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Land’s End to John O’Groats

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Land’s End to John O’Groats
From £1645.00 on set dates
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Moderate Tough Trip code - LEJOG17

Land’s End to John O’Groats Cycle Tour

The Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle tour or LEJOG conjures up a variety of images, an escapade, a challenge, hard work, a puncture or two, stunning scenery, and a tremendous sense of achievement. Since the 1960’s the End to End has become a firm favourite with the British people. Every year, walkers, cyclists, joggers and runners navigate the length of the British Isles.

Experience tells us that the best way to traverse the length of the country; is from the southwest to the northeast. The rationale behind this choice revolves around wind and transport. The prevailing wind blows from the southwest and the transport connections work best when returning from the northeast of Scotland.

The LEJOG route we will be taking is undertaken over 14 days and we aim to keep away from busy roads wherever possible. It encompasses some of the United Kingdom’s most spectacular countryside and exhilarating cycling.

You are provided with detailed route notes and for those with Garmins we also have LEJOG GPX files of the route (or you can hire a device from us with the route loaded on). A tour leader cycles at the back of the group and there is a support vehicle on hand should you require assistance. We also carry a few spare bikes just in case you have any major mechanical problems. Lunches are provided at a pub or a café each day and all your luggage is moved for you.

Whilst emphasis is always on safety we aim to provide a relaxed approach to cycle touring and wish to facilitate a fun and enjoyable tour with many laughs and memorable moments along the way. Our training days in the Peak District are designed to build confidence and discuss some of the logistics of completing a successful Lands End to John o’Groats tour.

The distance we will travel is approximately 1000 miles, with an average mileage of 72 miles per day. It should be borne in mind that a reasonably fit cyclist will average around 10 miles per hour and therefore we will be in the saddle each day for around 7-8 hours.

 

We will pick you up from Penzance at the start of the tour and at the end we take you from John O’Groats back to Inverness with a drop off at the airport and also the station. If you are worried about getting your bike home at the end of the trip we can arrange for it to be packed, boxed and sent to your address for you so you can relax when you have completed the challenge.

  • Cornish town of Fowey
  • Leaving Cornwall
  • Dropping down from Dartmoor
  • Memorable view of Glastonbury Tor
  • Bird watching on the Chew Valley Lake
  • rn
  • Stunning views of the Black Mountains
  • The Forest of Bowland
  • The Lake District
  • The Trossachs and Loch Lomond
  •  Grampian Mountains and Rannoch Moor
  • The spectacular and historic Pass of Glencoe
  • rn
  • The convergence of the Moray Firth and Beauly Firth
  •  The sight of the Atlantic Ocean at Bettyhill
  • Arriving at John O''Groats
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   Dates Adult(PP)
From 6 May 2017 to 21 May 2017
Only 7 places left
£1645.00
From 3 June 2017 to 18 June 2017
FULL
£1645.00
From 1 July 2017 to 16 July 2017
FULL
£1645.00
From 22 July 2017 to 6 August 2017
Only 4 places left
£1645.00
From 5 August 2017 to 20 August 2017
FULL
£1645.00
From 2 September 2017 to 17 September 2017
Only 3 places left
£1645.00

Accommodation:

You have a choice of staying in a mixture of hostels and B&B's (£1545) or B&B's only sharing a double or a twin room (£1745). If you would like your own space then you can choose the single room option (£2045) or sole occupancy of a double (£2245). Most of the rooms are en-suite however there maybe a few nights where your room isn't en-suite.

Price:

Prices for 2017 are £1645 for the YHA & B&B option, £1845 for shared twin or double in B&Bs only, £2245 single B&Bs and £2345 for sole occ of a double in B&Bs.

***If you have a group of 8 people or more then ad hoc tours can also be arranged specific to your group***

What's included

  • 15 nights accommodation
  • All luggage Transfers
  • Breakfast and buffet lunch
  • Collection from Penzance pre tour
  • Complimentary Cicerone guidebook to the route
  • Cycling guide embedded with the group
  • drop off Inverness post tour
  • GPX files available
  • Support van and driver

What's not included

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Insurance

Day 1: 64 Miles

On the day of departure we will be making an early start from the famous signpost at the most westerly point on the English mainland, Lands End. The Romans called this dramatic area of the coastline the Sea of Storms and before we leave we might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Wolf Rock Lighthouse and maybe even the Isles of Scilly if the weather is very clear. The first day is one of the toughest. The hills in Cornwall are not particularly high, but they are steep and there are a lot of them, any miles that are done in training, prior to the ‘big trip’ will reap huge dividends on this early stage. On the first evening we will be staying in the beautiful Cornish town of Fowey.

Day 2: 60 Miles

The second day of the journey will find us with a little more ‘Cornish cycling’, short and steep ascents followed by quick descents. The first major conurbation of our trip is Plymouth and once clear of Plymouth we converge on Yelverton and shortly afterwards make the steady ascent up onto Dartmoor. The famous grey fortress style prison makes a dramatic landmark as we regroup and spend the rest of the afternoon bowling along through one of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. We will be dropping down from Dartmoor (recent star of Steven Spielberg’s film Warhorse) and staying in Moretonhampstead for the evening.

Day 3: 74 Miles

The next day of our adventure will begin with some hilly cycling as we negotiate the back roads towards Exeter. As we leave Exeter behind the terrain becomes a little easier and after lunch we will be wending our way to Street in Somerset and spending the night in either Street or nearby Glastonbury.

Day 4: 67 Miles

There can be no finer feelings than cycling in the morning sunshine through the Isle of Avalon and that is exactly what we intend to do. We will be leaving Street and the memorable view of Glastonbury Tor behind us as we make our way through the wildlife rich Somerset Levels towards Wells. A sharp climb out of Wells is rewarded with some fine cycling across the plateau on the Mendip Hills and later in the morning we will be stopping for a break at Chew Valley Lake, one of the countries finest bird watching locations. From Chew Valley lake it’s on wards to Barrow Gurney for lunch at the Princes Motto and then through Bristol on the cycle path at the side of the River Severn and later crossing the Severn Road Bridge into Wales, followed by a fantastic ride along the Wye Valley passing Tintern Abbey before finally arriving in Monmouth. As we reach this point of our journey we will have recorded approximately 280 miles and everyone should hopefully be settling into the rhythm of the trip.

Day 5: 58 Miles

The fifth day of the journey is the easiest, there are very few hills to speak of and the scenery is stunning with the Black Mountains away in the distance. The roads are very quiet and the only major city to negotiate is Hereford. From Hereford it is onwards through the Welsh Marches and eventually stopping for the night in Clun which is a friendly little town with a good selection of real ale pubs and places to eat.

Day 6: 80 Miles

Is an easy yet long day and once again the roads are very quiet. If we are lucky enough to get a southwesterly wind then we should arrive at the Holiday Inn in Runcorn in time for afternoon tea. The end of the first week is marked by a day of tricky navigation and the tour leader will be doing quite a bit of the hard work. Leaving Runcorn behind we will be weaving our way through Warrington, Widnes and Bolton, up onto the moors close to Tockholes and then descending into Blackburn and towards the gorgeous Forest of Bowland where the countryside beckons once again.

Day 7: 70 Miles

We will be spending Saturday evening in Slaidburn and on Sunday morning we will be once again cycling through the Forest of Bowland an area of outstanding natural beauty, some of the scenic delights on offer will be the areas of internationally important heather moorland and blanket bogs, and hopefully we may sight some of the rare birds such as the hen harrier which frequent this beautiful region of England. The cycling really starts to get exciting in the afternoon as we begin to stretch our legs on some of the challenging ascents that define the Lake District.

Day 8: 59 Miles

Sunday evening will be spent in Keswick. This is a place where many End to Enders stay, both walkers and cyclists, and Keswick is a great place to swap tales of adventure with other like-minded people.

Day 9: 72 Miles

On the second Monday morning, the ‘daily commute’ or the ‘school run’, will be the last thing on our minds, as stiff limbs from the Lake District are forgotten, we will be navigating through the tail end of the Lake District towards the city of Carlisle, the terrain flattens out around this historic city and the cycling becomes relatively easy as the day wears on. We will be stopping for lunch in Longtown before pushing onwards to spend the evening in Moffat.

Day 10: 82 Miles

Tuesday will begin with some hilly cycling out of Moffat as we travel northeast to follow the cycle paths and quieter roads, which lead into Glasgow. At Larkhall on the southwest of the city we join the Clyde Corridor Cycle Route, and as we traverse the city we will be enjoying a traffic free ride alongside the River Clyde, with the Trossachs ahead of us, we will be heading for Loch Lomond and staying in Balloch.

Day 11: 80 Miles

The following day we will depart from Balloch on the southern end of Loch Lomond and we will be greeted with some amazing scenery as we head north. As the long steady, spectacular ascents open up we will have glorious views of the Grampian Mountains, before taking a well earned break and a plate of fish and chips in Tyndrum. After lunch the cycling gets even better as we travel north with stunning views of the West Highland Way, before converging on the Bridge of Orchy and tackling a stiff climb up to Rannoch Moor and into the spectacular and historic Pass of Glencoe. Cycling through the Pass can sometimes feel like you are in Patagonia, and if the wind blows from the north-west it can be a tough twelve or so miles, the road is flanked on either side by rugged crags and the towering back-drop of the Three Sisters mark the last miles before we arrive in Glencoe village, where we will spend the night.

Day 12: 73 Miles

The following morning we will leave Glencoe and ride along the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe towards Fort William, where we will continue onwards to Fort Augustus for lunch followed by an amazingly steep and lengthy climb onto General Wades Military Road which will take us over to Inverness. An evening spent in Inverness is a brilliant way to enjoy Highland hospitality at its finest. There are some excellent restaurants and bars throughout the city. Johnny Foxes has a winning combination; an authentic Celtic feel, live music and cold Guinness and it is a great place to unwind.

Day 13: 66 Miles

The next day is marked by spectacular cycling and as we leave the city behind we will be crossing the convergence of the Moray Firth and Beauly Firth via the Kessock Bridge ascending onto the Black Isle before descending towards Dingwall. Just out of Dingwall brings another ascent onto what the locals call the ‘Struie’. As we reach the top of the ‘Struie’ we will be amply rewarded with impressive views of the Dornoch Firth and away in the distance Loch Shin. The next hour is spent descending down to Bonar Bridge and then the steady climb to Lairg and beyond which is our destination for the evening. We will be stopping in the Crask Inn or nearby Altnaharra. The Crask Inn is arguably the friendliest pub in Scotland. Throughout the summer The Crask is the penultimate stop for numerous groups of cyclists who are completing the End to End, it is a great place to meet other cyclists on the verge of completing their own epic journey.

Day 14: 82 Miles

The final day is a long one, but a swift descent from the Crask Inn, will put a few ‘free miles’ under our belts and the dazzling backdrop provided by Loch Naver and Ben Klibreck will make this Saturday morning truly unforgettable. As Loch Naver gives way to the famous salmon runs of the River Naver, we will be enjoying some of the finest cycling of the whole journey. Around lunchtime we sight the Atlantic Ocean at Bettyhill and the final afternoon will be spent ascending and descending as we make progress along the northern coastline of Scotland towards John O’Groats. The final few hours of the afternoon will find the terrain flatten out and we are rewarded with an easy ride to the finishing line at John O’Groats. After completing the celebratory photographs we will be spending the evening at the Seaview Hotel in John O’Groats before making our way to Inverness and homewards on Sunday morning.

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Frequently asked questions

1. How fit do I need to be for these holidays?

Our Bikecations are designed to attract people of all ages and levels of fitness. All the holidays can be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. Some holidays involve greater distances or frequency of cycling and some will cover hillier terrain than others. Our tour gradings and itinerary descriptions should help guide you towards the most suitable holiday options for you. If you are not sure, give us a call.

2. How many miles a day can I expect to cycle?

This depends on the Bikecation you choose. These have been graded so you know what to expect.

For a bikecation leisure cycling holiday a gentle pace is about 7-8 miles per hour, so, if you cycle for four hours, you can expect to cover 25-30 miles comfortably. This leaves plenty of time for sightseeing, picnics, visiting castles or churches, stopping for morning coffee or whatever you want to do. You have all day to get to your next stopover, so you can relax and enjoy the countryside. We can also include rest days when you can enjoy other activities if you require.

For our road cycling and bespoke tours for groups we will advise you what is best for the particular trip you wish to ride on. Usually we try to cover 60-100 miles at an average speed of 13.5 to 14.5 mph but this can be slower or faster depending on the group.

3. What do I wear for leisure cycling ?

It is important to be comfortable when cycling so we suggest wearing thin layers of clothing. Padded cycling shorts, a zipped top, windproof light jacket and trainers are standard fare. Fast drying and hardwearing synthetic fabrics are ideal as a base layer as these allow your skin to breathe and wick the moisture away from your skin to the next layer, avoiding the chill which cotton T-shirts can cause. In mid-summer you may just need shorts and a t-shirt. Safety helmets are strongly recommended on all Bikecation holidays and are a legal requirement in some countries so please bring your own helmet. We will send out a What to wear document to you well in advance of your Bikecation.

4. Are cycling holidays suitable for children?

Cycling can make an ideal family holiday, provided the right distances are chosen for the younger members of the party. We would suggest that you call us to discuss the most suitable tours for your children. In most places we are able to offer children’s bikes and child seats, if you have toddlers or babies.

5. How much luggage can I bring?

Your luggage is transported for you every day so bring what you need to make your holiday relaxing and comfortable. Please try and limit it to one item of luggage per person and that it is clearly labelled. On some tours there is a weight limit per item.

6. What happens to my luggage?

We want you to enjoy your Bikecation to the full so, for your comfort, we arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next. The only thing we ask is that you leave your suitcases in reception on setting out each morning, and the hoteliers will ensure that it is waiting for you at your next hotel. We will provide luggage labels for you. All you need carry with you are drinks, a camera, waterproofs and sun cream.

7. Is my money safe if anything happens to Bikecation?

Your money is safe when you book your Bikecation. To protect your payments fully, all monies paid by you to us for your holiday are held in a separate Client’s Trust Account and are not released to Bikecation until your holiday has taken place. This practice fully satisfies the requirements of EC and UK law. Please call us if you would like to discuss this further.

Bikecation is also fully licensed by ATOL ( no. T7462) that is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). for full details how how your payments are protected, please read our Your Financial Security page.

8. Do I need to bring my own bike? What type of bike should I bring?

We arrange for hire bikes to be provided for your holiday or tour. However, if you would prefer to bring your own bike then by all means bring it with you, but it must be in good working order. We recommend either a hybrid or a mountain bike fitted with road tyres for our leisure cycling holidays.

For our road cycling trips we can advise on what is best for your situation but we regularly transport bikes to the start destination.

If you do bring your own bike, you should insure it separately. Most household insurance policies can be extended to cover your bike whilst on holiday.

9. What happens if I have a problem with the bike or any other problem en route ?

If you are provided with a bike it will be well-maintained and serviced before being rented out so there should be no problems however, there are emergency numbers provided in the Route Notes for more complex problems.
If you have brought your own bike and you are unable to fix it, we will find you a replacement for the rest of your holiday.

Our road cycling trips will also have back up support with a mechanic unless requested otherwise with a possible spare bike for any major problems.

10. What should I do about holiday insurance?

If you choose a holiday abroad, you should have adequate insurance to cover you for medical expenses and for cancellation or curtailment of your holiday. For holidays in the UK we recommend everyone should have holiday travel insurance. Not all insurance policies cover cycling daily so we recommend Campbell Irvine. For full information, please read our ‘Trip Preparation’ page

11. Where will I leave my car for the duration of the leisure cycling holiday?

In most cases you can leave your car for the duration of your holiday in the car park of the hotel used for the first night’s accommodation. Where parking is not available at the first hotel, you will be advised of the alternative arrangements made for you.

12. I’m on my own – Which holidays are best for me ?

Nearly all our holidays are open to single travellers, but our Group guided holidays may be of most interest. Group holidays give you the opportunity to meet others of like mind and to enjoy cycling together. The group ‘vibe’ continues into the evening if you decide to eat together. A guide will help you appreciate the history and culture of the area you’re visiting.

13. What type of accommodation can I expect?

There is a variety of accommodation ranging from Castles and Chateaux to small boutique hotels and good quality B&Bs, thereby offering a range of different priced holidays. If you have any questions regarding which accommodation is used in the trip you are interested in riding please contact the office.

14. What are the routes like?

The descriptions of our Leisure Bikecations indicate the main types of routes we use on each holiday, such as provincial roads, country lanes, dedicated cycle ways, some tracks and Casa Verdes (disused railway tracks). While we try to use quiet routes wherever possible, you should be comfortable riding occasionally in traffic. Traffic volumes can vary even on minor roads, especially in more popular tourist areas; we sometimes have to use short sections of busier roads to cross rivers or connect scenic routes, and traffic will inevitably be heavier in and near towns.

Some routes include occasional sections on unsurfaced tracks, but these don’t require any specific technical riding skills. If you are unsure of your level, or would like to know more about the cycling on specific holidays, then please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable reservations team.

15. Do I need to bring money for food?

All the holidays include a hearty breakfast each day. Some also include lunch and an evening meal. Where they are not included, you are free to choose where and when to eat. Some hotels will provide you with a packed lunch on request, but most people like the freedom of stopping at the place of their choice to experience the local cuisine. Some routes have been designed to incorporate gastronomic delights and will include an evening meal. Details are given with each individual tour.

16. Is it possible to extend one of the holidays from a few days to a full week?

We have the resources to design a tour to suit your requirements, incorporating rest days if desired, taking in places that are of interest to you. Give us a call and we will try to accommodate your wishes. The only constraint may be the availability of the accommodation.

17. Can you arrange flights for the overseas tours?

Flights are not included in the tour price, however we can book flights for you. Holding an ATOL licence means that if you book a tour and flight together with us you will have the added piece of mind of the financial protection offered by ATOL. If you prefer to book your own, we recommend that you wait until your tour booking is confirmed before you book any flights and booking separately means you will not be covered by ATOL. For full information on our flight services please contact us on email@bikecation.co.uk

18. When are the tours available?

Departure dates are shown for all tours. Please be aware that the holidays are very dependent on the availability of the selected accommodation. These have been chosen carefully, looking for a high standard to ensure you are comfortable at all times. During busy periods this is not always available, so we advise that you should book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

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