 

Day 7 

Trek to Beijing tower and return to Beijing. 

Approx 4 hours walking 

An early start today as we trek to the summit of Beijing Tower, sitting high above the Great Wall. Today's walk is challenging, with some scrambling sections and a rugged climb to the summit. The ascent is through a rich forest, and your efforts are well worth it as you are rewarded with stunning vistas and awe inspiring views back across to Hebei. 

After lunch, you'll be transferred back to Beijing where a hot shower and clean clothes await you! 

Day 8 

Beijing Tour and celebration dinner 

Today you have a full day in Beijing to explore some of the most majestic and historically significant sites of this immense city. Starting with Tiananmen Square, your guide will explain the history and significance of this area. You will then visit the "Forbidden City"; this area was off limits to the general public for over 500 years. Its ancient buildings served as the imperial palace for two dynasties, the Ming and Qing. 

Lunch will be at a local restaurant before a visit to the Lake area. You can then spend the afternoon however you like; perhaps barter for a bargain in the colourful silk markets or do as the locals do and hire a bike for spin through the bustling back roads of this vibrant city. 

Tonight you will meet for a celebration dinner of traiditonal Peking Duck. 

It was all worth it in order to be able to trek for such a good cause. It was a fantastic experience to be challenged both physically with the trek, and also by coming up with creative ways to fundraise for Marie Curie.
Frank Barrett, 2015 trekker

Day 9 

Depart Beijing

The time has come to say farewell. You'll catch a flight back to London, taking back wonderful memories of your challenge. 

This itinerary is subject to change with any change in Community regulations as well as Governmental changes and natural circumstances beyond our control.

This itinerary is complex and subject to change.

How do we help you?  

By taking on this once in a lifetime challenge for Marie Curie you will help us care for more people living with a terminal illness. And when you join us you, we’ll help you have a trek you’ll never forget. You’ll get:  

  • training guides, hints and tips to get you ready for your big challenge
  • lots of fundraising ideas in your welcome pack. If you’re keen to get started with your fundraising right away, check out these ideas.
  • access to a local community fundraiser who’ll advise you and help you smash your target
  • two Marie Curie representatives who’ll trek the entire way, join you on a training day and organise a post-trek reunion
  • we’ll set up a Facebook group just for your trek, so you can chat with your fellow trekkers before the trip starts
  • a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors to help with your gear buying.
When I got back home and told all my friends and family about the trek, I realised that whilst celebrating my brother’s memory I had the time of my life. I can’t wait to do it all over again.
Diane Bussell, Marie Curie 2013 and 2015 trekker

What’s included?  

Our treks are designed to make sure you have a fantastic time, so you don’t have to think about the details, just enjoy. The trek includes: 

  • return flights
  • local transfers
  • accommodation
  • an experienced trek leader who’s fully trained and knows the route and sites
  • a doctor in the unlikely event of injury or sickness
  • all meals while trekking.

World Expeditions

This challenge is organised through World Expeditions. World Expeditions has been pioneering trips since 1975. Their itineraries give you the best travel experience, designed by people with incredible local knowledge who share a vision of authentic exchange and real exploration with a responsible tourism approach. 

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to sign up online?

Signing up online is quick and easy to do and it saves us vital money to put towards supporting people living with a terminal illness. The registration form is also available to download and print. If you are not able to sign up right now, why not save this page to your favourites so you can sign up online later?

Who can take part?

People over the age of 18 who are looking for a challenge are able to take part. The group size will be approximately 30-40 with people of all ages and from all backgrounds. The majority will be on their own, but some will go with friends, partners or relatives.

The event will be tough and exhilarating, but it will be fantastically rewarding and is suitable for anyone with a bit of grit, determination and willingness to work as part of a team.

How fit do I have to be?

All our trekking challenges are designed to suit people who are fit and have trained to take part - the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the adventure. We will walk approximately 12-14 kilometres per day (7-8 hours).

Will I need specialist kit?

We will send you a recommended packing list in your welcome pack which will detail any specialist equipment you may need.

What is not included in the package?

  • Registration fee
  • Travel insurance
  • Recommended vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag - available for hire in China
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary 
  • Personal expenses; alcoholic beverages
  • Visa

What food and drink will there be?

We will have full breakfasts of bread, rice, eggs, tea and coffee. Lunch will be a packed lunch with rolls, eggs, biscuits and fruit. In the evenings we will have a hot meal consisting of rice or noodles with vegetables and meat. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements.

What about vaccinations?

As a guide diphtheria, hepatitis A and typhoid are advisable, and tetanus and polio vaccinations should be up to date. We recommend you seek professional medical advice from your GP.

How will I be supported?

Beforehand: You will be sent a fundraising pack with great tips on how to meet your sponsorship target. We will be in touch regularly and will organise a briefing day where you’ll meet other trekkers and hear more about the challenge.

During the trip: Your group will be accompanied by a doctor and trek leader, as well as a Marie Curie representative. Local guides will escort the group along the route. Your luggage will be transported by vehicle to each camp.

Can I cover the cost of the trip myself?

We ask you to raise a minimum of £3,450. A minimum of £1,955* will go directly to Marie Curie, as well as anything you raise over the minimum sponsorship. If you would like to pay for the trip yourself please contact us on 0800 716 146 for further information.

*Based on minimum participant numbers

What will the weather be like?

The weather should be mild and warm, from 15-20 degrees Celsius, with the possibility of showers. The nights can be cold. The weather can change without warning so it’s best to be prepared.

Passports and visas

Participants should have at least six months’ validity on their passports from the date of return to the UK. British passport holders will require a visa to enter China which must be obtained prior to departure. We will send you more information on this nearer the time. All other nationalities should check with their embassies. 

Can I extend my stay?

Anyone wanting to stay on after the trek can arrange to do so through World Expeditions at an additional cost and subject to availability.

How can I help limit the environmental impact of travelling abroad for this trek?

Marie Curie is committed to responsible tourism. This challenge is organised by our tour operator, World Expeditions, which will provide guidelines on responsible tourism. They offer a carbon offset scheme for anyone who wishes to offset their flights.

What are the deadlines for my sponsorship money?

We require the 80% minimum of £2,760 by 21 July 2018. The remainder of the sponsorship is due 4 weeks after you return from the event.

Further questions

If you have any further questions please call the events team on 0800 716 146 or email


Register for the Great Wall of China Trek

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