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From London to Beijing and on to the Great Wall, here's how the trek will unfold.
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Day 1: Depart London for Beijing
Day 2: Beijing
Arrive Beijing during the morning, where depending on our arrival we may be able to take a city tour and visit the fabulous Forbidden City. On arrival at our city hotel we can then freshen up and relax before a full trip briefing.
Day 3: Beijing – Huangyaguan
We transfer from the busy streets of Beijing, driving northwest into the hills above Huangyaguan to glimpse the Great Wall for the first time. After a good traditional lunch we start our trek! The Wall is well renovated here and it disappears into the horizon in both directions. After some steep step sections, which give us a good inkling of what lies ahead, we walk predominantly downhill until we reach Huangyaguan and our hotel. Drive approx 4 hrs;, trek approx 2 – 3 hrs.
Day 4: Huangyaguan – Mountain Village
Our day’s walk begins where we left the Wall yesterday, and scale ‘Heaven’s Ladder’, a steep climb of over 2000 steps leading to fabulous views from the top. Once again we join the old Wall, and follow it along the contours of the mountain until we clamber down into the valley below. We bed down in the houses of a local village, a real cultural experience. Trek approx 7 hrs.
Day 5: Mountain Village – Jinshanlin
Waving goodbye to our hospitable hosts, we head up through the farming terraces to re-join the Wall, which is un-restored and crumbling, so we follow a path which takes us alongside it, with fabulous views along the ridgeline to the day’s highest point. We then drop down the hillside enjoying the scenes of rural life, until we reach the main road and our waiting transport. Our drive through the mountains to our hotel in Jinshanlin is very scenic. Trek approx 4 – 5 hours, drive approx 3-4 hrs.
Day 6: Gubeiko – Jinshanlin
After a quick bus ride to the village of Gubeiko we walk through the village and farmland until our path takes us alongside an un-restored yet well-preserved section of the Wall dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Skirting a Chinese military post, we follow dirt paths through trees and undergrowth before rejoining the Wall. Stunning views of the Great Wall snaking along the hilltops keep us going whenever we find it tough! Trek approx 7 – 8 hrs.
Day 7: Jinshanlin
Starting where we left off yesterday, we head up the carefully restored steps which take us into the mountains one final time. From our high point we enjoy the views of The Great Wall as it clings precariously to the rock face opposite, dotted with many watchtowers, classic ‘scales on a dragon’s back’ scenery. We retrace our steps finishing back at Jinshanlin and our accommodation. Trek approx 7 -8 hrs.
Day 8: Mutianyu
After a bus transfer to Mutianyu Great Wall our trek starts with a brief walk through a friendly village before we climb for 1-2 hours up the hillside, where we may see villagers gathering firewood. We can see the Wall high on the ridge ahead of us, and slowly wind our way up to it. Once more our efforts are rewarded by stunning views as the Wall disappears from view in both directions. We continue along the well-restored Wall flagstones, with some good sections of steps, before descending down to our hotel at Mutianyu. Drive approx 3 hrs, trek approx 4 – 5 hrs.
Day 9: Mutianyu – Juyongguan
After a transfer, our final day’s walk takes us on a circuit of the restored Wall at Juyongguan. The Wall undulates across the rolling spine of hills offering spectacular views of this area, where many warriors once fought. After some of the steepest steps we have encountered yet, our trek is over all too soon and we must leave the Wall and return to Beijing - quite a contrast after the natural scenery and remote tranquillity of the past few days. After checking into our hotel, we have time to freshen up before the evening celebration meal. Drive approx 2-3 hrs; trek approx 4 hrs.
Day 10: Beijing
Depending on flight schedules, there is free time until the transfer to the airport for the flight back to London. Arrive London Heathrow. (Overnight flights arrive back into Heathrow the next morning).