Lands End to John O'Groats

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A Challenge
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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by A Challenge » 03 Sep 2016, 15:16

Tube Geek wrote:
jamesthegill wrote:
greatkingrat wrote:He only started today. I guess he is probably somewhere in the Bristol area at the moment.
I don't suppose he's passing a town called Portishead at all, is he?
Shut up
You started it! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by tufnellpark » 04 Sep 2016, 10:20

Well it's the morning after the night before and now in Inverness and I can confirm a new unofficial world record for me from Lands End to John O'Groats by bus of 3 days, 8 hours, 55 mins from/to the signposts beating the previous record by over one day.

Thanks for all the interest and speculation which was entertaining to read. And no I didn't go via Portishead! Look forward to hearing any faster routes you may have but I won't be revealing my route.

Main thing is to stay on buses for as much of the day as possible so early mornings, late nights and limited time sleeping in Premier Inns, which was my choice of budget hotel. Time spent on buses per day was 12, 18, 17 and 10 hours.

Lots of scenery, funny observations and a few damns when I realised I had missed a bus by just a couple of mins and it was only an hourly service.

One thing that struck me was the high level of competence among bus drivers. I used to be a coach driver and have a PSV licence so to keep to timetable and deal courteously with passengers and car drivers (white vans are worse) is a credit to them. It's a tricky job that they are doing well.

I'll post up some stats but the weather was good, glorious scenery on Scotland's east coast, particularly at 6am with the sun rising over the Notth Sea. Stagecoach Scotland's services came out on top particularly the luxury Van Hool double deckers on the X7 route from Perth to Aberdeen. They also sold me the best value day ticket; 350 miles for £16.

Only one traffic jam of note due to roadworks which delayed my bus arriving by 30 mins and then me by a further 15 mins. A few missed connections but generally went to plan.

It was very tiring but very enjoyable. I may even make it an annual trip!
Last edited by tufnellpark on 05 Sep 2016, 13:38, edited 2 times in total.
London FNC 16:14:10
London Z1 WR 02:36:30
London 2016 Olympic Winner
Paris Metro GWR 13:23:33
Land's End to John O'Groats by bus WR 3 days, 8 hours, 55 mins

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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by tufnellpark » 04 Sep 2016, 16:26

Some statistics for you all.

874 miles is the shortest distance from Lands End to John O'Groats by road
Bus routes covered about 1,100 miles
33 buses used
9 arrived late (>5 mins) so PPM of 73%
Of those, 2 were significant enough to delay me
1 traffic jam (15 mins at roadworks)
6 Tesco meal deals + 3 McDs
Cost of bus tickets £132.50
57 hours on (or waiting for) buses over 4 days
17 hours sleep over 3 nights
London FNC 16:14:10
London Z1 WR 02:36:30
London 2016 Olympic Winner
Paris Metro GWR 13:23:33
Land's End to John O'Groats by bus WR 3 days, 8 hours, 55 mins

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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by tufnellpark » 18 Aug 2017, 10:19

It's that time of year when I set off on my Lands End-John O'Groats by local bus challenge. 1,100 high intensity miles over four days of Geminis and Enviros. I'm sure Hugo and Tangy know what I'm talking about. My departure day from Lands End is Tuesday 29th August and I should arrive in JOG on Friday 1st September in the afternoon, if everything goes to plan, which it never does. Premier Inns are booked. The time to beat is 3 days, 8 hours, 55 mins, although it's more difficult now since First have improved their Somerset services and Stagecoach have done the same in the Far North of Scotland. Improved does of course mean less buses running! I'm still avoiding Portishead (not on purpose tubegeek) although I do go via Bristol.

If anyone is at a bus station between Lands End and John O'Groats during that period, watch out for an old bloke with a small rucksack running for a bus. And if you spot me come and say hello. I'll be taking pictures along the way but as it is unofficial I won't need independent witnesses with a stopwatch at either end. Wish me luck.
London FNC 16:14:10
London Z1 WR 02:36:30
London 2016 Olympic Winner
Paris Metro GWR 13:23:33
Land's End to John O'Groats by bus WR 3 days, 8 hours, 55 mins

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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by Steeevooo » 18 Aug 2017, 12:24

Good luck Clive - look forward to reading about it!

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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by Iain » 18 Aug 2017, 17:05

All the best, Clive

Just wondering if you have to get a person previously unknown to you to operate the stop watch at both ends :roll:
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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by dstock17 » 18 Aug 2017, 17:13

tufnellpark wrote:
18 Aug 2017, 10:19
It's that time of year when I set off on my Lands End-John O'Groats by local bus challenge. 1,100 high intensity miles over four days of Geminis and Enviros. I'm sure Hugo and Tangy know what I'm talking about. My departure day from Lands End is Tuesday 29th August and I should arrive in JOG on Friday 1st September in the afternoon, if everything goes to plan, which it never does. Premier Inns are booked. The time to beat is 3 days, 8 hours, 55 mins, although it's more difficult now since First have improved their Somerset services and Stagecoach have done the same in the Far North of Scotland. Improved does of course mean less buses running! I'm still avoiding Portishead (not on purpose tubegeek) although I do go via Bristol.

If anyone is at a bus station between Lands End and John O'Groats during that period, watch out for an old bloke with a small rucksack running for a bus. And if you spot me come and say hello. I'll be taking pictures along the way but as it is unofficial I won't need independent witnesses with a stopwatch at either end. Wish me luck.
it just a suggestion do u need anybody at a bus change for the last day? or do u need an independant someone whom don't do buses to finish u off

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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by Iain » 18 Aug 2017, 19:15

Ah sorry - just read your post properly. Does make me wonder how it would work if it were an official attempt.
Full Network: Three completions, Best time: 17:18:18 - thanks Glen, Andrew and Rhys!
Former DLR 45 station record holder (with Glen, Andi and Stevo) - 2h:08m:57s
All lines: 46:11 (6th equal)
Zone One 2:52:51 (thanks Glen)

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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by RJSRdg » 18 Aug 2017, 22:04

Maybe there should be some arrangement with the gift shops at both ends, where for a small charge they could offer a service to start/stop a watch, and then send it special delivery to the other end....
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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by Tube Geek » 20 Aug 2017, 06:54

tufnellpark wrote:I'm still avoiding Portishead (not on purpose tubegeek) although I do go via Bristol
*sigh* Looks likely be waiting another year then
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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by tufnellpark » 08 Sep 2017, 14:21

I'm back from my Land's End to John O'Groats trip but unfortunately no new world record. I did set a better time than last year with 3 days, 5 hours and 25 mins but on Day 2 I had to resort to cheating, otherwise I would have been stuck in Shropshire. That meant jumping on a train, when I missed a few bus connections, to catch up time and reach my overnight hotel. So apart from that 50 mile train ride, the remaining 1,050 miles was covered on buses. Another epic bus journey with early starts, late finishes and not much sleep.

Weather was generally good, with some rain on the mornings of Day 2 and 3. Not too hot, so ideal for riding the buses. Of my 34 buses, 11 were more than 5 mins late, so 68% PPM which was lower than last year.

One annoying but funny instance was late at night in Chester. I jumped off my incoming bus at the same bus stop as last year and ran to the bus station. When I arrived there were no buses and it was all fenced off. Where had the bus station gone? I found out that there was a new bus station on the other side of Chester, which opened a couple of months ago, so had a fast walk for a mile across town but had to catch a bus 30mins later. On the bus timetables it just said bus station, so I didn't realise it had been moved! I also nearly missed a bus in Cornwall which I didn't realise was running late, by heading off to buy a Cornish Pasty for lunch. I got back just in time to catch it.

Overall a great journey and yes I'll probably be doing it all again next year.
London FNC 16:14:10
London Z1 WR 02:36:30
London 2016 Olympic Winner
Paris Metro GWR 13:23:33
Land's End to John O'Groats by bus WR 3 days, 8 hours, 55 mins

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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by xcooler123 » 08 Sep 2017, 16:27

tufnellpark wrote:
08 Sep 2017, 14:21
I'm back from my Land's End to John O'Groats trip but unfortunately no new world record. I did set a better time than last year with 3 days, 5 hours and 25 mins but on Day 2 I had to resort to cheating, otherwise I would have been stuck in Shropshire. That meant jumping on a train, when I missed a few bus connections, to catch up time and reach my overnight hotel. So apart from that 50 mile train ride, the remaining 1,050 miles was covered on buses. Another epic bus journey with early starts, late finishes and not much sleep.

Weather was generally good, with some rain on the mornings of Day 2 and 3. Not too hot, so ideal for riding the buses. Of my 34 buses, 11 were more than 5 mins late, so 68% PPM which was lower than last year.

One annoying but funny instance was late at night in Chester. I jumped off my incoming bus at the same bus stop as last year and ran to the bus station. When I arrived there were no buses and it was all fenced off. Where had the bus station gone? I found out that there was a new bus station on the other side of Chester, which opened a couple of months ago, so had a fast walk for a mile across town but had to catch a bus 30mins later. On the bus timetables it just said bus station, so I didn't realise it had been moved! I also nearly missed a bus in Cornwall which I didn't realise was running late, by heading off to buy a Cornish Pasty for lunch. I got back just in time to catch it.

Overall a great journey and yes I'll probably be doing it all again next year.
There are worst places to be stuck than Shropshire :lol: Well done on your effort :)
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Re: Lands End to John O'Groats

Post by A Challenge » 10 Sep 2017, 07:17

tufnellpark wrote:
08 Sep 2017, 14:21
I'm back from my Land's End to John O'Groats trip but unfortunately no new world record. I did set a better time than last year with 3 days, 5 hours and 25 mins but on Day 2 I had to resort to cheating, otherwise I would have been stuck in Shropshire. That meant jumping on a train, when I missed a few bus connections, to catch up time and reach my overnight hotel. So apart from that 50 mile train ride, the remaining 1,050 miles was covered on buses. Another epic bus journey with early starts, late finishes and not much sleep.

Weather was generally good, with some rain on the mornings of Day 2 and 3. Not too hot, so ideal for riding the buses. Of my 34 buses, 11 were more than 5 mins late, so 68% PPM which was lower than last year.

One annoying but funny instance was late at night in Chester. I jumped off my incoming bus at the same bus stop as last year and ran to the bus station. When I arrived there were no buses and it was all fenced off. Where had the bus station gone? I found out that there was a new bus station on the other side of Chester, which opened a couple of months ago, so had a fast walk for a mile across town but had to catch a bus 30mins later. On the bus timetables it just said bus station, so I didn't realise it had been moved! I also nearly missed a bus in Cornwall which I didn't realise was running late, by heading off to buy a Cornish Pasty for lunch. I got back just in time to catch it.

Overall a great journey and yes I'll probably be doing it all again next year.
Commiserations not making the connection, and at least you'll know about Chester Bus Station next year. Hope it goes better then and you do finish. You'll just have to hope that there aren't any major timetable recasts!
Tumbleweed and former Nimbleweed Scorekeeper

Winner of Gumbleweeds V, VI + XI, Nimbleweeds I, III - IX + XIV and (joint with GuyBarry) winner of Timesnap

And most importantly, Current leader of Tumbleweed

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