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Author Topic: North of Scotland to South of England?  (Read 32048 times)
sisterhood
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« on: July 15, 2009, 06:52:40 pm »

My best friend and i want to hike from the northern most point of scotland to the southern most point of england.  Yeah, I know this sounds stupid, but we want to.  Does anybody have any suggestions for us?  Please, tell us everything you think. Smiley
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Julia & Lauren
Jacquetta
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009, 07:29:39 pm »

Hi, and good luck!

No, not stupid but certainly ambitious.  Are you familiar with the geography, climate, navigation etc, or are you looking for other people to suggest a route?

Any previous experience??

And how long have you got to achieve this epic???
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Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
sisterhood
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 01:59:25 pm »

Well, we are still planning, but so far all we know is that the further north you go the more mountainous and difficult it can get.  But I also know it gets even more beautiful.  I know the weather changes all the time too:)  No, we have no previous experience in this type of long-distance hiking, but we both are pretty experienced campers and such.  We really don't know how much time we will both have, seeing as how we would like to take this trip sometime during college or right after.  It would really help to know about how much time it would take to hike the distance.  I think then we could really start planning as far as our time goes.  I think we both really want to get out and do something adventurous and way out of the ordinary (and out of our comfort zones) before we get too old and have families and stuff, you know?
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Julia & Lauren
Stottie
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 01:57:44 pm »

Hi
I'm in the process - much interrupted - of hiking from Derbyshire to John o' Groat's, and then to Cape Wrath. It's much interrupted because of all the other things that are important to me, so I go and do a few days, get home on public transport, enjoy the other things in life, and then when it suits me I take the bus or train or plane and start where I left off.

I've been doing this on and off since March, sometimes bivvying, other times camping, and a few B&B and YH nights. When I restart I'll walk from Edinburgh, but I've not yet decided which of the innumerable route choices I'll take. So far on my walk - starting in Derbyshire - I've mainly walked routes that are new to me, avoiding the Pennine Way which I've done before, though it is actually the best and most convenient way north from here - seriously!  You'll probably have guessed by now that I'm retired.

I suggest you get your hands on a copy of "The End to End Trail" by Andy Robinson. It details one particular route from Land's End to John o' Groats - not an easy one, to the north of Fort William - but its other merits are the sound practical advice and the list of references, in which you can read other people's experiences of such a walk. My own written record of my walk will be a long time coming, so don't wait up. And if you take a long time to finish your walk - like me - don't despair: I recently read of a man who started the Pennine Way in 1963 and just finished it!
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sisterhood
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 01:38:58 am »

Does anyone know a website that allows someone to type in the name of a bothy and it shows the location on a map?  I already know about the Mountain Bothies Association and their website, but i need more information than it offers.  i need to be able to see its specific location on a map.  i know that people don't usually spread around bothy locations, but if anybody could help out it would be greatly appreciated. Cheesy
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Julia & Lauren
sisterhood
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 03:04:19 pm »

How much money should my friend and I bring with us for about a two and a half month hiking trip through the UK?  We're going to go from Land's End to John O' Groats simply hiking the entire way, but we may want to stop in certain cities and do some shopping or just relaxing along the way. We would like to figure out how much money we might need to do this.  Thanks:)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 11:34:35 pm by sisterhood » Logged

Julia & Lauren
Jacquetta
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 03:40:09 pm »

Hello Julia and Lauren

Sounds like your plans are progressing: which two and a half months do you have in mind?  Winter weather might force you inside, and would also make you carry more weight, whereas summer living should be slightly cheaper.

It sounds like you plan to use either your own tent (lightweight I hope?) or perhaps bothies where available, so overnights should range from free to a small campsite fee if you start to miss hot water and flush toilets.  But if you decide to enjoy the odd night of luxury in a B&B, expect to pay £20-£30 per person depending on location and facilities, or consider using a hostel instead.

For food, a lot depends on whether you cook your own or eat out: eating out in the UK is expensive, and even a pub meal can cost £5-£10 per person for two courses with drinks/coffee.

Give us a bit more info about your plans and we'll try to be more helpful.  Also, in addition to the Andy Robinson End to End Trail that Stottie recommended (978-1852845124) consider getting hold of Steve Blease's End to End which is more recent (2008) and extremely well reviewed on Amazon (978-1846242014), and/or Andrew McCloy's The Land's End to John O'Groats Walk (978-1871890594), which is older but also well-reviewed.  I realise that your experience will be unique, but coming from so far away it may help to get a clear idea of the practicalities, and in particular whether you are allowing long enough for a walk of 1110 miles.  I'd have thought 3 months would be better if you can manage it: you are bound to need at least a few rest or bad weather days! Roll Eyes  Good luck, whatever you decide. Smiley
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Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
Stottie
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2009, 12:56:57 pm »

How much money should my friend and I bring with us for about a two and a half month hiking trip through the UK?  We're going to go from Land's End to John O' Groats simply hiking the entire way, but we may want to stop in certain cities and do some shopping or just relaxing along the way. We would like to figure out how much money we might need to do this.  Thanks:)


I agree with Jacquetta’s advice, but maybe you should add a few £s to the overnight and meals costs.

My wild camping experiences of late show how cheaply one can live for a few days before recharging the innards. Porridge oats and dried fruit soaked in water - I think the Scots used to call it drammach - gets me off the mark in the morning (no need for a stove) and thereafter pitta bread and cheese or continental sausage constitute a cheap and not-too-perishable sustenance until I find a pub or cafe.  If I keep away from beer and coffee and cakes - hard to do - I can get by on £5-£10 per day, including a one-course pub meal.

When lacking in such iron self-discipline, and when the weather turns contrary, I am tempted to hit the opposite extreme. B&B, sandwiches and cakes for lunch, a coffee stop, a few pints of beer and an indulgent meal at night can easily total £50. Hostel overnight stays have become more expensive in recent years, in England & Wales at least. If one self-caters in a hostel and behaves frugally, maybe it would cost £20-£25 per day, most of which is the bed fee.

For all the reasons mentioned above, I'm more inclined towards the tent or bivvy bag - thank goodness for lightweight materials now that I can no longer carry the heavy pack!

So, it's somewhere between the two extremes for "sisterhood". There is no single answer, but if one assumes 90 days of hiking with 30 wild camps and one bought meal per day, 30 hostels and frugal living, and 30 B&B with just below my level of extravagance (say £40) the costs are:
30x£8=£240
30x£25=£750
30x£40=£1200
Total=£2190

Before you get frightened off by that, the quotes below from two hikers who did it all the way will give you a flavour. Prices have risen since their trips, but that's really significant only in the B&B category. Shop food costs much the same, pub meals have risen a bit, and camping fees vary, but you shouldn’t have to pay more than £6 each even in a campsite.  Obviously wild camping is free in every sense.

Incidentally, I have a schedule in Excel which an acquaintance of mine compiled for his John o'Groats - Land's End (JoGLE) walk which I could send you if you give me an email or postal address. It features quite a lot of rest stops, usually at hostels, and it might be handy when you plan your detailed itinerary.

2003 – British hiker Mark Moxon
"By the end of my walk I'd spent £1742 on accommodation and £1178 on meals, giving a total spend of £2920. That's an average of just under £33 per day throughout my 89-day walk. If I had camped throughout then I could have cut the accommodation budget to under £500 (or even less if I'd gone wild camping), but that would have been an entirely different experience."

2005 – New Zealand hiker known as Geo
"My LE to JoG was two years later in 2005 taking a total period of 75 days. I combined 'wild' camping, campsites, B&Bs, and YHAs. My total accommodation costs came to 662 pounds, which is less than half that of Mark's. This included a B&B stay at Land's End the night before launching, a two-day stay at a B&B after arriving at JoG and an enforced extended stay of 4 days (awaiting arrival of maps) at the Edinburgh YHA."

After deducting what you would normally spend on food over 3 months at home, food costs don't look quite so daunting - though it is admittedly difficult to curb your appetite when you enter a town with its Aladdin’s Caves of pubs and cafes!

Other sites you might visit:
http://www.landsendjohnogroats.info/
http://www.longwalks.org.uk/
http://www.foshy.co.uk/lejog/index.html
http://www.hockeylejog.co.uk/index.htm
http://www.landsendtocapewrath.walkingplaces.co.uk/
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