Discussion in 'Lands End to John O'Groats (LEJOG)' started by Kosong, 1 Aug 2016.

  1. Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Hi all :smile:

    After a successful week on the bike last week with my brother, we have finally decided to get one of our childhood dreams done and cycle the end to end. Ours will be a bit different however, as we have no rush to do it in 9/10 days...he has 2 months off next summer (can take it when he likes) and I can take infinite time off work due to self employment. However, my calendar for June and August is pretty full already. We were thinking of taking around a month to complete it, either in May, July or from Mid August onwards. My brother hates the warmth and I hate the cold, so we understand with the times we have available there will be a degree of meeting in the middle ;) When would you personally recommend doing it? We can work around the hotter days by cycling early/late, but I am a complete pussy with the cold and have circulation issues and unless I haul my wool blankets with me I don't think May in Scotland will be advisable...so we're leaning towards July but open to advice and ideas.

    Also open to ideas of what way to do it - I know the prevailing wind says you should do LEJOG, But logistically I'd prob prefer to go from the North as it means a quick(er) journey home once we're in Land's End.

    Aside from taking the scenic route instead of rushing north/south, are there any places you would recommend? We want to spend 2 weeks at least getting through Scotland where we can wild camp to our hearts content and explore the highlands at a slow place. Will then have a slightly slower meander through the north of England, and can 'rush' a bit more once we clear Gloucester seeing as I live in Bristol and we can return to tour the south west with ease another time. (or vice versa if doing LEJOG.) Will check in to a campsite every so often to use facilities if we find none along the way, and maybe a hostel for a treat once or twice for a rest day in a town/city. Mostly looking to be self sufficient with food, water, camping etc where possible though.

    Bonus question goes to anyone who knows the cheapest way to get from Bristol to JOG or back. I am the only driver in my family so there's no way we can get a lift...if we end in Land's End i'd be tempted to drive my campervan down those ways and leave it somewhere waiting for our return so we can load the bikes in and tack a few days of van camping on the end before driving home.
    Snizzlepops and JennyWr3n like this.
  2. Katherine

    Katherine Guru Moderator

    I was chatting to someone recently who recommends flying to Inverness and arranging for a bike transfer to the start.
    Kosong likes this.
  3. Nibor

    Nibor Über Member

  4. Flying Dodo

    Flying Dodo It'll soon be summer

    If you start searching on train tickets at least 12 weeks before, you can get some bargains. I've managed to get Kings Cross to Inverness for £28.50 in the past.
  5. Nibor

    Nibor Über Member

    The link I posted gives info on a bike courier service in jog
    Kosong likes this.
  6. OP

    Kosong Active Member

    Excellent, cheers guys. It seems getting to/from Le & Jog is going to be the single biggest cost...I already have a touring bike ready to go, with full kit...tent...etc. Perhaps will treat myself to some fancy cycling leggings with padded bum but that's about it. It's the travel to/from the start and end points that seems to be the biggest hurdle to me! Will keep an eye on train routes as I could drive to London and travel from there with my brother or we could travel from mine in Bristol...I haven't used a train in the UK for some time as they are just too damned expensive and it's mostly cheaper to drive my transit around then use a train :sad:
  7. Big T

    Big T Veteran

    My wife and I did JOGLE because it's far easier to get back from LE than it is from JOG. We managed to get from Nottingham to Wick on the train for under £30 each by booking well in advance. We travelled 1st class from Penzance back to Derby for £75 each, again booking in advance. We also reclaimed half of this cost under the Delay Repay scheme, because the train was over half an hour late pulling into Derby.
    We also had tailwinds for more than half the journey. First day an easterley from JOG to Bettyhill, then most of the 2nd week as a high pressure moved in with a gentle NE breeze to blow us down the SW peninsula.

    Last edited: 11 Aug 2016
  8. fimm

    fimm Veteran

  9. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Rail travel is only expensive if you wish to travel on the day you buy your ticket.
    Book as far in advance as you reasonably can and you should be able to undercut your Transit travel by a fair margin.
    Thurso to London for £41.00 is not so expensive.
    n change journey
    OutWednesday 12 Oct 2016Thurso THS to London Euston EUS or
    Thurso THS to London Kings Cross KGX

    Outward times
    Depart n/a n/a THS06:50 THS06:50
    Arrive n/a n/a EUS19:14 KGX19:50
    Duration n/a n/a 12h 24m 13h 0m
    Changes n/a n/a 3 2
    Single tickets - SingleTickets leg
    • Specified train only. No refunds.
    • Only valid on booked Virgin Trains East Coast services and required connecting services.
    • This ticket has limited availability.
    Price breakdown summary
    1 Adult @ £41.00
    Total: £41.00
  10. robgul

    robgul Guru

    www.cycle-endtoend.org.uk has loads of resources (My Journals are 2005 Rob & Joe's JOGLE and 2010 Rob & Jon's LEJOG in the listing

    I've ridden both ways and would suggest JOGLE for the first go - if you are from Bristol then getting home from LE (Penzance) is a pretty fast journey - getting from JOG will take about a day and a half by train - and, to me, arriving at LE whilst not wonderful was better than a bleak JOG as the finish

    The prevailing wind thing is a myth - yes it is from the SW but that's over a year - not a couple of weeks when it could be in any direction .... and the hills with a few exceptions are better graded in Scotland and easier than in Devon/Cornwall .... by the time you get to Devon & Cornwall you're pretty fit and the hills are easier than the baptism of fire you get with an LE start.

    Kosong likes this.
  11. lutonloony

    lutonloony Über Member

    I think starting at JOG must be easier because you are going from the top to the bottom, so it must be downhill :laugh:
    Phaeton likes this.
  12. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Starting at LE will have the warm sun on your back, more comfortable than having it in your eyes for the duration:okay:..
    Ajax Bay likes this.
  13. robgul

    robgul Guru

    Very, very old joke but not actually accurate - you start almost at sea level at JOG and finish high on the cliffs at LE so it's a net ascent (i.e. uphill) for JOGLE.

  14. lutonloony

    lutonloony Über Member

    I honestly don't think it's ever going to affect me
  15. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    East Devon
    @robgul is the expert

    I offer the following (non-personal) factors for choosing dates:
    1) Need for longer daylight - does not apply if you're only going to cycle for max 7 hours each day
    2) Warmth/Precipitation likelihood/tolerance (may partly depend on 'style, ie B&B v camping)
    3) Midges (as @contadino has pointed out) - was dead glad at the autumn equinox I was not camping for the final days/nights north of Oban.
    4) Prevailing wind - and here I offer:
    Seasonal variation of the prevailing wind direction in Britain
    "Monthly mean wind directions for both the southwesterly quadrant and the northeasterly quadrant for the combined 1969–1987 and 1997–2007 periods [were recorded and graphed]; It can be seen from this [graph - see article] that while a southwesterly wind prevails for winter, summer and autumn, this is not necessarily true in spring. For the months of April and May in particular, the frequency of northeasterly winds increases while that of southwesterly winds decreases so that the frequency of northeasterlies is about equal to that of southwesterlies. In fact, during some decades, the prevailing wind at many sites during these months is northeasterly."
    So a JOGLE is most likely to get a fairer wind in April or May.
    NB. Going south, the sun will be in your eyes more of the time, and in the eyes of the drivers on the road behind you.

    I advocate enjoying going West Coast via the islands: Mull and Arran at least. Lochranza on Arran is lovely and has a YH. Tobermory on Mull likewise. Could take in Skye (from/to Mallaig), too, with more time. Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge (N of Fort William). Severn Bridge. Tintern Abbey (on A466 N of Chepstow). Lake District (try to set dates to avoid w/e).
    Getting to LE: dead easy and inexpensive from Bristol on GWR (with mandatory booked bike space) or back from there.
    Bonus answer: Getting back from JoG:
    Afternoon ferry to the Orkneys (£16/17 from either JoG or Gils Bay); overnight ferry to Aberdeen (£24, @ 2300) gets in 0700 (ie morning after finishing, NB every other day). Lots of bike shops in Aberdeen who'll let you have a cardboard bike box. Send them an Amazon package of 5m of pipe insulation, 5m of 60cm bubblewrap and some packing tape. I flew with my boxed bike directly to London for £56 (Sep 15). So JoG to London cost me less than £100, including my bike and no train cycle space restrictions/multiple changes/booking challenges/nightmares (see other threads). I finished at 1530 at JoG and was back in work 1530 the following day. There are flights directly to Bristol which may be cheaper than from Inverness, and cheaper and quicker than a train. If you spend a bit of effort going through some of the other threads in this sub-section there is much useful and varied advice.
    Kosong likes this.
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