Martin Hockey's End to End Walk: Land's End to John O'Groats

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Planning your route

My route

Accommodation

Maps and guidebooks

What I took

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Practicalities

Maps and Guidebooks

Overall route

The Land's End to John O'Groats Walk by Andrew McCloy (Cordee, 2002): the only end-to-end guidebook out there when I walked.

The End to End Trail by Andy Robinson (Cicerone, 2007): lots of helpful guidance, with detailed maps to show routes between long distance paths. There are a few updates and corrections here.

Land's End to John O'Groats by Mike Salter (Folly Publications, 2006): lighter (76 pages) and more reasonably priced than the other guides, with some interesting variations on the usual routes.

Land's End to John O' Groats: A Choice of Footpaths for Walking the Length of Britain, by Andrew McCloy (Coronet Books, 1995) - sadly now out of print, but gives more detail on alternative routes than McCloy's later book.

Walking e2e, by Linda Brackenbury (privately published, 2015): detailed description of an off-road route avoiding national trails, with sketch maps - so a shorter route than most, 1,035 miles in 71 days.

The UK Trailwalker's Handbook (Cicerone, 2009, a revision of the Long Distance Walkers' Handbook): brief descriptions of named paths, with details of further information available. Updated information is available on the LDWA website.

Long Distance Path Chart (Harvey Maps) (2002): now a little out of date, but useful for overall planning.

For a comparison between the routes taken by the four guidebooks currently in print, see my page on planning your route.

If you are interested in walking end to end by road, in the quickest possible time, this book will help you: John O' Groats to Lands End, by Brian Smailes (Challenge Publications, 2004) 

Detailed Guidebooks

The South West Coast Path Guide (South West Coast Path Association, annually): up to date and includes details of accommodation.

SWCP Reverse Guide (South West Coast Path Association, 2015): the only guide written from Land's End to Minehead.

Cornwall Coast Path - Bude to Plymouth by Edith Schofield and others (Trailblazer, 2012): I found the detailed sketch maps very useful, even though I was walking in the "wrong" direction. (I used an earlier edition, which only covered Padstow to Falmouth.)  There is now also a Trailblazer guide to the North Devon section from Minehead to Bude: Exmoor & North Devon Coast Path, South West Coast Path Part 1 by Henry Stedman (2012).

Macmillan Way West (Macmillan Way Association, 2001) and supplements: field by field guide, but written for those walking from east to west. Obtainable from http://www.macmillanway.org.

Heart of England Way (Sigma Leisure, 2011). I used an older guide, Heart of England Way (Recreational Path Guides) by Richard Sale (Aurum Press, 1998), which includes OS strip maps, now hard to track down.

The Pennine Way by Paddy Dillon (Cicerone, 2010), earlier edition by Martin Collins: includes OS strip maps. I heard some moans about the previous 2 volume National Trail Guide, its main and less compact competitor, now replaced by the single volume Pennine Way (Aurum Press, 2012). The Trailblazer guide (Pennine Way by Keith Carter, new edition 2014) came out too late for me to use, but seems better than both.

Pennine Way Companion by A Wainwright (Frances Lincoln, 2012): updated by Chris Jesty.

Scottish Hill Tracks (Scottish Rights of Way Society, 2012): indispensable for long distance walking in Scotland.

Maps

On grounds of cost and weight, I mostly used Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 maps, except where I already owned the relevant 1:25,000 map. For the Heart of England Way, I relied on the maps in the guidebook, because of the number of sheets needed for the full maps, but that was a nuisance when I had to leave the route to find accommodation.

For the Pennine Way, it would not be wise to rely solely on the maps in the guidebooks, particularly on the higher peaks where the route is not obvious (e.g. Bleaklow, Cross Fell).

I used these maps:

OS 1:50,000 (Landranger): 203, 200, 190, 193, 183, 173, 164, 128, 80, 74, 73, 65, 58, 52, 43, 36, 35, 26, 21, 17, 12

OS 1:25,000 (Explorer): OL9, 140, OL45, OL24, OL1, OL21, OL10, OL2, OL30, OL31

I did my walk before the days of OS maps on GPS units or smartphones.  The Ordnance Survey website describes options for OS maps on smartphones.  A dedicated GPS unit may be more reliable than a smartphone (better battery life and better GPS signal), and this site discusses the options for OS maps on GPS units.

Websites

Long Distance Paths
Accommodation
Other walkers' websites

Published accounts of End to End Walks

From John O' Groats to Land's End by John and Robert Naylor. An account of a walk in 1871, published in 1916 (republished in 2007) and also available online here.
Journey Through Britain by John Hillaby. A classic from 1966.
Hamish's Groats End Walk by Hamish Brown. Another classic, from 1979.
A Grandparents' Guide from Land's End to John O'Groats by Eileen and Herbert Witherington (1993)
Britain's Winding Road by Roy Eardley (1994). A road walk.
One Woman's Walk: from Land's End to John O'Groats by Shirley Rippin (1998)
Follow the Spring North by Christine Roche. A diary of a backpacking LEJOG walk in 2003 and 2004.
When I Walk, I Bounce: Walking from Land's End to John O'Groats by Mark Moxon (2007)
End to End by Steve Blease (2008). You can read a review here.
LE-JOG-ed: A Mid-lifer's Trek from Land's End to John O'Groats  by Robin Richards (2013).  A sectional walk over 3 years.
Before I grow too old: A journey from John O'Groats to Lands End by Pat Jilks (2014).  An account of a walk in the 1990s.
Walking With Plato: A Philosophical Hike Through the British Isles by Gary Hayden (2016),  A JOGLE walk with added philosophical musings.

There is a fuller bibliography here.

A film

First and Last: a 1989 TV film of a fictional LEJOG walk, written by Michael Frayn and starring Joss Ackland. Sadly not available commercially.

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Updated July 2016. Copyright Martin Hockey 2016.
email: mhockey29@gmail.com