Our route from Land’s End to John O’Groats takes us up the west coast of England and Scotland via Arran. At 1,005 miles it’s not the shortest route possible, but should give a scenic journey that avoids busy A roads as much as we can manage, while still keeping within our 14 day total. By the time we reach Patterdale in the Lake District we’ll be half way.
Our aim was to try to average 75 miles each day while easing into the cycling on the first day. In addition to our 52 miles on Day 1 we’ll also have another 10 miles from Penzance YH out to Land’s End.
In planning each day’s route we have taken route elevation into account, planning a shorter day through the Lake District and over Kirkstone Pass and being able to plan a much longer route the following day but with similar height gain. At 97 miles, Day 8 will be our longest, closely followed by Day 12 from Fort Augustus to Lairg along Loch Ness and across the Black Isle. I think Day 2 in hilly Devon will be the toughest – at 78 miles and 5,170ft ascent – but rewarded with a B&B at the end and an easier day to recover the next day.
We toyed with the idea of going to Lizard Point, the southernmost point in the British Isles, as well as Dunnet Head, the most northerly point. It was a lot easier to plan a short diversion to Dunnet Head rather than the 50 mile detour to Lizard Point, so I’m afraid Lizard Point will have to wait until the next time.
In case you’re interested in the route we’ve planned here are the daily legs (on ridewithgps.com) in full:
Day 1: Land’s End to St Columb Major [52 miles, +3262ft ascent]
Day 2: St Columb Major to Crediton [78 miles, +5170ft ascent]
Day 3: Crediton to Cheddar [67 miles, +2545ft ascent]
Day 4: Cheddar to Ledbury [84 miles, +3340ft ascent]
Day 5: Ledbury to Whitchurch [84 miles, +3279ft ascent]
Day 6: Whitchurch to Garstang [76 miles, +2799ft ascent]
Day 7: Garstang to Patterdale (61 miles, +3790ft ascent]
Day 8: Patterdale to St John’s Town of Dalry [97 miles, +3672ft ascent]
Day 9: St John’s Town of Dalry to Lochranza [86 miles, +3349ft ascent]
Day 10: Lochranza to Connel [75 miles, +5049ft ascent]
Day 11: Connel to Fort Augustus [67 miles, +4037ft ascent]
Day12: Fort Augustus to Lairg [91 miles, +4535ft ascent]
Day 13: Lairg to Thurso [84 miles, +4174ft ascent]
Day 14: Thurso to John O’Groats (via Dunnet Head) [19 miles, +883ft ascent]
Total = 1,007 miles & 49,884ft ascent.