A COUPLE have left their picturesque village home to take part in a trip to the North Pole.

Graham, 67, and Sue Tobbell, 65, reached the geographical North Pole in aid of the Special Boat Service Association, which works to provide welfare assistance and support to serving and retired members and their families.

It was a long haul from their home in Finchingfield where Mr Tobbell is chairman of Finchingfield Parish Council.

The journey was their second trip to the Arctic but the first all the way to the North Pole.

Mr Tobbell said: “It was a wonderful experience and I would not swap it for anything.

“On both occasions we stayed in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, which is a three hour flight from Oslo.

“It was fantastic and very cold. It’s between -15 degrees and -20 degrees.

“There is a population of 2,880 and a polar bear population of 3,000.

“The polar bears we didn’t come across, they are more inquisitive but they can be dangerous.

“With regards to the North Pole, we didn’t ski but what we did do from Spitsbergen was take a 30 strong plane and fly to a Russian ice camp, Barneo.”

The camp is located on an ice runway and is only accessible around April.

From there the intrepid couple, who have also visited Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and the Inca Trail in Peru, boarded a former military helicopter to access the desolate spot.

Mr Tobbell added: “When we landed at the North Pole there was nothing there, no signs or anything because the ice moves.

“We were with a guide and they use GPS to determine when they arrive at the North Pole.

“It was very cold there, about -40 degrees, you’re completely covered. Any part of your skin exposed is at risk of frost bite.

“From there we flew back to the ice camp.

“We were due to be staying in one of the dorms but the weather was getting quite bad."

In September the pair plan to continue their extreme globetrotting by going to Greenland for more adventures.

They also have their sights set on a visit the South Pole.