Land’s End to John O’Groats a.k.a. LeJoG. Traditionally it’s 874 miles, 814 by the shortest road route, 837 miles by the quickest and 603 as the crow flies.
Take that quickest route and you could be at your destination fourteen and a half hours after waving goodbye to Land’s End but what’s fun about that? You’ll have ‘enjoyed’ the A30, M5, M6, A74(M), M74, M73, M80, M9, A9 and A99; some of the most traffic-packed roads in Britain. Our route B-road by-passed all of that and though it took us much longer we saw far more of England’s green and pleasant land and Scotland’s peaks and glens.
It wasn’t possible to follow B-roads or unclassified roads all the way, we had divert on to A-roads now and again but we used them as little as possible; major trunk routes were avoided altogether.
We used a GPS trip-meter app. to measure distance travelled and help us navigate by tulip diagrams. These ‘dot and arrow’ drawings of junctions were first used in the 1950s and indicate which way to turn. Provided the distances between turns are known, navigation should, we hoped, be a ‘doddle’.
Accurately measuring those distances in competitive classic events is done by expensive equipment calibrated using a measured mile. Our smartphone app performed the same function with one huge advantage, it was free, we like ‘free’.
We weren’t hurrying, this was most definitely not a speed event. We estimated our average speed would need to be between 30-35 mph. You may think that’s very slow but it wasn’t, not when you take into account stops for fuel (finding some might be a problem on our B-road route), food, photographs etc.