North Herts walkers in their 70s foiled by weather just short of completing 200-mile Cape Wrath Trail through Scottish Highlands

We'll take the high road: The group steel themselves for the next steep climb. Left to right: Willia

We'll take the high road: The group steel themselves for the next steep climb. Left to right: William Armitage, Roger Harrison, Nigel Carrick, Sheila Hogan, Geoff Smith, Tom Coates and Dave Ashby. - Credit: Archant

A group of North Herts walkers, four of them in their 70s, have tackled the 200-mile Cape Wrath Trail through the Scottish Highlands – but were foiled five miles from the end by raging torrents after heavy rain.

William Armitage and Nigel Carrick of Letchworth, Geoff Smith from Fairfield, Sheila Hogan of Ashwell and Dave Ashby from Aston had spent two years planning the hike from Fort William to Cape Wrath lighthouse, at Britain’s most north-westerly point.

The route is not signposted and much of it is over trackless terrain and mountain passes. It is often considered one of the most challenging long-distance walks in the UK.

“We have all been energetic hikers in the past,” said Nigel, who did much of the organising.

“We needed the challenge to prove to ourselves that we could still walk 200 tough miles.

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“We had a marvellous time in beautiful scenery – and even though we were usually miles from civilisation, we still met people from all over the world, including a petite lady from Royston who was walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats with a 23kg pack.

“It was a pity we were foiled at the last moment, but by that time we didn’t want to miss the only bus home.”

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Roger Harrison and Tom Coates were also part of the group, but walked only part of the trail due to time constraints.

The walkers all belong to the Wild Walks Group, part of the 1,600-member Letchworth Arts and Leisure Group, which caters for interests such as foreign languages, walking and more.

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