A RETIRED financial adviser from Hampshire is walking the width of England to raise money for the hospice which cared for his late wife.

Geoffrey Wride from Wellow began his journey cross-country from St Bees on the west coast. His 192-mile walk will end in sight of the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.

Travelling up on the train to Cumbria he met one half of TV’s Hairy Bikers, Dave Myers, at Barrow in Furness station and the bearded cook was delighted to wish Geoffrey good luck.

The 74-year-old’s walk is raising funds for the Countess of Mountbatten Hospice in Southampton where his wife, Gloria, was cared for for two-and-half years.

Geoffrey was moved by the “caring and compas-sion” shown by the hospice staff.

“I decided I would put as much back into life as I can while I’ve still got the strength and capability,” he said.

His walk follows the coast to coast path, created by walking legend, Alfred Wainwright, and passes through three national parks. Geoffrey will be staying in B&Bs along the way but he also plans to camp some nights and is carrying a tent in his 30lb backpack.

The pensioner, a keen golfer, has been training for his trek for five months and has clocked up 1,000 miles in that time.

Geoffrey said he had hoped to raise £1,000 but he has already been pledged £1,600 and he now aims to raise double his original target. He said: “I’ve been bowled over by people’s generosity.”

To sponsor Geoffrey, visit justgiving.com/Geoffrey-Wide.