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Lands End To John O'Groats

Lands End To John O'Groats

31st May 2019 - 19th June 2019 (20 days)

This tour is one of the world's great cycle rides. It is suitable for reasonably fit cyclists who are willing to gear low and keep going at a steady pace. The route uses mostly rural roads and offers plenty of beautiful scenery. The first four days can be tough, but things do get easier, with a rest day before the final Scottish hills. Succeed in this challenge and you will have some wonderful memories to treasure. This holiday is also available on 30 August 2019 - find out more.

 

  • Holiday Type Guided
  • Tour Manager Chris Ellison
  • Grade Challenging
  • Booking Status Places Available
  • Accommodation Hotel
  • Board Basis Half Board
  • Travel Arrangements Land Only
  • Road / Off Road Road
  • Holiday Style Moving-on
  • Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
  • Holiday Ref 01918

Price
£2,195

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Lands End To John O'Groats

Friday 31st May

Bag pick up at Penzance station 1230 to 1600. Cycle to Redruth for dinner at 1930. Stay 2 nights

Saturday 1st June

Cycle to Land's End and back to Redruth by optional long or direct route.

Sunday 2nd June

Cycle to Lostwithiel, through Cornwall's remote rolling landscape, Stay 1 night.

Monday 3rd June

Cyclec over eerie Dartmoor to Exeter. Stay 1 night.

Tuesday 4th June

Cycle via the Somerset Levels to Weston-super-Mare. Stay 1 night

Wednesday 5th June

Cycle over the Avon and Severn bridge cycle paths and through Welsh border country to Ross on Wye. Stay 1 night. No evenming meal provided.

Thursday 6th June

Cycle through ancient Ludlow and Corve Dale to Shifnall, near Telford. Stay 1 night.

Friday 7th June

Cycle via the Manifold Valley to Bakewell in Derbshire's Peak District. Stay 1 night.

Saturday 8th June

Cycle through the lovely Peak District to Outlane, near Huddersfield. Stay 1 night.

Sunday 9th June

Cycle the Pennine moorland to Haworth (Bronte country), Skipton and into the Yorkshire Dales to Hawes. Stay 1 night.

Monday 10th June

Cycle the beautiful Eden Valley to Carlisle. Stay 1 night.

Tuesday 11th June

Cycle into Scotland via Gretna Green to Abington via Wanlockhead. Stay 1 night. No evening meal provided.

Wednesday 12th June

Cycle through the Scottish Lowlands to Stirking. Stay 2 nights.

Thursday 13th June

Rest day, with the opportunity to visit Stirling Castle.

Friday 14th June

Cycle via Crieff and Glen Cochill to Pitlochry. Stay 1 night.

Saturday 15th June

Cycle via the Sustrans cycle route up the spectacular Glen Garry and the Pass of Drumochter to Nethybridge. Stay 1 night.

Sunday 16th June

Cycle via Inverness and the Black Isle to Tain. Stay 1 night.

Monday 17th June

Cycle via enchanting Strath Tirry and Strath Vagastie to Bettyhill. Stay 1 night.

Tuesday 18th June

Cycle the northern coast of Scotland to John O'Groats. Stay 1 night.

Wednesday 19th June

Bus to Inverness, arriving 1215.

Daily cycling distances will be between 50 and 83 miles; average 63 miles.

Accommodation & Meals

This will be mostly in 3-star hotels, apart from two nights rated 4-star and two nights which have been given 2 stars. Most rooms will be ensuite, but this cannot be guaranteed at two hotels. Half board is included except for two nights (5 and 11 June) where no evening meal is included. Vegetarians should indicate their preferences on the booking form but may have very limited choice in some places.

Vehicle Support

A back-up van will carry your luggage and will give support to the group during the day.

Travel Insurance

Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your CTC membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks. Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.

Price

The price of £2,195 is based on a minimum number of 8 people taking part in the holiday. If there are insufficient bookings by 22nd March 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.

Price Includes

  • Transfer by bus from John O'Groats to Inverness
  • Back-up vehicle to carry luggage / people where necessary
  • 17 night hotel, sharing room, half-board
  • 2 nights hotel, sharing room, breakfast only
  • Hire of a Garmin GPS and bike mount
  • CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs

Price Does Not Include

  • Travel to Land's End and from Inverness
  • Drinks with evening meals
  • Lunches or refreshments at morning and afternoon stops
  • Entry fees at any attractions
  • Any other personal expenses
  • Travel Insurance (optional)
  • Single supplement (£490, subject to availability)

Payment Schedule

A deposit of £395 per person is payable upon booking, with an Interim Payment of £900 per person due by 28th February 2019. The final balance of £900 per person is to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 22nd March 2019.

Cancellations

Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:

Written notice received:

Before 28th February 2019

28th February 2019 to 21st March 2019

22nd March 2019 through to departure

 

Cancellation charge:

Deposit (£395)

59.0% (£1,295)

100% (£2,195)

The Area Covered By The Holiday

The UK mainland contains an amazing variety of scenery in a relatively small area and a useful network of country lanes and minor roads. To help us on this 1000+ mile ride the prevailing wind is from the southwest and the weather is usually reasonable at this time of year.
In the first section you will experience the remote hills and moorlands of Cornwall with their stone-age monuments and the flat marshlands of the Somerset levels before crossing the high-tech Avon and Severn bridge cycle paths into the Welsh border country and Ross on Wye.
From here we cycle north through Ludlow and Corve Dale towards Telford before turning northeast and cycling through the Manifold Valley into the Derbyshire Peak District. Heading more or less north and staying on the high ground of Pennines, we cross Monsal Head and the Strines and cycle through moorland to Haworth (Bronte country) and into the Yorkshire Dales before emerging in the Eden Valley and stopping at Carlisle.
You cycle into Scotland via Gretna Green to Wanlockhead, the highest village in Scotland, before cycling through the Scottish lowlands to Stirling where we enjoy a rest day. From here we ride via Glen Cochill to Pitlochry, then, using the Sustrans route, up Glen Garry and the Pass of Drumochter to Nethybridge.
Continue via Inverness and the Black Isle to Tain, from where the route goes via Strath Tirry and Strath Vagastie to Tongue and Bettyhill. Then there is a final push along the northern coast to John O’Groats.

Rides & Rest Days

Most of each day will be spent cycling. We expect people will ride in loose groups, around 12-14 mph on the flat, slower up hills, usually meeting up at road junctions and cafes for lunch and refreshment breaks.
The Tour Manager will drive the support vehicle and will normally ‘lead’ from behind which will leave after you have set out and repeatedly leapfrog you during the day. There might also be a deputy leader riding but please do not expect to be constantly accompanied. In practise we should always be fairly close if you need us, and you should see or meet us several times during the day.
Inevitably, many parts of this route are very hilly, so you do need to be fit to get the most out of this tour, and it is essential to get out on your bike and build up to 70 or 80 mile hilly rides before the tour starts. 100km or 200km Audax rides are good training for this sort of tour. See http://www.aukweb.net for details.
Please note: it may not always be possible to follow the itinerary exactly; things do not always go as planned. In these circumstances, we will make alternative arrangements.

Accommodation & Meals

Accommodation will range from 2- to 4-star hotels. Meals, where provided, tend to be wholesome and filling.

Travel

We recommend that you travel to Penzance by rail or car; nearly all trains carry cycles, but they can be overcrowded. We can provide advice about booking. One-way hire cars can be cheaper and more convenient, with a drop off point for the major hire firms in the station car park. The van will be at Penzance Train Station from about 1230 to 1600 to transport any luggage.
At John O’Groats we have arranged a bus for 0830 on the final morning, returning you and your bikes to Inverness by about 1200. It is possible to have your bike shipped home from John O'Groats, and we can provide advice about this.

Group Information

The maximum number of participants will be 20 excluding the Tour Manager(s).

Weather & Clothing

As you may know, British weather can be very variable, so there is a possibility of both heat waves and cold, wet weather on a tour like this.
Lightweight clothing, suitable for a range of temperatures, is needed and possibly smarter clothing for the more up-market hotels (though they seem to be very relaxed about what people wear). Lightweight waterproofs/windproofs may be useful and also warmer clothing for the evenings. Hopefully sun cream will also be useful.

Cycles & Equipment

A lightweight road bike or touring cycle with low gears (eg a small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. On a ride of this length a weight savings of even a couple of pounds (a kilogram) can make a big difference. Your bike must be in good working order, especially the brakes; spare brake pads must be carried. Lights and mudguards are optional. You should have ridden your cycle before the tour to ensure you are happy with its handling. You are expected to carry tools and spares to deal with punctures and minor repairs, including two new inner tubes. There are local bike shops on or near the route, but they might not be available when you want them.

Maps & Guides

The hire of a Garmin GPS and bike mount is included in the tour cost, as it makes navigation much easier. You will need space on your handlebars for the Garmin. If you wish to bring your own maps, you will find the OS Travelmaster ‘blue’ series nos 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 useful. Some previous tour members have found that ripping pages from an atlas as needed was a cheaper option. Please contact the Tour Manager for more details.

Travel Insurance & Advice

Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your CTC membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks. Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.