Shipley couple’s Coast to Coast walk raises £1,500 for Yorkshire Cancer Research

06 January 2020

A couple from Shipley have raised £1,500 for Yorkshire Cancer Research after walking from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay in just 11 days.

Rachel Smith and her fiancé Dan Naylor decided to complete the Coast to Coast Walk after Dan’s dad was diagnosed with throat cancer.

They battled strong winds and torrential rain to finish the challenge, which usually takes 14 days to complete. 

Rachel Smith and Dan Naylor raised £1,500 for Yorkshire Cancer Research after battling strong winds and torrential rain to complete Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk.

The 182-mile route was devised by the legendary fell walker Alfred Wainwright and includes three national parks. Its highest point is Kidsty Pike in the Lake District, which stands at 780m (2,560 ft). After diverting due to bad weather conditions, Rachel and Dan walked a total of 194 miles.

Rachel and Dan served in the Royal Engineers together and now run a landscaping company called Absolute Landscapes Yorkshire. 

Rachel said: “Being landscapers we don’t get to take time off during the summer so our only opportunity to do it was in December, which definitely made it more of a challenge. The people we met along the way said they hadn’t seen anyone doing it for the past two months. Everyone thought we were crazy.

“On the seventh day we had to walk 19 miles to reach Blakey Ridge, where we had a room booked. For the last eight miles we were walking into a head wind, so finally reaching that little pub in the middle of nowhere was definitely a highlight.”

Following tradition, Rachel and Dan carried a pebble from St Bees to the beach at Robin Hood’s Bay and dipped their toes in both the Irish and North Seas. They posted videos and pictures on Facebook throughout their journey to inspire more support.

Rachel added: “As soon as we started the walk and people saw the conditions we were trekking through the donations just started pouring in to our fundraising page. It was brilliant. People also gave cash along the route and one person wrote a cheque for £150. We were overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity. 

“Two days before we finished the challenge we received pictures of Dan’s dad ringing the bell at St James’s Hospital marking the completion of his radiotherapy treatment. He brought Dan up climbing mountains from a very young age and is very proud of our achievement. It’s nice to be able to give something back.”

To sponsor Rachel and Dan, please visit



About Yorkshire Cancer Research

•    Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity. 
•    Current statistics show that 594 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. 
•    Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire. 
•    There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials. 
•    For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email:


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