FRIENDS Mike Cooper and Julie Davies are taking on the gruelling challenge of walking the length of the Pennine Way – and back again!

They will be trekking for 600 miles, and the charity challenge is due to take a month.

Mike, from Northwich, and Julie, from Stoke on Trent, are undertaking the Julie Davies There And Back Challenge for Cancer Research UK.

The Pennine Way starts at Edale in the Peak District, and runs north through the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park, ending at Kirk Yetholm just inside the Scottish border.

Although it is not the UK’s longest trail it is regarded as one of the toughest.

Mike, 58, from London Road, is a self-employed tradesman, and said the challenge he and Julie are taking on, which starts on August 16, will be a tough one.

“We will be backpacking, carrying about 30 pounds each for close on 600 miles, carrying all our kit,” he said.

“We will be camping all the way and being self-sufficient, so there will be no three-course meals or comfortable beds.

“Some of it will involve wild camping, and other times we will find a campsite to enable us to shower.

“Some people regard this route – one way – to be one of the most remote and toughest long distance paths in Britain, the big daddy of them all.

“When we arrive in Scotland we will turn round and backpack all the way back.

“Cancer will affect one in three of us, and so many individuals and families, including ourselves, are affected by this terrible disease.

“We want to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK, and would be very grateful for any donations.”

Julie, a business crime reduction partnership manager, said she was looking forward to the challenge, in particular the ‘fantastic’ scenery, and they would be walking up to 14 hours a day.

To support the challenge you can donate online at

You can also donate by texting FLAG54, followed by an amount, to 70070, or hand or post donations to Mike or Julie by cash or cheque.