SKIPTON'S own Willy Wonka was given a fine send off by cricket legend Sir Ian Botham at the start of his 80 mile walk to his wedding in the Lake District.

William Whitaker, owner of Whitaker's Chocolates, set off from Ilkley on Monday to walk the Dales Way to his wedding to Gemma Needham in Bowness on Saturday.

William, who is being accompanied by 'Oompa Lumpa' Jerry Holmes, was seen off by Sir Ian and several of the original Calender Girls.

The pair hope to raise £15,000 for Sir Ian's Beefy Foundation, which raises money for charities, including Bloodwise, formerly Leukaemia and Lymphona Research.

Day one took them to Grassington, where they arrived at just before 4pm. They expect to arrive in Bowness tomorrow (Friday).

People can show their support to William and Jerry by donating online at