End to End cycling: LEJOG
Land’s End – John O’Groats
LEJOG is an acronym for Land’s End – John O’Groats. This specific tour is not very well-known on the continent, however, it is in England. If one wishes to be taken seriously as a (amateur) cyclist, you have to have this tour under your belt! It will reward you with a lot of credits and admiration from fellow cyclists!
Land’s End is located in the most south-western point of the English mainland. From there we will cycle across beautiful Britain towards the most north-eastern point of Scotland and John O’Groats. During this trip we will come across very old woods, a magnificent coastline and beautifully decorated houses and historical landmarks from the Roman Empire along the trip for us to enjoy.
From historical perspective ‘end-to-end’ cycling, running, horse riding have gained immense popularity in England since the 60s. LEJOG, END to END or JOGLE is a very well-known phenomenon in England, Scotland and Wales. The fastest personal record has been under 40 hours. This is not achievable for most of us, and that is not the aim of this trip. The aim of undertaking such a tour like this one for us, is to enjoy a sporting challenge and enjoy cycling in wonderful areas in a small group of fellow cyclists.
Our aim is to organize a cycling trip for everyone, who likes a sporting challenge and who enjoys to do that with fellow cyclists, who also enjoy doing this. Camaraderie, supporting each other and sharing the highs and lows of such a trip is what we stand for and are aiming for in this trip. The daily trips will be from dawn till afternoon and you will be fully taken care of during the day. The evenings offer opportunities for some local sightseeing and visiting local pubs and restaurants. We will also discuss the challenges and do’s and don’ts for the trip the next day.
We decided to travel by a luxurious van, with the entire group to Land’s End. From a logistic perspective, cycling to Land’s End creates some difficulties. Departure day is on Saturday 30 July in the morning from a central location in The Netherlands. From there we will travel to Calais in order to take the ferry to Dover. In the evening we will reach our accommodation for the night.
We will cycle to Land’s End on Sunday 31 July. After the ceremonial duties (taking pictures and firing the starting gun) we will continue our tour across the magnificent county of Cornwall. The landscape of Cornwall offers many short, but severe ascents and the area is rather hilly. In terms of cycling difficulty, the first day is one of the heaviest days, which will not go unnoticed. Therefore, dosing your energy is required. In addition, the distance on this first day will be short, to counterbalance the challenging geographical trajectory. It is holiday season after all and we would like to keep everybody’s spirit up!
The next day we will leave Cornwall and continue our tour across Devon and Somerset. The undisputable highlight of the second day will be Dartmoor, as well as in geographical challenging terms as in terms of scenery. The scenery in Dartmoor is breathtakingly beautiful and reminds us of the wonderful story of Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Brönte in 1847 and the song Wuthering Heights sung by Kate Bush in 1978. However, in reality the scenery described in both the book and song are located in north England and not in Devon. The following day we will continue our tour and pass the town of Glastonbury, renowned for its popular music festival, which is one of the most famous music festivals in the United Kingdom. We will make sure that cycling that day will be greatly enjoyable! We will finish that day in the historical city of Bath, known for its Roman baths and architecture. There will be enough time and opportunity for sightseeing and visiting thermal baths in the evening, if one would wish to do so. The next day we will continue our tour to the Cotswolds, a picturesque looking area. A lovely area filled with typical English cottages, colourful villages interspersed with woods and rivers.
On day five and six we will be cycling alongside the border of Wales, however we will remain in England. Residues from the Industrial Revolution can be seen in this area during these days. We will be cycling across this area avoiding the main cities, since these cities are less suitable for cycling. We have scheduled a day off in Preston, a less known city in England. However, Preston is an authentic English city with sufficient sightseeing activities in order to enjoy yourself for a day. This day off can be used for physical recovery and to enjoy a sense of holidaying and relaxation.
The day after we will cycle to the wonderful and much enjoyed holiday area, the Lake District. Furthermore, the Lake District is located in the north of England and is known for its marvelous scenic beauty. The next day we will reach Scotland and this trajectory will have a sense of transitional stage. The so-called lowlands of Scotland resembles the Dutch scenery with its windmills, agricultures and long roads.
The final four days of this tour will be spent on cycling across the Scottish Highlands. The Scottish Highlands offer stunning views and immense lochs. These will be enjoyed by everyone visitor, especially for those visiting for the first time will not be disappointed by the dramatic views of the Scottish Highlands. Contrary to popular expectation: cycling will be comfortable. The hills are gentle and although the ascents are long, they are not steep. After comfortable cycling across a large area of the Highlands we will reach John O’Groats. Our tour’s aim has been named after the Dutch explorer Jan de Groot. Some of his tracks are still to be found here. After completing this tour we will celebrate our achievement with a glass of champagne!
The next day, we have to drive to Newcastle, in order to catch the boat for our return trip home. We will take the overnight boat from Newcastle to The Netherlands. In the morning we will enjoy a final breakfast together aboard the boat. After breakfast it will be time to say goodbye in the port of IJmuiden. For those who would like to cycle home from the port, in that case, your luggage will be brought home by car.