Infograph: Land's End John O'Groats Book Route Budget Training Guide Nutrition Bike GPX


“How far is it from Land’s End to John O’Groats?”

A query easily raised but not so easily answered. Why? Because there are many answers. In fact there are almost infinite answers because it depends on the route you take. 

An easier question to answer is:

“What is the minimum distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats?”

The answer being 603 miles (970 km). But that is a straight line distances and if you were cycling would mean somehow crossing the Irish Sea and traversing a lot of countryside without roads.


A better question would be:

“What is the minimum distance, by road, between Land’s End and John O’Groats?”

Google Maps calculates the quickest route as 837 miles (1,348 km) and uses A30, M5, M6, A74(M), M73, M80, M9, A9 and A99.

The shortest route, using a mix of minor roads and motorways is 814 miles (1,310 km) This route is roughly follows: Land's End, Bodmin, Okehampton, Tiverton, Taunton, Bridgwater, the M5 Avon Bridge, the M48 Severn Bridge, Monmouth, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Tarporley, St Helens, Preston, Carlisle, Beattock, Carstairs, Whitburn, Falkirk, Stirling, Crieff, Kenmore, Dalchalloch, A9, Inverness, Kessock Bridge, Cromarty Bridge, Dornoch Firth Bridge, Latheron, Wick, John O' Groats.


Neither of these routes are of use to the cyclist though because cycling is not permitted on motorways.

So the best question is:

“What is the minimum distance, by road where cycling is permitted, between Land’s End and John O’Groats?”
The signposts at both Land’s End and John O’Groats indicate a distance of 874 miles (1,407 km) to their counterpart which is often taken as the shortest road distance between the two points.

However, Google Map reveals a route with a distance of 866 mile (1.394 km), avoiding all motorways.

The route is roughly: Land's End, Bodmin, Okehampton, Exeter, Honiton, Shepton Mallet, Gloucester, Leominister, Shrewsbury, Tarporley, St Helens, Preston, Kendal, Carlisle, Beattock, Carstairs, Whitburn, Falkirk, Perth, Pitlochry, Aviemore, Kessock Bridge, Cromarty Bridge, Dornoch Firth Bridge, Latheron, Wick, John O' Groats.


So the answer is that the minimum distance by bike is 866 miles (1,394km) but most people would not want to ride that route because it follows a lot of very busy main roads. The reality is that most routes will be between 900 and 950 miles. I have ridden end to end 3 times and my respective routes were 882 miles (1,420 km), 938 miles (1,510 km) and 953 miles (1,534 km).

Many riders deliberately lengthen the route to 1,000 miles to add an extra challenge.


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If you are looking for a 'safe' route you will be interested in the End to End Cycle Route - A Safer Way.  Click on the cover image below for more details.