On Saturday I’ll be starting the first of three days cycling the length of Scotland. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and will serve as a “goodbye for now” as I move to the Land of Eng later in the month. The primary reason I’m doing this is to raise funds for a great charity, the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). They provide great support for those in need and also tackle the stigma of mental health. One in four people in the UK have to deal with mental health problems.
Various Scottish poems have mentioned the journey from John o’Groats to Kirkmaiden, which is generally considered to be the end-to-end journey for mainland Scotland. Robert Burns wrote of the journey “frae Maidenkirk tae Johnnie Groats” in his poem On the Late Captain Grose’s Peregrinations Through Scotland. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote:
But maistly thee, the bluid o’ Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to John o’ Grots,
The king o’ drinks, as I conceive it,
Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!
The Maidenkirk they speak of is now Kirkmaiden. Although being in Scotland, it’s actually further south than Carlisle. Day 1: Leaving John o’Groats and cycling 160 miles through Inverness, along Loch Ness, and staying the night near Loch Oich. Day 2: Cycling through Fort William, through the Trossachs and Loch Lomond National Park, then on to Glasgow to stay the night. Day 3: Cycling as far south as I can get until I’m pretty close to Northern Ireland! I’ll post an update after the cycle with photos if possible.
If you would like to support SAMH you can donate on my Justgiving page for the ride. Thank you!