How important is it that I choose a definite route?

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
BottomGear
Posts: 87
Joined: 11 Jun 2015, 8:34am
Location: North Downs, Kent

Re: How important is it that I choose a definite route?

Postby BottomGear » 15 Mar 2016, 12:55am

An interesting thread and perhaps one that makes me reflect on my own plans with my own End to End this Summer. I personally have a plan A, but within that have option plan Bs. By that I mean my route is set along with booked accommodation on about every third day, with camping on those days inbetween which isn't booked. If I need to change the plan then I can as I've booked online and taken advantage of a cancellation option using a well known online booking site, so basically I am able to cancel without incurring any cost a day or two before my arrival date. I'll add I'm not actually to planning to cancel any of my bookings, it's just an option should something unforeseen force me to change things around. With me I like the planning aspect, but am mindful that with the best will in the world sometimes the best laid plans are subject to change.

tbessie
Posts: 186
Joined: 10 May 2014, 3:27am

Re: How important is it that I choose a definite route?

Postby tbessie » 21 Mar 2016, 8:26pm

Thanks to everyone for all your great advice! This is a really nice community here. :-)

- Tim

hilloverthehill
Posts: 32
Joined: 9 May 2016, 11:14am
Contact:

Re: How important is it that I choose a definite route?

Postby hilloverthehill » 9 May 2016, 7:52pm

Hi I completed a JOGLE in late October/November, after just a week of planning.....despite that it went very well! If you're carrying a tent I wouldn't worry about pre-booking accomodation. I 'wild camped' in England half a dozen times with no bother, using woods, edges of fields and canal towpaths, even though in theory it's not possible. I'd just stop when I was tired or more usually because it was getting dark! Once in Scotland you're pretty much free to camp as long as it's not in someone's back garden! Occasionally I'd get a B&B or hotel after particularly bad soakings, but just found them when I arrived. That might not be quite as easy in the summer though with more tourists around.
Although my route was a rather rushed plan I stuck to it apart from a wee diversion in Somerset to come off a busy B road. If you want to check out my route my blog's http://hilloverthehill.blogspot.co.uk Have a great ride!

JohnWL
Posts: 21
Joined: 17 Jul 2014, 8:44am

Re: How important is it that I choose a definite route?

Postby JohnWL » 22 May 2016, 12:11pm

I set off on a planned route in early June 2014 with a few variations. I did change it as I went - for example in the area of Wigan, Preston etc I followed canals which were a bit slow but pleasant easy cycling away form the mass of roads in that part of NW England.I also found a great road not on the map ( then ) to the west of the A6/M6. I added diversions according to the weather.

Also I only booked my first nights' accomodation in Hayle, Cornwall. From then on save for JoG I just cycled about and asked at hotels pubs etc that looked ok or else called up late afternoon afternoon once I knew where I would get to.

A couple of times I was a bit concerned about finding somewhere to stay but I never had any real problems.

I enjoyed feeling I did not have to get to a certain place as I set off on the basis never having done any cycle touring and with limited training I did not know whether I would last two days or the full 14 it took me ( at the end of the 2nd day in Cornwall/Devon with what seemed like millions of hills and a full on 25mph headwind I did think if that continued I was not going to get there ).

The uncertainty for me added to the enjoyment. I appreciate others may feel differently !

John

PhilWhitehurst
Posts: 260
Joined: 9 Aug 2011, 4:14pm

Re: How important is it that I choose a definite route?

Postby PhilWhitehurst » 23 May 2016, 7:11pm

Depends on your personality type and how much time you have.

You can plan your route and book everything.
You can plan your route and book the first couple of days
You can book accommodation without a planned route between them.
You can turn up at either end with a road atlas pages or map plus compass and see where you end up..

Outside of weekends and major holiday periods many places are often available to stay. So you may to decide to book places Friday and Sat but leave the rest open.

It's not critical to have everything planned to the nth degree. After all it's always nice to leave a little room for adventure and changes of plan as you proceed.

As for farms and sleeping on straw / hay in barns. All still possible. Asking to camp at the back of a pub often works as well provided you eat / drink there.

Plenty of options.

Bicycler
Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: How important is it that I choose a definite route?

Postby Bicycler » 23 May 2016, 8:51pm

JohnWL wrote:I set off on a planned route in early June 2014 with a few variations. I did change it as I went - for example in the area of Wigan, Preston etc I followed canals which were a bit slow but pleasant easy cycling away form the mass of roads in that part of NW England.

A quick clarifier on this point for others planning their trips. The Wigan-Chorley section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is indeed quite easy cycling (unless on an out and out road bike) and is part of NCN 55.

The Lancaster Canal north of Preston most of the way to Lancaster is completely unsurfaced and unsuited to a loaded touring bike. The section in Preston (NCN 62) is surprisingly peaceful but is not all that easy to get to, requires dismounting for sets of steps and the patchy gravelly surface is merely adequate for a touring bike rather than good.

The Ribble Link Canal is tarmacked as part of the circular Guild Wheel cycle route which goes round the city. It adds a few miles compared to going straight through the centre, but those inclined towards traffic free routes and on a leisurely schedule could do worse than to follow the route round the city rather than go through.