The Forces March

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The Forces March
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Follow the legendary WW2 training march from Ilfracombe to Bulford in this epic 5-day adventure in support of The Veterans Charity. The 135 mile route attracts people from all ages and abilities by it's inspiring cause, unique challenge, and special bond that forms between participants.
The Forces March
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Wed, 20 May 2020
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Ilfracombe, United Kingdom
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Where and when
Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8BN, UK
Start times
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
The Forces March:
8:30 am
Event summary
Here are the distances available for The Forces March
The Forces March
£45 - £169
Route information
This 5 day adventure that runs from Ilfracombe, North Devon, to Bulford, Wiltshire, and follows the 1942 training march taken by WWII troops who went on to spearhead the D-Day liberation.
On each of the five days, participants will travel more than a marathon distance in length, and the all-road route is filled with extensive hills through some of the UK's most spectacular and awe-inspiring scenery. At night, camp out with fellow marchers, and form friendships and bonds that only a challenge of this kind can forge.
Please note that the route is quite challenging, and extensive hill training and fitness is required to complete the route in its entirety. That being said, it is not a race but an adventure, and so participants should take the time they feel they need to complete the distance.
The Route:
Day 1: Ilfracombe to Exford: 27.5 miles
Day 2: Exford to Flaxpool: 24.5 miles
Day 3: Crowcombe to Somerton: 30.8 miles
Day 4: Somerton to Maiden Bradley: 26.3 miles
Day 5: Maiden Bradley to Bulford: 26.2 miles
Organiser route images
What's included
  • Live GPS tracking throughout the event
  • Daily safety and route briefing
  • Hi-viz lightweight vest
  • Hot Breakfast on days 2-5 prepared and served onsite (participants and support crews)
  • Evening meals on days 1-5 prepared and served onsite (participants and support crews)
  • Baggage transfers for individual participants
  • On-site entertainment and activities
  • Professional medical support along the entire route and on site
  • Recovery/warm down area
  • Commemorative medal and Trophies for category winners
  • Stocked water points approx every 7 miles along the route
  • Professional escort/safety vehicles
  • Accommodation at all overnight camping facilities with showers and toilets (no showers at Bulford)
  • Training tips
  • Fundraising support, kit and guidance
How to get there
Wilder Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8BN, UK
Get full directionsExternalLink
Start: Ilfracombe
End: Bulford
Ilfracombe is well connected via road links, but the nearest train station is at Barnstaple approximately 12 miles away. There is a regular bus service from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe. There is also a mainline train service from London Waterloo to Exeter with coach connections to Tiverton and Ilfracombe, as well as national coach services to North Devon from many parts of the UK.
At the finish line, Bulford is close to Salisbury, which is well connected with rail and bus connections.
Ilfracombe has over 120 hotels and B&Bs so accommodation will not be hard to find for the night before the march begins. That being said, it will be close to the May Bank Holiday, so booking early is advised.
The Larkstone Lookout Café and Pleasure Grounds (Larkstone Gardens, Ilfracombe EX34 9QG 01271 268536) very kindly provide camping space for those who wish to use it on Tuesday 19th May. They also offer a superb menu for evening meals and breakfasts, especially for The Forces March but please give them plenty of notice if you intend to eat there.
Once the march has reached its finish in Bulford you are invited to stay overnight at the finish location and attend the trophy/medal presentation exclusively for participants, support crews and their families.
Event day logistics
Entry Conditions:
Entry to The Forces March can be as an individual or as a team with a minimum of 4 people.
If you enter as a team, you must have your own support crew and vehicle to assist with transportation and equipment supplies. As an individual, your tents and baggage will be transported for you to the overnight stops.
Please be aware that you are responsible for supplying own bedding, clothing, footwear and additional refreshments for the march. Breakfast and dinner will be provided to you.
Each participant is required to raise sponsorship as part of their entry - ALL funds raised must be for The Veterans Charity. Sponsorship can be raised online via Just Giving as well as using the manual sponsorship form which is available to download from the event website at
Travel, Transport & Start Time:
All participants are required to be at the assembly area in Ilfracombe by 08:30 on Day 1 of the March for the briefing, and are required to arrange their own transportation to the start line.
It is strongly advised that you travel to Ilfracombe on Tuesday 19th May and stay overnight to ensure that you make it to the assembly point with plenty of time on the 20th.
Spectator Info
Spectators are welcome to attend the start and finish line to witness the atmosphere and support participants on their journey. It is an incredible event to be a part of.
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