Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Day 48 Newlyn to Lands End

Wednesday 6th October 2010

After nearly seven weeks away from home I've completely gone off the full English breakfast typically offered in hotels and guesthouses, so I chose to start the final day with a good old fashioned bowl of porridge. The weather decided to be very kind to me again, heavy rain fell overnight but I drew the curtains in the morning to be greeted by a perfect blue sky. After we checked out of our hotel Lea drove me back to Newlyn and I hit the road for the last time.

Near Lamorna, as I passed uphill through a wood, I completed my 1,000th mile. I'd wanted to break the 1,000 mile barrier on this walk so that was a satisfying moment for me. Without all the meandering along the Cornish coast on Sunday and Monday I probably wouldn't have made it without going around the block a few times somewhere. A bit further on, right next to the road near St.Buryan, I came across the fascinating Tregiffian burial chamber, a chambered Neolithic tomb thought to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old. There are many standing stones and other ancient monuments in this area. At Treen after descending into a valley I walked up the last incline of my journey. By now I could see the sea on the horizon in every direction except behind me. When I saw the Lands End Coastguards Rescue Team building I knew the end was very close.

Where the B3315 meets the A30 I caught my first glimpse of the Lands End complex. My daytime refreshment of choice during this walk has been a bottle of isotonic sports drink, but I fancied something different today. Instead of walking straight down the road I first headed a little north into Sennen where I enjoyed a pint of fine Cornish ale at The First And Last Inn. It went down a treat, then it was time for my big moment. The easy downhill mile from the pub to Lands End seemed to go by in no time at all. Lea and John from Dairy Crest were waiting at the finish line to cheer me over. My joy at successfully completing this journey overcame me for a while, I don't mind admitting I was in floods of tears as I crossed the line. After composing myself I carried on through the complex to the famous sign and had the obligatory photo taken.

We stayed at Lands End for a couple of hours savouring the atmosphere. I signed the guestbook for end-to-enders in the hotel reception and found myself being congratulated by many people. A crowd were waiting for a group of cyclists who were due to finish their ride from from John o'Groats, we waited with them and watched as they finished. Unsurprisingly the cyclists had also suffered a last minute 'delay' at the pub in Sennen. Lea and John had both presented me with a bottle of champagne, I'd happily finished one of them by the time we left. The enormity of what I've done began to dawn on me as we drove home. It took ages just to get out of Cornwall using the dual carriageways I'd avoided like the plague while walking, and that was just a small fraction of the distance I'd covered during my incredible journey over last six weeks and six days.

GPS track click here

Mileage today; 11.57 miles, walking time 2 hrs 55 mins, average walking speed 4.0 mph

Weather; Sunny, breezy, max 18C

Cumulative mileage; 1,008.77 miles

The Neolithic Tregiffian burial chamber

The Famous First & Last Inn at Sennen

The End!


  1. Nice one Gary, it's been a joy following your blog.
    Cheers J.P.

  2. Congratulations, Gary. I'm having a glass of milk in your honor. Thanks for a nicely written blog.


  3. Gary,
    Many, many congratulations on your wonderful achievement, it has been a joy reading your blog and following your progress.
    I hope you don't mind that rather than having a pint of milk in your honor i had a pint of Tribute - I thought a Cornish ale was the order of the day.
    Well done again.
    Thank you,

  4. Well done Gary! It's been a pleasure reading your blog, and congratulations on finishing. Now to enjoy the memories... :-)

  5. Congrats to you Gary, reaing your blog has both been a joy and inspiration to me. I'm looking forward to the day when i can start my own walk somewhen in the distant future.

  6. Thank-you very much everybody. Best of luck to Ken and Hannah for your planned walks, it's an incredible and unique experience.

  7. Well done Gary. A fantastic achievement and a brilliant read.


  8. Gary,
    as a long distance walker myself, I found your blog very interesting and very similar to a walk I did a few years ago. Similar daily distances, similar max distances etc etc. You've completed a formidable journey and like you say, when you got to the end, you wanted to turn round and go feelings too when i had completed the 400 mile journey to the West Coast of Scotland. My next adventure could well be the one you have just done, or kayaking from the North East of England, up to the caledonian canal, and then onto a certain spot.
    Id like to share some note with you if thats possible ??
    yet gain well done... a great achievment

  9. gary, im'e in tears here reading this, flippin heck what a journey, really enjoyed reading that pal, well done, amazing stuff. My plan for the same journey gary begins next year, ive been canvassing door to door for 23 years, so sure this has some foundation for me to start, iv'e already started training hard, and doing 10 plus mile walks, gary how much fluids were you drinking per day ?

  10. Hi Tony, thanks for your kind words. Those 23 years of canvassing should hold you in good stead, though I'd still recommend buiding up the miles and doing a series of practice walks wearing and carrying all your kit so you're used to it before you set off.

    I'd always set off with at least of 3x 500ml bottles of drinks in remote areas to make sure that dehydration wouldn't be a problem. Luckily I avoided a heatwave, in which case I'd have carried even more. In the more built up areas I carried less to lighten the load and topped up from shops on the way. It didn't take long for me to develop a fondness for Lucozade Sport, it was very refreshing and seemed to do all the things it says on the bottle. For obvious reasons I avoided caffeine and alcohol until the days walking was done.

    Have you found Mark Moxon's website and forum yet? It's a gold mine of information, the link is below.

    Best of luck to you


  11. WOW, Great Blog.
    I started reading your blog yesterday and finished this evening. I have just decided to to do the JOGLE walk next year 2013 hopefully finishing on my 42nd birthday in June. I will be doing a slightly different route dropping through Dundee heading to friends in Glenrothes for a well earned rest but pretty much following the remainder of your route.
    I am in the very early stages of planning my journey, any help and advise you could share would be grateful.
    Practice walks and training to start soon to ensure I'm ready, I'm just hoping off work won't be my downfall with me planning a 1000 miles in 50 days. I can't wait to complete this and achieve I life long ambition.
    Well done and congrats on your journey.
    Carl Jones, Bournemouth 2012

    1. Hi Carl,

      Thank-you very much!

      These tips spring to mind;

      1. Practise walks wearing and carrying all the kit you'll use on the walk are invaluable. You'll go to the start line in good shape and can sort out any niggles (eg finding your pack is too heavy) when it doesn't matter too much.

      2. Don't commit yourself to a fixed schedule. Only plan 3 or 4 days ahead, break it up into a series of small chunks and just concentrate on that section. I followed the blog of an American guy who did a LEJOG last year, he'd booked accomodation for the whole trip and a flight home in advance. He was forced to abandon on the very last day due to a severe storm. He couldn't complete it the next day as he'd have missed his flight.

      3. If you haven't come across it already, you'll find Mark Moxon's website very inspiring and useful. It has links to dozens of blogs and the guestbook/forum is a great source of advice.

      4. Please maintain a blog when you walk. It helps keep you focused and gives yourself something to do every evening. All your friends, family and work-mates will follow it avidly, as will people like me. All my entries were composed on an iPhone.

      I wish you the very best of luck. If you get your walk off the ground it will probably become one of the greatest adventures of your life.


  12. After reading through Mark Moxon's website and your travel blog I find myself increasingly excited by the prospect of covering the John O'Groats to Lands End walk in 2014. My only concern is that where you were able to get some nights in peoples homes I think I will still be stuck in a tent for the full term.

    Thank you for the inspiration :-)


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