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Rivendale staff Jocelyn’s LEJOG adventure

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June 21, 2023 · 10 MIN READ

Jocelyn has officially completed her sponsored Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle tour. Below are the daily updates of the journey that she completed in 14 days!

LEJOG Day 1 Lands End to Fowey

What a wonderful day – I didn’t stop smiling 😊. All that hill training at home was certainly worthwhile and I’m pleased to say I’m definitely not the ‘Granny at the back’ 🤣🤣

LEJOG Day 2 Fowey to Moretonhampstead on Dartmoor 

A day of 2 halves. The first ferry crossing took us away from Fowey and we spent the morning cruising through the quiet Cornish lanes to Plymouth. Then there was another small ferry across to the city, and our second county Devon, which we skirted to reach the cycleway leading to the Dartmoor National Park. I felt right at home with the wide open moors and very undulating road (ie hills and more hills).  A tough but brilliant day 😀

LEJOG Day 3 Moretonhampstead to Street

More miles today but not so many hills and a complete change of scenery. Beautiful Devon lanes as far as Exeter and on to lunch at picturesque Broadhembury. From there we crossed into Somerset and the flat Levels. I popped into a willow farm which was a bit random 🤣. The whole day was just brilliant and I’m still smiling.

LEJOG Day 4 Street to Monmouth

Lots to see today. Glastonbury Tor in the early mist followed by beautiful Wells and on to Bristol bringing back student memories. Over the elegant Clifton Suspension Bridge and then the original Severn Bridge into Wales. Glad it wasn’t windy 🌬️ for that. Finishing with a nice flat meander up the Wye valley via Tintern Abbey.

I can’t believe we’ve done over a quarter of the route so far.

LEJOG Day 5 Monmouth to Bishops Castle

The scenery and views today were amazing. Herefordshire is a beautiful county with lots of black and white timber framed buildings and acres of cider apple orchards. There’s always a brew van just along the route and usually in a lovely location. The road closure due to surfacing (wet tar/loose clippings not at all bike friendly) caused a few issues but everyone ended up where they were supposed to be 👍.   Still smiling 😀😀

LEJOG Day 6 Bishops Castle to Runcorn

Lots of beautiful countryside and winding lanes again today, in and out of England and Wales; only distinguished by the road signs.  Not been to Shrewsbury before so enjoyed the stretch along the river there. Weather still amazing. ☀️☀️

Finished the day with a relaxing swim in the pool here at the hotel. This is the only evening we’re not in a B&B or hostel so why not.

LEJOG Day 7 Runcorn to Lancaster 

We’ve definitely made the transition from south to north today. High fells visible all around and northern accents when we get close enough to the locals 🤣. Even Chorley cakes at the brew stop.

Not so scenic dodging the traffic through the Liverpool/Manchester area this morning and then later on through the suburbs of Bolton and Blackburn but after another incredible lunch we had the Trough of Bowland to enjoy.

LEJOG Day 8 Lancaster to Penrith

We are over halfway now and tomorrow we’ll be heading over the border to Scotland. I can’t believe the days are passing so quickly.

I had a lovely family visit from Ursula, Rob and Hayley Longstaff this evening but Penrith was very busy with Appleby Horse Fair visitors on their way home so finding somewhere relaxing for a quiet meal was tricky. It was great to see them and catch up though 🥰

Every day presents us with a different aspect of the fabulous UK countryside. Today saw us cycle further north beside the mighty Howgill Fells through part of Yorkshire and on in to Cumbria. We could see Pen Y Gent in the distance but didn’t go that far (phew), Lots of traffic coming away from Appleby with their Romany caravans and horse traps. Every day is different. What an experience this is proving to be. Far better than I could ever have imagined.

LEJOG Day 9 Penrith to Moffat

We’ve crossed the border to Scotland today. 😀. The temperature has been rather high but better that than rain 🌧️ which I understand has been falling elsewhere in the UK.

It’s been a day of wide open roads and expansive views from the Lake District’s northern peak, Blencathra, at the start of the day, to the Scottish Southern Upland range approaching our destination for the night. Added a couple of miles on to visit the Blacksmiths Shop at Gretna Green. Yes, it was pretty touristy but would have been a shame to miss it 🥰

LEJOG Day 10 Moffat to Kinross via Edinburgh

A day of contrasts. A steady 6m climb away from Moffat took us up into the hills and the source of the River Tweed. I was expecting a waterfall at least so the stone plaque was somewhat underwhelming. Amazing scenery though with mountains to our left and lots of pine forests throughout the morning. Complete change after lunch though when we went straight through the middle of Edinburgh and over the old Forth bridge.  The city was incredibly busy and to be honest I couldn’t wait to get back into the wide open spaces again.

And as a perfect end to the day Adam, Becs and Hattie came to have dinner here. So lovely to see them and receive Hattie’s painted bunting and good luck card. Go Nanny Bootcamp Go.

Still smiling 👍

LEJOG Day 11 Kinross to Ballater

OMG what a day.  Just when you think it can’t get any better 🚴‍♂️ ☀️. I’ve run out of superlatives on these daily Stravas but this has been the most incredible day. The ride up to Glenshee was hard but so worth it. The Cairngorms are incredible and there was even snow 🏔️. The road past Balmoral was being resurfaced so we missed that but na bother 🤣🤣

LEJOG Day 12 Ballater to Inverness

The hot weather continues and a lot of today’s cycling felt as if I was in the Mediterranean with the pine trees and blue skies. The ‘highlight’ of the day was getting to the top of The Lecht pass: a ski resort between Tomintoul and Strathdon.  It was an incredible climb up and up but there at the top was the brew van. 🚚 ☕️ 🍪 🍬. So a tough but fantastic day.

The scenery was different to yesterday with wide river valleys and lots more farmland. The mountain ranges were really high (lots of Munros) and if you look closely you can see the snow. I still think that’s mad whilst we’re having a heatwave 🥵

LEJOG Day 13 Inverness to Altnaharra 

The Scottish highlands have consistently surprised me with the ever changing scenery and terrain. We started the day following the Beauly Forth which reminded me of Devon. After lunch we climbed up over the Scourie Hills with lots of forests (and huge logging lorries creating clouds of dust as they went past) and finally over the desolate Sutherland moors to the iconic Crask Inn where I just had to try a local whisky 🥃. Bit of a diversion to see the salmon leap at Shin Falls was initially a disappointment but patience paid off and I saw one 🐟 . Only one day left 😔 for this great adventure and I’m definitely still smiling 😀

LEJOG Day 14 Altnaharra to John O’Groats – the final instalment 😀

I can’t believe it’s all over. 998 miles over 14 days and I pedalled every single mile 🎉.  After all the years it’s been on my bucket list I finally did it.

This morning’s beautiful route took us alongside Loch Naver then the river for miles and miles. As soon as we reached the coast though we were cycling into a headwind which never relented until the very end. Got a puncture at about 30 miles which was very annoying especially as the replacement and the next replacement also failed, wasting a lot of time. Can’t complain though as the bike has been brilliant.

I’m sad it’s all over and have genuinely enjoyed every minute (think that may have come over on my posts 🤣) but won’t miss getting up in the morning and having to do another day’s cycling. Time for a bit of a rest now I think 😴

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