Lands End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) is probably the longest journey you can undertake in Britain. The straight-line distance between the two is approximately 600 miles, but that would involve passing through several stretches of the Irish Sea. The distance by land is roughly 900 miles which is the journey I’m going to undertake.
So then…how’s it all going to work? Well, in the words of Baldrick, ‘may I present, my cunning plan’!
The first part has gone fantastically well. Norwich City have obliged and won automatic promotion out of League One at the first attempt. My commitment to the Football League season of 2009/10 will now end on Saturday 8th May with Carlisle’s visit to Carrow Road.
That fact, coupled with a conveniently placed Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 31st May opens up a nice window of time in which to complete the journey.
Tickets to travel have been booked and accommodation has been researched and reserved with the main aim being to keep the costs as low as possible whilst maintaining a certain degree of comfort. There’s certainly going to be no nights spent in a tent on this occasion!
The plan therefore is as follows. Click on the links to see the route for the day:
Friday 14th May
Travel down to Penzance on the Night Riviera Sleeper service from London Paddington.
Saturday 15th May
Alight the train at 08.00 and set off on a little prologue to Lands End before turning round and starting the journey proper. Wonder how easy those first twelve miles are going to feel knowing what’s coming at the end of them?!
Sunday 16th May
A trip up the north Devon coastline before arriving into the British Isles’ only location with an exclamation mark in it’s name, stat fans (!).
Monday 17th May
A cycle through Exmoor’s National Park to look forward to after following the coast further round and a slight stint in a southerly direction to end the day.
Tuesday 18th May
A day of travelling more or less true north. A trip over the Severn that’s either going to be exhilirating or terrifying and a quick in and out of Wales before stopping off for the night.
Wednesday 19th May
After spending the night in SAS HQ’s back yard it’ll be another cycle pretty much due north and a stop in the town in which Hollyoaks’ is set. Pint at the Dog in the Pond anyone?
Thursday 20th May
A farewell to Channel 4’s soap stars then up into and through the crowded North West before arriving in the county of Lancashire and a chance to visit Eric’s famous statue.
Friday 21st May
A much quieter day in terms of towns and cities, a bit more picturesque for sure as the Lake District is covered and a finish with what’ll be the last sleep in England for a while.
Saturday 22nd May
A journey over the border and into Scotland, culminating in an overnight stop in the nation’s capital.
Sunday 23rd May
A trip over the Forth Bridge and then this’ll be where the adventure starts to get a bit more, er, ‘interesting’ – as the Highlands become more apparant and the gaps between towns and villages that little bit longer…
Monday 24th May
Well into the Lochs and Highlands now and a chance to end the day with a search for Nessie.
Tuesday 25th May
The penultimate day is another long one, waving goodbye to what is probably Scotland’s most famous Loch and heading on a long old trip north.
Wednesday 26th May
Hopefully a day to remember, and hopefully the weather’s kind to me too as I take on the final stretch of the journey.
What?! Surely there’s not more! Well…yes, there is. I thought it would be rude to not take in the Orkney Islands seeing as I was up that way (and it’s very unlikely I’ll be anywhere near there in future!). So, there’s a little epilogue to my tale of madness…
A trip back from John O’Groats to Scrabster, ready to pick up the last ferry over to the Orkneys and an overnight stay in Stromness.
Thursday 27th May
An opportunity to pootle around the Orkney Islands, taking in a bit of culture and a chance to see somewhere there’s very little chance I’ll ever see again.
Friday 28th May
Another day of covering the sights of the Orkneys before catching the overnight ferry from Kirkwall back down to the Scottish mainland.
Saturday 29th May
Two weeks after setting off from London I’ll be heading home, with a space booked for me and my bike on the 09.52 out of Aberdeen. It’s ‘only’ a seven hour journey back…!
The couple of days ‘spare’ at the end of the journey may come in useful, just in case things don’t go quite to plan in the preceeding days and I end up taking longer than anticipated getting up the country.
I’d love to make it in the timescales I’ve set though, it’d be lovely to have a couple of days to look round the Orkney Islands before getting on that ferry back to Aberdeen and then the train back to London.