Ludlow woman celebrates life and age on charity cycle ride across Britain

A triumphant Shropshire nurse who fought her way back in life after her marriage went 'pear shaped' has completed her charity fundraising cycle ride across Britain.

Triumphant Gwyneth Bowyer at John O'Groats. Picture: Gwyneth Bowyer
Triumphant Gwyneth Bowyer at John O'Groats. Picture: Gwyneth Bowyer

Inspirational mum of three Gwyneth Bowyer, aged 64, from Ludlow, also topped her £2,000 target during her ride from Land's End to John o' Groats, which started on her birthday on July 17 and finished on Saturday.

"After my marriage went pear shaped I had no income and had to decide to either go one way or go the other and that's what I am doing," said Gwyneth. "I decided to work myself out of that situation."

Gwyneth decided to take an Open University qualification in social care, got a job as a GP receptionist, looked after two children and studied at night time. She was awarded a masters degree in primary healthcare and worked her way up to a leading position in health visiting teams across the county.

She worked as a health visitor in Telford before progressing to leading health visitor teams in South Shropshire. Gwyneth briefly led the whole of Shropshire’s health visiting service for the community trust.

Grandmother of one Gwyneth said her cycle ride was to celebrate her age and being alive.

Gwyneth, whose father Frank was a railway signalman and mum was a nurse in Shrewsbury, has lived in the county town and Church Stretton before settling in Ludlow four years ago.

She was motivated to raise money for the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre charity Grow Cook Learn, where she is a regular volunteer. It provided a safe place for her to take her children to introduce them to countryside pursuits.

"What they do really floated my boat for their work with children and families," she said.

When Gwyneth moved to Ludlow she joined the town's cycling club and has been given a lot of encouragement and support. Members also joined her for part of the ride. She was also helped by Peak Tours and joined 20 to 25 other people she did not know and had a support team.

It costs £500,000-a-year to run the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre which is an independent charity, with no government funding from the Government. It has ambitious plans to redevelop the meadows and create a wetland area with a bird hide and educational facilities as well as plans to start a market garden to teach people where their food comes from.

Now Gwyneth is keen to keep going with keeping active for the health benefits it gives. She has her eyes set on doing her first triathlon in September and doing a long distance walk from the Channel to the Mediterranean.

She said she may do it to help a local charity fundraise and anyone interested in her support can email her on

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