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Lands End to John O’Groats Challenge Postcards

Since the previous post about the Lands End to John O’Groats Virtual Conqueror Challenge, I have past the following waypoints and received postcards.

10th January 2021: The Eden Project

“Although the idea for the Eden Project only dates back 20 years, the clay pit it is built on was in use for a good 160 years beforehand, as well as serving as a television location site; appropriately enough, it was used as Magrathea, home of a race of planet-builders in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, filmed for the BBC in the 1980s.

Officially opening in March 2001, The Times hailed the Project as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. The public clearly agreed, as the site had clocked up an astonishing 1,000,000 visitors by June of that year. The famous Eden Sessions started the following year, with Pulp headlining – events described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘part Glyndebourne, part Glastonbury’.

With installations in recent years of a Treetop Walkway and visitor accommodation, the Eden Project continues to grow and develop. If you’re inspired to learn more about how they do what they do, you can even study to degree-level onsite.” (Info included in postcard email received).

Initially I set the timeframe for this challenge at 52 weeks. That means an average of 33km a week to finish. But as I was about 60km from being 10% complete on 10th January 2021, I decided to change the timeframe to 30 weeks instead. That means I will need to average 58km a week Kickbiking in order to finish by 29th July 2021.

14th January 2021: Plymouth Hoe

“That might sound like an outdated piece of farm equipment, but if you’re interested in eighteenth century working buildings, Smeaton’s Tower is a must-see. Construction began in 1757, and the 24 candles which warned oncoming sea traffic of the dangerous Eddystone Reef – rocks so dangerous that sailing via the Channel Islands or even the French coast was seen as preferable to a possible collision – were lit for the first time in October 1759. No ordinary candles, these were monsters that weighed anything up to 2.3 kilos, and needed chiming clocks beside them to remind the lighthouse keeper of the need to replace them.

The sea had other ideas, and by the mid 1800s had started to erode the ground around the lighthouse – in fact, it would shake every time a big wave hit. The upper two thirds of the building were removed and relocated to their current location at Plymouth Hoe, where it currently not only offers amazing views of the surrounding area, but is available for hire as a venue for civil wedding ceremonies.

Just proving that the Yorkshire-born designer, John Smeaton, built things to last, the stump of the old lighthouse can still be seen out on the Eddystone Reef.” (Info included in postcard email received).

2nd February 2021: Durdle Door

“For fans of Jurassic coastlines, the open chalk coves of this part of Dorset are a draw for lovers of beautiful British beaches and amateur and professional geologists alike. Durdle Door itself even has some unlikely cousins; when the African and European tectonic plates collided years ago, the same event created the Alps as well as this strange limestone structure.

Part of the Lulworth Estate, the arch itself is actually privately-owned, but the shingle beach is open to the public via a footpath over the hill from Lulworth Cove. The locals will also refer to the area as Man O War Bay, although you won’t find this on the Ordnance Survey Map – the official name is St. Oswald’s Bay – the area is particularly popular with snorkelers and swimmers, although it’s worth being aware that a speed boat regularly brings in visitors from Lulworth Cove; a bright swimming hat is a must.” (Info included in postcard email received).

As of 3rd February 2021, I have reached 20% of the total kms for the challenge (see the previous post for more details of the challenge).


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