A STAR of the popular TV series, Downton Abbey, is inviting fans to don their trainers for a special challenge in aid of Parkinson’s UK.

Actor Laura Carmichael, who is best known for her role as Lady Edith Crawley in the hit ITV1 show, is encouraging people to take part in a 10km run in the beautiful grounds of Highclere Castle, which is the setting for the TV series.

Runners of all ages and abilities are being encouraged to take part in ‘Run Highclere’ on May 11 – and spaces on the run are limited with only 750 up for grabs.

Fun will be on offer for the whole family with a special 850-metre fun run for organised for children at 10.30am before the adults run starts at 11am.

Runners taking part are asked to aim to raise £100 and they will receive an official race finish time, an exclusive souvenir t-shirt, fundraising pack, sponsorship forms and a finisher’s medal.

Laura said: “My grandmother lived with Parkinson’s for many years, and I know just how challenging it can be.

“I would urge you to encourage your friends and family to lace up their running shoes and run for Parkinson’s UK in the picturesque grounds of Downton Abbey.”

Paul Jackson-Clark, director of fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, added: “The stunning Highclere Castle is the perfect backdrop for a Sunday run.

“We’re especially encouraging runners to dress up as their favourite Downton Abbey characters by wearing period costumes or fancy dress on the day.

“Without the help and support of our fundraisers, our vital work to find a cure and improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s would not be possible.”

To register for the run, visit parkinsons.org.uk/highclere or call the events team on 02079 321356. Online registration closes on May 2 or before if all places are filled.