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#54282 - 10/03/10 10:55 AM End to End - JOGLE
MarkF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I am just starting to plan for an end to end walk - possibly 2011. I won't be fast; 80-90 days will be fine and I do want good scenery and few roads. I have read many of the threads and various accounts of the trip trying to identify direction and start time and everyone seems to have an opinion and being from the antipodes would appreciate any comments. I have listed my reasoning for start date and direction below but I am flexible.

Using the climatic averages for Scotland, England and Wales (as a proxy for mid/northern England) and ranking months by rainfall days and sunshine hours, it appears to be advisable to start in Scotland in early May and finish at the end of July.

Ranking the months (best to worst) shows:
Scotland - May, June, April, July, August
Wales - July, May, June, April, August
England - July, May, June August, April.

This seems to provide the best (average) weather although I am aware of the issues of annual variability - I notice many start in early April in the south (and seem to endure a month of horrible weather).

Looking at routes the middle section (from Inverness, or just south west, to Bath, seems fairly settled. I am happy to do the Pennine Way, WHW etc. There seems little real choice about linking the Pennine Way to WHW, so there remain two main route choices to make. In Scotland I feel the direct road route to Inverness is not to my liking. The very western route using part of the Cape Wrath trial seems appealing but I seek your comments on the options.

The section from Bath to LE seems to be the greatest problem. The fast routes up the middle of Cornwall etc seem unpleasant at best, and quite difficult navigation so I have been toying with the SWCP. The northern section to Minehead, then across to Bath, or the Southern section to Lyme Regis and then the Wessex Ridgeway to Ashmore or beyond, but using a 1:200,000 road atlas makes working out the various connection possibilities somewhat difficult. Comments PLEASE!
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Mark
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#54284 - 10/03/10 11:37 AM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: MarkF]
MarkF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
I should add that by using the southern part of the SWCP I pass the Lizard and can walk between the furthest N and S points as well as JOG to LE. I wonder what I have to do to pick up the most eastern and western points of the UK?!!
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Mark
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#54288 - 10/03/10 02:41 PM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: MarkF]
Tortoise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 19/08/08
Posts: 133
Loc: South Bucks
To cover the furthest N and S points, you'll have to pop along to Dunnet Head from John O'Groats! Not far compared with the rest though! As for the furthest E and W points though, forget it - unless youíve got another month or two to spare of course!!

The SWCP is a great option to get from Minehead to Lands End, but be warned, it's fairly tough! And it doesn't go via The Lizard either as that's on the South section. The southern section might be slightly less tough, but thatís no cakewalk either. Probably best to look at the SWCP website to compare in detail.

I planned to do JOGLE myself a few years ago, but have abandoned the plan as I couldnít commit 3 months to it. Instead, Iím planning on doing the Cape Wrath Trail this May. This is also a great route but I donít think you can include it unless youíre prepared to allow a lot more than 90 days in total. Itís rough, tough, partly trackless, unsignposted, and needs you to be self-sufficient for some days at a time.

Starting from JOG in early May is a reasonable choice. You canít guarantee weather anytime anywhere on this route so itís mostly down to luck. You can guarantee midges in Scotland from June to August particularly though!

Good luck!

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#54300 - 10/03/10 08:54 PM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: Tortoise]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Pedants' Corner or Pedant's Corner (if there is only one of you)

Ardnamurchan is the most westerly point in Great Britain, but not the UK. This is Bradoge Bridge in County Fekamagh ... unless you include Rockall!

Similarly, Lizard Point and Dunnet Head are the extremes of Great Britain, but not the UK! (Out Stack, and Western Rocks). This, of course, excludes Jersey .......

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#54303 - 10/03/10 10:51 PM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: MarkF]
Geo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 19/09/05
Posts: 399
Loc: Oamaru, New Zealand
Hi MarkF,
Not sure what others think, but I did the LE to Jog thing south to north, starting from LE April 23rd. (St. George's Day!)
I figured that Scotland can produce the most hostile weather so I wanted to be walking into their summer. As it turned out, this worked fine. I headed for Dunnet Head (northernmost point) and then across to JoG. The other reason I went south to north was that when I approached Edinburgh via the Cheviot Hills/Peebles/Pentland Hills, I could then make a decision depending on weather forecasts on whether to take the WHW or proceed the Perth/Pitlochry/Blair Athol/Glen Tilt/ Grampian Mountains/Lairig Ghru/Cairngorms/Aviemore route. As it turned out I chose the latter as rains were forecast for the WHW (not unusual!) which would have negated any views that the way is known for. I had no regrets on my decision as the section of the Highlands I traversed was interesting enough and the Forth Bridge from Edinburgh is an absolute total work of art! (you can walk across via the road bridge parallel to it and end up down beneath the Forth Bridge at Queensferry)
As for the southern section, I didn't go through Bath but more or less went up the guts from Le/Penzance/Truro/Bodmin Moor/Glastonbury/over the Mendips/Bristol/Offas Dyke before cutting easterly (Shropshire Way, Cheshire Way, Union canal etc to reach the Pennine Way)
I didn't find navigation too much of a problem, though got a bit confused in the woods near Truro - I used borrowed Landranger 1:50,000 topo maps from a library and of course a compass. What I would also recommend for this hike is a gps. The reason being that some of the route includes trails (footpaths?) that are marked on the maps as rights of way across private land. I found that in some areas, these rights of way are there but either not at all marked or seldom used and therefore not evident. At least with the gps I could locate them and know I was not about to have bits of me removed with a farmers shotgun. Though having said that, there was a ROW near Aller that I was advised against taking as the farmer was a lunatic and had fired on hikers using it. I bi-passed this bit by taking a detour through Breach? woods that the RM's train in. I was told, "Don't hear any firing up there today so you should be all right, just watch out for bushes that move." Not very consolling but all added to the interest none the less!
The walk took me 75 days total with 65 actual walking days. I had an enforced added delay in Edinburgh awaiting arrival of maps, which in retrospect was a good thing as it gave me a decent look around that great city.
Probably my most enjoyable part was Scotland so it was nice to end on a good note!
BTW, when up at JoG, take the ferry over to the Orkney Islands for a look around. You can get a bus that'll tour the highlights over there. Despite the horizontal rain at times it was very very interesting and definitely worth a visit.
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Dances With Marmots

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#54315 - 11/03/10 06:44 PM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: slowcoach]
Tortoise Offline
Full Member

Registered: 19/08/08
Posts: 133
Loc: South Bucks
Originally Posted By: slowcoach
Pedants' Corner or Pedant's Corner (if there is only one of you)

Ardnamurchan is the most westerly point in Great Britain, but not the UK. This is Bradoge Bridge in County Fekamagh ... unless you include Rockall!

Similarly, Lizard Point and Dunnet Head are the extremes of Great Britain, but not the UK! (Out Stack, and Western Rocks). This, of course, excludes Jersey .......




Well, I had rather assumed that we were talking about the mainland!!

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#54317 - 11/03/10 10:06 PM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: Tortoise]
MarkF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
When I wrote about the extreme points I was thinking of the big island to the NW of France and not the smaller ones around it! While I am now better informed about the meaning of UK vs Great Britain, at least I didn't call it all England. Are the Malvinas part of the UK? That would make it harder.

I have had a look at the SWCP website and I think a few extra days working around the southern portion and taking in the Lizard, looks interesting rather than roads and hedgerows in the centre. By the time I get there I will either be a wreck or be fit. I assume the main issue on the SWCP is the climbs and descents associated with headlands and beaches meaning there are plenty of 100 to 200 metre undulations.

I will wild camp most of the way (my pack is only 15lbs + food and water) which allows me to be self contained for up to a week in Scotland. I came across the Sutherland Trail (http://www.cameronmcneish.co.uk/2008/08/the-sutherland-trail/) as one option and the inland routes across Scotland also look good but need more information about their pros and cons.
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Mark
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Walking my own walk

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#54328 - 12/03/10 07:08 AM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: MarkF]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
I once took my family up Cader Idris on the premise that it was the highest mountain in Wales outside the main Snowdon massif, only to find out when we reached the summit that it wasn't! They have never let me forget this.

Similarly, many people believe that the four extremities of Great Britain are Land's End, Lizard, John O Groats and Lowestoft, ignoring Ardnamurchan and Dunnet Head. It's better to find out beforehand!!!!

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#54352 - 13/03/10 09:00 PM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: MarkF]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
I'd recommend the SWCP, despite its ups and downs. The hardest bit because of the repeated climbs and descents in my experience is from the Camel estuary to Hartland Point. I'd avoid the lanes and footpaths in Cornwall/Devon and enjoy the Atlantic breezes - if the storms blow in you can take to the inland ways, but you'll see plenty of inland stuff later.

I'd go from Lands End along the north coast (which I find far more thrilling than the south coast) but if I wanted to warm up I'd take a couple of easy days to walk from Penzance to Lands End on the south coast.

You obviously know what you're doing, and my only other suggestion is that you look at Andy Robinson's book, The End to End Trail, for routes across the Highlands from Fort William. He has a website, but the book is the thing. He avoids roads, and you need good navigation skills and self-sufficiency to use his route in the far north.

If you need to borrow maps for the FW-JoG segment, send me a personal message. I've got other info on the Scottish section and the north of England section if you want to pick my brains, such as they are!
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Pete

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#54356 - 14/03/10 01:07 AM Re: End to End - JOGLE [Re: Stottie]
MarkF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/06
Posts: 234
Loc: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Thanks Stottie, I will take you up on your offer in a few of weeks - got a couple of big work projects on. The north of Scotland is the main route issue. Apart from this my proposed route below only leaves the sections from Drymen to Kirk Yetholm, Edale to Offas Dyke and from Cheddar to Taunton as scrappy although there is a day of scappiness getting out of Bristol.

Of these three, Drymen to Kirk Yetholm seems to be fairly set up using the canals etc, as is Cheddar to Taunton across the Levels (only 1 to 2 days). This leaves Edale to Offas Dyke as the other section to sort out. This is about 80 miles as the crow flies or 5 to 7 days walk so it represents a major challenge for route development.

Part of my aim is to walk as many UK National trails as possible in the process and visit places I have heard of that seem worth a visit. As the only walk I have done in the UK is the C2C I have plenty to choose from. From JOG I will pick up the WHW at Fort William, then the Pennine Way and across to Offas Dyke. From the end of Offas Dyke a short stint on the Severn Way to Bristol. A scappy day to pick up the Strawberry rail Line to Cheddar Gorge, then across through Taunton and Tiverton to the SWCP via the Exe Valley Way or the Two Moors Way (takes me across Dartmoor) for the southern section or Exe Valley and Tarka trails to the northern coast. I am tending to go for the southern section to visit the Lizard but I would like to see Tintagel and parts on the north side. Perhaps I should just keep going once I reach Lands End crazy !
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Mark
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Walking my own walk

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