Great Northern Adventures with Jon Clifton

This week we join Jon Clifton as he takes us as far north as you can go in Great Britain.

With a halfway stop in Northumberland on the way north and on his way back to his Norfolk home, expect some very special scenery in this collection.

Get ready for giant cliffs, sheltered bays, and pristine landscapes as you explore the Shetland Island archipelago.

Jon used to live on Shetland and this was his first time back for nearly 20 years. Always trying to keep ahead of weather conditions, we tour the south and west mainland and then island hop to the barren and windswept island of Unst. Will he make the most northerly point as storms approach. Join in and find out!

You can find all these rides under NEW in the FulGaz App.

SHETLAND - UNST - BRITAIN'S MOST NORTHERLY PLACE

The Isle of Unst is the most northerly island of the Shetland Isles archipelago and is the end of all roads in Britain, it has the most northerly everything, it only has three shops on the whole island and only one hotel. This journey has taken me many days to get here, I have travelled from Norfolk, my home, and have had a 12 hour boat crossing from Aberdeen and then had two further ferry crossings to get to Unst. I am a mere miles from Skaw, my ultimate destination, and ‘the’ most northerly settlement and most northerly beach. I have to head into a strong north-westerly 20mph wind with a temperature of only 11c in mid-August and I can see looming dark skies that I know will bring rain on this open and bleak island, can I make this journey or will the rain halt filming, ride with me and find out ...

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22.91km
DISTANCE
0:59:56
DURATION
361m
ELEVATION

SHETLAND - WEST MAINLAND

Starting at Walls in West Mainland we take a beautiful ride on the lonely empty, narrow roads passing Bridge of Walls, Bixter Voe and The Firth climbing the Scord of Sound to get brief views of Weisdale Voe where we will follow its shores onto Whiteness Voe and Tingwall Airport (note the small eight seater taking off for Fair Isle). Past Veensgarth the roads get busier as traffic heads into Shetland’s principle town, Lerwick (population of 7,500), but the views of the town, its fishing boats and the Isle of Bressay beyond are well worth it as we drop down from Gremista Hill to finish at Victoria Pier with its bustling yachts and lifeboat.

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38.61km
DISTANCE
1:46:34
DURATION
603m
ELEVATION

SHETLAND - SOUTH MAINLAND

Starting at the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse at the southernmost tip of this archipelago which lie 110 miles north of the Scottish Mainland and only 140 miles west of Norway. Enjoy the views of Quendale Bay and Fitful Head as we continue over the main airport runway (after a brief stop to allow Loganair to take off) and along the shores of the Pool of Virkie. There is a saying in Shetland, if it is sunny, blink or you will miss it and hey-presto, our sunny ride soon develops a brief shower at Boddam but luckily it brightens up for a spectacular and scenic ride along Spiggie Loch and the Bay of Scousburgh where tourist watch the Grey Seals. We finish our ride at the spectacular St Ninian’s Isle which has one of the largest sand tombolos (sand bars) in Europe.

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22.44km
DISTANCE
1:01:50
DURATION
331m
ELEVATION

THE CHEVIOT HILLS

Starting a few miles outside Rothbury we will follow the River Coquet up through the beautiful Coquetdale. We'll pass through several small villages, just a few Kms from the Scottish border, watching the river narrow as we continue our journey through the rugged and empty landscape. We finish the ride at Blindburn on the edge of the MOD’s Otterburn Ranges which are normally off limits to the public.

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25.15km
DISTANCE
1:20:40
DURATION
459m
ELEVATION

TYNEDALE

Starting at Alston in Cumbria, the UK’s highest market town high in the Pennine Hills, we head through Tynedale and the River South Tyne (a tributary to the famous River Tyne) and over Alston Moor. After a steep climb over Downgang Hush and Flinty fell, we drop sharply to Nenthead only to continue up onto the beautiful Coalcleaugh Moor and into Northumberland with a stunning and long descent into West Allendale. It is here where we help Mrs Goggins round in her sheep although there is one that does not want to listen, try telling it to go right (their destination) and see if it will listen to you… We end this amazing ride at Bearsbridge … Enjoy!

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29.64km
DISTANCE
1:40:08
DURATION
663m
ELEVATION

LINDISFARNE

This small, historic island sits two miles off the Northumberland coast in the North Sea and is linked by a narrow causeway that is only open a few hours each day at low tide so timings are critical for a safe passage. We start this short ride at Beal and with a stiff tailwind, we soon cross the causeway onto the island which is often busy with visiting tourists in the summer months (we recommend once on the island you ride this in Steady Mode).

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7.78km
DISTANCE
0:16:48
DURATION
33m
ELEVATION