A romantic couple have travelled 7,000 miles across Britain – to kiss at the end of every seaside pier in the country.
Hazel Preller, 43, and husband Jay, 55, spent two years visiting 60 different seaside resorts to share a passionate smooch.
They decided to attempt the feat after their local attraction, the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, burned down in 2008.
After travelling around the country they completed the challenge by tying the knot at the end of Brighton Pier, East Sussex.
Hazel, a primary school teacher, said: “It was a bit like a military operation, we had a big map with all the piers detailed on each so we could see which were near each other to visit.
“We could only do it on the weekends so we had to make sure we got in as much as we could.
“We had to plan all our routes in detail but it was worth it, especially for the kiss at each one.
“We learnt so much about each pier, about how it was made and how it came to be. They were huge places back in their heyday so it was fascinating to find out all about them.”
And now, after completing their adventure, Hazel has written a book detailing their journey.
“Perhaps our book can start a new craze. Some of the piers have become derelict and others are in need of major repairs,” she added.
“By highlighting this perhaps more people will get involved in helping to save them.”
The couple, who have five children between them, first met after becoming friends over the internet in 2007.
When Weston pier burnt down, followed closely by Fleetwood pier, Lancs., the pair jokingly discussed how many piers were left to share a kiss on.
Over the next two years the couple travelled more than 7,000 miles, visiting 60 spots before tying the knot in October 2010 on Brighton Pier, East Sussex.
The newlyweds and their 40 guests enjoyed a ride on the carousel before tucking into seaside themed food and cutting a wedding cake in the shape of a sandcastle – as well as enjoying their 60th pier kiss.
Hazel and Jay, of Weston-super-Mare, even had to gain special permission from the Manx Government to visit the Queen’s Pier at Ramsey, on the Isle of Mann.
“The pier at Ramsey was shut to the public because it needed a lot of repairs doing to it,” said Hazel.
“We thought there was no harm in asking anyway, and the government were quite happy to give us permission – as long as we let a local news reporter cover the story.”
As a result of the visit the couple have now been made honorary life members of the Isle of Mann Pier.
Each chapter in the book, ‘From Piers to Eternity’, painstakingly written by Hazel, represents an individual visit.
During one excursion the couple took in a record 10 piers in just one weekend.
Hazel said her and Jay could not pick a favourite pier, but one that stood out was Southwold Pier, in Suffolk.
She said: “The pier is so quirky and yet so quintessentially English.
“It is really well themed with seaside benched and eels on the hand;es and a water clock as well as a telescope at the end of the pier where apparently you get to see mermaids!
“Brighton has a soft spot for us as well. We had hoped to marry on Weston’s pier but it wasn’t to be because they hadn’t re-built it in time.
“We had to decide somewhere else to go and Brighton was the last place to visit. I’m so glad we did now, it was gorgeous.”
The book features 30 different photographs of the different places the couple visited, as well as some snaps of the couple kissing on some.
“At the time there was not a definitive guide book about all the piers of Britain, so we thought it would be nice to write a book about them as we went round,” Hazel added.
“It’s a bit of a one-off. Humourous, factual, and a bit of a tourist guide all mixed in together.
“The book is about two love stories. It’s about how Jay and I fell in love with each other as we travelled, and then our love for piers.”
To find more out about the book, priced at #9.99, visit www.pierkisses.co.uk