Friday 28 April 2017

Norway to Scotland Hike and Bike

This years adventure is a little different from my norm and a mixture of hiking and cycling. Starting 1st June I will hike from the tip of northern Norway, for around 2900km, down to the southern tip of Norway and from there swop over to my bicycle and cycle the remaining 4600km to the northern tip of Scotland. At around 7500km this is the longest trip I've undertaken but with a large chunk on the bicycle I hope to finish within 5 months, sometime in late October. I’m not starting at the absolute most northerly point of mainland Norway, or finishing at the most southerly, but I’ve picked points that are on the coast, reasonably close to the official points, but logistically easier and that fit with my allocated time for the hike. For the hiking route I’ve linked together existing trails, where possible, and made my own up in-between. The first 950km will be north of the Arctic Circle and after my previous hike there in 2014 I’m looking forward to returning. The route largely remains in Norway but I do pass into Finland (very briefly) and Sweden (for a section) but I wanted to concentrate on Norway having enjoyed its mountains so much on my previous hike. You will notice a spur down to Oslo on the route map and that is an optional, quicker, route down to the ferry over to Denmark should I get delayed (injured?) and run short of time, I don't intend to use it but it’s there if needed. There’s actually quite a lot of information out there on hiking Scandinavia end-end and it looks like around 10 people/year attempt it, mostly heading north, though I’m not aware of anybody thats then cycled back to Scotland! 

Planning the cycle section was easy as the North Sea Cycle Route goes exactly where I want and with the exception of an additional section I’ve added in through Belgium, France and southern England it’s just a case of following this established route. The 4600km cycling section takes me through Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, England and Scotland. I’ve not cycled at all through the first 5 countries before so that will be new and exciting for me. There are a number of ferry journeys, big and small, on the cycling section but I've tried to limit them to the minimum where possible.

As always you can follow me live over on Share Your Adventure and that goes live 1st June.