A CLASSIC CHALLENGE ON ROADS LESS TRAVELLED
The ‘End to End’ or LEJOG is one of the greatest cycling challenges of the British Isles and must surely be on most people’s bucket list. But is it about ticking a box or taking a journey? Viva Velo believes that if the journey is good enough then the box will take care of itself. Thus, we have devised a route unlike any other.
We AVOID all main roads whenever possible.
We SELECT roads we know to be the most beautiful in the area we are passing through.
WE LOOK for the historic, cultural and mythical highlights when designing the route
By selecting Viva Velo you will enjoy a ride that will challenge and delight you in equal measure and at the great value price you should expect from Viva Velo. We have maintained our usual excellent standards of accommodation and FULL support throughout, and as such, we have created something very different from the standard LEJOG.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the whole week. You provide a superb service. [Dyll and Guy were] simply brilliant!” Duncan Gaskell 2019
THE ROADS LESS TRAVELLED ROUTE
We have taken great care when designing our Land’s End to John O‘Groats route to avoid main roads wherever possible. We believe this makes for a sometimes slightly more challenging but far more relaxing and scenic ride. Below is our schedule with dates for 2020. We expect our 2021 version to run a very similar time.
Thursday 26th August Day -2 All bikes being taken by us to the start should be delivered to our drop off point by this evening. (Drop off point to be confirmed)
Friday 27 August Day -1 Arrive in Penzance
On the day before you set off on your Land’s End to John O’Groats Challenge you’ll arrive in Penzance where you’ll spend the night. On the morning of the next day we’ll get you to the start point in good time to start the first leg
Saturday 28 August Day 1 Land’s End to Bude (155km - 1950m)
Apart from a short section at the beginning of the ride (where it is actually a reasonably unbusy road) our route avoids the A30 preferring to head north along the Cornish coast and then inland along the quieter country lanes before skirting Tintagel and arriving finally in Bude.
Sunday 29 August Day 2 Bude to Wells (171km - 1500m)
With less than 10 kilometers on A roads the route heads westward across Devon through picturesque villages, skirting The Blackdown Hills, Taunton and Glastonbury before arriving in the cathedral city of Wells.
Monday 30 August Day 3 Wells to Worcester (143km - 1200m)
Once again the day starts on quiet country roads with views on the Mendip Hills to the north before wending its way between Bristol and Bath and on to Gloucester, Tewkesbury and finally, with the Malvern Hills to the west, to Worcester.
Tuesday 31 August Day 4 Worcester to Hoo Green (173km - 1450m)
A 100 mile day and more but the climbing is kept relatively manageable with the majority in the first half of the day when the legs will be fresh(ish)! The route heads almost due north all day through Ironbridge then Market Drayton before entering Cheshire.
Wednesday 1 September Day 5 Hoo Green to Kendal (158km - 1850m)
Another 100 mile day - or good as - as we wend our way between the towns of the north west Lancashire - still managing to find quiet countryside nevertheless. There’s more climbing too although this time, unsurprisingly, most of it comes in the latter half of the day as we enter the Forest of Bowland and press on towards the Lake District.
Thursday 2 September Day 6 Kendal to Melrose (187km - 2150m)
Another big day as the kilometres and climbing continue to mount. But it could have been worse as we were sorely tempted to divert briefly to take in the Kirkstone Pass. Instead we head eastward rather than westward before continuing our steady progress north. Kirkstone Pass or no there is plenty of climbing to be had as we leave the Lakes behind and enter Scotland.
Friday 3 September Day 7 Melrose to Pitlochry (202km - 2200m)
The kilometres continue to climb but the scenery just gets better and better and by now your legs and lungs will be accustomed to the hard work. Skirting Edinburgh we cross the Firth of Forth. Then it onwards past Loch Leven and onto Perth where we follow the River Tay almost all the way to the overnight stop in Pitlochry.
Saturday 4 September Day 8 Pitlochry to Dingwall (180km - 1300m)
Some respite as the land ‘flattens out’ a little and distance drops back to just 112 miles but the scenery remains as stunning as ever as we enter the Cairngorms National Park. The A9 is the only road that heads our way for most of the day but we are never actually on it, as you’d expect, as we take the road less travelled and a cycle way - including General Wade’s old military route - instead.
Sunday 5 September Day 9 Dingwall to John O'Groats (216/177km - 1850/1400m)
And so to the final day of this epic challenge. There is a choice between the high road and the low road. Leaving Dingwall if you take the high road towards Lairg in time for coffee on the banks of Loch Shin. Thereafter the views at Loch Naver should keep you going as you head to the north coast and the town of Bettyhill. It’s then just a relatively short hop once we hit the north coast to Thurso and our goal of John O’Groats.
We have also devised an alternative route to the above which follows the A9. This shortens the route by some 40 kilometres and removes about 350 meters of ascent for those whose legs are a tad weary. Whichever road you choose, Day 9 is sure to be memorable as you complete your epic challenge.
After capturing the moment with a few photos, rather than rushing away, we will be staying the night in John O’Groats so that you can savour your achievement - with a wee dram if that’s your preference!
Monday 6 September Day 10 Depart Inverness
After a good night’s sleep we will transport you to Inverness for you to catch a plane or train back south.
- 10 nights half-board (breakfast and dinner is included) accommodation
- Transfers from Penzance to Land’s End and from John O’Groats to Inverness
- Full vehicle support to transfer your baggage as required each day
- A qualified mechanic to support you
- Our experienced ride leaders to guide you all the way (one ride leader for every 5/6 clients)
- Water, cold drinks, snacks at all stops
- Full itinerary and route information in advance
- GPX files on request