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Father's epic Skye challenge from Oxfordshire

A father is looking for people to join him on all or part of his journey as he takes on an epic fundraising challenge this summer in memory of his son.

Skye Hall died last August, aged five, after being diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive and cancerous brain tumour.

His father, Andrew Hall, 43, from Oxford, has organised 2Skye4Skye, a challenge which will see people travel from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire to the highest point on the Isle of Skye in Scotland to raise money for the charity that he and his wife, Sally, established in Skye's name - Blue Skye Thinking.

Skye Hall Credit: PA

The 636-mile journey, taking in the Peak District, the Lake District, Loch Lomond, and Scotland's west coast, will include a combination of cycling, kayaking and hill walking.

Andrew said: "I wanted to do something special to celebrate Skye's life and have spent a long time thinking about what that should be.

"Then a very dear friend, Ed Blagrove, announced that he would like to do events in 2015 totalling the distance from Oxfordshire to the Isle of Skye.

Having done a few crazy things in the past myself, it seemed logical to take up the challenge and travel to the Isle of Skye itself.

"We will be departing from Blenheim Palace at 10am on Saturday 25 July and are looking to complete the journey in 10 days.

"This will not only be a physical challenge, but one filled with emotion for me, but I am sure Skye would have loved to have been part of this, as he loved the outdoors. We are looking for people to join us for some or all of the adventure and hope to get a good group together to take part."

The first day will see cyclists ride north through Oxfordshire and into Warwickshire passing through Nuneaton and on to the spa town of Buxton.

The journey continues through to Manchester, and on to Lancaster and the Lakes, where the cyclists will swap their bikes for a paddle, and kayak the length of Lake Windermere to Ambleside, where they will once again hop into the saddle and continue through to Carlisle and cross the border into Scotland.

The journey continues through Kilmarnock and Glasgow and follows the bank of Loch Lomond to its northernmost tip and then winds in the Scottish hills towards Fort William, where it is envisaged that Ben Nevis will be conquered en route to Skye.

Once reaching Skye, the final challenge will be to summit Sgurr Alasdair, the highest point on the Isle of Skye.

All the money raised will go into research into new treatments for childhood cancer. The charity's next goal is to reach £200,000 to put into place a post-doctoral researcher for three years.


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Chef Raymond Blanc dons scarf for start of OX5 race Credit: Steve Cottrell

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