Two Hexham friends, Geoff Cant and Kirk Barclay, recently clocked up 100 miles over 5 days in aid of Tynedale Hospice at Home.

Geoff and Kirk took on the St Oswald’s Way from Holy Island in North Northumberland to Hexham in May.

The Oswald’s Way is a stunning coastal walk taking in some of the most beautiful coastline in the North East. Traditionally the route begins in Holy Island and ends in Heavenfield, 97 miles away, but Geoff and Kirk added a few extra miles onto the challenge so that they could finish in their home town.

Reflecting on how it all began, Geoff, General Manager of Prudhoe Waterworld, said “We were having a pint at our local one night and we had an idea that we would like to take on a fundraising challenge.  Before we knew it we were looking at the different options available and that’s when we hit on the idea of the St Oswald’s Way.  We both love the Northumberland countryside and the coast, and this walk seemed an ideal choice.”

Neither had carried out a challenge like this before, and it was dreamed up over a few drinks at the pub. But pushing through the pain barrier paid off for the pair.

Geoff said: “It was an absolutely beautiful walk, taking in some stunning coastline along the way. We were pretty lucky with the weather, although we did experience real extremes of temperature.

“For the first two days, I wished I had brought some gloves, while we needed sun cream for the final couple of days!

 “People have been so generous and it made every step worth it to know that we were raising valuable funds for such an excellent cause.”

Kirk, director of Hexham-based BW Electricals, said: “Geoff and I couldn’t believe we managed to get away without any blisters after walking over 100 miles, but I can’t deny we suffered a few aches and pains along the way.

“We got lots of encouragement though, and some of the locals we chatted to were so generous in sponsoring us. We also had great support from family and friends who joined us for parts of the journey.

“The final mile of every day was always the hardest, so by the time we arrived at our destination at the end of each day we were only fit for food, a cuppa and an early night.”

Geoff and Kirk started out with the aim of raising £500 for the Hospice but like their miles, the donations kept on adding up and more than £3,000 has been raised which is absolutely amazing!

The friends couldn’t be more delighted: “We wanted to raise money for Tynedale Hospice at Home as we’re both keen to support a local charity that benefits the community in which we live and work.  The Hospice provides such brilliant services in the local area and when we tell people that we’re raising money for the Hospice they are really keen to support us.”

Thank you to everyone who donated and supported these intrepid and very brave walkers!