Blogs from John O'Groats, Caithness County, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Caithness County » John O'Groats September 1st 2017

Technically, not the start, as I did the John O'Groats start signpost yesterday, after I left the ferry, and then I cycled off to my Glamping Pod. Breakfast at the Sea View Hotel, with coffee reinforcement for the day ahead. Then, headed off on today's journey and was 2kms in when I started having chain issues again. Checked and loosened binding chain as best as possible. This seemed to work for a while, then worsened. I decided I will have it looked to at in Inverness. I tinkered, rode on, then total failure. After checking everything, I notice one jockey wheel on my derailleur had departed somewhere behind me. So,...not going anywhere at this point. I knocked on a couple of rural doors and no answer, then I found a rural clinic and was able to ... read more

I got up early and went back to Urquhart Castle for the sunrise to try and get some photographs. As the castle is not openly accessible, there were only limited points where I could get a decent view of the castle and the loch. There was a thick mist hanging over the loch, which would hopefully made for some dramatic pictures, although not what I was expecting. As we were so close, decided to go to John O'Groats. I say "close", but it was still well over 100 miles from Inverness to John O'Groats and the roads are not exactly motorway standard. We thought we would go straight there with no stops and then stop-off at other places on the way back. It took about two and a half hoursto get there. The first thing that ... read more
Duncansby Stacks
Duncansby Head
Dunnet Head

I angered the Scottish weather gods when I mocked their misty rain yesterday. I angered them big time lol. I headed up to John O'Groats today - the most north-eastern tip of the UK mainland. It's common to do the trek from here to Land's End in the south-west, crossing the full length of the UK. I figured I was up here, so it's def worth the journey. The bus ride was rather lovely - as you could guess, I saw mainly sheep mixed in with the occasional lone house. I debated going to Dunnet Head which is the most northern part of the mainland but it was a 2.5 hike and busses come only every 2 hours... so... I didn't fancy waiting almost 2 hours in the middle of a field when it's raining. Ok ... read more
It was a wee rainy
Walk along the water

I wont write too much about today bar to say after a lovely breakfast it was almost sad to leave ''The Crask Inn'' - and after chatting over breakfast we didn't get away again until about 11am - the first few miles along the rest of the A836 were again superb - hugging a river and a loch again - all too good. The weather was A1 again as well. So all good and relaxed as we ambled along. In short good riding again and we got to the North Coast of Britain - lovely beaches and viewsbut no people to speak off and pretty hilly plus the wind was right at us so progress was slow. We went past the nuclear power plant Doonrae and arrived in Thurso about 7.30pm. It was getting cold and ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Caithness County » John O'Groats September 12th 2011

The forecast today is awful. They are advising caution on the roads. The Forth and Tay Bridges are only allowing cars across. Trains are likely to be delayed, as are planes and ferries. Our journey today will take us from Inverness to Thurso, the top of mainland Scotland, where the weather can be pretty rough. The remnant of Hurricane Katia is on her way. Just as we left Inverness it was raining but the wind had not arrived so we had time to find out if Nessie really does exist. We left Inverness with inconclusive results. One thing we did find out was that pedestrians had to press the button and wait for the green man. Not sure where or when he would appear but being close to Loch Ness anything was going to be possible. ... read more
Battling the elements
Substantial homes in Wick
Castle north of Wick

JoG to Helmsdale 72 miles It was rather auspicious starting the ride on Friday the 13th. However this was quite accidental but we were looking out for other signs for the potential of success for our trip. The first was arriving in JoG to find that the only shop was on an early closing day. As we were self catering this was a minor disaster. Does anywhere still have early closing? We managed to find a farm shop where we got some potatoes and goats cheese. Was this the omen? Or was it the sight of seals in the moonlight on the beach, wishing us well on our travels. The other challenger was the puncture Ewen received after storing the bike overnight which we discoverd as we started off. After this the consensus was that looking ... read more

The day started very early having to get up and cycle to the station to catch a train at 6.30 am to John O' Groats. Getting on the train was a great relief because it was the culmination of lots of plannng. I had arrived in Edinburgh the day before and the bike was assembled and i had all the gear in my panniers. This first part of the trip involved my daughter's partner Ewen, who was coming with me for the first four days. We got to the station on time and it was a great relief. The train looked deserted when we got on it but at subsequent stations we became surrounded by a group out for the day celebrating the birthday of one of their number. They were going as far as Golspie, ... read more

Well , here I go , todays target was to be Alness , but due to the 40 miles I did yesterday I intend to push through to Daviot on the edge of the Cairngorms , my new companions were to depart at Cromerty Firth to head for Beuly and through the great Glen to Arran. The first obstacle of the day was the infamous hill The Berriesdale Braes, a short hairpin decent, followed by a long steep climb,not great for cold muscles but we all managed to haul up and stopped at the top for a breather , The next stop was a coffe stop at the coffee bothy in Golspie , this was lovely little town and Will managed to get his gears sorted by a local handyman. We continued along the i,pressive coastal ... read more

After a 17 hour train journey on the rather grandly named Caladonian Sleeper , i arrived in Thurso , i had pre booked a taxi mini bus to transfer me to JOG, as i didn't fancy an additional 20 miles ! .On the train I had met up with a couple of lads also soloing the jogle albeit on differing routes they agreed that the taxi was a good idea .We arrived in JOG at approx 3.30 pm and after a few pics round the sign post (i refused to pay the £10 quid for an official pic).We all set off , this was a bonus as any miles today were "extras" as my ride was scheduled for Good Friday.The weather was great ..a bit blowy but warm , sunny and clear , some of the ... read more

On June 21st, me and my Brother-in-law, Geoff, set out on the mammoth journey from John O'Groats (at the North-Eastern-most tip of mainland Scotland) to Land's End (the South-Western-most point of mainland England), travelling only under our own steam - hopefully fuelled by some of the British Isles' best ale. Cycling, on average, 75 miles a day we'll hopefully make the entire 860 mile journey in only 12 days, travelling through the Highlands of Scotland, the slums of the North-West and the cider-making regions of the West country. My charity of choice is the NSPCC, who do great work protecting those who can't protect themselves. Geoff will be collecting for the British Heart Foundation, another extremely worthy cause, who pioneer research, prevention activity and giving care and support to those living with heart disease. read more

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