Cycling from Lands End to John O' Groats

Photograph of Laura & Gerald at Lands End

I wanted to cycle from Lands End to John O' Groats for the challenge, for almost zero carbon transport and to know my size in relation to my own country, but how? One Sunday someone in Exeter Quaker Meeting spoke the Chinese saying about a journey of a thousand miles starting with one step. Of course!!

So on a Monday morning In March 2012 I began. I put the bike on the train to Penzance, cycled to Lands End and back to Penzance. The next day I continued to Redruth and, feeling pleased, came home by train. On another occasion I started from Redruth and reached St Austell. 

In Spring 2013 Gerald and I cycled St Austell to Crediton. I did a few more sections to Bristol on my own. It was good stress relief when our son Fred went travelling. For our summer holiday Gerald and I cycled from Bristol Temple Meads to Kendal, staying with cousins where we could, along the way. I continued alone to Shotts, east of Glasgow.

John O'Groats

This year I started from Largs, west of Glasgow. Gerald was on Iona for a week. I took the ferry to Arran, where my friend Sue lives, and continued across Kintyre to meet Gerald in Oban. We took the ferry to Barra in the Outer Hebrides, cycled through the islands to Stornoway, then another ferry to Ullapool where we cycled east, north and east again to reach John O' Groats. 

My total cycling journey was 38 days of which Gerald did about three fifths. The train ride back from Thurso to Exeter St David's took 15 hours.

It has been tremendously satisfying and a precious opportunity to appreciate Scotland.