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News from Ravenwood Hall


Craig’s 5 Charity Challenges are COMPLETED!!!! .... March 2010

A big congratulations to Craig for completing his five charity challenges ending in the most testing of all, the Marathon des Sables, the toughest foot race on earth…

Below is a summary of the five amazing challenges: 

Craig’s target was to raise £11,000, the final figure raised was £36,000.

The challenges started in July 2009   More information....

CHALLENGE 5 - By Sand - April 2010 - COMPLETED
Marathon Des Sable 2010
Known as the toughest foot race on earth this is the ultimate endurance race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco and pushes contestants to their absolute limits. Nicknamed the Sand Marathon it covers 151 miles over just 7 days (the equivalent to running nearly 6 marathons back-to-back). In addition, competitors had to carry everything they needed to survive - it really was survival of the fittest.  Craig endured the most testing conditions ever, running in 51 degree heat in the day and 2 degree chill at night, over dunes, open plane and rocky mountains. Having to carry and cook all own food along the way, having to consume 13 litres of water a day to survive and with incredible sore feet. Body management, foot care and mental strength was the key to completing this amazing race, where he finished in 685th place out of well over 1,000 competitors - British Olympian James Cracknell came in at 12th position.


The Final & Toughest Challenge for Craig....  March 2010

Hotelier Craig Jarvis is ready for the most testing challenge of his life, the Marathon des Sables, known to be the toughest foot race on earth.

Translated as the ‘marathon of the sands’, the Marathon des Sables is a gruelling endurance race running 151 miles in just 6 days, across some of the harshest terrine within the Sahara Desert.  Competitors will battle against colossal sand dunes, rocks and hills, not forgetting over 40 degree heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night.  They also have to carry with them everything they need to survive including food, cooking equipment, sleeping bag, clothes and a first aid kit.

The race has been an annual event since 1986 and this is their 25th race lasting from 4-10 April.  There are competitors from 43 countries across the globe with 275 from Britain.  Olympic rowing Gold medallist James Cracknell is among the competitors and there have been rumours that Madonna may also take part.    

The longest single stage of the race is a massive 52 miles. Craig has been training for some time in his full kit including a 12kg rucksack in preparation for carrying everything he needs. Joining Craig in his team is the youngest ever British competitor, Hector Turner aged just 16.

Craig adds, “Training for the Marathon des Sable has been quite tricky as it’s difficult to prepare yourself for the heat and testing running conditions that I will endure, in addition to the sheer mental challenge. It has also been difficult combining the training needed to match all the different challenges. But being my fifth and final charity challenge I am going to give it everything I have, I am determined to hit my £30,000 target for the Ravenwood Children’s Trust and St Nicholas Hospice Care.”  To date Craig has raised nearly £26,000 with his various challenges, from climbing mountains, running, horse riding and the recent motorbike trail across Cambodia. This final challenge sees him at the peak of his fitness and completely focussed on achieving his personal challenges. 

For a photographic diary and more information, or to donate, please go to, or contact Ravenwood Hall Hotel in Rougham on 01359 270345.


Cambodia Challenge a Success for Craig Jarvis .... February 2010

A 36 hour journey from London to Cambodia, followed by a 14 day, 1,600 mile extreme motorbike trail, has been charity challenge number 4 for Ravenwood Hall owner Craig Jarvis.  Cambodia Ravenwood Charity Challenge

A team of 12 experienced bikers, including a doctor and support, travelled off-road through the remote jungle settlements, seeing for themselves the hand-to-mouth existence the local people endure, all to raise vital charity funds.

Craig admits this has been one of the hardest challenges he has ever completed; but the trip has been hailed a success achieving his three main aims.  The first aim was to raise as much money as possible for the Ravenwood Children’s Trust (a trust Craig set up to help needy children in the UK and overseas) and St Nicholas Hospice Care. To date Craig has raised an amazing £25,950, and with just one more challenge to go he is hoping to reach £30,000.

The second aim was for Craig to find a new beneficiary for the Ravenwood Children’s Trust to support in the future, this will hopefully be a local school where their aim is to help break the poverty cycle by teaching skills. The final aim was to map a new motorbike route across Cambodia, creating a trail that can be followed by future fund raisers.

Craig commented, “The trip was tremendously challenging and exhausting due to the testing conditions and mid 40 degree heat.  It was also a real eye-opener, seeing the simplicity of the lives the families have to lead, yet they were so hospitable, pulling together what they had to provide us with cool shelter and food along the way.  I always fill my rucksack with balloons for the children they are real ice breakers and they seem absolutely fascinated by them.”  

Now there is just one final challenge remaining for Craig and it’s by far the most testing challenge of them all, claimed to be the toughest foot race on earth, the Marathon Des Sables.  A gruelling race across the Sahara Desert running the equivalent of 7 marathons just 6 days, battling with the exhausting soft sand, climbing sheer rock faces, and enduring 40 degree heat in the day and freezing temperatures at night - all whilst carrying with him everything he needs to survive in one heavy rucksack.  Craig is leaving at the beginning of April, he adds, “I have prepared myself as much as possible however I am sure the Sahara will spring many surprises at me.  Without a doubt it is going to be tough both physically and mentally and the ability to keep motivated it going to be key.  But, if I can raise enough to reach my £30,000 target, it would make all the hard work worth it - please help as much as you can.”

For a photographic diary and more information see (donations would be gratefully received).




South Lee School Pupils Team Up to Raise Red Nose Cash... March 2009Red Nose day

The three girls clubbed together and came up with a fantastic plan to contribute to the worthwhile charity.   

Molly Jarvis, aged 6, Jessie Jarvis and Eleanor Keeling, both aged 11, wanted to do something for the cause and organised waitressing at Ravenwood Hall Hotel on a busy Sunday lunchtime to raise as much as they could.  With their red nose t-shirts and matching noses they delivered dishes from the kitchen to the hungry customers and after a few hectic hours, and the generosity of the customers, the girls raised a fantastic sum of £225.00.

Craig Jarvis, owner of Ravenwood Hall comments, “I am extremely proud of all the girls, this was totally their idea and they did a really great job.  All the guests at the hotel seemed to enjoy their company and what an achievement to raise so much money


Flying Visit for the Hairy Bikers…  February 2009Hairy Bikers at Ravenwood hall

Historic Ravenwood Hall Hotel in Rougham had a surprise visit recently as the BBC’s Hairy Bikers rolled up for the night.

The Northern duo, Si and Dave, have become famous for the BBC Television programme where they ride their motorbikes to the corners of the globe in search of authentic culinary and cultural experiences. They are not professional chefs but are lifelong food lovers. Currently filming for their next series, they experienced problems with one of their bikes; they liked the look of Ravenwood Hall Hotel and decided to stay for the night. 

Craig Jarvis, owner of Ravenwood Hall adds, “We were delighted to accommodate the bikers and their TV crews for the night.  Si and Dave are really nice, down to earth, guys.  The next morning it was snowing so we gave them a hearty breakfast to help set them on their way.”