John O’ Groats to Lands End – West Coast

John O’ Groats to Lands End – West Coast

On the 21st April I’ll be taking a train from Telford all the way up to Wick in the north of Scotland to begin my John O’ Groats to Lands End ride along the west coast of the UK. This first leg of the journey will take over 16 hours and hopefully end with me arriving in wick at around 10:30PM where I’ll have to hunt around in the dark for a comfy looking patch of grass to throw up the tent and get a few hours’ sleep. Then next morning I’ll cycle the remaining 16 miles up to John O’ Groats where my epic 2,500 miles ride across the top of Scotland and down the west coast of the UK will begin.

The Route

The journey will take me west from John O’ Groats along the northern edge of Scotland before winding my way south through the highlands, following the coast as closely as possible. The Scotland leg of the journey will have me riding up and over the highest road in the UK at Applecross pass as well as some island hopping onto the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Mull. I’ll be making use of some ferries along the way to help me stay nearer to the coast. Scotland is sure to be an incredible and challenging adventure through some of the most remote and wild landscapes the UK has to offer.

After approximately 1000 miles later I’ll be returning to England where I’ll continue to follow the coast, passing the Lake District with the mountains by my side. It would be great fun to ride through the Lake District but one of my primary goals is to follow the coast as closely as possible so unfortunately the lakes are going to have to wait. After the lakes I’m expecting a bit of a change of pace as I start to pass through some larger towns as cities such as Blackpool, Preston and Liverpool. This should mean that supplies are much easier to find but camping will certainly become more difficult. After Liverpool things should quieten down again as I head into north wales.

Once in North Wales I’ll get to the ride the route 5 cycle path all along the northern edge of Wales, having driven alongside a dozen times or more wondering where it might lead I’ll finally get to find out. While in Wales I’ll also be touring around Anglesey, I had initially chosen to leave it out as its not part of the main land and isn’t an essential connection to staying on the coast like the islands in Scotland but everyone kept asking “are you doing Anglesey?” so I measured it up and decided it’s only an extra day or two so why not! Continuing on down Wales I’ll eventually reach the stunning Pembrokeshire coast and then head east again back towards England.

Once back in England I’ll be on the final leg of the journey, initially working my way through some larger towns and then down into Devon and onwards to the Southern tip of the UK where I’m sure to be in for yet more spectacular coast line and scenery. Finally I’ll make my way to Lands’ End and Journeys end… well almost. I’ll still have ride a couple more miles back up to Penzance where I’ll board a train and head for home and some much needed rest.

The Journey

I’ll be taking this journey alone and will be self-supported at all times. I’ll carry everything I need for the journey on my bike while making daily stops to pick up food and water. I’ve narrowed my kit down to be as minimalist as I can (only 2 pairs of pants for over a month on the road) but despite this I expect the bike to still weigh in at over 40kg. I’ll be cycling every day for over a month and attempt to finish the ride in 35 days meaning I’ll have to cover an average of 72 miles every day.

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Stewart

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In April 2018, we met at work and bonded over our love of bikes and cycling! Within months we planned our first John O’Groats to Lands End together.

Luckily for us, Stewart is an experienced cyclist and has already completed a solo 2500 mile JOGLE. Zoe had been cycling for years, but only started taking cycling more seriously in 2017. Since we met cycling has been better and more adventurous than ever!

As of the 31st of March 2019 we are cycling 24,000 miles around the entire world.

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