We are proud to announce we have raised almost £2,500 for Candlelighters children’s cancer charity from our Nidderdale Way walk last weekend.

It was probably the toughest challenge we’ve completed yet.  Not only is 53 miles a long long way, we’re a group of pretty inexperienced walkers with limited map reading skills. We thought the Nidderdale Way would be a popular route with an abundance of signposts. We were wrong.

Relying on dodgy GPS we hiked up the first 5 steep miles wondering if we’d made a big mistake.  Things looked up when we got to flatter ground and had some pretty spectacular views over the valley, until we hit our next hurdle.

The bridge we wanted to cross had collapsed. Big sigh. It was a 5-mile detour to re-join the Nidderdale Way, something all of us wanted to avoid.  So we manned up, hopped over a barbed wire fence and navigated a jungle of nettles and thorns before reaching the river.  With a few wet feet, scrapes and stings we made it across – hurrah!

Apart from a few more wrong turns in Blair Witch style woods, the rest of the trek that day was reasonably straightforward.  The heavens opened with about 7 miles to go, but by that point the rain was a welcome distraction from our aches and pains.

After 9 and a half hours of walking, a cosy B&B with hearty food provided us with the perfect break overnight.  Shout out to the guys at The Royal Oak in Dacre Banks for the warm welcome, delicious food and packets of sweets to keep us going!

The next morning was tough. As we hobbled down to breakfast we were all thinking one thing – how on earth am I going to put my boots back on!? Unfortunately, one team member was suffering too much to continue that day, but the rest of us got armed with plasters and smothered in deep heat before we set off.

Thankfully the navigation problems of the previous day were nowhere to be seen – the northern section was amazingly signposted.  Sunshine and stunning views almost took our minds off the pain of blisters and aching muscles, and we made good progress.

Apart from one hairy moment trying to dodge some defensive cows, we made it around the northern section without many problems.  Once again, rain hit us late afternoon as we were on the final few miles (and it came down hard!), but our determination to finish pushed us on and it was such a relief to see our cars back in Pateley Bridge.

We have been overwhelmed with the donations and words of encouragement we have received, and are proud to have smashed our fundraising target third year in a row.  Thank you to everyone who has donated to this fantastic charity, and if you still wish to donate, you can do so here https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/fiatrek53miles.