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Tubewalker: The Tube, on Foot

Contact Me: Andrew McCloy

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Santosh Jayaram

Subject: Andrew McCloy
Posted: 5 Mar 2017 6:29 pm


Hi Mark:

I am finding it very difficult to locate the McCloy guide. I reckon you based almost your entire trip on his recommended path. I can't find the book, and when I did try to get a used copy from Amazon I was scammed.

It seems I have to have the book in order to make this work out, else I will be flying blind and will have to rely solely on the OS maps at every turn. Would you happen to know anyone who could lend me a copy for 3 months? Any help or direction would be extremely helpful.

The other alternative is to use Andy Robinson's guide. But that is far more severe in terrain and difficulty, I am told.

Thanks

Santosh

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daveanddot

Subject: Andrew McCoy Book
Posted: 5 Mar 2017 9:05 pm


You can buy the book on eBay. We have the same book and it was very useful for planning our own trip
Here is the eBay item number:
eBay item number:121888992831
"Land's End to John O' Groats (Teach Yourself) By Andrew McCloy"
£2.80 Buy it now - Free Postage
Hardback Book
Publication Year: 16/06/1994

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Mark Moxon

Subject: Andrew McCloy's
Posted: 6 Mar 2017 12:33 pm


Thanks daveanddot - good old eBay! Smile

Santosh, I wouldn't worry too much if you can't get hold of a copy, though for £2.80 it's a steal! My route is almost identical to that in Mr McCloy's book, and the level of detail in his book is not that different to that on my website (and my website contains detailed route maps, which you don't get in the book - you will need to take maps on your walk whether or not you get the book). It's a great introduction to the route, no doubt about it, but in this era of the Internet, all the information you need is available with a Google search and on other walkers' sites, and their information will be up to date as well.

If you're planning to follow this route, then most of it is covered by National Trail guides and their excellent strip maps, and the rest of it you can piece together using OS maps relatively easily.

Don't assume that McCloy's book is a detailed route guide, like Andy Robinson's. It isn't - it's a really good starting point, but it definitely won't hold your hand for you, and I'm not sure you'll find anything in there that doesn't appear on a multitude of other walkers' websites. Just thought I'd point this out... but for £2.80, it's still well worth getting.

Best wishes,

Mark

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Santosh Jayaram

Subject: Thank you, Daveanddot and Mark
Posted: 6 Mar 2017 6:44 pm


Daveanddot: You are a life saver. I bought your book a moment ago. Thank you. I really appreciate it.

Mark:

Thanks for the recommendation to use your site for the walk. I was of the impression that the maps you have for the routes for each day was drawn approximately and should not be relied upon, hence my search for the book.

But I guess what you are saying is that if one has the relevant OS maps, and using your Google 2d route as a reference point, one could then use the OS map for a more accurate rendering of the route. Is that accurate?

Thanks again for responding to my query. And thanks for the book, Daveanddot.

Best

Santosh

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Mike

Subject: Andrew McCloy's Book
Posted: 7 Mar 2017 5:59 am


Santosh,

Don't know which of the two books you now got, I own a used copy of the one from 1994. And what I've seen and read about the one from 2002 I'm sure: both are in no way comprehensive guide books! They simply can't be, as the older one gives rough descriptions for three (!) possible routes on 260 pages, and the newer one is given with 192 pages overall. To compare it with other guide books: The Pennine Way guide by Damian Hall uses about 160 pages for this one trail only (without general information, just the stage descriptions) and Paddy Dillon in the Cicerone guide needed about 175 pages for the same. Relations are similar for other long distance paths. This will give you an impression how detailed McCloy's books are on that behalf.

Please don't believe that you can take this one book and simply follow "the path". There is no "the path". McCloy might still be a good starting point for planning your walk, but nothing more. In addition, you have to keep in mind that ways might have changed since the appearance of the book, 15 years or more are a very long time, so don't rely on it alone.

Settle down with maps, OS provides them online down to the level of the Explorer series (which means a scale of 1:25000) for a subscription fee which is much cheaper than buying all the maps. Think about what is important for you on the way. LEJOG is about walking from one fixed point to another. What you do in between is completely your choice. Questions to ask yourself are:
- What kind of walking do I prefer? Am I fine with walking on hard surfaces for longer periods so that I can consider minor lanes? Or am I more for being on tracks and paths?
- Do I want to include the coast of Cornwall and Devon? Or am I looking for a more direct and shorter inland route?
- Do I want to include Wales in the walk? This will most certainly mean to walk at least part of the Offa's Dyke Path if it should be an established LDP.
- Am I fine with camping so that I can stray away from settlements to more remote areas?
- ...

And a lot more. This planning process is part of the fun. Look at a couple of the blogs on Mark's link list and search for their overall/planned route descriptions or itineraries, most of them have postings like that. Compare the different routes, get inspired by the choices of others and build a route that suits YOU. My route is by no means the shortest possible one and in parts not very efficient given the overall goal to get from the south-west to the north-east, but it's the route which appealed to me–and I have some bad weather alternatives, just in case ...

Cheers,
Mike

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Mark Moxon

Subject: Route planning and McCloy
Posted: 8 Mar 2017 12:40 pm


Thanks Mike, I couldn't have put it better! Smile

Santosh, Mike is right - McCloys' books are fairly general, and while they are great in the early stages of planning, you do need to take his suggested routes and fill in the details, even if all you do is work out where his routes are on the map. The books themselves are not detailed route guides, and you won't be able to follow them without accompanying maps.

The maps on my site are handy for an overview of where a particular day goes, and you could probably use them in your GPS or phone to do the walk, but they aren't accurate enough to follow blindly as waypoints on a GPS. They contain more route information than McCloy's books - a map is worth a thousand words! - but I'm not sure they're detailed enough for you to use them on their own.

In short, when you say this:

"if one has the relevant OS maps, and using your Google 2d route as a reference point, one could then use the OS map for a more accurate rendering of the route. Is that accurate?"

you are spot on.

Anyway, now you've bought the book, you'll see what I mean. Planning the route is all part of the fun of doing LEJOG, so enjoy filling in the blanks!

Best wishes,

Mark

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Santosh Jayaram

Subject: Thank you, Mike
Posted: 9 Mar 2017 6:33 pm


Mike:

Thank you for the considered response to my post from earlier in the week. Thank you for taking the time to advise a fellow walker.

As I read your post, and the various blogs, I am filled with a tiny bit of dread. Because I have very few reference points about the geography of the country, and very few people to advice me on the walk in the sort of way a conversation about it would develop.

But really, a lot of my nervousness stems from the fact that I haven't planned this trip in as much detail as I see all these other folks who've planned the walk. All I have planned is the first 9 days of the walk. I have the OS maps physically and online.

Your post has now gotten me to look through the next 30 days and plan it a bit more.

I am sure that once I start the walk my understanding of terrain, and my own capabilities will help educate how I want each new day or week to unfurl.

Thanks again. Very kind of you to help

Best

Santosh

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Mike

Subject: Preparation
Posted: 9 Mar 2017 9:29 pm


Santosh,

I surely don't want to sound patronising but I really hope that your overall preparation is better than your route planning as this is only one aspect of the whole walk.

You have to consider your equipment carefully, and even if you don't intend to camp there's other stuff to take which needs to be up the task. Do you know what your pack will weigh? Are you used to walk whole days with it and not only just one but several (many) days in a row? Are you familiar with identifying landscape features on a map? Otherwise carrying a map will only be of limited use. Can you orient yourself at least roughly without a compass? If you can answer these questions with "yes" you might develop into the walk. If not, I'd suggest to be very careful which route to take and how you choose your way. There's a difference between being flexible with one's route and planning on the one side and having no clue how to proceed on the other. Even if the UK is not the Antarctic or the Amazonas jungle you can run into severe problems as a solo hiker in remote areas.

You need to know what you can expect from yourself (physically and mentally), how to cope with unexpected situations and make responsible decisions, especially-but not only-regarding the weather. Weather can change very fast on the hills and put you into serious troubles. Counting on Mountain Rescue to get you out of these troubles is perhaps not the wisest thing to do although they will certainly try their very best and do a good job.

I don't want to scare you unnecessarily, but solo hikers need to be cautious as even small incidents might have unforeseen negative effects. And in more remote areas you can easily find yourself without a mobile signal so you shouldn't rely too much on being able to call out for help.

Cheers,
Mike

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Santosh Jayaram

Subject: Thank you, Mike.
Posted: 13 Mar 2017 10:49 pm


Mike:

Thanks again. And I really appreciate the tone and content of your post and its attendant warnings.

My pack is a lot better planned than my route planning, yes. It is 17 pounds and has the essentials and some emergency prep material should I be caught in inclement weather.

I am very fit. I have been able to handle 15-20 mile walks with the pack. I have not attempted anything like this hike but from all the conversations I've had with fellow long distance thru hikers and trail runners, it does get better as you move along.

In terms of orientation, I am carrying a GPS device and the online maps on two mobile devices, both of which have different networks so as to maximize the probability of getting access to data when in need. I do know how to orienteer myself with a compass, not so sure without one. And I have been familiarizing myself with the OS maps over the past month and pretty confident in being able to use it well and to good effect.

Thanks again for the words of advice and warning. I really appreciate it.

I am quite confident that by the time I get to the mountains I will have learned much from the trail to not do anything too stupid or daft.

Best

Santosh

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Dave and Dot

Subject: Good Luck
Posted: 14 Mar 2017 8:42 pm


Hi Santosh.
You seem to be very well prepared and we wish you good luck on your LeJog adventure. When are you starting out on the walk and will you be publishing a Blog?
When we set out on our walk we had our first night arranged but after that it was in the lap of the gods. Our motto was "wonder were we'll end up tonight" Something always turned up and we made it to the end.
Good Luck Santosh.

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