02 July, 2015

LEJOG by Bus

by Kenneth Mellor, 2014

I am now 74 years young, and over the last 15 years or so I have completed LEJOG on foot, on a bicycle, on a train and also in a sports car. I have always kept my mind open to other possibilities and it was Adam Mugliston's trip that set me going. My first ambition was not to attempt to beat Adam's time, because I was using his route notes. With this in mind, I left Land's End at 6:05pm on Sunday 20th July 2014 and then stayed at the Union Hotel in Penzance. The following morning I caught the earlybird bus to Truro at 7am. I kept going (using Adam's route) until I reached Yate in the late evening, and too late to catch a bus to Wotton-under-Edge, the next leg.

I stayed the night there in a public house (The White Lion, Church Road, Bristol). The next morning I caught a bus at the small Yate Bus Station at 7:15am to Wotton-under-Edge and again I kept going until I reached Crewe (once more using Adam's route). I stayed the night at the Waverly Hotel, only 5 minutes' walk from Crewe railway station and my bus stop. I was up early the next morning and caught the 6:04am bus to Macclesfield, and kept going until I was in Newcastle. It was now late so I checked into Premier Inn for the night.

By now I was feeling very tired and took a leisurely approach the next morning to Newcastle Bus Station for the next leg to Berwick-upon-Tweed. I had in mind to stop for the night in Aberdeen but I was unable to find a room, so at 9pm I caught a bus to Inverness and arrived at 1am on the 25th July. It was nearly 2am before the receptionist at Holiday Inn took pity on me and found me a room!

Fortunately, the first bus to Dunbeath didn't leave until 9:40am so I did get some sleep. I finally arrived at John o' Groats at 1:15pm on the 25th July. The three worst aspects of the trip were almost intolerable tiredness; missing the Cheltenham bus by 2 minutes; and lower abdominal discomfort because of the lousy diet I was on. My favourite moment was passing a small hill in Yorkshire called Roseberry Topping, up which I have climbed many times with my three grandchildren.

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