175 miles from Inverness to John O’Groats

During the summer of 2018 Team Simpson tackled Inverness to John O’Groats, around 175 miles of beautiful, mountainous Scottish roads, paths and ditches.

At the time the team was: Gracie (9), Charli (12), Harry (14) and Heidi & Dave (44).

Our charities were the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). Two amazing charities who between them look after all the living things and the planet we live on.

Thanks to all of your amazing support we raised £2596.82 for our amazing charities.

With love, Heidi, Dave, Harry, Charli & Gracie.

Day 6 – Charli

Day six has finally arrived!

Mum and dad thought it would be nice to have a lie in and so we all woke up around 8:30 and lounged around till 9:00. The thing that finally got us up was the fact that they stopped serving breakfast after 10:00.

When we went down to our table, we all had cereal as well as cooked breakfast. My mum and dad both had scrambled egg and smoked salmon whilst Harry and I had bacon and Grace had 3 poached eggs.

As we set off with our bikes around 10:45 we all were very achy from the previous days. We also learnt that my dad had decided to take a six mile detour to the most northern point of mainland Britain. Whilst we were up there we met some of our friends, the Dymond’s. It was worth going up there as there was an amazing view and a hill down. Our lunch stop was closed as Prince Charles was in the castle by it and they don’t want any tourists. There were many hills and straight roads where you could see the road up and the never ending hill.

John O’Groats was getting really close now. We had been on this one road for ages and closely our hotel came into view. We were all really excited however we turned left away from the hotel to go down to the sign. As we went through the car park and onto the pavement where the sign was we could here the Dymond’s cheering us on. We had finally made it from Bristol to John O’Groats!!!

We had our picture taken and went to get an ice cream for lunch! I had mint choc chip and malteser flavour whilst the rest of my family had various flavours from salted caramel to apple crumble. We then had to shelter from the rain and finished our ice creams. We then made it back to our hotel room to just relax. We’ve all had showers and now we are in our car finally, in Wick as we are looking for food options.

Thank you everyone who has sponsored us and I really hope we meet our target!!!

 

 

Day 5 – Grace

So here we are at the Northern Sands Hotel near Dunnett Head ( the most Northerly point. We arrived here at 12:49 after 26 mile long journey. On our journey we stopped in Thurso (a massive town and the only for miles)to have lunch. We stopped in the tempest Cafe and I had a kids lunch box, because it said it came with wotsits, Harry had a rocky road (good but not as good as the cafe on the square’s,Charli has ham and cheese toastie and Mum and dad had cheese scones (pronounced scon). However when mine came it came with cheese curls, which make me sick🤢 , but I got a ice cream 🍦 so I was ok. Then we set off and rocketed up hills, like it was my job. Then we arrived and went to beach.

 

Day 4 – Harry

Today was hard. It was one of the shorter days (26 miles) but the hilliest day (2582 feet of ascent). We were heading to Melvich from Tongue. But whenever we conquered a hill, another one was waiting for us. We stopped in Bettyhill for lunch because we knew there wasn’t going to be anywhere else until the B&B. It was lush and the food was really nice. After that we found a dead deer and many other hills. It was horrible. I could’ve walk after today. Tomorrow will be better, I hope.

Day 2 – Harry

Today was the second day and the feeling of getting on a bike is always uncomfortable. To compliment the uncomfortability, Dad told us that much of today would be uphill. BRILLIANT. That is not what you want, but with the view at the top it was all worthwhile. It was amazing and you could see the whole ‘loch’ or lake. It was incredible. What was better than the view was the downhill. We went 28 mph at one point, the headwind was so strong I couldn’t hear anything but the wind.

The lunch stop was at a small shop and café in Ardgay, it was very small but had everything from fans, heaters and microwaves. On the way out of Ardgay we went down a small road which led to a railway bridge. The railway bridge was uncrossable but thanks to amazing Engineers we could cross it by using a steel structure stuck to the side of the bridge. It was amazing except for the fact we couldn’t use the bike gutter on the steps because of all the luggage we were carrying in our paniers. Just after the bridge we stopped at Shin Falls café and community project where you could play mini golf, walk down to the falls, have a coffee in the café or play in the playground. It was amazing and further up the road there was a footbridge which led to Lairg train station. This meant we were close!!!!

In Lairg there is a beautiful man made damn and a tiny house on an island. The hotel is good but sadly one of the only things in Lairg. With the bank, shop and chapel closed the pharmacy, garage, campsite and primary school are the only things left. It’s very sad to see a community slowly dying out. The day was amazing and the 37 miles tomorrow is only just dawning on us, much more than the 30 miles we did today.

 

Day 1 – Charli

Day one and we cycled from Inverness to Alness! (24 miles)

After we had wolfed down a bowl of cereal we set of from our travel lodge at 8:30. As we were cycling away from the city, we cycled over a beautiful bridge. We cycled on a quiet lane parallel to the A9 for a very long time and then reached a massive Tesco around half way for lunch. However, it was only 10:30 so we had lunch really early because there wasn’t enough space to carry it. We then set of again with renewed energy, we came across a massive hill. From here we could see a really cool monument at the top. We soon saw a sign for Alness. As we pulled in to our B&B it was 12:30. We were gobsmacked as we had never made that distance in that time. We then went into town and got food at 5:30. The Sunday roast was really nice. The puddings were also just amazing: Cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake and sticky toffee pudding. As we walked back, we were cold as it had just been raining. Then we went into our rooms and we just relaxed.

Day -1 Grace

Today was the day before the first day. We spent the day in Inverness whilst my dad took the car to John’a Groats. We decided to go to the leisure centre so we started walking. It was miles away from anything else and it took us ages to get there, but when we got there turns out we couldn’t climb so we walked back. I spotted mini golf 🏌️‍♀️so we did that and then we came back and checked in before going to pub, eating and meeting dad. Ha ha. 🤣

2017 Edinburgh to Inverness

In the summer of 2017 Team Simpson cycled 170 miles from Edinburgh to Inverness as part of our ‘Lands End to John O’Groats 1 week a year for 10 years’ challenge.

What are the stats I hear you cry! Well, funny you should ask. It was 30 miles every day for 6 days (carrying all our luggage), 5 bikes, 3 awesome children and all for 2 fantastic charities:

Dementia UK – in support of the many sufferers that we know and for those who my amazing brother has started working with recently and The Samaritans – In memory of a family member, Mick and in support of his wife and my cousin, Joan.

You followed our adventures by checking out our blog posts which are usually written by the kids and never fail to be entertaining.

Thanks to all of your support we raised £2,426.04 in total. Much love, Dave, Heidi, Harry (13), Charli (11) and Grace (8).

Day 6 – Heidi

Today was a mega hard slog. We set off late for us, 10am and took a route which avoided the A road but meant we went up and down on a very rough track for about 1.5 hours and when we got to the end we’d actually put 2 miles on to our total! Then rain, wind, freezing cold conditions and Dave repeatedly saying, ‘this is the last hill’. 😂 Anyway, we are here and done. Our many thanks to all those who have donated to our charities and in turn have supported us. We are aware that it’s a big deal to pledge your hard earned cash, particularly as we do this every year. Thank you, everyone, particularly to today’s sponsors Ed & Deborah, Gavin & Lara, Helen & Al, Rupert, Mike, Norm, Hilarie & David,

Ladan, Laura & James and our anonymous friends. The many people who have donated, including all those at the cafe, will have made a significant difference to our 2 charities and to the belief that by and large, people are good. Lastly, thank you to the big guy Himself, God, for keeping us safe and healthy. 🙏🏻 Check out final blog posts here: simpsonfundraising.co.uk and to donate those final pennies. Much love, Team Simpson. 😍