A Complete Motorhome Road Trip From Land’s End to John o’Groats

March 1, 2023 in Routes, Destinations & United Kingdom

Set your 'Out of Office' on, pack your bags and hit the road. It's time to embark on one of the most beautiful road trips in the UK. From rolling green hills to the mystical Loch Ness, this road trip truly has it all. On this itinerary we'll take you across the full length of Britain, from Land's End to John o'Groats.

It sounds like an ambitious task, and maybe it is. But it's nothing an avid motorhome traveller can't handle. Technically speaking, you could do this route in 24 hours of non-stop driving. But we wouldn't recommend that, for your safety and also because it would be a shame to miss all of that beauty! This road trip is all about the journey rather than the destination.

In total, the driving distance from Land's End to John o'Groats is 837 miles. You could squeeze it into a week, but we'd recommend taking 10 days to do it justice!

Goboony John O Groats Lands End H2 road trip

Land’s End

The beginning is at the end... Land's End, that is! This will be the starting point of your road trip, so consider coming a few days earlier to enjoy this gorgeous destination. Land's End is Britain's most south-western point, and a sight to behold. Gaze down at the choppy waters from 200-foot-high cliffs. Take a moment to appreciate the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean, the stunning Longships Lighthouse and the Lost Land of Lyonesse. According to urban legends, the latter of the three sunk into the sea many years ago. This legend definitely adds to the mystical feeling surrounding Land’s End.

Day 1 - Land's End to Exmoor

Land’s end – Exeter                                                              2h 22 min

Exeter – National park Exmoor                                              1h 4 min

A slow start to your road trip, to ease you into driving and ensure you're comfortable behind the wheel of your motorhome. Head first for the small city of Exeter. This is a well-known university town with a rich history, as it was once a fortified Roman settlement and a religious centre. This history can be noted in the incredible architecture, such as the famous Cathedral of Exeter. If you'd like an activity to stretch your legs more before driving further, embark on an underground passage tour. These medieval subterranean passageways transport water across the Exeter city centre and are an eeerie sight to behold.

After you’ve gotten your fair share of beautiful architecture in Exeter, it’s time to enjoy nature’s own beauty. Exmoor National Park is known to be one of the UK’s finest landscapes; it’s a unique landscape of moors, woodland, valleys and farmland, shaped by both people and nature. In addition to amazing wildlife like the red deer, you can also spot some of the UK’s rarest butterflies and bats. A good reason to pull out your walking boots! After your hike, it’s time to find a campsite for the night.

Day 2 - Exmoor to Bristol

National park Exmoor – Bristol                                              1h 36 min                 

It's time to leave the tranquillity of Exmoor National Park, but don't worry, today's drive takes you through the Mendip; a breathtaking range of limestone hills! Take your time on this drive and expect to stop a few times to really enjoy the view.

Then we reach the next stop of our road trip: Bristol. 

Bristol was voted the UK’s best place to live in 2017 for the third time in four years, and you won't be surprised once you see it. Bristol is a lively and creative city, filled with bars and restaurants, acres of parkland, cute little shopping streets and inspiring street art. And if you’re not afraid of heights, don’t forget to visit one of Bristol’s most iconic sights: the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Day 3 - Bristol to Oxford

Bristol – Stonehenge                                                             1h 28 min

Stonehenge- Oxford                                                              1h 36 min

If you can bear to pull yourself away from Bristol, pack up your things, tuck in the awning, and embark on the drive to Oxford. along the way, you could stop at Stonehenge to see one of the UK's most famous sights. But if you decide to give it a skip, no worries, as there is plenty more on the agenda. 

Hopefully you'll arrive in Oxford with time to spare. Most know this iconic city to be the home the oldest university in the English-speaking world. And while we'd certainly recommend a stroll through the grounds, there is a lot more to see.

For example, you can visit the world’s oldest public museum, the Ashmolean Museum. If the sun is shining, why not head to one of the many great parks scattered across Oxford? We'd recommend the oldest botanical garden in the UK, Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboteum.

Day 4 - Oxford to the Peak District

Oxford – Peak District                               3h 20 min

Pack up early because nature is calling! After plenty of city strolling, it's time to dive into one of the UK's most beautiful national parks. 

You'll find plenty to fill your day in the Peak District, including: mountaineering, horse trekking, fishing, biking, canoeing, paddle-boarding and caving to name a few. Or simply go for a good, old-fashioned hike! 

if you don't fancy this trip into nature, you can skip to the next destination, although that will be a lot of driving for one day, so consider resting along the way.

Check out more campsites in the Peak District.

Day 5 - the Peak District, York and the Lake District

Peak District National Park – York                                         1h 50 min

York – Lake District National Park                                            2h 1 min

You've got a busy day ahead of you! So get up bright and early, pack a big thermos, and get onto the road. 

First, you're driving just under two hours to York. This city is bustling with history, including Roman and Viking settlements, and the influences of such can be seen across the city. Even walking through the streets and gazing at the timber-framed houses will make you feel like you've been transported back to the Middle Ages.

Grab some lunch at a charming cafe, and then fit in a quick stroll past the stunning gothic cathedrals. If you're not ready to leave, you could always delay your next destination and look for a campsite close to the city. Otherwise, we recommend driving to the Lake District in time to pitch your van. Then it's time to rest with a drink under your awning, and prepare for the next day of your Land's End to Johnn o' Groats road trip.

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Day 6 - The Lake District to Galloway Forest Park

Lake District National Park – Galloway Forest Park                2h 4 min

Spend your morning delighting in the Lake District National Park. Did you know that it was awarded World Heritage status?

Each year, people flock to the UK with the main intention of visiting the Lake District. It's considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the UK, but we find that a little hard to determine given how many incredible national parks we've got dotted across the country. But we will say that it's certainly worth a stop.

If you've visited the Lake District before, feel free to move on and hurry over to Scotland. In that case, you might want to choose a different spot to rest between York and Galloway, as it'll likely be cheaper. 

In particular, it's worth visiting the impressive Scafell Pike, which is the highest mountain in England.

Then drive over to Galloway Forest Park, which is slightly lesser-known than the Lake District, but also incredible!

Goboony John O Groats Lands End H2 road trip

Day 7 - Galloway Forest Park to Glasgow

Galloway Forest Park – Glasgow                                         2h 4 min

Can you smell it in the fresh air? We've reached Scotland! 

Galloway is known for its extensive coastline, dotted with secret beaches and home to marine wildlife. You’ll be surprised to notice just how close this coast reaches to Ireland, allowing you to spot the Emerald Isle on a clear day! Pull out your hiking boots or take your bike off the rack, this is the perfect place for an adventure. You can also go fishing here at the permitted points. If you'd like to spend longer here, there are plenty of campsites in Galloway Forest Park to pitch at.

Once you've had your fill of nature, you can head on to Glasgow. Originally an industrial city, Glasgow is now home to world-class museums; like the Klevingrove Art Gallery which features works by the greatest European artists. It's all known for a lively music scene and vibrant festivals.

Got some space in your suitcase? Glasgow is a shopper's paradise, featuring something for everyone! And finish your day with a glass of delicious Scottish malt whisky!

Day 8 - Glasgow, Loch Lomond and Aviemore

Glasgow – Loch Lomond                                                      52 min

Loch Lomond – Aviemore                                                     2 h 55 min

Grab a final breakfast in Glasgow before continuing on your Land's End to John o' Groats road trip. 

Our next stop is one of the most iconic and beloved places in Scotland. Loch Lomond is the UK's largest lake. This enchanting loch can be found in the heart of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, surrounded by charming villages, countryside and hills. It’s the perfect place to escape civilization for a while, despite being only a one-hour drive from the Glasgow city centre! If you feel like heading onto the water, hire a boat or join a boat tour to explore this loch in detail. 

After an afternoon spent enjoying Loch Lomond, head on to Aviemore and pitch up for the night, ready for a day of exploring tomorrow.

Day 9 - Aviemore to Inverness

Aviemore – Inverness                                                           44 min

Aviemore used to be known simply as a small town within Cairgorgorms National Park, but has since evolved into a popular destination for adventure seekers. In winter, people flock to Aviemore for the great skiing trails. In summer, many come to hike the endless routes covering this area. You'll find some of Scotland's most beautiful lochs, forests and mountains here. If you're looking to tick off a bucketlist item during your trip or get an adrenaline rush, spend the afternoon horse riding, shooting clay pigeons or white water rafting!

When you're ready, continue to Inverness.

Day 10 - Inverness to John o' Groats

Inverness – John O’Groats                                                    2 h 44 min

Welcome to the 'Highland Capital' of Scotland! Inverness is both the largest city and the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. Despite its size, this city still retains a wholesome market town feeling. 

Inverness is also home to Loch Ness in the south. Be sure to visit one of the most well known lochs in Scotland, home to Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster! Who knows, maybe you'll be the one to capture a photo of her?

Kick off your time by visiting the Victorian Market. Here, you’ll find all sorts of strange knick-knacks that you never thought existed! This market is also famous for its clock, which hasn’t stopped ticking since 1890.

Then it is time for your final destination, the one you've been waiting for all this time: John o' Groats. 

Last, but certainly not least, John o' Groats is the most northerly point of mainland Britain. This name supposedly comes from Jan de Groot, a Dutchman who led a ferry route between the mainland and the Orkney Islands. In John o' Groats, you can find gorgeous coastal walks, impressive castles, stunning gardens and the esteemed Pulteney Distillery. 

You could extend your trip by partaking in the Scottish Route 66, the North Coast 500! This takes you along this northern coastal route.

Goboony John O Groats Lands End H2 road trip

And your road trip from Land's End to John o' Groats is over! This route of 837 miles takes you through some of the highlights of the UK, with multiple national parks and bustling cities along the way. There are plenty of opportunities to extend your trip or shorten it, based on your needs. Ready to hit the road?

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