YOU are being invited to raise funds for a fantastic charity AND enjoy a unique walk at the same time.

The Great Somerset Walk is a 34-mile cross country walk through lanes, bridleways and public by-ways which takes the intrepid explorer through picturesque Somerset towns and villages; all while raising funds for St Margaret’s Hospice.

Since The Great Somerset Walk began in 2005, those supporting the event have raised more than £220,000 for the local hospice, which goes a long way to providing specialist palliative care, advice and support to patients and their families living in Somerset and parts of neighbouring counties.

The walk route meanders across some of Somerset’s most beautiful and historic areas including the Taunton and Bridgwater Canal which skirts its way in splendid isolation around the base of the Quantock Hills for just over 14 miles.

You can choose to walk whatever section of the route you like, starting and finishing at any of the following nine registration points: St. Margaret’s Hospice, Yeovil; Village Hall, Odcombe; Youth Club, Martock; Town Hall, Langport; Parish Church Room, Stoke St. Gregory; Canal Bridge, Creech St. Michael; Maunsel Lock, North Newton; YMCA, Bridgwater; St. Margaret’s Hospice, Taunton.

To walk the full 34-mile route between the hospice in Yeovil and Taunton, you will need to be up early as the hospice recommend you start before 8am. Registration is just £5 and children under 16 walk free.

Anyone of any age can take part – and the section of the walk between Taunton and Maunsel Lock is wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Dogs are also welcome.

For several years the walk has been supported by Porter Dodson and its employees who participate come out come rain or shine.

Events Fundraiser Brooke Brownlow said: "It is amazing to see the level of local support St Margaret’s receives from about a hundred volunteers who help organize and run the event to the several hundreds of local people across Somerset who take on a personal challenge to walk the route and raise money to support the invaluable work of the hospice and its team of nurses working in communities right across the county providing care to those with life-limiting illnesses.

"The support is vital to the work of the hospice."

To take part in this year’s Great Somerset Walk register by visiting:

Alternatively, call 0845 345 9671. Registration is just £5 and children under 16 go free (children must be accompanied by an adult).

Any sponsorship money you can raise goes towards the work of nurses in the hospices and the Somerset community. So, will you take on the Great Somerset Walk to support your local hospice?