A CYCLIST was given a hero's welcome when he visited a Hampshire lifeboat station during the closing stages of a 4,349-mile journey.

Deliveroo rider Harry Lidgley visited Calshot before embarking on the last leg of a month-long journey that has raised more than £5,400 for the RNLI.

Harry, 23, called at every mainland lifeboat facility in the UK after setting out on his 34-day ride.

Calshot was the 165th station he visited during his journey, which began at the RNLI headquarters in Poole on May 1.

His trip was the equivalent of travelling from John O’Groats to Lands End five times.

A large number of uphill journeys meant he also climbed a total of 65,000m - the equivalent of almost eight Mount Everests.

Justyn Leonard, Calshot lifeboat's deputy press officer, said: "When the crew heard Harry would be visiting Calshot they wanted to make sure he received a proper welcome and a show of our appreciation for his efforts."

Harry, of Burghclere in north Hampshire, later cycled to Mudeford lifeboat station before returning to his starting point at Poole.

He devised the marathon ride after deciding to combine his taste for adventure with a desire to raise money for charity.

Harry is no stranger to epic challenges, having previously been part of a team who rowed around the UK.

He and a group of fellow sailors took part in the 2020 GB Row Challenge, during which he felt "reassured" by the presence of the RNLI.

The charity has saved 140,000 lives since it was established in 1824.

Harry said: "We never had to call on the RNLI but at times we were rowing through very remote and actually quite dangerous passages of water.

"Knowing we could call on RNLI crews and their amazing equipment gave us a real confidence boost."

During his cycle ride Harry visited all 168 lifeboat stations on the British mainland.

Before setting off he said: "People do cycle around the UK but visiting every station adds significant distance and elevation to the route as I’ll have to dip down to sea level and back several times a day.

“The whole journey will involve more than 60,000m of climb, about seven or eight Mount Everests."