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Tours

LEJOG tour group

John O’Groats To Land’s End (26 days self guided) – 2018/19

£1,995.00

TOUR REF: XJ26
TYPE: Independent Road Cycling
LEVEL: Regular
DATES: April – September
DURATION: 26 days / 25 nights (26 days cycling)
ACCOMMODATION LEVEL: Mixed 

    • 625 £

John O’Groats To Land’s End – 26 days

Our ever popular Lands End to John O’Groats holiday in reverse. Cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 26 days along scenic, quiet road routes that take you through some of the most attractive countryside in the UK.

We have been organising Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling holidays for ten years, and have helped many people realise their dream of cycling the length of the UK. However we have had many people tell us they’d like to do it the other way round so we introduced this trip. 

The route is our well established scenic route – but in reverse. Riding the ‘End to End’ in 4 weeks allows far more time to relax into the journey, and by starting in the north it does mean that you reach the hills of Devon and Cornwall (for most people the hardest part of the trip) at the end when you are feeling fitter, rather than the beginning of the trip. 

This is a fabulous ride!

If you would like to read other people’s comments on our holidays then check out the Customer Comments page.

Tour Price includes: 

Hotel/B&B
Breakfast
Route information
John O’Groats to Land’s End certificate for those that complete the trip

Tour Price does not include:

Lunches or evening meals (except as noted above)
Snacks or drinks required during the day
Transport to Penzance or from Inverness
Cost of any optional excursions, entrance fees etc.
Vehicular/leader support

 

 

 

 

Itinerary (Please read route in reverse):
Day 1 – 32 miles
From Land’s End follow the spectacular north coast of Cornwall to Portreath.
Day 2 – 34 miles
Continue through pretty coastal villages and sandy beaches before turning inland, through St Colomb Major to Bodmin.
Day 3 – 40 miles
A tougher day that takes you around the southern edge of Bodmin Moor and through the highest village in Cornwall to Tavistock, ending with a climb up onto Dartmoor National Park.
Day 4 – 40 miles
Continue across the wild moors of Dartmoor National Park and continue following some wonderful narrow (but hilly!) lanes through some lovely countryside to Tiverton.
Day 5 – 36 miles
An easier day that has some pleasant riding through open countryside, but includes a tough climb over the Quantock hills.
Day 6 – 42 miles
A flat ride across the Somerset Levels is followed by a climb up through Cheddar Gorge, and an undulating ride around Bristol.
Day 7 – 34 miles
The route takes you across the Severn Bridge to Chepstow and then along the Wye Valley to Monmouth.
Day 8 – 42 miles
A lovely ride that takes you through the undulating coutryside and pretty villages of Herefordshire.
Day 9 – 38 miles
Continue north through north Herefordshire and into Shropshire.
Day 10 – 42 miles
Continue through the beautiful Shropshire countryside on some lovely roads, passing the Long Myndd and skirting around Shrewsbury.
Day 11 – 42 miles
Into Cheshire and through the Delamare Forest to the outskirts of Manchester.
Day 12 – 44 miles
Cross the Manchester Ship Canal and continue north. The route passes through some moderately large towns as you skirt the edge of Manchester, but you are soon out in open countryside again.
Day 13 – 36 miles
Continue through Lancashire and across the open moorland of the Forest of Bowland to Dent on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Day 14 – 32 miles
You continue north with a fabulous ride along the edge of the Pennines, through Kirkby Stephen and Appleby-in-Westmoreland.
Day 15 – 32 miles
The route continues up the beautiful Eden Valley to the Scottish Border.
Day 16 – 40 miles
Continue into Southern Scotland on some wonderful quiet scenic roads.
Day 17 – 46 miles
Pass through the pleasant little town of Moffat and continue through the open hills of the southern Uplands.
Day 18 – 46 miles
You continue north through rolling countryside to the outskirts of Glasgow, and follow local cycle paths into the centre of the city.
Day 19 – 44 miles
Head north to Loch Lomond and then east around Loch Long.
Day 20 – 40 miles
Continue through the spectacular scenery of the Grampian Hills, around the head of Loch Fyne to Loch Awe.
Day 21 – 46 miles
Route takes you through the Pass of Brander and along the shore of Loch Linnhe.
Day 22 – 46 miles
An easy day’s ride that takes you through Fort William and past Ben Nevis and along the Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus.
Day 23 – 48 miles
Continue along the shore of Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit then head over the hills to Dingwall and along the shore of Cromarty Firth to Alness.
Day 24 – 50 miles
Leaving the coast the route takes you through the hills of the Scottish Highlands on some wonderfully wild and lonely roads.
Day 25 – 36 miles
Continue through the wild Highlands to Betty Hill on Scotland’s north coast. Head east along the coast to Strathy.
Day 26 – 40 miles
The final day takes you along the coast through Thurso to finally reach the small settlement of John O’Groats.

 

 

HOLIDAY DETAILS

The Area: The journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats takes you from the extreme south western tip of England, through much of the finest countryside in the British Isles, to the very top of the Scottish mainland. The attractions of such a route are obvious and ever since the invention of the bicycle people have been inspired to ride the ‘End to End’. The first official time recorded over the distance is 65 days, 16 hours and 7 minutes, ridden on a penny farthing in 1880, and since then the route has been covered on everything from a bed to a motorised bar stool!! Today the record is held by Gethin Butler who in September 2001 covered the distance in an incredible 1 day, 20 hours, 4 minutes and 20 seconds. The ladies record of 2 days, 4 hours, 45 minutes and 11 seconds is held by Lynne Taylor. There is no ‘official’ End to End route and thus no official distance. There are various published guides – they all vary in the route they take, but most make the distance just over 1,000 miles (however some of the record breakers have managed to reduce the distance to nearly 850 miles, by using main A roads for much of the way). Most trips start from Land’s End, the main reason being that the prevailing winds in the UK are usually from the south-west, and so if you are lucky you could have a tail wind all the way to Scotland.

The Tour: This trip is designed to offer you the challenge of riding the End to End. The shortest route from Lands End to John O’Groats involves riding a lot of main roads. Our route is designed to be a compromise. While it is still a fairly direct route, we have tried to include some of the most attractive areas of the UK, and avoid busy roads as much as possible. Parts of the route are hilly. We have avoided hills if we can, however if there are hills in the way, we have generally taken the route over them rather than add additional miles by taking the route around another way. The route does take you through some large urban areas – in particular as you pass around Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow. This is unavoidable if you wish to take a fairly direct route, and again we have taken the route through such areas rather than add additional miles by trying to avoid them. You should note that this trip is not recommended for inexperienced cyclists. Parts of the route are hilly and you should be prepared for it. Most people do find that they get fitter during the tour, but some of the hardest parts are the first couple of days through Cornwall and Devon, where there is a lot of up and down.

Accommodation & Food: Accommodation is in small hotels, guest houses and B&B’s. All the accommodation is privately owned and run, and as such does vary. There are some wonderful old historic houses, farmhouses, small cottages and Edwardian town houses. Some are in the centre of towns or villages, others are in small hamlets with few local amenities. We have tried where possible to mix types of accommodation so that you will get to try various different styles on each trip. Note: If you are booking a trip by yourself, or are part of a group but have requested a single room each night, there is an additional supplement of £20.00 per night. In most establishments en-suite facilities are standard and we include these where possible, but this cannot be guaranteed. Breakfast is included at all the accommodation. Most establishments offer a full ‘English’ (or ‘Scottish’) breakfast, but will be happy to adapt this to suit you. No other meals or drinks are included in the cost of the trip. The accommodation has been chosen so that there will be somewhere nearby for a meal in the evening. While riding there are frequent small villages in most areas and so finding somewhere to stop for a drink or some food is not usually a problem, although in some parts of the country, particularly Scotland, settlements can be quite a long way apart.

The Start: Getting to Land’s End (and back from John O’Groats) is a problem for most people undertaking an End to End trip. Unless you have a willing friend or family member who will drive you, or you want to do some training miles by riding there, then the easiest way to get to the start of the tour is by taking the train to Penzance, which is served by Intercity trains from London and various other cities. It is approximately 10 miles from here to Land’s End. There is plenty of accommodation available in Penzance, or in the village of Sennen which is about a mile from Land’s End.Note: The price of the trip does not include accommodation for the night before the start of the holiday or at the end of the holiday (ie at Penzance/Sennen or John O’Groats).

The Finish: The easiest way home from John O’Groats is again by train. The nearest station is at Wick, which is connected by a local service to Inverness (Note: There is a limited service on this route with only a few trains each day and it takes several hours to get to Inverness). From Inverness there are Intercity trains to most parts of the UK, and ‘low cost’ flights from the nearby airport to several UK cities. Depending on the time you reach John O’Groats it is possible to start your journey home that day however you should be aware it is an 18 mile ride to Wick and you should make sure that you allow time for this. Most people spend the night at John O’Groats and begin the journey home the following day.

Documents: Insurance is optional on this holiday for UK residents. Non UK residents are required to have suitable insurance cover for the duration of the holiday.

Bikes: The type of bicycle that you bring for this tour is entirely up to you. Some people take mountain bikes, others touring machines. The most important thing is that your bike functions properly and that you are comfortable riding it. You should make sure that your bike has suitable gears for this sort of trip. Parts of the route are hilly, with some steep climbs. Do not forget that you will be carrying your luggage, which may mean that you need a lower gear than you would normally use. Most people will find that they are most comfortable with a bottom gear of about 25 inches, which will usually mean having a triple chainring.

Weather: Nobody needs telling that the weather in the UK is notoriously unreliable. However visitors may be surprised to learn that hot summer days are not uncommon, and there are often prolonged dry periods. Average summer temperatures are usually in the high teens or low twenties in the south of England, with the north of Scotland averaging a few degrees cooler. The weather in May and June is (statistically at least!) the most reliable, and this is also usually the driest time of the year. Unfortunately this cannot be guaranteed and you should be prepared for wet weather whenever you go (particularly in northern Scotland which can be cold and wet at any time of the year).

 

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