Published Tuesday 10th October 2017

Four friends who embarked on an epic cycling adventure across the length of Europe say it was an experience they’ll never forget.

Brothers Sam, 20, and 18-year-old James Prestwich, from Brockhampton, joined their Devon-based pals Alec Bain and Tom Pryor, both 20, to pedal from the continent’s northern tip in Nordkapp, Norway, to its southernmost point in Tarifa, Spain.

It took them 42 days to complete the near 4,000-mile journey which saw the quartet pass through eight countries.

The group raised money for St Michael’s Hospice and Hospiscare in Devon, collecting more than £2,000 online.

More donations were picked up along the way and their total was boosted by a remarkable donation of £4,000 to be split between the two charities. It came from a fellow cyclist, from Devon, who was cycling a similar route as the friends.

‘It was such a great experience,’ said Sam.

‘Throughout our trip, everyone was really supportive. We camped most of the time and didn’t pay for one night’s accommodation throughout the whole of the trip.

‘Norway was so welcoming. In one village we walked into a church just to warm up. Someone from the church then came up to us and said we could stay in one of the rooms there if we wanted.’

Sam says his group met lots of other cyclists doing similar tours. He says they were all delighted to reach the finish line.

‘There were two massive hills right at the end,’ he said.

‘We were exhausted at the finish but it was a great feeling. We all jumped in the sea at the end.’

An auntie of the brothers died of cancer a while back and, although this wasn’t at St Michael’s, they say it has made them aware of the importance of family support and end-of-life care.