TWO women who drove from London to Beijing in just 29 days for charity are planning more fundraising events.

With barely time to relax after their 8,500-mile adventure this summer, Edwina Sorkin and Kate Sleath - known as the Beijing Biddies - are hosting a Sunday lunch at the Westmorland Hotel, near Orton, on August 31.

The £25 ticket ‘do’ will include a welcome drink plus a three-course lunch and the chance to hear the women, who are both in their 60s, talk about their epic journey in aid of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.


Edwina, who runs a guesthouse in Newbiggin-on-Lune, and her friend Kate from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, spent 18 months planning the trip and their preparations included attending car maintenance classes and advanced driver training.

Setting off on May 1, this year, they travelled in a seven-year-old Nissan through Germany, Poland, Russia, Siberia and Mongolia to reach China.

To keep costs down they camped at the side of their vehicle whenever possible, even spending three nights sleeping in the back of the car in Mongolia when the winds were too high to pitch a tent.

Edwina said: “It was an incredible journey through different countries and across varied terrains. Yes it was tough at times, but we kept going and we did it.”

The women’s adventure was captured by a film crew from Cumbria TV and a documentary is currently in production.

As well as the Sunday lunch, the premiere of the film and a ball to be held later this year will form part of a programme of fundraising activities to help them reach their £100,000 target.

Edwina said: “The two cancer charities which Kate and I have chosen are very close to our hearts and we are determined to raise as much money as we can for them. We are very grateful for all the support and donations that we have received so far, but the fundraising goes on.”

Tickets for the Sunday lunch can be purchased through Edwina by phone on 01539587667, or email