A caring South Yorkshire couple have committed to a mammoth charity challenge to walk the entire UK coastline.
Neil and Sarah Thompson, from Wombwell, Barnsley, were inspired to complete the ambitious journey after watching TV series Coast.
Initially, the husband and wife planned to complete the route purely for pleasure – but then realised it would be a great way to raise funds for charities.
In order to fit the 8,000-mile walk in around their jobs, Neil, a national sales manager, and 30-year-old Sarah, a casualty A&E nurse, will complete the gruelling challenge on weekends and in their spare time.
Neil, aged 42, said: “It’s a challenge we’ve talked about for a while.
“We postponed the idea as we got married last year and our focus and attention was on the wedding plans.
“Now that’s done we must have become addicting to organising – most people have used the term ‘mad’.”
And the task is far from a short-term commitment as the couple think the route will take them years to complete but say the sights they expect to see and funds raised will make it all worthwhile.
Neil said: “We expect the walk to take at least ten to 15 years, depending on the availability of time, resources, finance and transportation.
“We’ve travelled to many places in the UK and across the globe, but are often surprised to learn of and are inspired by landscapes, features, places of historic interest and unique, quirky locations, which we have never seen or experienced along the coastline of the UK.”
The couple will kick-off their challenge this weekend by trekking along North Yorkshire coastline between Scarborough and Whitby.
During the 21-mile route, the couple will pass through moorland, seaside villages and dales, to reach their end point at Whitby Abbey.
Funds raised from the first leg of the walk will be donated to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, a cause which the couple hope to support on further stages of the challenge.
Stage two, from Whitby along the north east coastline, will take place later in the year.
n To track Neil and Sarah’s progress and to sponsor them, visit www.facebook.com/UKCoastCharityWalk