Lands End to John O’Groats – 10 day 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. This 10 Day Ride across Britain is our toughest challenge and not for the faint hearted!
Experience tells us that the best way to Ride across Britain 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 10 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.
To view details of our training weekends please click here.
The distance we will travel is approximately 962 miles, with the shortest day being 92 miles and the longest 108. This tour should only be considered if you are a good, fit cyclist and have done plenty of training before hand. The route has been designed to take you away from he main roads and has many hilly sections and the first four days are especially tough. You cycle at your own pace but it should be borne in mind that you will be in the saddle for many hours each day and this is a tough ride. The rewards for completing this challenge are great and will provide a fantastic sense of achievement.
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.
THE 10 DAY LEJOG IS A TOUGH CHALLENGE AND SHOULD ONLY BE ATTEMPTED BY FIT AND COMPETENT RIDERS
2019 Tour Dates:
Wed 8th – Sun 19th May 2019 – Places available
Wed 3rd – Sun 14th July 2019 – Places available
Wed 24th July – Sun 4th August 2019 – Places available
Wed 21st August – Sun 1st September 2019 – Places available
Prices for 2019 are £1495 for shared twin or double in B&Bs & hotels, £1795 single B&Bs & hotels and £1995 for sole occ of a double in B&Bs & hotels.
***If you have a group of 10 people or more then ad hoc tours can also be arranged specific to your group***
If you would prefer a more leisurely ride then why not try our 14 day tour? 14 Day LEJOG
Or why not go for something a bit different and cycle the opposite two corners? Dover to Durness
2019 Tour Dates:
Wed 8th – Sun 19th May 2019 – Places available
Wed 3rd – Sun 14th July 2019 – Places available
Wed 24th July – Sun 4th August 2019 – Places available
Wed 21st August – Sun 1st September 2019 – Places available
Wednesday: Arrival Day
Everyone will arrive at St Just today ready for a welcome brief and group meal at 7:30pm. You can travel directly to St Just or you can travel to Penzance and we will meet you there and transfer you to your accommodation.
Thursday: Lands End to Plymouth (94 miles) Elevation: 2174m / 7132ft
On the day of departure we will be making an early start from the famous signpost at the most south westerly point on the English mainland, Lands End. The first day is without doubt, 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.
Friday: Plymouth to Street (95 miles) Elevation: 1922m / 6305ft
Another tough day lies in wait. We continue into Devon and more hills await as we cycle through Dartmoor National Park. On a clear day this is a truly spectacular section although it can get very bleak if the weather is bad! The second half of the day is much easier as the route flattens somewhat as we reach the lovely little town of Street, near Glastonbury.
Saturday: Street to Leominster (100 miles) Elevation: 1979m / 6492ft
Leaving Street we will pass through Wells and onto the Mendip Hills before cycling through Bristol. After crossing the Severn Bridge we will continue along the scenic Wye Valley to Monmouth. We have a few more hills to tackle towards Hereford before the route flattens out a bit before our approach to Ludlow. We all stay in the same hotel just outside Ludlow which is welcome after a long day in the saddle.
Sunday: Leominster to Leigh (108 miles) Elevation: 1202m / 3943ft
A scenic, undulating road takes us away from Ludlow to the white & black timbered buildings of Shrewsbury. After Shrewsbury the route is flat and easy as we continue northwards along the Cheshire plains. The mileage is long today as we want to get through the Manchester – Liverpool conurbation on Sunday afternoon (as opposed the Monday morning when there is lots of traffic).
Monday: Leigh to Crosthwaite (84 miles) Elevation: 1235m / 4051ft
Continuing northwards we skirt the edge of Bolton and continue through Backburn and onto Lancaster. As the day wears the countryside beckons once again. Further along we will pass through Carnforth and continue into the spectacular scenery of the Lake District. Nestled right inbetween Windermere and Kendal, Crossthwaite provides a nice place to spend the last night of the tour on English soil.
Tuesday: Crosthwaite to Moffatt (102 miles) Elevation: 1723m / 5652ft
This is a hilly but spectacular day. We will pass through the Lake District and cycle through many well known towns of the area and also up one of the iconic climbs of the Lake District ” The Kirkstone Pass”. Once past Gretna the route flattens out as we continue into Scotland to the little town of Moffat.
Wednesday: Moffat to Perth (96 miles) Elevation: 1409m / 4622ft
Leaving Moffat a gradual climb takes you up over the Lowther Hills through some wild and stunning scenery you will cycle alongside the River Tweed before descending towards Edinburgh. A great ride through Edinburgh then takes you over the Forth Road Bridge and onto Kinross and Perth.
Thursday: Perth to Grantown-on-Spey (95 miles) Elevation: 2420m / 7939ft
This is without doubt one of the toughest days of the tour with a number of difficult climbs to conquer. After crossing the River Tay a lovely ride takes you onto Blairgowrie and Glen Shee. A notable climb up to the ski resorts at Glenshee is followed by a long descent to Braemar. Another tough climb at the Lecht provides a challenge although the scenery is stunning and if the weather is good we will have a great day.
Friday: Grantown-on-Spey to Lairg (84 miles) Elevation: 1342m / 4402ft
An easier day is in store as we continue through Inverness, capital of the Highlands. A lovely ride alongside the Beauly Firth takes you through the Muir of Ord and onto Dingwall. As we leave the towns and cities behind, pushing into the county of Sutherland in the remote north.
Saturday: Lairg to John o’Groats (95 miles) Elevation Gain: 1370m / 4494ft
After a gradual climb up to the blissfully isolated pub at the Crask you will be treated with a freewheeling descent to Altnahara. The dazzling backdrop provided by Loch Naver and Ben Kilbreck will make this morning truly unforgettable. We will sight the Atlantic Ocean at Bettyhill and the final afternoon will be spent making progress along the northern coastline of Scotland towards John O’Groats, where the champagne corks will be popping!
Sunday: Departure Day
A coach will transport us all to Inverness today making a drop of at both Inverness Train Station at around 11:30am and Inverness Airport at around midday.
The tour price includes 11 nights accommodation, 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, snacks, tea, coffee, & hot chocolate, full trip support, back up van with spare parts and a few spare bikes, detailed route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, certificate, luggage transfer each day, transfer from Penzance to Lands End and transfer from John O’Groats to Inverness.
What’s Not Included?
Evening meals, cycle hire (available for a fee), Garmin hire (available for a fee), transport to Penzance, transport from Inverness.
The group will be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 25 people. We feel that this size of group works best as there will always be enough in the group for some good company but there won’t be so many people that it becomes overcrowded.
Throughout this tour we stay in a mixture of small family run B&B’s, guest houses and hotels. If you are travelling alone and wish to be roomed with other members of the group then you will always share with members of the same sex. It is possible to choose a single room option and also a sole occupancy of a double room option.
Although the shortest route from Lands End to John O’Groats is 874 miles our route of 962 miles avoids main roads and takes in some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery. Wherever possible we cycle along quiet country lanes and cycleways and only join main roads when we absolutely have to. The terrain is varied but generally undulating rolling fields and hills with some areas hillier than others (primarily Cornwall, Dartmoor, Lake District & Scotland).
All of your breakfasts and lunches are included in the price of the trip. You will have a choice of full English, toast, cereals, fruit juices, tea, coffee etc. Lunches will be provided each day and will generally be a buffet at a cafe or a country pub. Evening meals can be bought at your accommodation or in a nearby pub. We also have fruit, biscuits, nuts etc in the back up van that you are welcome to pick at throughout the day.
An experienced tour leader will cycle with you each day and be on hand to help with any bike problems that may occur. You will have detailed route notes so that you can go slower or faster than the leader if you prefer or you can cycle behind the tour leader so that you don’t have to navigate at all. For smaller groups only a back up van and driver will be provided.
A back up van will leap frog the group a number of times each day so that help is never far away. We carry a range of spare parts so that repairs can be made en-route and we will have a spare bike available in the event that your bike has a serious breakdown.
We highly recommend that you use a bike that you are used to and feel comfortable riding. Your bike should be fully serviced and in good condition before you start, this will reduce the risk of mechanical problems and unnecessary stoppages along the way. A road bike is recommended however the ride can be done on a hybrid/touring/cyclo-cross bike if you prefer. We have road bikes for hire (Cannondale Synapse 105 or Cannondale CAAD12) or we also have touring bikes available for hire (Dawes Discovery or Galaxy)and also if you don’t have your own bike. At the end of your trip we can arrange for your bike to be sent to your address (£77 in mainland UK) if you don’t want the hassle of transporting it yourself.
The 10 day ride across Britain tour is suitable for someone with a good level of fitness and who wants a challenge. If you do plenty of training before hand you should have no problem completing the ride. We will have a training day in the Peak District available if you would like to join the group before the main event.
It must be stressed that a good amount of training before the ride will make your tour much more enjoyable and ensure that you finish your ride. We are always happy to advise you about training plans in preparation for the ride.
Clothing & Equipment
Clothing for all weathers is recommended so waterproofs are essential. A full recommended kit list is provided & we are always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
You can do washing at many of the B&B’s & hostels so that you don’t have to bring a mountain of clothes.
It is highly recommended that you take out adequate insurance to cover against, personal accident, loss of belongings and cancellation cover.
How do I get to Penzance?
You can get to Penzance by Car, train, plane & ferry (or you could cycle). We can pick you up at Penzance when you arrive on Wednesday and transport you and your bike to your first nights accommodation. Penzance is about 8 miles from our accommodation in St. Just. To get to Penzance:
By Car The M5 will take you as far as Exeter, there you can join the A30 which will take you all the way to Penzance. If you are hiring a car there is a Europcar depo at Penzance train station where you can leave your hire car.
By Train There are frequent trains from London, Paddington and major stations along the way. Penzance is at the end of the line, so if you fall asleep you won’t go past your stop! If flying to Newquay, you can take the train from Newquay, then onwards to Penzance, changing once at Par station. This journey takes just under 2 hours. For train timetables tel: 08457 48 49 50 or book online at www.nationalrail.co.uk
By Air You can fly to Cornwall by taking a flight from London to Newquay Airport. The journey takes around one and a half hours. Then from Newquay you can take a coach or train onwards to Penzance. Flights can be booked by calling: Air Southwest, British Airways or Ryan Air, UK airport and ticket information, Newquay Airport information, Ebookers online travel agent. If flying to Newquay, you can take a train from Newquay, then onwards to Penzance, changing once at Par station.
By Ferry For visitors coming from Europe there are ferry links from Roscoff, in France or Santander, in Spain, both to the nearby port of Plymouth. A train or coach can then be taken to Penzance.
What happens when I arrive?
If you would like collecting from Penzance we will meet you at the station and take you, your luggage & your bike to St. Just where we will spend our first night. It is about 8 miles from Penzance to St. Just so if you want to cycle we can meet you at Penzance and take your luggage for you. Just let us know when you want picking up and we will meet you then. We will have a group meal at 8.00 on the Wednesday night so if you are arriving much earlier you have the time free to yourself.
What happens at the end?
On the final day we finish cycling on Saturday late afternoon or early evening and spend the night at John o’Groats. We have a ‘final supper’ where we all get together for a last group meal. On Sunday morning a coach is booked for 8.30 & will take everyone back to Inverness. We should arrive at Inverness at around 11.30 where the coach will drop people off at the airport and then the station.
If you are taking your bike back with you then we will transport your bike to Inverness for you or if you choose the ‘return transport’ option then your bikes will be packed and couriered back to your address for you.
What mechanical knowledge do I need?
We don’t expect you to be an expert bike mechanic but there are a few simple skills that will be a great benefit to you. The most important skill you need to know is how to fix a puncture. It is quite likely that at some point you will have a puncture or two so it is essential that you carry a puncture repair kit and a spare tube or two with you. It is also helpful if you know how to change your brake pads and adjust your brakes & gears however this isn’t essential. Our guides will help you with any repairs and adjustments en-route.
What are the lunches like?
We arrange a buffet lunch at a pub or café each day. This will be a mixture of sandwiches, salads, soup, pizza, pasta salad etc and will be different at each place. There will always be enough to go round so don’t worry if you are at the back of the group. The lunch stops provide a good opportunity to re-group and catch up with others and compare notes.
Will I be left behind?
No, a tour leader cycles at the back of the group so that you won’t be left behind if you are worried about cycling too slowly. Throughout the group there will be a mix of abilities and cycling speeds so you will usually be able to cycle with others that cycle at a similar pace. Some people like to cycle fast whilst others prefer to take their time, stop for coffee & cake or stop to take photos etc so whether you are a ‘speed demon’ or more of a ‘tourer’ there usually will be someone to cycle with each day. On tours with a low number of rider there may only be a back up van with no back up rider.
Do I need to be super fit?
It certainly helps! You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete but a good level of fitness is important as the 10 day LEJOG is a challenging ride. The fitter you are and the more training that you do before hand will add to the enjoyment of your tour and improve your chances of succeeding the challenge. If you need any advice about fitness please contact us and we will be happy to discuss any questions and concerns that you may have.
What are the groups like?
Obviously each group is different but generally lejoggers are a fun, friendly, helpful & adventurous bunch. There will be people of all ages and from all walks of life. We think that a group of 20-25 is ideal as there will be plenty of people with similar interests and character without being such a big group that it becomes too much.
Generally the group will be split 50/50 between people travelling alone & people that travel as a pair such as two brothers, two friends, two partners. There will be plenty of people to socialise with throughout the day and in the evening.
How do I get my bike home at the end of the trip?
If you are flying then you will need to box your bike before you board the plane. If you choose to do this you will need to send your bike box or bag to the final destination at the hotel in JOG as we don’t have space in the back up van to carry bike boxes or bags (exceptions can be made for one or two fold down bike bags for overseas travellers). If you are travelling by train you will need to ensure that your bike is booked on each leg of your journey. We will transport your bike back to Inverness for you.
An easy alternative to transporting your bike yourself is to use the services of Ticket to Ride (www.johnogroatsbiketransport.co.uk). Whilst we don’t take any responsibility for any outside bike couriering services previous ‘lejogers’ have used them and have reported that they offer an excellent service.
The way it works is that we will transport your bikes back to Inverness where a member of the Ticket to Ride staff will meet us at the airport/station & take any bikes that are to be posted or they will collect bikes from JOG. The bikes will then be boxed (this usually means that they will remove the front wheel, pedals, saddle & handlebars) and posted to your address. The price for this service is £77.00 per bike. If you would like to use this service please let us know & we will book it in for you.
What happens in the evenings?
Once you have arrived at your accommodation you should have chance for some time to relax, have a shower etc before the evening meal. We usually arrange somewhere to eat for the evening meal so that we can all get together and you won’t be left alone if you would like to eat with others. Quite often will simply arrange a certain pub to meet up & just drift in when you are ready whilst at other places we have a set time to eat – it just depends on the location.
Does the support vehicle follow the group?
No, the back up van doesn’t drive behind the group at all times but the van shouldn’t be too far away if you require assistance. In the morning we have a group brief and set off cycling, meanwhile the backup driver will collect all the luggage from the various B&B’s & hostels. Once all of the luggage has been loaded, the support vehicle will leapfrog the group stopping when necessary. The backup driver will be at the lunch stop should you need anything from the van and in the afternoon will go on ahead to ensure that your luggage is in place before you arrive.
How much luggage can I take?
There is limited space in the back up van to store luggage. We therefore request that you try to keep your luggage size to a minimum & try not to bring too much with you. Washing clothes can be done en-route so you shouldn’t need to bring a clean set of clothes for every day. The ideal size for luggage is 70 x 50 x 30 cm and a weight of 15 – 18kg (or less).
What training should I do?
The more the better. We will provide a training guide for you so that you can build up your cycling strength and prepare for the ride in the correct way. It is important that you cycle two long days back to back whilst training and also that you cycle on some hills.
What bike should I use?
The most suitable bike for this trip is a road or racing bike, however it is entirely up to you what type of bike you use. Some people may be riding hybrid bikes, others tourers but most on road bikes.
Please ensure that your bike is fully serviced and in good working order before the start of the trip.
Please ensure that you have hard wearing tyres with plenty of tread.
You are going to cycle 1000 miles so it is important that your bike won’t let you down. You may want to fit new brake blocks, tyres & inner tubes before you start the ride & also bring 3-4 spare inner tubes, pump, puncture repair kit & multi-tool to carry with you each day. It is essential that you are able to fix a puncture.
It is also advisable to have lights from & rear lights on your bikes & try to be a visible as possible.
What gear should I take?
We provide a suggested kit list so please contact us if you would like a copy sending to you.
Can I hire a bike from you?
It is advisable to use your own bike if possible, however we realise that it is not always possible to use your own steed so you may wish to hire one. We have three types of hybrid bike available and two types of road bike. Details of these bikes can be found by clicking on the ‘Tour Extras’ tab.
All of our hire bikes come fitted with a cycle computer, water bottle cage, bell, map holder, rear rack and mudguard (hybrids) and front and rear lights. We can also provide a pannier with a multi-tool, pump, puncture repair kit, spare tube and tyre levers at no extra cost. All bikes have flat pedals so if you would prefer to use your own (and maybe your own saddle) then please bring these along with you. We can also provide a helmet for you at no extra cost.
To book a tour please send a completed booking form and (a) Deposit of £250.00 per person for tours of 7 days or longer or £50.00 for all other tours or (b) The full holiday cost. If only the deposit is paid at time of booking then full payment of the holiday is required no less than 8 weeks before the start of your holiday. No further reminder is sent. If you book your holiday within 8 weeks of the holiday start date, the full holiday cost is required at time of booking.
Cancellation by Us
In the unlikely event that we have to cancel the tour you will be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid or we will move you to a different tour date if you’re able to do so. If the tour is cancelled because the minimum number of people required to operate this tour hasn’t been reached then you will be notified no less than 3 calendar months before the departure date. If the tour is cancelled by us we will not be responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred such as travel expenses, visas etc & no compensation will be paid to cover these expenses.
Cancellation by You
If you have to cancel your holiday then please notify us as soon as possible. We always try to be fair and will always try to move you to different tour date if possible. If you cancel your tour less than 8 weeks before your tour start date then you will lose all monies already paid. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance to cover cover this.
Notice of Cancellation Charge (% of Full Price)
|Length of time before the tour is due to start||Cancellation Charge|
|More than 60 days before start date||Deposit|
|Less than 60 days before start date||100%|
Cooling Off Period
If you decide to cancel your tour after receipt of your booking form you will be entitled to a 14 day cooling off period. During this time you will be entitled to a full refund of any monies paid.
B&B Option – double or twin
If you chose the B&B only option you will stay in a mixture of B&B’s, hotels and country pubs. If you are travelling with a friend then you will be roomed together in a twin or or if you’re with your partner then you will be in a double room (or a twin if you prefer). If you are travelling alone then you will be roomed with another member of the group in a twin room (same sex). The actual stopovers may change from the advertised accommodation providers, if this happens then an equivalent standard of accommodation will be used nearby. The majority of the rooms you stay in will be en-suite however you may stay in a couple of rooms that are not en-suite.
Single Room Option
If you choose the single room option you will have your own room for the duration of the trip. This will be in either a single room or single occupancy of a double room in a mixture of en-suite and non en-suite rooms.
Sole Use of a Double room Option
If you choose this option you will have a guaranteed double room to yourself throughout the tour. You will always have an en-suite each night of your tour. There may be a rare occasion when you have a separate bathroom but this is very unlikely.
YHA (Youth Hostel) Option
This option is only available for the 14 day LEJOG tour. If you chose the YHA option you will stay in a mixture of hostels, hotels & B&B’s staying in single sex dormitory rooms, single rooms, twin rooms & triples.
On tours with 8 people or less in the group then there may only be one tour guide with you who will drive the back up van each day. Tours with 8 – 15 people in the group will have two tour guides with one guide driving the back up van and the other guide cycling with the group or both guides driving a back up van each. Tours with 16+ will have a guide that cycles with the group plus two back up vans do provide support.
If you choose the cycle hire option you will be provided with your bike at the start of your tour. The bike comes with everything you need for your trip although some people like you use their own saddle, peddles and/or helmet (just let us know beforehand). At the end of your tour you can simply hand your bike back to us when you finish cycling. Please see the additional cycle hire sheet for details of the bikes we have available.
If the minimum number of people required to run the trip is not met then we will have to cancel the trip. You will be notified at least 3 calendar months prior to the start date of the trip if the minimum number (usually 8 people) hasn’t been met & you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.
In order to comply with EU Travel Regulations 1992 your deposit & final payment will be held in a separate account until your holiday is completed. This is to ensure the financial security of your holiday.
It is compulsory that you take out adequate holiday insurance including medical cover, personal accident, loss of belongings & cancellation cover. We cannot be held responsible for your own illness, injury or loss/damage of your bike or belongings while on holiday.
EHIC – European Health Insurance Card (for EU nationals travelling in Europe)
This card entitles you to greatly reduced or free state medical services throughout Europe, including Switzerland. We recommend you send off for one of these before the trip and carry it with you. It’s important to bear in mind that these cards are not a substitute for travel insurance and adequate travel insurance is compulsory for this tour. This link will give you all the information you need about the EHIC. www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC
Cycling is a potentially dangerous activity & the risks involved should be considered before undertaking such a trip. We will be cycling mostly on quiet back roads however there will be times when we cycle on busier roads where traffic density is higher. All persons undertaking this tour do so at their own risk & Peak Tours cannot be held responsible for any accidents that may occur whilst on the trip. For further details please see our risk acknowledgement statement here which forms part of these conditions.
By signing your booking form you agree to the booking conditions as outlined above. Peak tours will carry out our obligations as detailed in the tour itinerary & any information supplied to you.
The following extras are available for this tour: