At the end of May 2014, I found myself with some unexpected free time, so I decided to take advantage and to tick off an item from my bucket list. (A list that didn’t actually exist at the time.) That’s how I came to cycle from Stansted Airport to YHA Inverness, via London, Bognor Regis, Land’s End & John O’Groats.
I enjoyed “pootling” around the lanes of the south of England, but once I parted company with my good friend Stuart Woodsell, who accompanied me for two days between Chard and Gloucester, I was possessed by a desire to finish. Therefore, from Gloucester the tour became a bit of a sprint. (Well, as much of a sprint as I could manage with a mountain bike and camping gear.)
With the exception of a few lovely days, the weather was pretty grim throughout the tour. There was lots of rain but, thankfully, very little wind. (Except in northern Scotland, of course.)
I camped on official sites for most nights, but had to use hotels from time to time, to charge the laptop and keep up with work.
LEJOG or JOGLE?
I have heard and read much debate about the best direction to do this tour (LEJOG or JOGLE). I would just say that, for anyone who has to get off and push their bike in the first few miles after leaving John O’Groats (and I saw many), the hills of Devon and Cornwall must be heartbreaking.
I had forgotten that I made this slide show, so I have posted it here for posterity.