27th July - 4th August 1987


Day 1: Dover to Saffron Walden - 105 miles.
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Camera - Blue gif
Photobucket - DCR 87


Graham Brodie, Jackie Lofty, and John Matthews at Dover.


1:Having completed the standard "End to End" in 1986, the opposite diagonal seemed an interesting idea.
In 1986 I'd begun "Audaxing" and had got the distance-cycling bug, and a month before this event I'd ridden my first 600km ride. I'd entered the CTC National 400Km event which took place at Godalming, so thought I would ride this as a warm-up to the diagonal. Maybe a rest would have been a better idea, as when Jackie met me on the Sunday afternoon in a hire car ready to drive to Dover, I was completely zonked, having ridden through the night, and ended up sleeping on the village green for a couple of hours before we set off East and down the M2.
We stayed at Dover Youth Hostel - what a dump - the hostel and the town! (IMHO!)
We were watched by a small crowd, as we pulled loads of bits out the hired Fiesta, and converted them into bicycles and panniers. We took the bikes to the bike shed which turned out to be a lean to roof, accessed by a Yellow door with a broken lock. Eventually we found an old iron bunk bed, and locked the bikes to that being about the most secure thing we could find.
We went into the town to get a Chinese takeaway, and after a brisk walk I decided to get some sleep having had none since the previous Friday.

Day 1

Dover - Canterbury -Gravesend -Tilbury Ferry -Dunmow- Saffron Walden.
Bright, showers strong NW winds.
Day 2

Saffron Walden - Cambridge - Warboys -Spalding - Lincoln.

Rain, NW wind! Bright spells.

Day 3

Licoln - Brattleby - Scunthorpe - Selby - York -Thirsk - Osmotherly Rain, thunder
storms. Naff
Day 4

Osmotherly - Darlington - Towlaw- Kiln Pit Hill - A68 - Byrness in Rysedale Gales, shower
Day 5

Carter Bar- Jedburgh - Lauder - Dalkeith, - Forth Bridge - Glendevon NW Gales

Day 6

Gleneagles- Creiff - Lochearn, - Crianlarich - Glen Coe - Fort William. Heavy showers
Day 7

Spean Bridge - Invergarry - Glen Sheil - Loch Alsh - Loch Carron-Achnashellach. Bright spells, showers
Day 8

Achnasheen - Glen Docherty to Loch Maree - Gairloch - Loch Broom - Ullapool. Rain at first.
NW winds
Day 9

Cromalt Hills - Skaig Bridge - Kylestrom -Kyle of Durness - Durness. Drizzle, clearing sunny spells
Day 10
Durnes YH - to Cape Wrath, return and ride to Lairg to get train. Showers, bright later. strong NW wind

Clickable map - to view individual stages click on the relevant section.>>>

Stage 1 , Dover to Saffron WaldenStage 2, Saffron Walden to LincolnStage 3, Lincoln to OsmotherlyStage 4, Osmotherly to ByrnessStage 5, Brness to GlendevonStage 6, Glendevon to Fort WilliamStage 7, Fort William to AchnashellachStage 8, Achnashellach to UllapoolStage 9, Ullapool to ByrnessStage 10, Byrness to Cape WrathStage 3, Lincoln to Osmotherly
2: DAY 1:
There had been no sign of John the previous evening, but I had a vague recollection of being shaken in the night, which turned out to be JKM arriving at 11pm.
The three of us arrived for breakfast. The hostel was full of Germans and people of various other nationalities. The Warden was busy shouting at the assistant who was also German and obviously didn't understand. He was cross because no-one had followed the seating plan
The breakfast ended up being whatever cereal was plonked in front of you, plus a hot hard boiled egg on a plate, and a slice of salami, and nothing to eat them with! ( I muttered something about English Breakfast but was met by baffled expressions.) Halfway through breakfast a load more people arrived for their breakfast, which had obviously been taken by others, mayhem broke out- we started clearing plates, washed up and left pronto.
Leaving Dover YH was like having a weight lifted from your shoulders. We headed straight to the Hoverport to commence our expedition. A passing bobby took some pictures for us in our specially printed T shirts, and after a quick shop-stop to by knock-rations we headed out onto the B2060


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Three at the Hoverport

Pictured 3 at Dover International Hoverport ( also a dump!)
- taken by a passing bobby.

The first stop was Canterbury. It was a bright morning but very windy, the bikes almost got blown over when taking pictues of the cathedral. We left and almost bumped into Dr.Runcie! Following the A2 for a few miles we had a lunch stop in the Queens Head at Dunkirk (!)
After lunch the ride was a real slog along the main road with a gusty headwind and heavy traffic to Gravesend.
Luckily the Tilbury Ferry was in ready to leave so we got straight on and crossed the Thames to enjoy some easier and more peaceful cycling through Brantwood, Chipping Ongar, Great Dunmow and then arrived at our first nights stop - Saffron Walden Youth Hostel.
The Hostel was superb, the oldest building in town
(15th Cent), the warden was a cheery Northern chap who knocked up some good food.

Tilbury FerryOn the Tilbury boat.Gravesend - Tilbury Ferry.

NOTE: A lot of the slides taken on this trip suffered mildew damage after years of storage. Thank's to digital technology they are slowly being repaired and updated to this site.

Newton Area  Cycling Group CTC Devon
South West AUK's