The Grand Tour - Cape Wrath to Cape Cornwall 2005

Macmillan Cancer Relief
Macmillan Cancer Relief

Our participation in the Cape to Cape raised £1,248 for Macmillan Cancer Relief and the run in total raised over £44,000. This was expected rise to over £50,000 with the addition of the gift aid tax refunds and late pledges.

 

Elaine and Tony Merrygold receiving their finisher's trophys from Miles the Macmillan Mouse at the end of the Cape to Cape Run 2005.

 

 

 

For many years we have wanted to drive the whole length of the country from Land’s End to John O’Groats or vice versa. Although we have toured Scotland we felt we didn’t know it well enough to set our own route so have always shied away from doing such a trip on our own.

The famous LEJOG Reliability Trial run by HERO doesn’t appeal to us for a number of reasons
  • We don’t like regularity type rallying
  • We like to see the countryside we are driving through and LEJOG is normally run in December with a lot of night driving
  • We like to enjoy our driving and serious rallying in the depths of Winter isn’t our idea of fun
So when we heard about the Grand Tour – Cape to Cape run in 2004 which was a much more civilised way of driving the whole length of the country, we decided to enter for the 2005 run.  Although we do this for our own enjoyment the run is also for the benefit of Macmillan cancer relief with all entrants having to raise sponsorship.  We decided that Macmillan will be this year’s charity and started by making sure that our 2004 Christmas Cards were printed in aid of Macmillan.

 

So at the end of April we will be driving the whole length of the country twice – after all we have to get to the start and return from the finish. Our chosen classic for the trip is our Jaguar E-Type which will cope with the distances with no problems and has enough storage space for all our spares and tools as well as sufficient luggage.  

 

The following details of the run are taken from the joining instructions issued by Dennis and Tricia Greenslade who can be contacted as follows: Tricia Greenslade, The Old School House, Merrymeet, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 3LP Tel: 01579 344 364  

 

Event Organisation  

 

This seven day classic car tour over a challenging 1,700 mile route will see participants setting off from Cape Wrath and finishing at Great Britain's only other cape, Cape Cornwall on the south west coast of the county.  The "Grand Tour - Cape to Cape" is the brainchild of experienced historic rally and classic trials exponent, Cornishman Dennis Greenslade who is a previous winner of the international Historic Rally of Great Britain - the Rally of the Tests and former four times national classic trials champion.  All entrants to the tour are committed to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Relief mainly through asking friends, family and business colleagues for sponsorship.  In addition to some support from HSBC bank, it is hoped that a five figure sum will be raised by entrants for this very worthwhile cause.

 

The tour will not be an easy drive as Dennis has put his extensive motor sport knowledge to use in the planning of the route. Reflecting his "competition" experience, the tour will take in several venues of historic motor sport interest, particularly several steep hills that were previously used in the long distance trials of the Thirties.  Indeed entrants will drive some of these hills and will be provided with a brief history of each one as part of their route book.  Dennis will be assisted by his wife, Tricia, a former champion trials navigator and the only lady to have driven non-stop from Land's End to John O'Groats and back again.

 

Route And Programme Outlines  

 

Sunday 24 April - Pre Tour formalities and briefing are followed by complimentary pre-event canapes and wine at the renowned MacKay's Hotel in Wick.  

 

The run starts across one of Europe's great wildernesses to Cape Wrath, you may wish to make short deviations to John O'Groats and/or Dunnet Head the most northerly point of the UK mainland.  However, allow sufficient time to arrive at Durness for Monday's official start.

 

Day 1 – Cape Wrath To Strathpeffer - You will be flagged away from Durness, the most north-westerly inhabited area of Great Britain, to begin your adventure via a quaint little ferry and a mini-bus, through a vast outback affording spectacular sea views, to Cape Wrath.  On return your route will take you through the peat lands and the brown, black and silver wilderness of the west coast then via Lochs More and Shin to our overnight halt at Strathpeffer and the head of Cromarty Firth.

 

Day 2 – Strathpeffer To Ballachulish - We head back to the west coast and Shieldaig to take one of the highlights, in every respect of the days drive, the incredibly magnificent and little used coastal road which eventually leads over the Pass of the Cattle, the highest pass in the UK.  You'll need a good head for heights!  Then a visit to "the most photographed castle in the world", Eilean Donan on Loch Duich before passing the commando statue at Spean Bridge and maybe a short stop at Fort William overshadowed by Scotland's highest peak, the mighty Ben Nevis.  Our overnight halt will be on the banks of Loch Leven where "the most popular hotel" of last year's tour is sited - the splendid Isle of Glencoe Hotel and Leisure Centre.

 

Day 3 – Ballachulish To Stranraer - Leaving the superb leisure facilities behind, perhaps after an early morning swim, we continue along the west coast through Oban to pass Loch Fyne, famous for producing delicious kippers, in order to catch our ferry from Hunter's Quay to Gourock.  Then an attractive route through the Glentrool Forest will bring participants to the four star North West Castle Hotel at the busy ferry port of Stranraer.

 

Day 4 – Stranraer To Windermere - We head for England via Gretna Green and into the hills and lakes of Cumbria.  Maintaining the motor sport theme identified with The Grand Tour - Cape to Cape, you will cross the Wrynose and Hardknott passes, regularly used on Britain's toughest historic rally, LE JOG.  Our overnight halt will be in the Lake District close to Windermere.

 

Day 5 – Windermere To Chester - As Michael Parkinson has stated "Yorkshire is the most sublimely beautiful place" - and that's where we head today.  The Yorkshire Dales provides a choice of unending roads generally free of traffic and your route might include the former classic trials climbs of Askrigg and Park Rash both used on the very popular re- creation of the international Rally of Great Britain - The Rally of the Tests.  The ancient woodlands of Strines Moor will be traversed to take us past the renowned Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire and thence westwards close to the outskirts of the most complete walled city in Britain, Chester.

 

Day 6 – Chester To Burnham On Sea - Wales is renowned rallying territory and whilst you are not in a competition the route will incorporate some exciting roads through Snowdonia National Park and time permitting might include the notorious Devil' s Staircase.  Once across the newest of the Severn bridges our overnight halt will be on the edge of a nature reserve and only 1000 yards from the sea.

 

Day 7 – Burnham On Sea To Cape Cornwall - The final day of this unique classic car tour.  Exmoor beckons and the route will incorporate many old favourite classic trials and historic rally venues, such as Porlock, Beggar's Roost and Bluehills Mine in Cornwall, where there may be a pleasant surprise awaiting all.  Thence onwards to the official finish at Cape Cornwall and maybe a further surprise at Land's End prior to the short drive along the beautiful Mount's Bay for the Gala Dinner at the St Michael's Hotel overlooking the sandy beach in Falmouth.


 

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