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West Norfolk pensioners publish book on Extreme Challenge

South Wootton pensioners Richard and Geri Coates have published a book about their summer of extremes.

Just over a year ago the pair undertook an extraordinary adventure when they set about giving themselves the task of visiting 60 extremes in the British Isles in just 14 days.

The task took them 3,200 miles from Land’s End to John o’Groats as they sought the furthest geographical points, north, south, east and west, the highest point at Ben Nevis and the lowest at Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire.

Richard and Geri Coates
Richard and Geri Coates

There was the longest bridge and the tallest tree. Geri, 68, enjoyed finding the oldest tree, in Wales, which at 5,500 years old was more ancient than the pyramids.

There was also the country’s most dangerous garden at Alnwick Garden (not for its condition but for the poisonous plants it contains).

There were more than a few offbeat entries. Such as the country’s smallest shoe shop at Woodhall Spa or the rudest street name in the country, right here in Besthorpe near Attleborough. (Slutshole Lane).

In fact, seven of the Extremes were in Norfolk, including Richard’s favourite.

Richard, 75, said: “We had been going to the EcoCentre in Swaffham as the only wind turbine that you could go up to the top in, but it closed a few days before we were due to go there. So our 60 extremes had been reduced to 59.

“We went to Hunstanton as the only east coast resort that faces west, and we were trying to get a good picture on The Green when I saw it in front of me - Britain’s largest joke shop.

“It was a place I knew well but I just did not think about it so it gave me great pleasure to include it!”

Richard and Geri give a lot of information in their book. Not only do they describe every one with a photo and information on how to find some of the more hidden Extremes but there’s also maps for each day’s journey.

There’s lists of all the Extremes, the hotels in which they stayed, even the costs and the petrol it took. For two people, the total came to less than £2,500.

Richard said: “What I’d really like is for people to take up the challenge of beating our number of challenges!”

The book is available from Amazon under the title of FAB Extreme Challenge, priced at £10, including shipping.

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