More than 70 cyclists whizzed through North Devon at the weekend as part of a 205-mile three-day charity challenge across the West Country for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

Love Actually star Andrew Lincoln, pictured with fundraising staff at the Little Bridge House hospice in Fremington on Saturday (july 13), was among the cyclists taking part in Children’s Hospice South West’s Ride for Precious Lives at the weekend. Picture: CHSWLove Actually star Andrew Lincoln, pictured with fundraising staff at the Little Bridge House hospice in Fremington on Saturday (july 13), was among the cyclists taking part in Children’s Hospice South West’s Ride for Precious Lives at the weekend. Picture: CHSW

Joining the group for the 11th annual Ride for Precious Lives was well-known television and film star Andrew Lincoln, star of the hit TV series The Walking Dead and box office smash Love Actually.

Andrew decided to take part after visiting the charity's Charlton Farm hospice earlier this year.

Participants set off from the charity's Little Harbour children's hospice in St Austell on Friday (July 12) and called in at the Little Bridge House hospice in Fremington on Saturday (July 13), before heading out through Barnstaple and Bratton Fleming, up over Exmoor and finishing at the Charlton Farm hospice near Bristol on Sunday.

The ride also featured cyclists from North Devon - including a team from the Bideford 'Blues' Amateur Athletic Club.

The 72 Ride for Precious Lives cyclists call in at the Little Bridge House children’s hospice in Fremington. Picture: CHSWThe 72 Ride for Precious Lives cyclists call in at the Little Bridge House children’s hospice in Fremington. Picture: CHSW

After crossing the finish line on Sunday, Andrew said: "It was one of the most, humbling, hilarious and challenging three days I've had the privilege of being involved in.

"Children's Hospice South West is run by extraordinary people, for remarkable families and supported by the most open hearted of people. I loved every second of it."

This year's Ride for Precious Lives, sponsored by Clevedon-based engineering company Edwards, is expected to raise more than £75,000 for CHSW, which offers vital care and respite to more than 500 families across the South West, nearly 200 of whom are supported at Little Bridge House in North Devon.

The charity's aim is to make the most of short and precious lives by providing short breaks, respite and emergency stays, as well as end-of-life care and bereavement support - all in a home-from-home environment. CHSW gives families the chance to recharge their batteries and make precious memories together.

The 72 Ride for Precious Lives cyclists spent three days travelling across the West Country for Children's Hospice South West. Picture: CHSWThe 72 Ride for Precious Lives cyclists spent three days travelling across the West Country for Children's Hospice South West. Picture: CHSW

Jayne Jarrett, events fundraiser at Little Bridge House, said: "There was such a great atmosphere and a real sense of camaraderie between the riders taking part in this event.

"We are so grateful to each and every one of them for all their hard work in training and fundraising over the past few months and are delighted that they all have a fantastic time while raising vital funds for and awareness of CHSW."

Registration for next year's event is now open, with several of this year's participants already signed up to take part again. For more information about RFPL 2020 or to take part next year, visit www.chsw.org.uk/ride2020 .

Love Actually star Andrew Lincoln, pictured with fundraising staff at the Little Bridge House hospice in Fremington on Saturday (july 13), was among the cyclists taking part in Children’s Hospice South West’s Ride for Precious Lives at the weekend. Picture: CHSWLove Actually star Andrew Lincoln, pictured with fundraising staff at the Little Bridge House hospice in Fremington on Saturday (july 13), was among the cyclists taking part in Children’s Hospice South West’s Ride for Precious Lives at the weekend. Picture: CHSW