There’s no definitive route for JOGLE (or the other way, LEJOG) and I’ve come up with my own which I hope will be interesting and enjoyable. It draws upon what other people have done, follows some long distance paths and trails and relies on there being places to stay. I’m staying in pubs, guesthouses and the odd bunkhouse or hostel. This means I’m not having to carry camping stuff and can keep my pack down to the minimum.
The 1,100 miles or so – over a million steps – will take me 11 weeks I hope. With the odd rest day, my daily mileage will average about 15 miles. With the experience of my weekend walking and overseas trips, I’m very comfortable with this distance but what will be new is doing the same the next day, and the next day, and the next etc ….
I’m doing the whole length on my own but, I hope, will be joined by pals for some stretches. It would always be nice to see a friendly face for a chat or a beer …. My intended day by day itinerary is shown below so let me know if you’d like to join me for a walk or just to meet up en route. Each day I’ll try to blog where I am and how far I’ve got that day.
The walk starts on Friday 28th April down the east coast from John O’Groats, including some unpleasant stretches along the A9, to join the Great Glen trail (along Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal) to the west of Inverness. That will take me to Fort William where I’ll have completed the first couple of weeks. The third week is the West Highland Way to Glasgow. I then take another week to get through Dumfries and Galloway and cross the border into England at Carlisle. After a few days of the Cumbria Way, I cut across to Kendal and join the flat, I presume, Lancaster Canal which along with some other canals will get me to Merseyside. At Preston I’ll be half-way ….
My route from Lancaster to the Mersey at Frodsham isn’t definite and I haven’t booked accommodation for this stretch, as I might take the opportunity to accumulate a rest day or two by walking quicker and straighter through the north-west cities and towns.
On Tuesday 13th June I set off from Frodsham on the Sandstone Trail and Maelor Way to reach Wales and join the Offa’s Dyke path near Chirk. This tougher stretch will be new to me and it’ll take about 10 days to cross the Severn and reach Bristol. From there I go through the Mendips and Quantocks and across Exmoor to reach Barnstaple in another week or so. From there I join the South West Coastal Path which I know well from my annual outings with FatBlokesWalking. In 10 days I should reach Land’s End on Thursday 13th July.