Our schedule took us from Land’s End to John O’Groats in seven days, departing on Thursday, May 9th and arriving at our destination on Wednesday, May 15th. The dates were chosen so that we could visit both hospitals en route; Chesterfield Royal Hospital on Saturday, May 11th and Weston Park Hospital on Sunday, May 12th.
Day 1: We left Land’s End to snake across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset en route to our first night’s ‘shut-eye’ in Wiltshire; something we looked forward to after our opening and slightly fraught day on the road.
Day 2: By-passing Bristol and Bath we headed northwards towards the Midlands. There were several routes we might have taken through Gloucestershire and onward, some more direct that others but there was a huge obstacle in our way, Birmingham, should we go west or east of it? (We chose east)
Day 3: We spent the day in Chesterfield, visiting Chesterfield Royal Hospital for a photo call and replenishing supplies – we might have been less than half way through our LeJoG trip but it had taken us two days to get to Land’s End in the first place. By the time we finally arrived back home we would have driven the length of England and Scotland twice!
Day 4: To Weston Park Hospital for the Crooked Spire Classic Tours ‘Tally Ho Classic Run’ which this year started from the hospital and ran around South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. Entrants’ cars left from 11:00am and were also raising funds for Weston Park Cancer Charity. As you can see, we were the first car away and received a splendid send off.
Gael and I followed the ‘Tally Ho’ route until the lunch halt at The Oil Can Cafe near Holmfirth, then headed northwards in the afternoon to our overnight stop at The Ashcroft Guest House Haltwhistle near Hadrian’s Wall.
Day 5: Into Scotland! Tonight we stayed north of Perth, avoiding Edinburgh (though unfortunately not Falkirk!) and the Forth Road Bridge for a more rural route towards the Cairngorms.
Day Six: The choice of routes was less and sticking to B-roads added almost 50 miles to our route but the further we wne, the more picturesque the scenery, so it was well worth it. We visited an infamous battlefield before crossing the ‘Abhainn Nis’ heading west before turning north once more.
Day Seven: Our final day and our route was almost due north, then north-east. Unfortunately we had to take A-roads part of the way, no alternatives exist in the more remote parts of Caithness. We reached John O’Groats mid-afternoon; had a cuppa and slice of cake, took some photos, bought a souvenir or two and then headed south, our LeJoG adventure completed.
Except it didn’t quite end there. Having driven all that way we then headed to Peebles for the Scottish Riley Enthusiasts’ ‘National Riley Weekend’ before finally heading home.
It’s an event we’ve attended before and thoroughly enjoyed so we looked forward to relaxing with friends and enjoying some Scottish hospitality – except for the first time since leaving Land’s End, it rained though it didn’t dampen our spirits, we’d enjoyed the best week’s motoring, ever!