The most iconic long distance bike ride in Great Britain is the saunter from Lands End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in the Scottish Highlands. This can be ridden by various, but similar, routes but usually clocks in at about 1,000 miles. I know a few people who’ve done it and they’ve loved it. I’ve been reluctant due to the option of better places to cycle long distance, the cost of accommodation and the British summer weather. However, given my inability to travel abroad at this point in time I thought this might help me get my fix in June.
The route is taken from a guide (Nick Mitchell’s) but I’ve planned a detour via Manchester to stay overnight at the Favourite Eldest Daughter’s house. This misses out Runcorn and other treasures of the industrial north west: not a loss. Camping in England, Wales and Scotland is not something I covet. There’s maybe plenty of daylight but getting to a campsite and finding that the temperature is so chilly that you need to be in your sleeping back at 8pm to keep warm or dry isn’t of interest. So using a combination of hostels, hotels and BnB’s I’ll take a couple of weeks to get to the top. If that seems fast or slow then the record for running it is 9 days! Yes, I know, why would you…
I’ve got used to travelling solo and making all my own decisions without compromise but this time I shall cycle with Peter who’s responsible for introducing me to cycle touring back in 1994. We last toured together in 2010 in France and Spain. He’ll be great company and no doubt ’the official photographer’.
The highlights include seeing Cornwall at close quarters, the Wye Valley just as you enter Wales via a bridge near Bristol and then Scotland. I’ve been to the Highlands a couple of times and the panoramas are breathtaking but I especially look forward to seeing the Caledonian Canal. A lot about the latter part of the trip is dependent on the weather. Scotland doesn’t respect the calendar and so I’ll be looking at the forecasts to work out what to pack.
Guess what? I’ll be blogging as we move up the island. People make the most interesting blog subjects and so grumpy hoteliers, impatient motorists, passing LEJOG’ers, troublesome sheep and anything else that seems worthy to write about will make an appearance. As always I’d be honoured if you joined me so please sign up on the Home page to enjoy the journey: