The Hereward Way
The Hereward Way was created by members of Peterborough Ramblers Association in 1985/6 and is a recognised national long distance walking path that stretches 110 miles from Oakham in the county of Rutland, passing through the flat farmland of the Fens on to the Brecklands and Thetford Forest to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk, linking the Viking Way with Peddars Way.
Since 2016 the WakeHereward Project has sought to utilise the Hereward Way as a source to raise the profile of Hereward the Wake as it is the only national monument to Hereward, while in the process promoting the Hereward Way as a hiking trail. The project has arranged two fundraising events that took place on the 2nd June, commemorating the anniversary of Hereward's sacking of Peterborough Monastery and his subsequent retreat to Ely Monastery in 1070. The first in 2016 was a hike along the Hereward Way by David Maile which raised £400 towards Hereward memorials and the second in 2021 was when Lewis Kirkbride raised £2500+ for ManHealthy Charity. Each hiking fundraiser event covered the 40+ miles from Peterborough Cathedral to Ely Cathedral, representing Hereward's journey some 950 years earlier at the time of the Norman Conquest. Events that the WakeHereward Project arrange on 2nd June are named 'Hereward Rising!' - aptly describing his despoiling of Peterborough with his rebel army and Danish cohorts, before making his stand against the might of William the Conqueror.
Last November the WakeHereward Project was involved in the promotion of the Hereward Relay & Ultra organised by March Athletic Club by providing Hereward re-enactor Rory G who gave a speech at the start of the race and presented medals at the finish, as well as appearing at different locations along the route, encouraging the runners as they passed through the change-over points at Whittlesey, March and Welney. All these events have garnered media attention through Tv radio and the local newspapers, bringing focus on to the Hereward Way as a hiking trail and enriching the route and the relay, as well as the fundraising events, with the deep charm of the Hereward legend.
This year on June 2nd 2024 the WakeHereward Project are arranging another 'Hereward Rising!' event to mark the 954th Anniversary of Hereward's raid on Peterborough and especially to bring a greater focus on the Hereward Way, while implementing a plan to help with the ongoing upkeep and sustainable development of the Hereward Way as a memorial to Hereward and an important national walking pathway.
The WakeHereward Project is currently in consultaion with other relevant organisations and bodies to bring these plans to fruition and more will be posted here in the coming weeks as the project develops.
'Take the Hereward Trail across Hereward Country in Search of Hereward....'
Some images from WakeHereward Project's fundraising events along the Hereward Way and also an image of Rory G as Hereward at the start of the March Athletic Club Hereward Relay & Ultra which sets off from the Embankment Athletic track in Peterborough and not Peterborough Cathedral and then along the Hereward Way.