So travelling from one end of Britain to the other .. WHAT DO YOU TAKE WITH YOU .. well, my plan is a holdall, a laptop bag with laptop in for telling the story as I complete each day and a rucksack with stuff in too big for the holdall .. the flag, the Willenhall flags and water bottles. Might sound bulky but I need to take as little as possible for travelling so I don’t struggle between train connections especially at stations I don’t know ie Carstairs, Haymarket, Perth, Inverness, Thurso among a few. On Day 2 I have short connection times between trains and because it will be Peak Travel on trains they may be busy with people going to work.
Most important part of the journey TRAIN TICKETS 10 tickets for the whole journey, working on the railway does have its advantages because I get free travel on Virgin Trains of which 2 trips are on my employees trains ( Day 1 to Carlisle from Birmingham & Day 4 from Edinburgh back to Wolverhampton), the rest of the journeys are either 3 in 7 Rover Tickets (can use 3 days out of 7 for travel) or 75% discount Priv Tickets. The Rover tickets help me get down towards Penzance from Cheltenham and back up from Penzance on Day 1, I will use 2 out of the 3 days of travel on these tickets. Because the rover doesn’t start til Cheltenham I have had to buy a return ticket Birmingham to Cheltenham for Travelling Day and for back on Day 1. The second day towards Wick involved splitting the journey from Carlisle to Inverness for cheaper travel cost ..
The first two days are pretty long days, leaving Penzance at 0630am on Day 1 and reaching Carlisle at 2000pm, then Day 2 leave Carlisle at 0652am reaching Wick at 1822pm .. again hoping for trouble-free travelling (but you never know) .. problem points may be at the middle of the journey from Plymouth up to Birmingham or from Birmingham to Carlisle.
Day 3 is the shortest and best day because it’s the day I reach John o Groats .. leaving Wick by bus at 0840am then 50 minutes in John o Groats before the long trip back towards Inverness arriving at 1701pm (shortest day). Overnight stay in Inverness before the last leg back home via Perth & Edinburgh on Day 4 arriving in Wolverhampton at 1633pm.
Only thing I have left to buy ticketwise are the bus tickets which you can pay the driver on the day of travel costing me about £9 for the 4 bus journeys .. overall cost of train tickets was £73.90, and that’s because I get the 75% discount so times that by 4 will give you an idea of what a non-railway employee would have to pay roughly (£295.60).
That’s the tickets explained so what do I pack apart from my toothbrush and toiletries here it is
My holdall will have all 3 Charities T Shirts, my sponsored T Shirt & polo shirt kindly sponsored by Thimbles Embroidery also carrying the Willenhall ay we badge & Cleveland Arms badge, the Help Harry Help Others (HHHO) bracelets (specially designed for LEJoG), Prostate Cancer UK bracelets & Men of Man pin badges (PCUK) and Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) specially made bracelets I had done by HHHO’s Jon Ford as a representation of this small charity my daughter and her friends are involved with. I will also be carrying my laptop to record the story of LEJoG day by day, either during my travels or at the end of the day when I can get internet connections. Also taking my small camera and chargers and my phone for taking pictures along the way as a record of the trip so I can become an Officiall “End to Ender” with the Lands End to John o Groats Association.
This little pink number contains all the paperwork, hotel confirmations and 2 diaries which I will record stuff as I go along, one of the diaries I will get signatures at hopefully all the stations to verify I was there and also “real LEJoG” start and finish times so I can compare the perfect journey to the actual journey.
Rucksack will have the flag and Willenhall flags in it because they are too big for the holdall and probably the little pink folder.
Travelling light is the key and hopefully I wont struggle and have to revert to Plan B or C because once I get to Inverness that’s the key bit because not many trains per day go up towards Wick or Thurso and I really don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere.
8 months of planning is now complete just a case of 13 days time for travelling to Penzance to start LEJoG hopefully having reached my target of £1000, another Charity event happened this weekend at another of my locals and at present is ongoing but I think I am about £100 off the target, check out my donations front page to keep up to date with the amount .. I havent added the Cheeky Bl**ders event figure on yet.
Thank you to everybody that as helped me towards the £1000 also the people who have commented or read my blog, it as been a great feeling doing all this and I hope to continue even after I have completed my trip