If you are up for a real journey why not go for the other end to end in England’s mild south with our London - Land’s End Guide Book? This book is all about sightseeing from the bike, guiding you via as many famous English landmarks as possible. What makes the guidebook unique is that it offers a full pack of route descriptions, high profile mapping, insider visitor information and accommodation suggestions for an incredible distance. The route is via well paved paths or quiet roads only and is completely continuous (unlike Sustrans’ National Cycle Network). The book contains over 1200 km (940 miles) of routes. Extensive information about the book and the route are available via its designated website, which also features route updates. If you order the book directly through us, you'll receive GPS-tracks of the route at no extra cost.
The guidebook contains links from Harwich and Dover ferry ports and takes you to the heart of London. You’ll cycle traffic free in Hyde Park and Richmond Park, on towpaths along the Thames and the Avon & Kennet Canal, the Bristol & Bath Railway path and the Strawberry Line. In between these routes quiet country lanes provide happy cycling via great attractions like Windsor Castle, ancient Avebury and Stonehenge, Bath, Bristol, Avon Gorge and Cheddar.
From Taunton in Somerset the route continues into England’s rugged West Country, crossing Exmoor National Park into Devon with its splendid Tarka Trail. You can then choose to cycle Devon Coast to Coast to Plymouth (from where you could cross the English Channel to France) or to continue west into Cornwall. Highlights of this route are Tintagel Castle, the beautiful Camel Trail, the famous surf beaches of Newquay and beautiful Penzance with its striking St Michaels Mount.
Extensive route information can be found on our London-Land's End website.
The price of the book is £15.99 (not including postage). You can order this book from anywhere in the world. If you wish to make an order please choose your region (showing the price including postage). For the United Kingdom the total charge is £18.75, for all EU-countries £22.25, any other country £24.75. These fees include a package of GPS-tracks, which will be supplied to you by email. GPS-tracks can also be ordered separately for £10, see for more information the London-Land's End website.
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Disclaimer: The publisher and author have done their best to ensure the accuracy of all the information on both the website and in the guide book, however they can accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any traveller as a result of information or advice contained in the guide or website.
Harwich/Dover - London -Taunton:
It is important to understand that the book allows you to ride the route in sections. You can just cycle the route bit by bit, from railway station to the next, or just over weekends or on minibreaks. An overview of 60 connecting railway stations is included in the guide. Only if you intend to cycle the full route in one go, you'll have to be fit to embark on this journey as you will probably be cycling 4 to 7 hours a day. Although we have tried to find a route as flat as possible, you will have to deal with various short steep climbs and some gradual longer climbs as well, especially in Wiltshire. Most of the route up to Taunton is generally flat though and easy to do for most cyclists.
Taunton - Plymouth/Land’s End:
This second half of the route from Taunton has various strenuous sections, especially in Exmoor National Park and in Cornwall. There are 7 long climbs, all of a mile or so, where you’ll have to walk your bike up continuous steep gradients of 25-30%. Also beyond these 7 “killer” climbs, most of the route is serious climbing, going up and down all the way. The only relieve from climbing are longer flat stretches on special dismantled railway paths as the Tarka and Camel Trails. Most of the Devon Coast to Coast route is on paths like these, so a finish in Plymouth might be your preferred final destination, rather than cycling all the way to Land’s End. Many experienced touring cyclists have classed cycling in Cornwall as being tougher than crossing the Alps by bicycle, so, yes; it is hilly! Those who only wish to cycle sections of the route, be reassured that the flat railway paths in the Westcountry provide excellent opportunities for novice cyclists and young children! Again, you don't have to be an experienced cyclist to be able to enjoy this guidebook!
It is important to know that 90% of this route is on tarmac. There remaining 10% consists of gravel and grass paths, slightly rough at times. Racing bicycles with very slick tyres are not recommended, but any other road bicycle with more semi slick tyres should do the job. There are some barriers on the way which might be difficult to pass with trailers or tandems. These bikes might cause problems when taking these on trains, experiences with this are mixed. Please note all bikes should have at least 18 gears. If you bring your children, please refrain of use of BMX-bikes, as these have no gears and are not designed to cycle any mileage!
By ferry: The route is designed to be accessible for cyclists from the continent, so international cyclists can start in either Harwich (ferries from Hook of Holland) or Dover (ferries from Dunkirk/Dunkerque and Calais). For the return journey cyclists can either take their bikes on trains back to Harwich/Dover or they can finish the route in Plymouth, from where they can take a ferry to France (Roscoff). Some advice on how to cycle from Roscoff back to Calais, Dunkerque or Hook of Holland is included in the guide. A full loop like this would be 2200 to 2500 km!
By train: There are over 60 railway stations on the route where you can start or end your cycling journey. If you wish to start the route from London we recommend starting from London Bridge station, which is directly on the route. As taking bicycles on trains in Greater London is limited to certain routes, the guide contains advice on which rail routes to use to get to London Bridge. From England’s most western station, Penzance, the guide contains a circular route to Land’s End, returning to Penzance station.
By car: Travelling by car is not recommended. As this is a one way route you’ll have to take bikes on trains anyway! If you need to travel by car and you wish to start the route in London it is best to take the M4 motorway into London and to park in the Paddington area. Then take your bicycle and luggage on the tube from Paddington station to London S. Pancras International and change onto the train to Brighton . Get off at London Bridge to start the ride. At the end of your cycle tour, take the train to Paddington station and return to your parked vehicle from there.
By plane: If you fly from further afield and you wish to bring your own bike, starting the route in London, it is best to fly to London Gatwick Airport. At this airport, don't take the Gatwick Express train into London, but a “Southern” or “Capital Connect” service directly to London Bridge station, on which bikes are carried for free. If you want to fly with your own bike you could also fly to London Luton Airport, where you'll have to cycle 2 miles from the airport terminal to Luton Parkway station (reasonably good cycle route available; stick to footpath on right hand side of the road when leaving the terminal). From Luton Parkway take a First Capital Connect train to Brighton and get off at London Bridge. London Bridge station is directly on the route in the guidebook. Note taking bicycles on trains from other London airports is not easy (For Heathrow you'll have to use the expensive Heathrow Express, there are NO bikes allowed on trains from/to Stansted Airport).