It is a brave cyclist that sets off from Land’s End to John O’Groats (or John O’Groats to Land’s End) without a route. True, it is basically just north-east then north (or south then south-west) but there are an awful lot of road, cycleway and track choices in between.
So, having a Land’s End to John O’Groats route is a jolly good idea!
But, anyone who has started the task of creating a route from scratch will know that it is not any easy job. It is time consuming and more than a little bit nerve wracking because you have no idea what each road, path or track is like to cycle on. Should you be on road A or road B that is almost parallel to it? Perhaps one is really busy? Does one go up a 20% hill?
Most people end up buying a route or two and then adapting them to suit their own trip, bending the route to take in a certain towns or personal highlights. Perhaps that is why you are here now?
This Lands End to John O’Groats route book is not set out as a traditional step by step route book: it is supported by an online series of Google maps and gpx files designed to guide you across the country using a satellite navigation device, a smart phone or similar device that can navigate using gpx files (which can be provided reversed for navigation from John O’Groats to Lands End if preferred). Links to all these electronic files are contained within the book, along with instructions on how to access them and adjust the route to meet your needs, if necessary.
Accommodation on or near the route has also been listed to assist your planning along with a list of bike repair shops that you may need in an emergency. The locations of these places and local food stores are saved on the Google Maps and the gpx files.
What is the route like?
I have cycled End to End three times. With the safety of cyclists increasingly in the spotlight, I wanted to find and share a relatively safe route that was close to a straight line but used quiet roads, tracks and paths. After a year of researching and test riding, the result is a quiet route using mostly small roads and lanes and utilising cycle ways, old railway lines and canal tow paths where possible.
This route therefore does contain a small amount of off- road cycling, which follows mainly old railway lines and canal paths through beautiful countryside. However, the surfaces range from tarmac through cinder to bare earth and grass and will be affected by weather conditions. I have ridden the route on a road bike (a Cube Agree GTC Pro with Schwelbe Marathon tyres) in October and June to show that it is a feasible route. However, if you only want to ride on tarmac or the weather is against you, then I have also given instructions on how you can make a detour to avoid these parts – both en route or by planning ahead.
This End to End route book is designed to provide everything you need to map your End to End cycle safely – either following the suggested route in its entirety or deviating from it to suit your requirements.
Praise for the books
The following are extracts from reviews posted on Amazon.co.uk.
‘When I started planning this route one thing i didn’t want was someone else’s route. Half the fun (for me) is in the planning and thinking should we go left or right here. I will find my own way thanks.
Then I saw this book. Royston knows his stuff as he has ridden this route himself specifically to find a safe way to enjoy the challenge. Now I am using his route files as the basis of planning mine, and i recommend you give this book serious consideration.’
‘Well what can I say – my daughter would not have managed her Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle without this book. As a parent I was very pleased with it because it does not take you along the main routes and tries to keep to quiet roads, canals and generally as it says ‘safe”
‘I’ve just finished the end to end route. The book and associated downloaded maps were an indispensable part of my planning and preparation. The author divides the route into eighteen 50-60 mile sections, but it’s easy to adapt to your own pace. It takes you on mainly safe roads and cycle tracks, avoiding busy roads most of the time. I highly recommend it if you’re planning to make this trip.’
‘Beautifully written, informative, cracking sense of humour…a great read’
‘Factual, funny and a page turner. I have read many books on this subject and this is one of the best’
You can buy an electronic copy direct
Purchase direct from this site a pdf format (PC and devices with pdf readers) for a small donation of £2.99 towards the upkeep of the site. It is a small price to pay for untold hours of work saved. Simply click on the PayPal BUY NOW button below. Once payment is made click to return to the site and then follow the on screen instructions to download the pdf of the book and the gpx files of the route.