Cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats – an unforgettable ride

gubbins4ever (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats – an unforgettable ride

Bike Touring Collection by komoot
16-37 days
3-6 h / day
1,076 mi
54,250 ft
54,675 ft

Wild, windy moors and timber-framed cottages, country lanes twisting through layered hills, ruined castles and intricate cathedrals, glistening lochs and pristine sandy beaches – cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats really has it all.

Spanning the UK from its most southwestwards to its most northeastwards point, this end to end route is the most famous cycling challenge on UK soil. In this Collection, we will guide you along this incredible adventure in 22 stages, covering a total of 1006 miles (1620 km).

It’s up to you how you decide to complete this epic adventure – you can push your limits by combining the stages to finish in just a few days. Or, you may prefer to ride just a few sections at a time; as many of the stages end in a town or city with a railway station, you can easily take your time.

Come rain or shine, you can ride the route at any time of year. However, the long days and warmer temperatures in summer might make it more enjoyable. Remember to book any accommodation in advance as many fill up fast during the high season in July and August.

You will find a huge range of places to stay along the way, ranging from friendly B&Bs to youth hostels and luxury hotels. To make the most of the beautiful nature, you could also camp along the way or bring a bivvy bag to keep weight down.

Land’s End to John O’Groats is an unforgettable experience, but it is also intense with long days in the saddle and up to 4000 feet (1200 meters) elevation gain in one day. Make sure you are well-prepared physically to take on the challenge and fit in plenty of training rides before you set off.

As you cycle through England and Scotland, you will get to know the hidden gems of these diverse countries; lookout for the Loch Ness monster in the wild Scottish highlands, ride through the mystical Yorkshire Dales, sample local ales at friendly village pubs, and tuck into greasy fish and chips on the beach. This ride will reveal British beauty in all its glory, from fascinating history to spectacular landscapes.

Most road and touring bikes are well-suited to this adventure as you will ride along quiet lanes and cycle paths, with occasional off-road sections. Make sure you give your bike a once over before you leave to check it is running smoothly and don’t forget to tighten any bolts and screws. It’s also a good idea to fit new touring tyres such as Schwalbe Marathon shortly before you leave – punctures are never fun!

Your kit also depends on your own preference – you may want to bring full camping gear or opt for a lightweight setup. Just remember to pack all cycling essentials such as spare tyres, brake pads and a multi-tool. Although you will find many bike repair shops en route, you will also pass through some remote areas in the Scottish highlands where you need to carry out any repairs yourself. One top packing tip is to remember insect repellent – the midges are fearsome during summer.

Your adventure begins in Land’s End, a coastal village in Cornwall. Although the route can be ridden in either direction, you are more likely to experience tailwind if you set off from the south. As there is no railway station in Land’s End, you can travel to Penzance which is a short 10 mile (16 km) ride or drive from Land’s End – just don’t forget to reserve a space for your bicycle.

Well-prepared and in good shape, you are ready to set off on this incredible long-distance adventure. Get comfortable in your saddle – you’re in for one stunning ride.

For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/stations/penzance

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    36.2 mi
    9.6 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage one of your epic adventure cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats begins on the south-west coast of England on the tip of Penwith Peninsula. Today, you will cycle 36 miles (58 km) to Twelveheads.

    Heading inland, you will explore Cornish villages and countryside via peaceful lanes. The route rises and falls before a great downhill section into Penzance. This lively coastal town offers many shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as a pleasant 3.5 mile (6km) ride along the seafront.

    When you reach the Red River, you will leave the coast as the route follows parallel to the water. After 18.5 miles (30 km), you will arrive in St Erth, a small village named after Saint Erc. Soon after leaving the village, the coast greets you once more in Hayle.

    The final 12.5 miles (30 km) are a hilly stretch taking you further through the green Cornish countryside and passing villages and towns such as Barripper and Camborne before arriving in Twelveheads. Located on the banks of the Carnon River, Twelveheads is a small village with a popular cyclists cafe, Bon Appetit. You will find various accommodation options nearby.

    34.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,525 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Historical country estates and futuristic biodomes: stage two will take you to some of the UK’s most fascinating sites as you cycle from Twelveheads to Golant. Stage two is a hilly ride, with a total of 2460 feet (750 meters) of elevation gain.

    From Twelveheads, you will follow the Carnon River until Carnon Downs, a lively village with a large campground. Next, the route passes by Tressilick on the banks of the River Fal. Here, you will take the King Harry Ferry over the river; boats depart every 20 minutes daily and cost £1 for your bicycle.

    The next 18 miles (30 km) will take you through peaceful Cornish countryside dotted with sleepy villages and interesting sites such as Steward’s Meadow before arriving in St Austell, one of the largest towns in Cornwall. Here you will find a huge variety of shops and restaurants.

    Next, you will pass through St Blazey, Par, and Tywardreath before reaching Golant, the end destination of stage two. Sprawled across the west bank of the River Fowley, Golant is a picturesque waterside village. You will find rental apartments, campsites, cottages, B&Bs and hotels where you can relax after your ride.

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  • Difficult
    41.3 mi
    8.5 mph
    4,425 ft
    3,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From mystical falls to deep gorges – stage three is an enchanting ride from Golant to Lydford, passing some of the most scenic spots in the south. With 4429 feet (1350 meters) of climbing, stage one is tough. However, your effort is rewarded with stunning landscapes as you ride into the Dartmoor National Park.

    From Golant you will head north, passing through Lostwithiel, a quaint village set amongst a wooded valley on the River Fowey. You will climb up to 534 feet (163 meters) before dropping down to the river once more.

    Over the next 5 miles (8 km), the route follows undulating hills through the countryside before reaching the highest point of stage three at Minions. Perched atop the Bodmin moor, this curiously named village is the highest village in Cornwall. You will find a pub, cafes, shop and restaurant where you can re-energize after your climb.

    Next, a glorious 3 mile (5 km) descent takes you across the River Lynher and villages such as Rilla Mill, Bray Shop and Venterdon. At Horebridge, you will reach the River Tamar and the start of a 6 mile (10 km) climb. But, fear not, the gradients are gradual and the stunning scenery will distract you from your burning muscles.

    At the top of the climb, you will enter the Dartmoor National Park. Here, herds of wild-ponies, misty moors and moody hills await.

    Your final destination is Lydford, a popular village steeped in history and surrounded by glorious Dartmoor landscape. The village has a few pubs and places to stay to ensure you have a comfortable rest.

    32.1 mi
    9.8 mph
    2,000 ft
    2,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Sweeping moorlands, galloping herds of Dartmoor ponies and vast mysterious landscapes: stage four of your adventure cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats takes you through the Dartmoor National Park from Lydford to Exeter.

    Today, you will cycle 32 miles (51 km) through wild countryside and visiting interesting sites such as the Meldon Viaduct along the way. From Lydford, you will cycle quiet lanes that carve through Dartmoor’s tors, passing Meldon village and Okehampton. A thriving town built upon the wealth of the medieval wool trade, Okehampton is Dartmoor’s outdoor center. The town has many cafes, restaurants, independent shops and a bike mechanic.

    From Okehampton, you will climb into the moors to Sticklepath and around Ramsley Hill before continuing to explore Dartmoor and its villages such as Cheriton Bishop and Tedburn St Mary where you will find a friendly pub and village shop.

    The route heads downhill just before Whitestone and descends towards Exeter, the final destination of stage four. A popular Devonshire cathedral city, Exeter is one of the most vibrant cities in the south-west. Whether you enjoy exploring historical streets, browsing independent shops or watching a band at an iconic venue, Exeter has a lot to offer. You will find a huge range of restaurants and accommodation to refuel and spend the night.

    58.2 mi
    9.8 mph
    2,525 ft
    2,600 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Enchanting cathedrals, crumbling abbeys, and historic villages; stage five leads you through centuries of history as you continue cycling north from Exeter to Glastonbury.

    You will leave Exeter via the city’s well-developed network of cycle paths. When you cross the River Clyst, you have reached fresh nature once more and you will ride along tranquil country lanes through green landscapes.

    Soon after Talaton village, a tough 1017 feet (310 meters) climb awaits. Although steep in places, it is manageable for all levels of riders. Once at the top, you can enjoy 13.6 miles (22 km) of incredible views along a plateau and far into Somerset before an exhilarating descent down Underhill Lane, passing Staple Fitzpaine and Hatch Beauchamp villages where you can stop for supplies.

    The route follows Fiverhead River before skirting around Curry Rivel village and arriving in Langport. Elizabeth I recognized Langport as a place of great antiquity in the 16th century and the small town thrived. Today, Langport’s history is echoed in its ancient buildings such as the Tudor House and The Warehouse.

    After Langport, a short climb will take you through High Ham. From here, you will ride up another small hill that leads to Street before ascending into Glastonbury. Known as one of the quirkiest places in the UK, Glastonbury is shrouded in myth, history and burning incense. You will find B&Bs, hotels, self-catering rentals and camping in the town, as well as restaurants serving international cuisines.

    57.0 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage six of cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats guides you 57 miles (92 km) further through the rural South of England, passing many interesting sites along the way. Today, you can enjoy peaceful riding along bridleways and cycle paths – 28 miles (45 km) are traffic-free!

    The first 4 miles (8km) are flat, passing the River Harlake and Sheppey before climbing towards Wedmore, a small village with three pubs. The route rises and falls through Weare and Lower Weare before joining the Strawberry Line just after Cross.

    Once used to transport strawberries from Cheddar by rail, the Strawberry Line is now a traffic-free stretch running through lovely Somerset scenery: You can expect wooded valleys, flat marshes and cider apple orchards.

    At Yatton, you will join a country lane that will take you to Clevedon, a small town on the banks of the Severn estuary. The route then skirts around the magnificent city of Bristol. It is worth taking a detour to discover this creative hub if you have time.

    From Portishead, the route mostly follows cycle paths as it crosses the River Severn arriving in Chepstow. This historic Welsh town has plenty of restaurants, cafes, pubs and accommodation options to ensure you have a great rest.

    46.0 mi
    9.1 mph
    3,525 ft
    3,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Gushing water carves through green hills, historic villages are set amongst rolling countryside, and church spires pierce the horizon: stage seven takes you through the beautiful Wye Valley. Today, you will cycle 39 miles (63 km), covering a total of 2,919 feet (890 m) in elevation gain.From Chepstow, you will follow the River Wye as it meanders through the countryside, winding through the wooded valley and passing villages such as St Arvans and Tintern, where you can visit the famous ruined abbey. Aside from the cafe at Tintern, you will not find many places to refuel, so bring along enough snacks.A tricky 750 feet (230 m) climb is waiting after Tintern, ending 3 miles (9 km) later in Trelleck. Next, you can enjoy a glorious downhill into Mitchel Troy before following the River Trothy into Monmouth. Nestled in the heart of the Wye Valley, Monmouth is a quaint village steeped in history and brimming with tea shops for a well-deserved slice of cake. Next, follow the River Monnow until just before Kentchurch village. Here, you climb up a network of country lanes passing Kilbeck and Dewsall villages before finally arriving in Hereford.Known for its cider and beef, Hereford is a thriving rural city with a range of accommodation to suit any budget.

    63.1 mi
    9.6 mph
    3,650 ft
    3,675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage eight guides you through the heart of rural England from Hereford to Shrewsebury. Today, you will climb a total of 3600 feet (1100 meters) over 63 miles (102 km). However, the elevation gain is spread over the whole ride, reaching 1280 feet (390 meters) at its highest point, so you won't be climbing big mountains.

    You will pass plenty of beautiful sites during your ride following the gushing Arrow, Terme, and Redlake rivers as they carve through hills.

    At mile 29 (km 46) the road climbs from Bramtpon Bryan, reaching its highest point close to the stunning Pen-Y-Wern and Black Hills. You will then descend into Clun, a small town located in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    On stage eight, you are never far from a quaint village or town where you can stop for refreshments. You will pass Bishop’s Castle, Norbury, Pulverbatch and Longden along your ride.

    Your day ends with a 10 mile (16 km) downhill stretch into Shrewsbury. A historical town on the banks of the River Severn, Shrewsbury has no less than 660 listed buildings and many timber-framed houses dating back to the 15th and 16th century. The town also offers plenty of accommodation and excellent restaurants to recover after your long day in the saddle.

    43.8 mi
    10.5 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,150 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Roman cities, medieval cathedrals, peaceful canals and serene meres – stage nine leads you 43 miles (70 km) from Shrewsbury to Chester. With only 1080 feet (330 meters) of elevation gain, today is a relaxed ride through beautiful landscapes and fascinating history.

    You will follow a cycle path to leave Shrewsbury which will lead you to luscious green countryside on the outskirts of the town. You will cross over the River Severn at Montford Bridge before following country lanes as they wind through farmland and quaint villages such as Baschurch, Bagley and Lower Hordley.

    After 19 miles (31 km), you will reach Ellesmere an ancient town known for its meres: formed by a glacier during the Ice Age, Ellesmere lake is one of the biggest meres outside of the Lake District.

    From Ellesemere, you will continue along quiet rural lanes passing through historic villages where you can stop at a pub or cafe for refreshments.

    In Huntington, you will join a cycle path that will take you to the River Dee which runs into the heart of Chester. A beautiful Roman city, Chester is a thriving metropolis with a huge variety of restaurants and accommodation ranging from budget hostels to luxurious hotels.

    52.2 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your tenth stage of adventure takes you 52 miles (84 km) from Chester to Chorley passing many beautiful spots along the way. Today, you can enjoy traffic-free riding along cycle paths for 23 miles (37 km).

    You will leave Chester following the Shropshire Union Canal towpath northwards for 10 miles (16 km). At Preston Brook you will join a cycle path that runs adjacent to Chester Road and leads through Walton Superior an area of green parkland with an historic hall.

    Next, you will pass through Warrington, a bustling town on the banks of the River Mersey. Although this section of the route is more built-up, you will follow along peaceful canals following the Sankey Valley Greenway which will take you back into green countryside.

    After crossing the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, you will arrive in Platt Bridge. From here, a gradual climb around Wigan to the Miniature Railway.

    At Adlington, you will join the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath as it flows into Chorley, your final destination. With a train station, various accommodation options and restaurants serving diverse cuisines, Chorley makes for an excellent rest stop.

    53.6 mi
    9.6 mph
    2,975 ft
    3,100 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From industrial heartlands to rolling hills – stage eleven is a varied ride from Chorley to Wennington. Today, you will climb 2985 feet (990 meters) through the Lancashire countryside.

    On the outskirts of Chorley, you will join the River Lostock through the Cuerden Valley Park, 650 acres of beautiful parklands. Continuing along the river, you will arrive in Preston. Once a booming city during the Industrial Revolution, Preston is a thriving metropolis brimming with museums and cultural centers.

    Leaving the city, you will find yourself in the rural side of Lancashire, passing sleepy villages, fields of sheep and vast open spaces. From Slaidburn, villages become rarer as you climb into the hills. 18 miles (30 km) of undulating ups and downs awaits you here, but your effort is rewarded with spectacular views and nature.

    At 1380 feet (420 meters), you have reached the highest point of stage eleven and can enjoy a glorious downhill stretch into Wennington, a small but beautiful village served by a train station. In the village, you will find a friendly pub and self-catering accommodation.

    46.3 mi
    9.6 mph
    2,725 ft
    2,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Layers upon layers of emerald hills, vast open moorland, and tranquil nature – stage twelve of your adventure cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats takes you through some of the most beautiful corners of the UK. Today, you will explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Pennines.

    From Wennington, you will pass through Tunstall and join the River Lune as it flows into Kirby Lonsdale and the Yorkshire Dales. There is one word that best describes this stunning national park – breathtaking. You will follow along the Lune Valley discovering the beauty of this unique region stopping at plenty of tea shops, pubs, and cafes along the way.

    After 17 miles (27 km), you will arrive in Sedbergh, England’s official Book Town. It’s worth stopping to browse the many book shops in the town before cycling further through the rugged nature.

    Continuing along the River Lune, you will pass through Greenhelme and Shap, a small village with a railway station that marks the end of your time in the Yorkshire Dales.

    Next, you enter the Pennines. Often referred to as the spine of England, these hills are a cycling paradise.

    Your final destination is Penrith, a historic market town that serves as the center of the Elan Valley. Here, you will find everything you need for an enjoyable stay from concerts to delicatessens.

    53.2 mi
    10.4 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Ancient castles, rich wildlife and fascinating history – stage thirteen marks an important milestone in your epic journey as you cross the border from England to Scotland. Today, you will cycle 53 miles (86 km) from Penrith to Lockerby, climbing 15010 feet (460 meters) in total.

    From Penrith, you will climb gradually into the countryside, joining the River Petteril for a few miles from Newton Reigny. This lovely stretch of the route will lead you along rural lanes through the occasional village. As supplies are few and far between, we recommend stocking up whenever you see a shop.

    From Skelton, you can enjoy a long downhill stretch to Dalson where you join a cycle path that leads into the center of Carlisle. From Roman settlement to industrial textile mills, Carlisle is a historic city nicknamed the Great Border City. Today, it is the main cultural hub of Cumbria and you will find plenty of things to see and do.

    From Carlisle, you will cycle along relatively flat roads towards the Scottish border at Gretna. The town known as a marriage town where eloping English couples would traditionally marry due to the more liberal marriage provisions in Scotland.

    From Kirtlebridge, you will join a cycle path that leads into Lockerbie. Dating back to the Viking era, Lockerbie has witnessed turbulent history, from housing prisoners of war to headlining agriculture in the region. In the town, you will find a variety of hotels, inns and B&Bs where you can enjoy a peaceful night of rest.

    55.5 mi
    9.9 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,500 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage fourteen introduces you to Scotland’s famous wilderness and vast landscapes as you cycle 56 miles (90 km) from Lockerbie to New Lanark. As 34 miles (55 km) of the route follow along cycle paths, you can fully immerse yourself in nature far away from any traffic.

    From Lockerbie, you will follow a cycle path through Johnstonebridge to Moffat, a walkers’ paradise nestled amongst the Annandale Valley. Here, you will find lots of nice cafes and shops to stock up on supplies which you will need for the next section – a climb up to 1180 feet (360 meters).

    Here, you can fully enjoy the beauty of the Dumfries and Galloway region – unspoiled nature, endless greens, and spectacular views will accompany you as you ride. The road gently rises and falls over the hills, passing through occassional villages such as Crawford and Abington before arriving in New Lanark, marking the end of stage fourteen.

    A small village on the banks of the River Clyde, New Lanark was founded in 1786 for mill workers by David Dale. Today, the old mills have been restored and are a popular tourist attraction. Their historical significance earned the village UNESCO status. In New Lanark, you will find everything needed for a comfortable stay.

    52.7 mi
    9.9 mph
    2,400 ft
    2,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage fifteen of your adventure cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats leads you 53 miles (85 km) through the stunning wilderness, passing countless interesting sites along the way. You will cover 2400 feet (730 meters) in elevation gain as you ride from New Lanark to Stirling.

    Setting off from the historical village of New Lanark, you will make a small detour to visit the Falls of Clyde before heading north through the Scottish countryside. You will climb two hills, passing over Mouse Water river and around Carluke. At Caldercruix, you will reach your first Scottish Loch, Hillend, a great place to stop for a picnic for lunch.

    After descending towards Falkirk, you will visit the impressive Falkirk Wheel Basin, the world’s only rotating boatlift. Next, you will cycle through Cowie, a former pit village before continuing on to Stirling, the final destination of stage fifteen.

    Surrounded by farmland, Stirling is a medieval town known as the “Gateway to the Highlands”. Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling has been on the frontline of Scottish history. It was said that “he who holds Stirling, holds Scotland.” In the city, you can visit its magnificent medieval castle to learn more about the city’s past. You will also find plenty of restaurants and accommodation options.

    45.9 mi
    9.1 mph
    3,675 ft
    3,375 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Eagles circle above mighty mountains and mysterious lochs, locals relax in front of an open fire at a welcoming pub and gushing rivers carve through the impressive landscape – cycling stage sixteen, you will realise why Scotland is known as one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    Setting off from Stirling, you will climb into the wilderness up to 1050 feet (330 meters) passing through Greenloaning and Braco villages. After 22 miles (35 km), you will reach Crieff, a town famous for its whisky and history. It is also home to Scotland’s oldest lending library that was founded in 1680.

    Make sure you stock up on supplies in Crieff, as you will not find many shops along the next 25 miles (40 km). Now, you will pass through magnificent landscapes as you ride deeper into the Scottish wilderness. Along the way, you will find the calm waters of Loch Freuchie, reflecting the surrounding hills before climbing to Quaich Top.

    Finally, a stunning downhill section with panoramic views over the magical scenery will bring you to the shores of Loch Tay. Although small, you will find some local hotels and restaurants. The area is also popular for sailing, canoeing, water-skiing and fishing.

    56.7 mi
    9.2 mph
    2,600 ft
    2,950 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    Glistening lochs, vast landscapes, and the Glencoe National Park – stage seventeen cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats is a magical journey. Today, you will cycle 56 miles (91 km) from Loch Tay to Glencoe. Leaving Loch Tay, you will follow Allt Moor before climbing into the hills up to 1246 feet (380 meters), the highest point of the day. Next, you will drop down to Loch Rannoch, cycling its entire length and on to Loch Eigheach and Loch Laidon. Here, you are more likely to see eagles than cars as you enjoy the spectacular scenery. At the edge of the Loch, you'll join a track through Rannoch Moor. You'll probably have to push at times here, but the surroundings are beautiful.After 39 miles (63 km), you will reach the end of the lochs and pass into Glencoe National Nature Reserve. One of the most famous places in Scotland, Glencoe offers breathtaking views as well as rich history, wildlife and myth. Shadowed by Ben Nevis Scottland’s highest mountain, the area is a dream to cycle. You can enjoy cycling 10 miles (6 km) downhill through the landscape before arriving in Glencoe village. The area is well developed for tourists so you will find a good choice of accommodation. However, it’s a good idea to book in advance as the area is very popular, especially in summer.

    53.5 mi
    8.9 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Stage 18 guides you deeper into beautiful Scotland as you ride through green wilderness and magical lochs to Fort Augustus. Today, you will ride 53 miles (85 km), climbing 1706 feet (520 meters) in total.

    Water will never be far away during stage 18 – setting off from Loch Leven, you will visit Loch Linnhe before joining the Caledonian Canal as it flows northwards. As such, you will have no big climbs today.

    At Corran and Camusnagaul, you will take boats to cross the waters, so make sure you check the timetables and factor in enough time.

    After 20 miles (32 km), you will reach Fort William an interesting town with a big supermarket, restaurants and cafes. After exploring for a while and stocking up supplies, you will then continue along the canal, cycling the length of Loch Lochy. You will not see many people along this remote stretch so you can enjoy the scenery in peace.

    When you reach Fort Augustus, you have arrived at the end of stage 18. Located on the edge of Loch Ness, the most famous loch in Scotland known for the Loch Ness monster, Fort Augustus has a lot to offer. You will find plenty of accommodation, although expect prices to be higher here.

    59.6 mi
    10.0 mph
    3,125 ft
    3,150 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Ancient stone bridges, mystical lochs and historical towns – stage 19 guides you 60 miles (82 km) from Fort Augustus to Alness. Stage 19 is especially well connected to railway stations should you want to skip parts of the ride, although every mile in the saddle is worth it.

    Your adventure begins with a flat ride along the waters of Loch Ness. Known as the home of the Loch Ness Monster or “Nessie”, Loch Ness is a freshwater loch measuring a massive 23 miles (37 km) in length.

    At Drumnadrochit, you will leave the loch and climb steeply into the hills. When you reach Loch na Ba Ruaidhe, you are at the top and can enjoy views over the loch behind you. Next, a downhill section brings you into Beauly before arriving in Muir of Ord. A historic village situated in the highlands, you can visit its famous whisky distilleries.

    From here, you will follow the railway line past Dunglass Island and through Canon Bridge and Maryburgh. At Dingwall, you will reach the Cromarty Firth, an arm of the Moray Firth. Following along the water, you will pass through Evanton before arriving in Alness.

    A small town known for its flower arrangements, Alness has won many awards for its pretty highstreet. Here, you can browse its unique shops where you will find everything from bakeries to bridal shops, as well as two whisky distilleries. The village also offers various places to stay.

    52.7 mi
    10.0 mph
    2,375 ft
    2,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Long roads wind through the Scottish highlands, curving around magical lochs and the occasional warm pub – stage 20 of adventure is an epic journey from Allnes to Loch Naver. Today, you will cycle 53 miles (85 km) along one of the most remote, and most beautiful, sections of Land’s End to John O’Groats.

    Setting off from Allnes, you will have a long and gentle climb into the hills before descending towards Dornoch Firth. After 18 miles (29 km), you will reach Ardgay, a small town with shops, cafes and a railway station.

    From Ardgay, you will follow a quiet road that follows the railway line around the edge of the Kyle of Sutherland. After crossing the waters in Invershin, you continue through the peaceful wilderness along the river before arriving in Lairg.

    One of the fewer larger settlements situated in the Scottish highlands, Lairg is a thriving village known as the “crossroads of the North.” As such, you will find various shops where we recommend stocking up on supplies as you will not find any places to refuel from here.

    The remaining 22 miles (35 km) will take you through untouched nature deep into the Scottish highlands. Following the river Vagastie as it winds through the vast landscapes, you will stumble upon the Altnaharra Hotel on the edges of Loch Naver. Although in the higher price-range, this hotel is a comfortable place to spend the night. Alternatively, you could find a great camp spot on the shore of Loch Naver.

    29.6 mi
    10.0 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage 21 is your penultimate day of adventure cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. This stunning 29 mile (48 km) stretch takes you deeper into the Scottish Highlands as you continue north towards the coast.

    If you are running out of supplies, remember to pick something up to-go from the hotel, as you won’t find many cafes or shops today. Leaving from Loch Naver, you will cycle slightly uphill, passing small lochs and open moors backdropped by mountains. Soon, you will arrive at Loch Loyal. Backdropped by rocky mountains, this stunning freshwater loch is a marvelous place to cycle.

    After cycling its length, you will continue through the emerald highlands, arriving in Tongue after 17 miles (27 km). Here, you can relax at a cafe and stock up on snacks at the shop, as well as learn more about Scotlands’ crofting traditions.

    Next, you will continue along the coast before turning inland, passing various lochs before arriving in Bettyhill, the end destination of stage 21. Set amongst breathtaking beaches and rolling hills, Bettyhill is a beautiful village in the Strathnaver Valley. You will find plenty of accommodation for an enjoyable stay.

    52.5 mi
    10.1 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The final stage of your adventure cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats is exhilarating – cycling 53 miles (85km) along the northern coast of Scotland knowing that you have almost completed the most epic cycling route in the UK.

    Today, you will cover 2657 feet (810 meters) in elevation gain as you ride from Bettyhill to John O’Groats. However, you have no big mountains to conquer as the hills are gradually spread out over the day.

    From Bettyhill, you will ride through coastal landscapes, riding by the occasional calm loch before arriving in Strathy. Here, you can stop off for a dip in the sea (if you can face the cold) and enjoy a pub meal.

    Continuing along the coast, you will pass small villages like Melvich and Reay before coming in to Thurso with its excellent Indian restaurants. Magnificent beaches are scattered along the coastline, so take your time to explore as you ride.

    The final miles of your adventure lead you through Castletown and along Dunnet Bay before arriving in John O’Groats.

    You’ve made it – congratulations! You can now say you’ve cycled the breadth of the UK and conquered one of the toughest cycling challenges. John O’Groats has plenty of comfortable accommodation and restaurants where you can relax and marvel at your achievement.

    To return home, you can travel by train from Thurso which has direct connections to Inverness. As John O’Groats is so remote, make sure you factor in enough time to get home stress-free.

    You can find more information about John O’Groats, here: visitjohnogroats.com

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    1,076 mi
  • Duration
    111:40 h
  • Elevation
    54,250 ft54,675 ft

Cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats – an unforgettable ride