Mackays Hotel

Mackays Hotel

Luxury Hotel Accommodation in the centre of Wick, Caithness

The history of the famous Lands End to John O’Groats challenge

Posted: July 16th, 2018 | Posted in: General News

When you think of epic journeys, no matter which method you travel by, there is none more epic in the UK than Land’s End to John O’Groats. Travelling the entire length of the UK, it is a challenge that many people take up, often for charity.

But where did this challenge come from and what exactly does it entail?

The history of the challenge

One of the first methods to get through the route and therefore deemed to be the most traditional is on foot. The first recorded walking challenge came in 1871 and was walked by two brothers, John and Robert Naylor. The amount of people who tried it for themselves came at a steady rate between then and the 1960’s, however, after that decade it seemed that the popularity of the walk really took off. Not only were the “normal” folk taking up the challenge on foot, on bike or even on horse, but a whole raft of celebrities were also deciding to try it out, whether it was to raise awareness for a particular charity or to raise money if that was the aim.

More about the journey

So, want to know more about this amazing journey? It takes you from the very top to the bottom of the entire UK, traveling Southwest tips to Northwest tips, it is 874 miles in total, travelling by road. If you take the road route, which you would be likely to do if you are cycling or for some runners who tackle it, then you are looking for it to take you around the 14 day mark. However, there is a record for someone running it in just 9 days, although we think that they must have had rockets on their shoes.

For most runners, they decide to take an off-road route, however, this ups the mileage to 1,200 miles and will make the entire journey last closer to 2 months than 2 weeks.

There are a number of routes that you can take, rather than one long distance path. Which means that one walker or cyclist takes a different route than another. However, if you do feel that you wan to give it a go yourself, then you may find it worthwhile researching into the different options and routes that you have open to you.

Whilst we might not be precisely in John O’Groats, we are not too far away, which means if you are looking for the ideal base for the beginning or the end of the journey, then why not book in to stay at Mackays? We always offer a warm Scottish welcome, which when you have been travelling for such a long time, feels like the best thing ever.


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