Accommodation for LEJOG

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
nun
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Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby nun » 31 Dec 2019, 1:07am

I plan to do LEJOG this summer staying at a mix of camp sites, hostels and hotels. I've toured a lot in the USA and here I leave booking hotels/motels until the night before or even on the morning of the day I plan to stay; I don't like to plan too much ahead as who knows what will happen and that's half the fun. Also US hotels/motels are usually ok with bikes in the rooms. For US campsites I usually just turn up and there's usually something available.

So on LEJOG is booking hotel rooms the day of the stay ok? Are hotels ok with bikes in rooms? For hostels do I need an International Hosteling Card? Do I need any membership for campsites and are there usually places open without a reservation?

irc
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby irc » 31 Dec 2019, 6:52am

I've found the Travelodge chain usually allow bikes in rooms.
Hostels, you can join at the first hostel you stay at.
Booking on the day? Peak season hostels might be full. Penzance was booked months ahead the date I wanted.
If booking on the day I would carry a lightweight tent or at least a bivvy bag and sleeping bag as emergency back up. .

rotavator
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby rotavator » 31 Dec 2019, 10:24am

July and August are the peak holiday season and during this period it would be a good idea to book hotels, B&Bs, hostels in advance or to carry a tent and sleeping bag as back-up. Outside peak season and bank holidays you are more likely to find accom at short notice.

You can buy membership of YHA and SYHA and save a bit on the fees. There are also lots of independent hostels and no membership needed. The advantages of using hostels and bunk houses versus hotels and B&Bs is that noone bats an eyelid if you turn up up looking like a drowned rat, they usually have a bike store, you can wash and dry your clothes, lower cost and you can cook your own meals.

https://independenthostels.co.uk/
https://www.yha.org.uk/
https://www.hostellingscotland.org.uk/

nun
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby nun » 31 Dec 2019, 12:32pm

Thanks. I'll probably book hotels early for the first couple of days in the South West and then just wing it. I've had good luck with Booking.com before. I'll join the hostel association and always have a tent for emergencies.

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horizon
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby horizon » 31 Dec 2019, 1:49pm

I would try AirBnB.

But apart from that, I would set aside £200 for emergency accommodation (in the form of a luxury hotel). You might never need it but if you do it's because there is almost always accommodation available at a price, especially on a bike as you can travel a further few miles at least.

The only exception IME is, as others have mentioned, peak holidays and special events (try Edinburgh tonight perhaps?). You can check these on Booking.com.

Update: just checked and there's a family room available for £80.00 - that's Hogmanay, Edinburgh at 2.00pm on New Year's Eve.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

whoof
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby whoof » 31 Dec 2019, 3:33pm

In addition to Travelodge the chain Premier inn also allow bikes in rooms.

https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/why/bike-friendly.html

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Paulatic
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby Paulatic » 31 Dec 2019, 3:37pm

nun wrote:Thanks. I'll probably book hotels early for the first couple of days in the South West and then just wing it. I've had good luck with Booking.com before. I'll join the hostel association and always have a tent for emergencies.

I probably wouldn’t join the YHA as it’s only a few pounds more without membership and it’s questionable how many of them are suitably on route. So many hostels now are privately run. In some of them you’ll need to produce a picture identity.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

pete75
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby pete75 » 31 Dec 2019, 4:33pm

Try Warmshowers https://www.warmshowers.org/. It an idea that works.

nun
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby nun » 31 Dec 2019, 5:33pm

pete75 wrote:Try Warmshowers https://www.warmshowers.org/. It an idea that works.


I've used them extensively in the USA and have hosted a couple of times, I wasn't sure how large the network was in the UK.

I looked at Travelodge hotels on Google maps and there are lots so along with Premier there seems to be plenty of bike friendly options. Are there any must stay hostels and bike friendly spots on the LEJOG routes where cyclists tend to gather. I'd like to meet other people doing the ride to swap stories etc as that's fun after a long solo day in the saddle.

hilloverthehill
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby hilloverthehill » 31 Dec 2019, 9:08pm

I've always winged it on trips, booking on the day, so far not been caught out. You could join warm showers as an extra option

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Paulatic
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby Paulatic » 31 Dec 2019, 9:49pm

The chances of meeting others on the route are pretty slim until after Inverness when route options become fewer. I often meet E2Enders and they’ve no idea of anyone 2 hours further up the road.
Great pvt hostel in Penrith (Wayfarers) with good cycle facilities ( for repairs). Often cyclists in there but doing a Coast to Coast.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

nun
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby nun » 31 Dec 2019, 11:22pm

Paulatic wrote:The chances of meeting others on the route are pretty slim until after Inverness when route options become fewer. I often meet E2Enders and they’ve no idea of anyone 2 hours further up the road.
Great pvt hostel in Penrith (Wayfarers) with good cycle facilities ( for repairs). Often cyclists in there but doing a Coast to Coast.


I'll probably try to stay at some bicycle hostels. I stayed at a couple on the Northern Tier in the USA that were free and bike specific and had a great time so I don't want to miss out on any LEJOG equivalents. I suppose that as there isn't a single defined route (as there is with the NT) bumping into other end to enders isn't that common.

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby LittleGreyCat » 4 Jan 2020, 2:00pm

I think another issue with meeting others is that there is no standard mileage per day for EtoE.

So it may be difficult to pinpoint a single location where a lot of people will be stopping for the night.

There are also several routes which only converge at the ends.
I am planning to do JOGLE (opposite direction) by an East Coast minimum climb route and aiming at 50 miles per day.
Other cyclists will be doing anything from 70 to 150/200 miles per day on a West Coast route so we are unlikely to end up in the same accommodation except by extreme chance.

First and last night is when you are likely to meet people finishing or about to start.

I'm planning on staying in small hotels and B&Bs (nothing hardcore) so again I don't expect to meet many other EtoE cyclists.

nun
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby nun » 4 Jan 2020, 3:25pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:I think another issue with meeting others is that there is no standard mileage per day for EtoE.

So it may be difficult to pinpoint a single location where a lot of people will be stopping for the night.

There are also several routes which only converge at the ends.
I am planning to do JOGLE (opposite direction) by an East Coast minimum climb route and aiming at 50 miles per day.
Other cyclists will be doing anything from 70 to 150/200 miles per day on a West Coast route so we are unlikely to end up in the same accommodation except by extreme chance.

First and last night is when you are likely to meet people finishing or about to start.

I'm planning on staying in small hotels and B&Bs (nothing hardcore) so again I don't expect to meet many other EtoE cyclists.


This is a bit disappointing. When I did the "Norther Tier" in the US I met lots of other people doing the ride because it has a defined route, at least in the West, as there's really only one road. Because towns are so far apart there are some natural stopping points where cyclists congregate and there are some fantastic hostels that cater specifically for cyclists and some of them are free. Cooking and sharing a beer with people at these places was a highlight of my trip and we'd often ride together for a few days. These two places were great and the accommodation was free.

http://www.baconbikehostel.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CclbxqC55DQ

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Accommodation for LEJOG

Postby LittleGreyCat » 4 Jan 2020, 4:16pm

nun wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:I think another issue with meeting others is that there is no standard mileage per day for EtoE.

So it may be difficult to pinpoint a single location where a lot of people will be stopping for the night.

There are also several routes which only converge at the ends.
I am planning to do JOGLE (opposite direction) by an East Coast minimum climb route and aiming at 50 miles per day.
Other cyclists will be doing anything from 70 to 150/200 miles per day on a West Coast route so we are unlikely to end up in the same accommodation except by extreme chance.

First and last night is when you are likely to meet people finishing or about to start.

I'm planning on staying in small hotels and B&Bs (nothing hardcore) so again I don't expect to meet many other EtoE cyclists.


This is a bit disappointing. When I did the "Norther Tier" in the US I met lots of other people doing the ride because it has a defined route, at least in the West, as there's really only one road. Because towns are so far apart there are some natural stopping points where cyclists congregate and there are some fantastic hostels that cater specifically for cyclists and some of them are free. Cooking and sharing a beer with people at these places was a highlight of my trip and we'd often ride together for a few days. These two places were great and the accommodation was free.

http://www.baconbikehostel.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CclbxqC55DQ


Well, there you have it. :D

A defined route, only one road, towns very far apart.
This will naturally group people together, much like defined walking trails in places like NZ where you all end up at the same accommodation each night.

However this is England and Scotland (the route may dip into Wales, depending).
There are very, very many roads and towns and villages are often 10 to 15 miles apart.
Look at Google Maps. :D
The only area which come to mind where there is limited accommodation and few roads is north of Inverness where route choice becomes limited.
There you are advised to go inland via Bettyhill and not up the East Coast on the A9 because that is a cycle unfriendly route due to traffic. Some do use the A9, though.
That is around 160 miles which can be anything from 1 to 3 days depending on your legs.
I'm not sure how many people will be on the road on any given day - others may be able to help here - but of course if you are more than a couple of minutes apart going in the same direction you might as well be on a different planet.

Looking at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population_density the UK as a whole comes in 32nd with a density of 710 people per square mile. The USA comes in 145th with a density of 87 people per square mile. Only a 9th of the population per square mile and a lot of very empty spaces.

TL;DR - if you are looking to replicate a cycling experience you have enjoyed in the USA then the UK is probably not the place to do it. There are many beautiful empty spaces but they aren't that large and there are people (especially farms) almost everywhere. Instead, enjoy the unique UK experience. Especially marvel at all the dry stone walls.