Land’s End to John o’Groats Cycle Guide: Everything You Need To Know About The LEJoG Route

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Thinking of cycling the length of the UK? Well, look no further.

Whilst we can’t help you with the immense physical challenge that lies ahead, we can help lay out some of the logistics.

The Lands End to John o’Groats cycle route is a gargantuan adventure that crosses the entire length of the UK. It is the pinnacle of British bikepacking routes.

You can start at either end of the country, hence the different acronyms: LEJoG and JoGLE. There is no official route; you just have to get from the southwest corner of England to the northernmost tip of Scotland.

Cycling the LEJoG route is a great way to challenge yourself both physically and mentally; expect long days in the saddle, battling with the unpredictable British weather.

In this article, we’ll look to provide a comprehensive Lands End to John o’Groats cycle guide.

We’ll be covering:

  • Overview Of LEJoG
  • Lands End To John o’Groats Cycling: Planning Your Route
  • Lands End To John o’Groats Cycle Guide: LEJoG VS JoGLE
  • How Long Does LEJoG Take?
  • Bikepacking LEJoG: Essential Planning

Let’s dive in!

Lands End to John o'Groats Cycle Guide: Title Image

Overview of lEJoG

The Lands End to John o’Groats cycle route is the ultimate bikepacking challenge, spanning the length of the United Kingdom, from Land’s End in Cornwall, England, to John O’Groats in the far north of Scotland. Or the reverse.

You’ll be gifted with beautiful scenery and varied terrain.

The route covers over 1,000 miles and passes through a diverse range of landscapes, from the rugged coastline of Cornwall and Devon to the rolling hills of the Midlands, the majestic mountains of Scotland, and everything in between.

Ultra-endurance cyclists will look to complete the route in seven days or less, although most riders will spread the journey out over several weeks. How long you want it to take depends upon your fitness level, cycling experience, and preferred pace.

Some of the highlights along the route include the Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks, the Lake District, Loch Ness, and the stunning Scottish Highlands. Which ones you see will depend on your chosen route.

While the route is challenging, with plenty of hills and steep climbs, it’s also incredibly rewarding.

Cyclists can expect to experience a sense of accomplishment and pride upon completing the journey, as well as stunning scenery, the opportunity to meet new people, and a deep appreciation for the natural beauty and diversity of the United Kingdom.

A road snakes down the Scottish cliffs at sunset.

Lands End to John o’Groats cycling: Planning your route

There are plenty of well-researched routes, and which one you choose to do really depends on what you want to get out of the trip.

Some cyclists want to get from one end to the other as quickly as possible. Head down, bums up. Two cyclists who took this to the extreme are Christina Mackenzie and Michael Browadwith.

The current women’s record is held by Christina Mackenzie, who cycled 839 miles, with 34,626 feet of climbing in a blistering 51 hours, five minutes, and 27 seconds.

The current men’s record is held by Michael Broadwith, who completed the route in 43 hours, 25 minutes, and 13 seconds. Breaking the record by 39 minutes and seven seconds over the previously unbeatable record of Gethin Butler from 2001.

Other cyclists want to take their time and soak up the beauty that the UK has to offer, and some want something in between.

The record-breaking route requires specialized assistance in order to keep you safe on main roads. So we’ll avoid that option.

Instead, we’ll look at a “scenic route”, a fast but safe route, and one in between!

That said, there are an infinite number of variations, so have a play around and build a route that is right for you. Always be sure to scour through the GPX file on a map to ensure it is correct.

An old map of Cornwall, the start of the Lands End to John o'Groats cycle route.

#1: Direct and Scenic (Best of Both)

  • Length: 1913 km (1189 miles)

This route is the perfect middle ground between direct and beautiful.

Not everyone is able to commit several weeks towards a cycling tour; work and other commitments ensure that, at some point, we have to use our two legs for something other than cycling.

This route offers a diverse range of terrain but avoids a large chunk of the challenging climbs included in the route below. You’ll experience everything from coastal roads to quiet country lanes and from busy city streets to remote rural areas.

This route cycles on the National Cycle Network for over three-quarters of its length.

  • A full outline of the route is available here.
View from a hill overlooking a Devon village.

#2: Scenic

  • Length: 2581 km (1604 miles)

In my personal opinion, this is a brilliant route that encompasses the full package when it comes to LEJoG.

That said, it is almost 600 miles longer than the other routes and, as such, will require a larger chunk of time to complete. It also traverses far more elevation, so you better be prepared for the hills.

With this scenic route, you get to soak up all the beauty included in the other two routes and much more. It will take you through the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, the Lake District, Loch Lomond, and the Scottish highlands, to name a few.

This one route includes many bucket list tours and climbs all in one.

The Lake District will offer you scenic roads as you climb over Hardknott Pass, gifting you stunning views of the region’s iconic fells and mountains.

You’ll tackle beasts such as the Bealach-Na-Ba as you cycle through the rugged and remote landscape of the Scottish Highlands.

  • A full outline of the route is available here.
View of a storm over the Scottish Highlands.

#3: Direct

  • Length: 1563 km (971 miles)

At odds with the two routes offered above, this route goes makes a beeline for John o’Groats, sacrificing the scenic highs for speed and efficiency. This is a good option if you want to do the route relatively quickly.

It makes use of plenty of main roads and trades hills for flat, where possible. Although the route is more straightforward to the eye, the use of busy and fast main roads requires a high level of experience and confidence on the bike.

  • A full outline of the route is available here.
View of a castle overlooking the Scottish coast.

Lands End to John o’Groats cycle guide: LEJoG Vs JoGLE

Whether you choose to ride JoGLE or LEJoG will depend on personal preference, as well as logistical factors such as transportation to and from the start and end points of the route.

Going from either direction is stunning, so you aren’t missing out in terms of scenery.

One factor to bear in mind is that the UK has a south-westerly prevailing wind. This means that you are more likely to have a tailwind on LEJoG and more likely to have a headwind on JoGLE. Although, nothing is certain when it comes to British weather!

A small road cuts through the Scottish cliffs.

How long does lEJoG Take?

As there is no official route, it can be hard to say how long LEJoG takes. As seen above, certain routes can be almost twice the length of others.

That said, most riders will complete some variation in around 14 days. Remember to allow at least 1 day of traveling on either side of the cycle.

The longer route prepared by Marcus Leach focuses on stunning scenery and may require additional time, whereas the 9-day Ride Across Britain Challenge focuses on pushing your physical capabilities.

Decide which is best for you and the people you are riding with!

Sunset view across a river plain in northern England.

Bikepacking LEJoG: Essential Planning

You can ride LEJoG either supported or unsupported. With accommodation or wild camping.

There are also companies that will guide the tour logistically, but due to the size of the task at hand, this won’t be cheap.

If you are riding with a support vehicle crewed by a friend or family member, then you can probably skip this part.

If you are doing the ride unsupported, then you will have a lot of planning ahead of you.

A couple of things to consider are:


In terms of accommodation, you have hostels, hotels, and Airbnb. Which ones you choose depends on the route you are tackling. Be sure to book ahead, and let them know you will be bringing a bike.

This will commit you to a certain place at a certain time, so only book once you know the route you’re taking and be realistic about the distances you can cover.

Other options are wild camping. Although wild camping is prevalent in Scotland, it is not technically legal in Wales or England. So be respectful and discreet.

If you have a route in mind, have a look on Google Maps and scout the area around your finish line for the day.

A heavily-laden cyclist rests with his bike by a tree.

Essential Gear

Below is a list of items you may need if you are taking on LEJoG self-supported. We also have a self-supported bikepacking kit list to help you prepare for your next adventure:


  • A sturdy bike in good condition, preferably a bike that you’ve used before and has recently been serviced.
  • 2 X spare inner tubes and tire levers
  • Multi-tool and a chain tool
  • Pump or CO2 inflator
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Working front and rear lights
  • Saddle Bag
  • Handlebar Bag
  • Frame Bag
  • 2 X bottles
  • Spare parts for any non-standard bike components
  • Spare spoke, as many bike shops don’t carry specific ones in stock


  • Tent, including poles and pegs
  • Sleeping bag and a sleeping mat
A bikepacker leaves their tent at sunrise.

Cooking and Water:

  • Stove and fuel
  • Cookware, such as a pot, and utensils
  • Lighter or matches
  • Water filters or purification tablets


You choose how many of these you want to bring; less is lighter, but less is dirtier. Although dirty is a relative term, as you will rarely feel clean during this trip!

  • Cycling shorts and jerseys
  • Cycling gloves
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Arm warmers
  • Insulated jacket or vest
  • Fleece or wool hat
  • Warm socks
  • Cycling shoes, spare SPD
  • Clothes for the evening

Personal Gear:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit and personal medication
  • Insect repellent
  • Hygiene items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Maps and a compass or GPS device
  • Multi-use knife or tool
  • Portable charging pack
  • Money


Let us know below if you have done the Land’s End to John o’Groats cycle route, and any advice you might have for cyclists following in your tracks!

Terms of Use

This cycling route guide, including any maps, GPS, or other navigational information, is provided for informational purposes only. By using this guide and cycling this route, you accept all responsibility and risk associated with your participation.

Before cycling, you should assess your own fitness level and ability to handle the physical demands of the route. It is your responsibility to review current local weather conditions and road closures, as well as any public or private land use restrictions and rules, and comply with them during your ride, and to ensure you carry proper safety and navigational equipment. Always follow "Leave No Trace" principles to ensure you leave your surroundings as you found them.

The information contained in this guide is not guaranteed to be accurate, and the author makes no representations or warranties about the completeness, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information provided. The author and any contributors to this guide are not liable for any injuries, damages, or losses that may occur during your ride or as a result of using this guide, including but not limited to personal injury, property damage, or other harm.

By using this guide, you acknowledge and agree to release and hold harmless the author, BikeTips, Broadsea Media LTD., and any contributors to this guide from any and all claims or damages arising out of your use of the information provided. This guide is not a substitute for your own due diligence, and you should always exercise caution and make informed decisions when cycling.

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As a qualified sports massage therapist and personal trainer with eight years' experience in the field, Ben plays a leading role in BikeTips' injury and recovery content. Alongside his professional experience, Ben is an avid cyclist, splitting his time between his road and mountain bike. He is a particular fan of XC ultra-endurance biking, but nothing beats bikepacking with his mates. Ben has toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom, French Alps, and the Pyrenees ticking off as many iconic cycling mountains as he can find. He currently lives in the Picos de Europa of Spain's Asturias region, a stone's throw from the legendary Altu de 'Angliru - a spot that allows him to watch the Vuelta a España roll past his doorstep each summer.

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