Old friends brave gales, rain and blisters in 90 mile trek from Essex to Norfolk

Rosemary Jewers and Rina Adams reach the North Norfolk coast after their 90 mile walk from Essex
Rosemary and Rina celebrate after reaching the North Norfolk coast Credit: Paul Sharp

Two old friends from Colchester have completed an epic 90-mile trek from Essex to the North Norfolk coast.

Rosemary Jewers and her friend Rina Adams have followed Roman roads on their walk up the Peddars Way, aiming to raise money to replace lead stolen from a church roof in Norfolk.

They set off on September 22nd and are reaching their goal a week later, having braved gales and heavy rain along the way.

The end point of the walk was Holme-next-the-Sea on the coast.

Rosemary and Rina negotiate huge puddles Credit: Paul Sharp

Rosemary has struggled with badly blistered feet but said Rina was in good shape.

The pair, who are in their 70s, trained for months, originally planning the trek for April, but Covid-19 put their plans on hold. Lockdown did allow them to rack up miles in training though!

As well as raise funds for charity and the church in Little Massingham, the pair also had a history mission.

They wanted to find proof that the ancient route, Peddars Way, well known for going from Norfolk into Suffolk, did come further down into Essex. Proof they believe they found and on the trek they tried to follow the path, as much as they could, from Colchester to Norfolk.

The goal has also been good for their fitness and mental health. When the Roman road ramblers started out, Rosemary was recovering from illness and only able to walk a mile a day - now she can manage 10!

Rosemary and Rina on the Peddars Way Credit: Paul Sharp

Rosemary wanted to raise money to help replace the lead on the roof of St Andrews Church in Little Massingham in Norfolk, where she grew up. Her grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather were all Rectors at the church and Rosemary and her children were all christened in the church.

The lead was stolen three years ago, a temporary replacement is now on it, but £150,000 is needed to fix it properly.

Rina is fundraising for local causes where she lives in Layer de La Haye in Colchester.

You can read more about their trek and what they are raising money for here.