LEJOG Day 1 – Getting to the start

“We’re going on a ‘venture!” Sophie kept saying as we rushed around getting everything ready to set off towards Land’s End – the starting point for our LEJOG challenge. Unfortunately in the rush, neither hubby nor I noticed that Jessica hadn’t picked up Kerry, her favourite dolly, and it was only when we arrived at the station that we realised she was missing. No time to go back and get her though but it made for a slightly stressful start to the trip.

Hubby, Jessica and Sophie at the starting point for the Land's End to John O'Groats challenge

I’d packed the girls’ backpacks with little toys, books, crayons and stickers and it felt a bit like watching them open stockings on Christmas morning as they went through their backpacks on the train and discovered what was inside.

Sophie checking out the contents of her backpack on the train

Our first train journey was a short one to Reading where we needed to change for the train to Penzance. Having allowed plenty of time to change meant we could stop for coffee and cake (and I managed to get a snuggly monkey in a card shop at the station which Jessica happily accepted as a substitute for Kerry).

 

Getting on the Penzance train was interesting! We’d booked seats but got on the wrong end of the carriage – and so had everyone else coming on from the other side by the look of it! My huge backpack meant I couldn’t squeeze past so there was a bit of trying to squash in where there was a table and wait for everyone to go past before we could locate our seats. We hadn’t managed to get a table on this journey – our seats were all in a row but the girls were quite happy to pull down the tray in front of them and get stuck in with their colouring. We managed to get as far as Newton Abbot before the inevitable request for iPads.

 

Once past Exeter, the scenery started to become much more interesting as the train made its way along the coast with gorgeous red cliffs on one side and nothing but sea on the other. We crossed the river Tamar on the Royal Albert Bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (another beautiful view!) and entered Cornwall.

The view from the train along the coast near Dawlish

We hit a potential snag just outside of Par when we were stuck behind a broken down train in front for about half an hour meaning we were very late into Penzance, arriving just as our bus was due to leave. We rushed to the bus stop only to be told we’d just missed it. Lady Luck was on our side though – as we walked back to the station, we spotted the bus heading out and thankfully the driver very kindly let us on.

 

It was the girls’ first time on an open top bus. Jessica quite enjoyed looking at the scenery but I think she found it a bit too windy for her liking as we approached the coast and wanted to snuggle with Mummy. Sophie fell asleep within minutes of getting on the bus and slept all the way to Land’s End.

Mummy and Jessica on the top level of the open top bus

We finally made it to our starting point, signed the End to Enders book, got our log stamped in the Land’s End Hotel and had the obligatory photo in front of the sign.

Hubby, me, Jessica and Sophie standing in front of the signpost at Land's End

The bus back to Penzance took us via Porthcurno, the home of the Telegraph Museum, which we visited on our last trip to Land’s End. Travelling along narrow lanes in the bus was fun especially when we met a combine harvester coming the opposite way and the bus had to reverse until we got to a very tight passing place (and then we had to try and get past the queue of cars behind it!)

Hubby, Jessica and Sophie in front of the 'Penzance welcomes you' sign

Tonight’s stay is at the Longboat Inn in Penzance which is opposite the station – very handy considering we need to get the train at 6.30am tomorrow!

We are doing our LEJOG challenge in aid of Little Hearts Matter, a charity which supports children like Jessica who have half a working heart.  If you would like to find out more and/or sponsor us on our challenge, please visit our fundraising page.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “LEJOG Day 1 – Getting to the start

  1. Oh bless you all! A bit of a stressful start then Louise, that set of event could possibly have tipped me over the edge before even starting!
    Well done for staying calm.
    I hope today goes well. Will be following you all along.x

    1. Thanks Gemma – was very relieved that Jessica accepted that Kerry would be having fun at home with the other toys and accepted Snuggly Monkey as a substitute! We’re on the train en route to Edinburgh now – long day today and will be posting updates as we go! x

  2. I’m looking forward to reading all about your journey, and I’m glad that, despite the mishaps, you’re off to a good start! It’s exactly 3 years since I was last in Cornwall – had an AMAZING sandwich in the Longboat actually! I love the train journey down between Starcross and Teignmouth, such a beautiful stretch of coast. Best wishes for your next leg!

  3. It is so long since we went to Cornwall and it seems to be ‘the’ place to be at the moment! I’m glad that after a slightly stressful start things went well and the photos are lovely! 🙂 #twinklytuesday

  4. Oh you have got off to a good start and how beautiful is the weather? Hope Jess was ok without her monkey toy! Can’t imagine what would happen if we left the gremlin’s quack quack!! Hope the next stage of the trip is going well! Love the pics xx #twinklytuesday

  5. Love this! It really is an adventure. How exciting for the girls. Roads in Cornwall are a nightmare – they scare me every time you meet something coming in the opposite direction. Hope your big train journey goes well today. X

  6. Eeeeks really exciting! What a fab idea. I can’t wait to read about the next part of your journey 🙂 Well done on finding a monkey part 2!

  7. Glad to hear you got off to a good start and that the inevitable problems were overcome. Looking forward to reading the next parts! #twinklytuesday

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