Land's End to John O'Groats - Extreme
7 days cycling
Day 1 – Central Pick up Point to Land’s End
The start of your trip begins with you being picked up from a central location and conveyed to your overnight accommodation in Land’s End. Along the way there will be sufficient comfort breaks as well as time to get some food and liquid refreshment, before continuing to your lodgings for the evening. Upon arrival, a quick check over your bicycles to ensure no mechanical issues have occurred during transportation before placing them in safe storage overnight in preparation for the big push off the following day.
Day 2 – Land’s End to Exeter 126 miles (12,485ft)
An early start sees you making your way to the start line, where you will have the opportunity to capture the moment with some photographs at the Land’s End signpost, which is now a legendary Cornish Icon. Thousands of celebrities ‘end to enders’ have posed beside it before or after their remarkable feat, such as DJ Chris Evans, singer Gary Barlow, Professor Brian Cox and broadcaster James May to name but a few.
Lunch at the 50-mile mark is at the old market town of St Austell, which is one of Cornwall’s biggest towns where you can have a comfort break refuel and replenish your energy levels, before riding off again. A further planned stop in Tavistock sees you reaching the 91-miles, Tavistock is an ancient stannary and market town within West Devon. It is situated on the River Tavy from which its name derives. This is a good opportunity to top up your energy levels before some more climbing through Dartmoor National Park. Dartmoor is famous for the wild ponies that roam its craggy landscape, defined by forests, rivers, wetlands and tors (rock formations). This is truly a beautiful part of Devon with breath-taking views across the moors. There is more climbing to be done before reaching the end point of Exeter and your overnight stay to reload your calorie intake to prepare you for the followings days ride.
Day 3 –Exeter to Worcester 150 miles (7212ft)
Another early start is the order of the day stopping at the village of Cheddar for lunch, having ridden 60 miles. Cheddar Gorge is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills and in 2005 was named the second greatest natural wonder in Britain. After lunch, you head through Cheddar Gorge towards Bristol over the Clifton Suspension bridge, a wonderful view (providing you’re not scared of heights) spanning the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. From there your route takes you to the second planned stop of the day in Falfield, to allow you to refuel before riding the last 40 miles to your overnight accommodation set alongside the River Severn.
Day 4 – Worcester to Skelmersdale 119 miles (5338ft)
The shortest days ride in terms of mileage takes you almost level from where you were picked up and your journey began. Having conquered the hardest part of this trip it is welcome relief psychologically to realise that at lunch (56 miles) you’ve gone past the half-way mark! The ride ends in Skelmersdale which is a town in West Lancashire and lies on high-ground on the River Tawd.
Day 5 – Skelmersdale to Annan 127 miles (5864ft)
Today you finally see the back of England, but not before stopping off for lunch in the picturesque Market town of Kendal in the Lake District. Kendal today is known largely as a centre for tourism, and the home of Kendal mint cake, as well as a producer of pipe tobacco and tobacco snuff. Many of its building are mostly constructed with the local grey limestone, which in turn has earned it the nickname Grey Auld Town. After lunch, you will make your way towards Carlisle before crossing the Border, into Scotland. The last 20 miles of the days is fairly undulating before eventually arriving at your accommodation for the night.
Day 6 – Annan to Killin 134 miles (7427ft)
If you’ve never been to Scotland before you’re in for a real treat with the amazing views passing through Callendar, Fort William and riding adjacent to Lochs Lubnaig and Lomond before passing the Dochart Falls in Killin where you’re in for treat as accommodation nestles next to the river Lochay. However, make sure you’ve packed your waterproofs as the weather can rapidly change.
Day 7 – Killin to Strathpeffer 140 miles (7865ft)
Leaving Killin behind you’ll make your way through the small village of Tyndrum, which its Gaelic name translates as, “the house on the ridge.” Here you will have the chance for a comfort break at the ‘Green Welly Stop’ and take on board some more refreshments if required short. Heading further north your overnight stay is in Strathpeffer which is a leafy Victorian spa town surrounded by wooded hills, 5 miles west of Dingwall and within striking distance of the bleak Ben Wyvis. On route, there are superb views from the Iron Age hill fort of Knock Farril, of the Cromarty Firth and of the surrounding mountains.
Day 8 – Strathpeffer to John O’Groats 123 miles (6367ft)
The final day has arrived, it’s hard to imagine that 6 days ago you were setting off from the furthest point south in Cornwall. The enormity of having already cycled nearly 800 miles the end is almost in sight with just another 123 miles to go! On one of the planned stops you will have the opportunity to visit the Glenmorangie distillery in Tain, Ross -Shire. The distillery is owned by The Glenmorangie Company Ltd, whose main product is the range of Glenmorangie single malt whisky. From there you will travel along the coastal line of Dornach Firth, where the repairs to the North Sea oil rigs are carried out to their vast structures. Lunch is a welcome pick me up in Golspie. The last stop overlooks Dunbeath Castle which has stood there since the 15th century and is located on the east coast of Caithness, 1.2 miles south of Dunbeath. If lady luck is with you a welcome tailwind will assist you up the hill where a deserved slice of cake awaits you. The final push sees you reach the end mark of John O'Groats, which lies on Britain's north-eastern tip, where you can celebrate being an end to ender. Here you can capture this moment of achievement and forget the pain and punishment your body’s been put through with a few photographs. However, it’s not quite the most northerly point on the island of Britain with nearby Dunnet Head which is further north. If your legs are up to it then why not cycle an additional 2.5 miles to this point, the choice is yours.
Tonight, you can truly unwind with a few beers knowing that tomorrow you can chill out and relax whilst been transported back to pick up point.
Day 9 – John O’Groats to Central Pick up
It is recommended that we set off straight after breakfast as the journey back home is at least a 12-hour drive. This is truly an experience you will never forget and you should be enormously proud of yourself in accomplishing such a tough challenge. At Velo cartel we hope that the memories will last a lifetime and putting the pain aside for one moment, the support provided by us made it an enjoyable trip with plenty of bonding laughs along the way. Having accomplished LEJOG, why not consider JOGLE for your next venture with us!