Sam Thurgood’s Blog – Cycle Ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats

Sam Thurgood from Llandovery College is cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. He is raising money for ChallengeAid for the Sponsor a Child programme. For every £180 we can sponsor a child. Please support Sam where you can at:
Day One
“Today I set off from Land’s End at 06.30 hours accompanied by atrocious conditions.
I passed through Penzance, Truro and St. Austell beore finishing the day in Liskeard.
The day, as well as battling the conditions was full of hills and high speed descents. Despite being drenched and having a few aches, it was a successful day.
A similar day will be in store tomorrow by heading over Dartmoor to Tiverton”.







Day Two
Today took us over Dartmoor which was both challenging and stunning. The day was again full of tough climbs and quick descents. On the journey we visited Tavistock, Oakehampton, Crediton, finishing in Tiverton.
Tomorrow will take us up to Bristol and across the Severn Bridge to Chepstow.
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Day Three
Today took us through Somerset visiting Wellington, Taunton and Weston Super Mare where we had our lunch on the beach front. We then went inland to Bristol before crossing the Severn Bridge to our destination of Chepstow 87 miles later. Tomorrow takes us directly north to shrewsbury.
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Day Four

We cycled from Chepstow up to Shrewsbury via Hereford and Ludlow. This was an extremely tough stage full of hills and long, flat areas. This combined with the torrential weather this afternoon, made it extremely difficult. Tomorrow takes us further north to Preston.

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Day Five
An early start saw us leave Shrewsbury and head directly North towards Warrington and Wigan. Most of the journey involved the beautiful English countryside until we reached the major cities where traffic became a real obstacle. The day culminated in Preston.

John-OGroats sign







Day Six (Thursday)

We left Preston and cycled in a north-west direction towards Lancaster before heading into the beautiful Lake District and Kendal in particular. After lunch we climbed up towards Shap. This was without doubt the most difficult climb of the journey, with 6 miles of constant ascent. After summiting, we headed towards Penrith before finishing the day in Carlisle.
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Day Seven

Day Seven (Friday)
Today we cycled from Carlisle and over the Scottish border which was a significant and encouraging milestone to reach. We then headed west through Gretna, Dumfries before having lunch in Sanquhar, which has the oldest running post office in Britain. From there we headed to our destination for the day which was Kilmarnock. The Scottish weather didn’t disappoint with torrential rain from the moment we crossed the border until the end of the day.









Day Eight (Saturday)

Leaving Kilmarnock, we cycled up the stunning West Coast of Scotland to Gourock where we took a short ferry to Dunoon. From there we followed Loch Eck until we reached the stunning Inveraray. The beautiful scenery has been matched by lovely weather for a change.








Day Nine

Today took us through the heart of the Scottish Highlands (Glencoe mountains). Despite the stunning views and snow covered mountain tops, the high winds and torrential rain affected the experience.  However, once we dropped in height the conditions improved and we made our way to Fort William and the foot of Ben Nevis. A spectacular day.










Day Ten (Monday)

Today we cycled from Spean Bridge (just outside of Fort William) along the banks of Loch Ness to a small village on the North Sea coast called Brora. Along the journey we passed through notable sites such as Fort Augustus and Inverness. The day was a total of 110 miles, by far the longest day of the whole trip. It was also the most difficult because of the gale force winds and torrential rain from start to finish. Glad to get today out of the way.

Tomorrow is due to be the final day with us currently 65 miles from John o’groats overnight.











 Day Eleven (Tuesday)Our last day took us from Brora along the A9 and A99 through Wick to John o’Groats. It was an amazing final day that saw us hug the coastline. With spectacular views of sandy beaches and wildlife as well as the North Sea oil rigs, it was a great way to finish the whole adventure. We arrived at the John o’Groats sign at around 16:15.
A fantastic challenge and experience that I have found extremely difficult but proud to represent ChallengeAid and raise money for such an amazing cause.

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