LEJOG 2024

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
puffin
Posts: 559
Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 3:29pm
Location: Bicester / Aylesbury

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by puffin »

sparnel wrote: 28 Jan 2024, 5:14pm Hi Puffin - been reading your posts and well done on getting your arrangements well to the fore.
Two of us are planning a June start from LE. Can I ask did you find accommodation easy to get on the route
you have planned? Perhaps we should firm up on some dates and get booked!
You will have a great time, and I reckon June is a great month to do it, with a balance of good weather and school holidays. A really good thing to hold onto, the first days are tougher than most of the others...if you can get level with Bridgewater you're going to get to JOG.

Here's what I do. I work out my daily mileage and then plan my routes using (in my case) ridewithgps

Then I sit at the computer with four pages open, booking.com, hotels.com. airb&B and the ridewithgps page for that day's route.

So first off, work out your daily routes. Then find accommodation on those sites as near as possible and in the right price rage. To make finding the best choice easier I initially pick an accommodation near where I want to finish, then use the "see on map" feature, this shows it and other ones near it with the prices. Usually you can reserve without payment which makes the process much easier.

My route is well trodden (ridden?) by me and I will happily share it as a suggestion but it may not suit your style or wishes. For example its quite hilly ,eg it goes through the high part of the Cairngorns, mostly little roads but with an a%%%hole stretch of a few miles on the A9 north of Inverness, and I average between 60 and 70 miles a day. with a couple of 80+ milers

Individual snippets of feedback from my route;

Cornwall and Devon were designed by a hill lover, don't be disheartened, it gets better and you inevitably get fitter. They are followed by the Somerset Levels...yea!

Try to build the Cheddar Gorge into your route.

Herefordshire and Shropshire are beautiful, Cheshire is flat. Lancashire gets hilly again but in a moment I'll tell you about a good descent.

After a few miles north of Teebay (which has big hills and descents before you get there) you climb a long hill, then turn left at the top onto miles and miles of essentially downhill roads.

Try to use the old Forth Bridge, as for a few moments you sometimes get it effectively to yourself which is amazing, you feel like you're in a post-apocalyptic Zombie film. My route takes me over the Severn, the Forth and the Inverness bridges.

My Cairngorns route has four big climbs, the first is from the Spittall of Glenshee and this takes you on the highest A Road in the UK. You then descend into Braemar followed by a generally downhill stretch till you hit the next climb, which is the shortest of the four. A few miles after you descend, there is an excellent coffee and cake shop on the right.

Then you hit the climb at Cock Bridge which starts with a very steep section, then opens out into an Alpine looking road which stretches ahead of you...get a photo. You descend (rapidly) into Tomintoul after which there is a shorter climb followed by a brilliant long descent towards Grantown on Spey.

Here's the weird thing, after Grantown there are very few big climbs left, perhaps the approach to Bonar Bridge but probably until you get to Bettyhill on the North Coast and even these are nothing to what you've encountered already.

Once you're in the Highlands (if you go that way, some use the coast road which I reckon is horrible) its all quite easy going, you'll make good time. If you go past Altnaharra don't continue North to Tongue, hang a right and follow the loch and subsequent river to Bettyhill. After Bettyhill there are a few steep climbs. Before Altnaharra is the famous Crask Inn, well worth a stop if it fits in, you book directly with them.

JOG itself looks remarkably like Land's End, though without the cliffs. There is a book to sign, ask around because its presence seems to move around. There will be no shortage of people who will take your photo by the pole, folks seem really happy for LEJOG'ers.

General points:

B&B's have breakfast times which can make it hard to get away early. I chuck a couple of powdered porridges in my bag and munch those if I need to miss breakfast and get away.

The biggest (and most easily avoided) threat is saddle sore, so get as much saddle time under your belt as you can, and this can be in short manageable chunks. Next, get some times on hills, I only have one big hill near me, so guess what? Yep, I do the most boring 5 X Circuit. Next, if ever you get really knackered...and you will...remember that a short break and some grub puts you back on course. Finally, remember you will get fitter as you go on the adventure.

Let us know how you get on.
sparnel
Posts: 8
Joined: 23 Jul 2023, 6:11pm

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by sparnel »

Hi Puffin - thanks for a great comprehensive reply. One thing - I'm not sure if you book each morning when you're on your
way or if you are doing each day whilst still at home? Maybe I'm not reading you right.....I was thinking - hoping - that we
could book daily 'on the route'. Leaving a lot to chance I know and perhaps thinking of taking a sleeping bag in case we have to beg
for a space to lie down in! I note your method of finding overnights.
We have plenty of big hills around here - I live in the western Highlands so we get plenty training in ups and downs. I do know the
various routes throughout the Highland region and would be able to take up offers of accom from friends & family in various places here.
I have walked LeJog, in 2005. Took me two and a bit months. Great experience. I'll follow your progress with interest.
Thanks for the reply!
rareposter
Posts: 1914
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by rareposter »

sparnel wrote: 30 Jan 2024, 7:58pm Hi Puffin - thanks for a great comprehensive reply. One thing - I'm not sure if you book each morning when you're on your
way or if you are doing each day whilst still at home? Maybe I'm not reading you right.....I was thinking - hoping - that we
could book daily 'on the route'.
I've done that in the past and it can work - especially in more densely populated areas and out of peak time. A friend used to rock up in a suitable looking town once she'd had enough of riding for the day, get onto booking.com and find some accommodation, get some food then ride to the hotel / B&B. Occasionally they'd be a bit surprised at having a bedraggled cyclist turn up but she was never refused. She even did that with a 5* hotel once (somewhere in eastern Europe)!

In peak holiday season and in quieter / more remote areas, I reckon you'd be pushing your luck to find anywhere. It's worth booking in advance using a free cancellation option - it does cost more than the "absolute basic lowest price possible" but with many of them you can cancel for free right up until midday on the day of arrival. Premier Inn and Holiday Inn both have those sort of policies. Book it now (or in the next few weeks) and then if your itinerary changes (or even for stuff like really bad weather on the day, a mechanical that puts you way behind schedule etc forcing a change of plans) you can cancel it.

A mate who used to do a load of touring used this option a lot; he'd often have several places booked on one day and he'd just ride to whichever he felt like and cancel the others. I was never that organised, I'd just go with the "find somewhere at a moment's notice" choice. Quite often rooms turn up in the early afternoon from hotels / B&Bs that have just had people exercise their free cancellation! :lol:

A big +1 for Puffin's route up through the Cairngorms as well. The "long Alpine climb" he references is The Lecht: (not my photo, just from Google Images) and the route around the loch just north of Altnaharra is stunning.

Image
sparnel
Posts: 8
Joined: 23 Jul 2023, 6:11pm

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by sparnel »

Thanks for the info on accomm. I've driven over the Lecht a few times and always said no way would I ever cycle that!
I've seen some folk on it with bikes and they all seem to struggle! Think we'll stick to a route further west.
puffin
Posts: 559
Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 3:29pm
Location: Bicester / Aylesbury

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by puffin »

sparnel wrote: 30 Jan 2024, 7:58pm Hi Puffin - thanks for a great comprehensive reply. One thing - I'm not sure if you book each morning when you're on your
way or if you are doing each day whilst still at home? Maybe I'm not reading you right.....I was thinking - hoping - that we
could book daily 'on the route'. Leaving a lot to chance I know and perhaps thinking of taking a sleeping bag in case we have to beg
for a space to lie down in! I note your method of finding overnights.
We have plenty of big hills around here - I live in the western Highlands so we get plenty training in ups and downs. I do know the
various routes throughout the Highland region and would be able to take up offers of accom from friends & family in various places here.
I have walked LeJog, in 2005. Took me two and a bit months. Great experience. I'll follow your progress with interest.
Thanks for the reply!
Hi Sparnel, I definitely book ahead. In December. Risk averse or what?

Penzance Pirate Inn, TR18 4PS, Camelford The Countryman PL32 9XA. Cullumpton Padbrook Park EX15 1RU, Stanton Drew B&B BS39 4ES, Ross on Wye Premier Inn HR9 7QJ, Much Wenlock The Fox TF13 6AD, Knutsford-ish Laburnum Cottage WA16 7PU, Slaidburn-ish, Clerk Laithe BB7 3EB, Armathwaite Fox & Pheasant CA4 9PY, Traqquair Arms EH44 6PD, Perth Heidi Guest House PH2 8EH, Howe Toberg Glen Cairn AB35 5XL, Inverness SYHA IV2 3QB, Wee Hoos north of Crask Inn IV27 4AB, JOG-ish North Point Pods Scarsferry KW14 8XT
sparnel
Posts: 8
Joined: 23 Jul 2023, 6:11pm

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by sparnel »

Hi Puffin - thanks for that list. I've noted those places. I think we'll definitely book the first three or four days.
We should know how we're doing by that time. When I walked LeJog I got my son to book accomm for each night
on a daily basis and it seemed to work out ok. Here's hoping.........
puffin
Posts: 559
Joined: 15 Aug 2010, 3:29pm
Location: Bicester / Aylesbury

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by puffin »

sparnel wrote: 31 Jan 2024, 3:36pm Hi Puffin - thanks for that list. I've noted those places. I think we'll definitely book the first three or four days.
We should know how we're doing by that time. When I walked LeJog I got my son to book accomm for each night
on a daily basis and it seemed to work out ok. Here's hoping.........
You WALKED Lands End John O' Groats????????
rareposter
Posts: 1914
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by rareposter »

puffin wrote: 1 Feb 2024, 3:37pm You WALKED Lands End John O' Groats????????
That's actually surprisingly popular. Usually takes about 2.5 months or so and is about 1200 miles using a mix of long-distance paths. There are a few routes online. The first recorded walk (done the other way, JOGLE) was in 1871!
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Paulatic
Posts: 7783
Joined: 2 Feb 2014, 1:03pm
Location: 24 Hours from Lands End

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by Paulatic »

I come across E2E walkers every year The campers carry the weight of a bike, around 13Kg, on their back.
Best one I ever met was a lady, her husband had cycled LEJOG she drove to JoG and gave him the car. She was then walking back to LE. B&B so not carrying a large pack.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/
E2E info
LollyKat
Posts: 3250
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by LollyKat »

Anyone remember Barbara Moore, an eccentric who in 1960 walked JoGLE eating only nuts, honey, raw fruit and vegetables? My primary school was on the route and we were allowed out to wave to her. We were very disappointed that she didn’t even look up, but she must have been pretty tired if that really was all she ate.
sparnel
Posts: 8
Joined: 23 Jul 2023, 6:11pm

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by sparnel »

Took me two & a half months and I did 1300 miles. Didn't have a planned route and just made my way on a daily basis
as I went along. Camped some nights as I carried a tent and sleeping bag but mainly B&Bs and YHs.
We're aiming for a late May start for this cycle trip and are going to take a few weeks as we want to spend some time
in places we find interesting. Can't stay too long in them all!
Ron
Posts: 1380
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 9:07pm

Re: LEJOG 2024

Post by Ron »

LollyKat wrote: 2 Feb 2024, 12:54pm Anyone remember Barbara Moore, an eccentric who in 1960 walked JoGLE eating only nuts, honey, raw fruit and vegetables?
Yes, I cycled out to watch, she was one of the leading group and had passed before I got there. Although I saw many of the mottley followers, ill prepared in the main for walking on the snow and slush covered roads. I remember one man in particular reduced to wearing carpet slippers for comfort and it was only the second day.
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