people taking many unusual charity challenges have arrived at John o' Groats from Land's End over the years.

But Nigel Thomas is expected to arrive at most north-easterly mainland point tonight after a particularly odd and arduous journey.

All being well, former butcher and ex-Marine and special forces veteran Mr Thomas will pedal into John o' Groat's on his 1940s single-gear butcher's bike, having completed the 1,027-miles trek.

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Mr Thomas, from Llangain in Wales, who is a friend of adventurer Bear Grylls, is aiming to raise £1 million for charities that support forces personnel: Team Army, Hire a Hero, Walk on Wales and the Ray Gravell Trust.

He is carrying his tent and provisions in a basket on the front of the former Co-operative Society bike and has camped overnight in fields and lay-bys.

Mr Thomas, who will visit Brora and Wick on the final leg, said: "I'm doing this for all the boys and girls in the Forces who need our help now. We owe them!"

Grylls said his friend loves a tough challenge, adding that he would keep the smile on his face.