TWO friends arrived back in York this afternoon after an epic journey from Loch Ness involving kayaking, hiking and cycling in searing heat.

Darren Grant and Shaun Wilson were cheered by relatives and friends as they cycled into Tower Gardens following their 250 mile, four-day 'Tri Challenge' in memory of Darren's niece Nioni Grant, who died of leukaemia in 2016 aged 17.

The pair from Acomb and Tang Hall were raising money for Candlelighters, the children's cancer charity, and their efforts have led to them being nominated for a Candlelighters Fundraising Innovation Award.

Day one of their journey saw them both kayaking the 22 miles of Loch Ness before jumping on their bikes and cycling 28 miles from Fort Augustus to Ben Nevis.

On day two, they hiked 20 miles up to the summit of Ben Nevis, while days three and four saw them cycling about 180 miles to York.

They said the journey went well, apart from the heatwave which left battling them through sizzling sunshine.

Darren, 35, said: “Most people might just climb up and down Ben Nevis but we are slightly crazy and like to be different.

“We want to raise as much as possible for Candlelighters because they are an amazing charity and the work they do with both the children and their families really does make a difference whether a full recovery is made or not.

"Having had a friend and a family member treated on the ward in Leeds it make our fundraising that extra bit special and makes us more determined to continue supporting Candlelighters now and in the future; plans for Tri Challenge 2019 have already being discussed."

Shaun, 32, said Steve, their support team member, had been crucial in checking they were safe along the route, driving their equipment between the various challenges and helping pitch their tents which they camped in overnight.

Shaun's mother Annette said: "It's amazing. I am absolutely proud of them."

Darren's mother Linda said: "It's absolutely amazing."

Jen Aspinall, community fundraiser for the charity, said the pair had already raised £1,469.50 when they did their first ‘Tri-Challenge’ last June.