Denise Outen about along China's Great Wall

29th Aug 2013

China's Great Wall is providing British TV presenter Denise Van Outen with her biggest challenge yet in a bid to raise money for charity.

Latest estimates put this world famous cultural site's length at 21,196 km (13,170.6 miles).

This would mean that Van Outen would have to walk the equivalent of Land's End to John o'Groats - mainland Britain's longest trek - and back, almost eight times.

Luckily for her feet, not all of this Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Heritage Site is walkable.

But it still measures up to previous challenges the 39-year-old former Big Breakfast star and Strictly Come Dancing contestant has encountered.

In the past she has scaled Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro, cycled across India and enjoyed an expedition to the ancient ruins at Peru's Machu Picchu.

Van Outen was inspired to embrace one of the more challenging trekking holidays after the death of a close friend's father.

She told British-based Hello! magazine: "Whenever I've done anything like this before I've always come back with a clear head, and the past few months haven't been easy."

Van Outen promised she will come back with a clean slate ready to start again and that it is going to be "very emotional".

The star will be raising money for London's Royal Marsden Hospital in London during the trip.

Work started on the Great Wall about 28 centuries ago to protect China's northern borders and cultures from foreign barbarians.

It took thousands of labourers 10 years to construct.

Today, it aims to draw foreigners in, attracting 10 million tourists every year.

The beacon tower-dotted Great Wall (Changcheng) zigzags fitfully from its sprawling remains in Liaoning province to Jiayuguan, a favourite of holidaymakers on city breaks in the Gobi Desert.

This was a key link on the Silk Road, where there was a customs post where unwanted Chinese were ejected through the gates.

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