Sunday, 5 July 2009

Monday, 29 June 2009

Game over

Ten days, 3500 miles, 35mpg, £450 in fuel... and its all over.

I can't help thinking that we each took something away from the experience, I got to know the new John better, I realised that Tom is about where I was at his age in terms of how I felt around people and just affirmed that Dave will always be - dad ! LOL

Anyways, here's the the next one, where ever and when ever that might be...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Oh and they made it too !

Made it !

Mmmm.... Sunny !

Last 50 miles to do, the sun is our and it's looking almost a sure thing that we will make Lands End hours before sunset ! Yay we get to have supper then watch the sunset from Zennor with a pint in hand ;-)

Running out of motorway

Getting close to Exeter now, where motorway turns to dual carrageway and we get into battle with the caravans. We still have about two and a half hours to go. We are actually getting past being tired and looking forward to an early drink and tea ;-)

Bristol ahead

About three quaters of the way now. I've finished my last drive, but might end up doing the drive from Lands End to Zennor. Time wise, we are looking good with an ETA of about 18:43 hrs but that might change once we get on the A30.

Here comes the rain

Well what do you expect, we are passing Manchester ! 30 minute break has eaten into our schedule, but we are still a good half hour in front of said schedule !

Halfway there !

Empty, refuel, swap drivers, push on !

Back in good old Blighty !

44% of the Longest Day complete, 471 miles to go, 1hr 4 minutes ahead of the schedule... Going to atop for some lunch soon.

40% Completed

Approaching Lockerbie and just about completed 340 miles, that's 40% of the trip and it's time I got some rest. Dave has taken charge and is currently rocking to Hard-Fi ! Yay !

Them there hills

Still making good progress towards Perth, had our first comfort break and John has taken the helm. ETA is now 18:05hrs


Steaming along nicely, just crossed the bridge at Invernes and we are 38 minutes ahead of the schedule - Sat nav ETA 18:12

Dornoch Bridge

Just passed over the bridge, we are about 26 minutes ahead of schedule. I've done my first stage, Dave is doing his first stage at the moment, both of us haven't spared the horses but keeping withon the ACPO limits ;-) 1 hour 40 minutes in, we have just come across the first slow car and dispatched it to our tail pipe... Yah !

All of us ;-)

The guys...

Say no more !

Go Go Go !

It's 2:30am, I'm showered and ready to go, Dave is in the shower, don't know what stage John and Tom are at. We leave here just after 3am to hopefully see the sunrise at some point between 4:04am and 4:12am (dependin on which website you look at). I'll keep you updated, but probably no pictures today.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Nice room

Arrived in Thurso ahead of schedule, looking good for tomorrow, we are all tired now, but a light tea, relax and a short sleep will set us all up for the 840 mile run ;-)

Crossing Tongue

Just hit Tongue, it's sunny but kin cold !

Nearly at the top

Stunning scenery approaching the top of Scotland, simply stunning ! Wish I could bottle the place and open it up anytime I feel harassed ;-)

The big country

Now were talking, who needs Skye when you can have this... The road from Gairloch to Ullapool

Room with a view

Slept rather well last night, the veiw is what I woke to just now. Dave did his usual waking early and I can hear the mumble of Tom and John next door... Probably discussing a c1978 episode of Dr Who ! Anyways, the single track road glory of Applecross, Torridon, Wester Ross and beyond awaits... It's going to be another long day.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Sickened by Skye

What the hell ??? Was my reaction on arriving in Skye, the bridge suggests great things, however things head downhill quickly, it has become over developed, in fact, I half expected large neon signs advertising dancing girls ! A sad end to the day when my memory was so fond of the place. I doubt I'll be going back there.

Commando Memorial

Just taken a few minutes out at the memorial, always a very emotional place... There is now a small circular area nearby with soldiers names and personal items... Very sad, but worthwhile place to stand and understand the sacrifices that the few make for the rest of us.

Fort William

Just arrived, bit behind schedule but hey, who cares ;-) never liked it here, Dave was that bored with the place he fell asleep. The place hasn't changed either and we are now making a dash to see the Commando Mamorial and Nessie !

Connel Bridge

Heading further north, just crossed the Connel Bridge, a old lattice bridge cutting a long trip around a sea loch, but as a single track under signal control !


Just arrived in Oban, I've been a little I'll on the way, whisky plus breakfast times bumpy road equals roadside scrambled eggs ! Feeling better now, but shocked to see the extortionate price of whisky here !

Heading into the Highlands

Heading north along the A83 through Inveraray on the way to Oban

What no Blackcurrent jam !

Fancy hotel, no blackcurrent jam ! What the hell is going off in this twisted sick world that blackcurrent jam isn't available ! Raspberry just doesn't cut it :-(

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Loch Lomond

Arrived safe and sound, check out that view !

Dinner Dash

Making best speed through Ayrshire to Loch Lomond - 71 miles to go - set up the whiskies !

A rainy arrival in Scotland

Not unusual really, but we have had our arrival in Scotland marked with a massive shower... Then seconds later glorious sunshine... Oh, now it's raining again ! Tsk !

Almost in Scotland

Almost there... Stay on target... He's gone to manual controls !!!


Time for a little food, rest and relaxation... Burger for Dave and I, Scampi for John and a plate of fries for Tom...

Here comes the rain

Well Dave has joined us, the sun we had has gone and the storm clouds are gathering !

All aboard !

All aboard now, just joined the A1(M) slightly ahead of schedule ! Yay !

Stage 2 !

Day 6, with 1148 miles down, we begin the second stage... Just off to pick Tom and Dave up, before we head to Scotland via the Lake District and Galloway.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Back in Blighty !

Not much difference really, still raining, still hilly, still behind a queue of cars ! Heading for Sheffield via Leek.

1000 miles

Just passed the 1000 mile mark ! More than a third of the trip completed now :-( heading to Sheffield now avoiding the motorways.

Rainy Wales

If there is anything you can bank on it is rain in Wales... Buckets full ! Just had a great drive over the B4343, the sort of road you would normally potter along at 25-35mph but I picked up the tail of a local in a Peugeot 206 who was going for it big time... Result ? My 330i was just keeping pace with at 1.1 shopping trolley ;-)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Found a Tesco

It's a big one ! Perhaps all of Wales shops there !!!

More hills !

OK, so Wales has lots of hills, but can we find a Tesco ??? Need food and toilet... Looks around for a bush ! Nope, none of them either :-(

In the hills !

Heading into the Welsh hills now along the A4061 then onto the A4059, then back to the A4069. Criss crossing the Brecon Beacons.

Stalking Torchwood

John is currently checking out access to Torchwood, annoyingly, there is nowhere to park anywhere close to the damn thing ! Bad planning by Cardiff City Council :-(

How much !!!

Just heading over the Second Severn Crossing. £5.40 to go into Wales ! What were they thinking !!!

Monday, 15 June 2009

What's for tea tonight ?

Scallops again ! My goodness, followed by lamb and a lemon moose. All washed down with several pints of cider... Which seems to have become the signature drink of the week ! Yum !

Lulworth Cove

A geological treat of chalk, limestone and portland stones forming a natural cove and a suntrap as well. Had to cool down with some local icecream ;-)

Sunny Swannage

Just for Dave, see no rain ! Just lovely sunshine ;-)

Taking the ferry to Swannage

Still really sunny and hot, just taking the ferry to Swannage, fancy some lunch ;-) an army marches on it's stomach - not looking forward to the rain later this week when Jonah Dave joins the trip !

Outoftime !

Sizing up his dream car... The badly built, poor handling and weak performing Delorean... uck !

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Scallops !

Scallops for tea, followed by beer battered fish and chips - perhaps the best I've ever had - all washed down with some lovely Somerset Cider and followed with a fantastic chocolate trio... Yummy !

A litttle cottage in Goodwood... Sounds rude !

Our little cottage for tonight, compact with two double rooms. Off for some beer and food... Mmmm...

Tally Ho

Moving visit to Tangmere Air Museum. A very intimate place full of wartime memories...

Glorious Eastbourne

The sun is shining, the beach is looking tempting, however, must press on, got a date with a slice of cake ;-)


Taking in the glorious sunshine on the beach at Camber in Sussex. The kites are out, the sunbathers are out, but that wind is a little sharp on top of this exposed dune.

John's ready

The famous trainers are ready to go....

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Beers are on John

John was kindly volunteered to pay for tea and beer tonight and got well and truely into the spirit of drinking which is most unlike him but fun to see never-the-less ! I'm now in bed, truely knackered... A real pair of lightweights ;-)

Nice room

The first day of driving is now over, time for a few beers and some food. Just been down to the place near Dover where the English part of the Channel Tunnel was dug from, there is a car park, visitor centre, even dancing girls ! Anyways, beer calls ;-)

Sun, sea, sand, ships

Found another little gem near Margate, lovely weather, where is that sun tan lotion... Ah yeah, didn't pack it !

Chips Mmmm...

A light seaside snack to help us recover from John's driving !

John in the hotseat

John is getting used to the automatic - bing -tsk, 80 again ;-) heading for Whitstable now for a bag of seaside chips.

Guildford 5% Done !

Arrived at John's !!! M25 was fun Grrrr, after a great run down the M1, made great progress then joined the continuous queue that is the M25

Yes that is all mine !

Never one to travel light... All ready for the off now, had my breakfast, just need to grab a kiss from Lesley then I can go...

Friday, 12 June 2009

All charged up !

The meter is on overdrive, the chargers are hot, the laptop is on final download, my memory sticks are being cleared. Almost set for the off.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Final Countdown

Final confirmations have been made and we are all ready to go - Just for those of you that are really nosy, these are the places we are staying at;

13th June - The Oak Charing
14th June - Royal Oak Lavant
15th June - The Devonshire Arms
16th June - The Stackpole Inn
17th June - Pit stop in Sheffield
18th June - The Lodge on Loch Lomond
19th June - Tingle Creek
20th June - Pentland Lodge House
21st June - The Gurnards Head

And if you want to follow our progress from John o Groats to Lands End on the 21st June, take a look at;

The Longest Day Progress

Sunday, 10 May 2009

And the plan is...

Starting on Saturday 13th June, I head off to Guildford, collect John, then head over towards Kent, looking in at Wotton, Whitstable, Ramsgate, Dover and finishing day one in Charing. Next moring, we head east via Lydd on Sea (Sound Mirrors), Hastings, Cuckmere Havan (Seven Sisters), Tangmere (Air Museum) then head to Mid Lavant for tea and rest.

Monday, we are in for another packed day, visiting Beaulieu (National Car Museum), The New Forest, Poole Harbour, Weymouth, Chesil Beach, Yeovilton (Air Fleet Arm Museum) and finally tucking into food and rest in Long Sutton. Next day Cheddar Gorge, Severn Bridges, Cardiff, A4061 Ogmore Vale to Treorchy, A4061 Treorchy to Hirwaun, A4069 Brynamman to Llangadog, Pendine, then finish in Stackpole.

Wednesday is very much dependant on the weather and just how knackered we are, but hopefully we shall tour the Pembrook coast, Fishguard, Cardigan, Aberaeron, Welsh Dams (Llyn Brianne, Elan Village etc), then head for Sheffield. Sadly, we haven’t enough time to see Sowndonia or Portmerion – hopefully next year ! LOL

After spending the night back in Sheffield, we are up early Thursday, collect Tom and leave Sheffield, via Worksop to collect Dave then a mad dash north via the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and Galloway to Scotland, staying overnight overlooking Loch Lomond.

The next two days are all about driving in the Scotish Highlands, starting with a casual drive soaking up the sun and scenery along the way via Oban, Fort William, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Kyle of Lochalsh and onto Skye, then the next day, we have yet another early start, and another casual but long drive via Torridon, Kinlochewe, Wester Ross, Ullapool, Kylesku, Loch Eriboll, Kyle of Tongue, and the north coast to John O Groats, staying overnight at Thurso.

The next day (Sunday 21st June) is "The Longest Day" – A steady but rapid 15hr and 839 mile drive from John O Groats to Lands End ! Buger King and Service Areas all the way I suspect. Depending on the journey time, we hope to get into the pub at Zennor for around 7:30pm, eat, then watch the sun go down from the back garden... but plans may change subject to the journey.

The last day will seem like an anticlimax, with a late breakfast, visit Tintagel (King Arthurs Castle) head to Guildford to drop John off, dinner there perhaps, then head home to Sheffield for a well earned bath and sleep ! I will of course be updating this page with the trip as it progresses, hopefully with some photos, so do call back in June !

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

So what is Operation Broadsword ?

Whats in a name, some might ask, well some years ago a sat down with my cousin to watch a film and jokingly suggested watching one of my all time favourite war films, Where Eagles Dare. Now considering my cousin is actually about 15yrs younger than me, he doesn't recall the film being played every other Sunday back in the 80's so he asks what the film is about - I'm shocked at this and in amazement, slip the DVD into the player and said "watch and learn".

Now for anyone that hasn't seen the cable car scene before, it comes as a bit of a climax of the film and Tom's reaction was perhaps on a par with me finding out that Darth Vader was Luke dad. So the tale of Tom watching Where Eagles Dare has become a bit of a family legend. So whats with the name you ask again ? OK, I'm coming to the punchline... Several years later, whilst Tom was trying to configure the sound on his web cam in Canada, I could see him, I was instructing over the message box and repeatedly saying the immortal phrase "Broadsword calling Danny boy, broadsword calling Danny boy, come in Danny boy". All I could see was Tom with a frustrated face, then suddenly, he was jumping around the room.... my voice could be heard in Canada !

In more recent times, we talked about a road trip to see some movie locations, visiting Werfen, Villa Balianello and Tusker Dam, but never quite got around to it, until (in the style of Tomorrows World) now. I will be seeing some of the European locations whilst on my honeymoon with Lesley, but as part of my last few days as a single man, I have arranged with Tom and my other two good friends John and Dave to tour the county, seeing the sights of the South Coast, Wales, Cumbria, Scottish Highlands and then culminating in a mad 15hr drive from John O Groats to Lands End on the 21st June 2009 ! So what better name than "Operation Broadsword" for the tour and the "Longest Day" for the 15hr drive ?