Builder faces gruelling top to tail hike of the UK in memory of his late son

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:05 26 April 2019

Builder Tim is tackling his second end to end challenge. Picture: FORCE

Builder Tim is tackling his second end to end challenge. Picture: FORCE

Archant

A man is covering more than 1,000 miles on foot to pay tribute to his son - the second trek he will complete in two years.

Builder Tim Bradley is set to finish the hike from John O'Groats to Land's End on June 9.

In 2017, he trekked 1,150 miles from the tip of Cornwall to the most northerly point of the British mainland in memory of his son, Rian, from Exmouth, who died in 2016.

“Rian was an inspiration, a one-off, such a special lad,” said Mr Bradley. “He taught us so many things.

“You didn't notice his disability because he was so much fun to be with. He was a great son who was loved by everyone who knew him.

“You'd like him straight away and if you got to know him, you'd love him.”

Tim raised nearly £4,000 last time, split between two Devon organisations – Lindfield Farm day care centre and FORCE Cancer Charity - that supported Rian and his family.

“He had an impact on everyone he met. He didn't know he was on a time limit because of the cancer. It was a pleasure to do the walk for him and he will be at the forefront of my mind again this time,” said Tim.

He will be taking established footpaths and walking routes like the West Highland Way, Pennine Way, Severn Way and South West Coast Path as well as canal towpaths and byways.

He aims to cover around 18 miles each day, wild camping each night on moorland, in woods and fields.

He'll be carrying a pack weighing 28lbs with everything he needs for camping and cooking en route.

Tim's latest trek represents a major personal challenge.

He had a heart attack just over a year ago and while a simple operation to insert a stent - a wire-mesh tube that allows blood to flow more freely – meant he was back at work within a week, he admits: “It took my body quite a while to recover.

“When I was feeling a bit down and sorry for myself, I got out the maps and started planning again.”

Tim will cover most of the distance on his own but will meet up with family fairly early in the journey for a detour to ascend Ben Nevis.

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