East West Route across England

Route Summary: Lowestoft to Lands End Off-road – Amazing

If you are looking for a long distance adventure cycle ride this LowLE off-road route is for you! Lowestoft to Lands End, or LowLE, will take you across England off-road. Whet your appetite for an amazing ride!

Origins

Like most UK cyclists LEJoG (Lands End to John O’Groats) is on my bucket list but living in East Anglia both start and destination are miles away…

In 2000 I learnt that first place in England to greet the sun of the new Millennium was Lowestoft. Britain’s most easterly point is only a few miles from where I live in Suffolk.  I began to think about a Lowestoft to Lands End route between England’s most Easterly and Westerly points.  However whichever way you look at the map, London sits on the route and that didn’t sound like fun.  When I did a ride to Paris a few years later I decided to start from home rather than London. I discovered that the river and canal network provides a traffic free alternative right through the capital.  When it came to planning in detail I’d already ridden some long off-road routes across Suffolk and Essex, and read about the Ridgeway and the CTC had published an off-road route for LEJoG. So I stitched all these pieces together to reach Lands End. Over half of the route is on bridleways, by-ways, tow paths the rest on minor roads, including National Cycle Routes. 

East to West and Weather

Looking for a long distance off-road adventure cycle ride? This LowLE off-road route is for you!

Friends questioned the wisdom of going East to West becasuse of the prevailing Westerly winds but I reasoned that we would be hill-fit by the time we reached the challenges of Devon and Cornwall. We had exceptional weather with no rain while we were riding and light winds generally.  We did feel a few stiff headwinds but not when it was hilly, partly because we rode in the shelter of hedges on quiet tracks.  So we were hill-fit by the time we got to Devon and Cornwall and that helped us enjoy it hugely. Generally you can expect some rain even in an English summer and the chalk  Ridgeway can be slippery when wet so you may need to replan your route if squirming about isn’t your thing.

Punishment for bikes

We left with all bikes serviced including a new headset on one bike, but 300 miles off-road with luggage is proper punishment. We replaced 1 bottom bracket and a set of pedals. Planning overnight stops where there were bike shops at hand was really useful!   Stopping in towns also helped us rest and fuel-up as we stayed in B&Bs and hostels.  Wild camping would have been an extra challenge but on a long unsupported ride with teenagers and a deadline to complete it, these comforts were appreciated.

How far & How long does it take?

Ness Point Compass
Distances as the crow flies!

The route as planned is about 600 miles, much more than the crow-flies distance shown at Ness Point! We did the route in 14 days of riding with a leisurely average of 43 miles a day. In reality we did a little less than this as we had to replan en-route to make sure we got to our destination. The route is described in detail in the following articles, so read on for some route details.

LowLE Off-Road Route Details / Sections

This LowLE off-road route will take you on an adventure cycle ride through some of England’s finest places. This site will also help you prepare for this adventure or any similar trek, covering everything from planning, bikes, equipment, fitness to navigation. Of course you visit the same places by car, but Two Wheels Better!

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