Bill’s 6,500 mile adventure to North Cape

editorial image

Bill Pykett travelled 6,500 miles in his campervan to the most northerly point in Europe, North Cape.

He took on the challenge with his partner Heather Collinge, because they wanted ‘to do something different’.

“There was an article in a Sunday newspaper about a railway line at North Cape and I started wondering if you could get there by road,” said Bill.

“That’s how it started really.”

The pair travelled Europe, with Bill’s two dogs Abby and Impy, crossing France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Lapland and Finland on their way to North Cape.

Bill described Norway’s famous Arctic Circle as a ‘wilderness’.

He said the thing that fascinated him the most was the deep snow, which was higher than his campervan, and the fact that it never got dark.

“The amount of snow was unreal. I have been to the Pyrenees and the Alps but I’ve never seen snow like it!,” he said.

“There were reindeers everywhere, we saw arctic foxes and mouses. It really was an experience.

“We often just lost track of time because it was always daylight.

“It was so strange. There were builders working on a roof all night long because it never got dark!”

And between the months of November and January there is no daylight at North Cape.

From entering Norway, they travelled 400 miles to reach the Arctic Circle, and had to travel a further 800 miles to reach North Cape – a tip of Europe that attracts thousands of people to see the famous ‘Northern lights’.

The 73-year-old, from Brinsley, said he felt like he had really achieved something.

“It was a challenge. We didn’t know if we would get to the top. But we managed it, and it felt brilliant.

“It really felt like an achievement. It was well worth the wait. That’s what we set out to do and it felt great when we arrived.”

The couple took ten days to reach North Cape, and were away for five weeks away in total.

Bill, of Kings Drive, said his next challenge will be the ‘Great Glenway’ this October – a 70 mile walk from Fort William in the Highlands to Inverness.

“I did a 96 mile walk from Glasgow to Fort William last year,” said Bill.

“I just love the outdoors. And I always take my dog wherever I go. He walks with me!”

The ambitious pensioner has also done Lands End to John O’Groats and Coast to Coast on his bike.

“I’m doing as much as I can, while I can,” added Bill.