Most people choose to take it easy during retirement - Peter Langford is not most people.

The retired Beccles vicar will begin cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats on his 85th birthday to raise money for a trio of worthwhile charities.

This is the third time Mr Langford will take on the 1,100 mile journey; he previously completed the challenge aged 75, and again aged 80 – raising £38,000 in the process.

He is currently training for the epic journey, which begins on Saturday, August 18, and explained why he was undertaking another mammoth challenge.

Mr Langford said: “It’s the challenge and the adventure of it; trying to prove yourself. We all want to count for something, that doesn’t leave you.

“It’s worth accepting challenges and when you are older it’s worth taking risks.”

“You also get to see Britain in a completely different way; it’s a beautiful country.”

The former vicar is asking people to sponsor him per mile as he raises funds for the Friends of St Michael’s Church, Doctors without Borders and Ringsfield Hall Trust.

Mr Langford set up the Ringsfield Hall Trust Eco Study Centre with his late wife, Sally, in 1971 to offer accommodation to school children, church groups and families from urban areas to come and experience rural life.

The money raised will help provide solar panels and other energy efficient cost-saving technologies – an issue close to Mr Langford’s heart.

He said: “I think the environment is the most important issue facing the world.”

Mr Langford also praised the people of Beccles and the constant support they have given him.

“Beccles is a very supportive town, I count myself very lucky to be here. There are not many places better to live in,” said Mr Langford.

While the pensioner does rely on a walking stick when not on his bike due to arthritis in his knees, he is still able to cycle long distances.

Mr Langford added: “When I was 75 people thought I was mad but they have just accepted it now.”

To obtain sponsorship forms contact Mr Langford by email at or by letter at 22 Alexandra Road, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 9UD.