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Cycling the country end-to-end: Postcards from an epic family journey

It’s not surprising that, with over 9 million TouchNote postcards sent worldwide, lots have been sent from exciting places and thrilling escapades!

So, when Melanie got in touch about her epic journey, we couldn’t wait to tell you about it. She cycled the famous John O’Groats to Land’s End trail on a tandem bike with her partner Lee and baby Amelia in tow!

Hear their story and take a look at some of the 20 postcards they sent that documented their fantastic adventure.

Where it all started

“As a family we love adventures!” Melanie told us. Their previous TouchNote postcards have documented quite a few with baby Amelia, including running a mountain marathon in the foothills of the Himalayas, running the coastal paths of the Canaries, and Amelia’s first pushchair marathon aged seven and a half weeks. So, completing the iconic John O’Groats to Land’s End trail seemed like a great way to spend two weeks.

Adventure’s afoot

Amelia and her Mummie and Daddy enjoyed 14 days of fabulous, fun-filled adventure, setting off from John O’Groats in Scotland on Monday 17th April and arriving at Land’s End on Monday 1st May.

Along the way the family stayed the night in Loch Watten, Tain, Carrbridge, Pitlochry, Kinross, Carnwath, Gretna, Kendal, Preston, Congleton, Himley, Gloucester, Taunton and finally Minions. They decided not to camp – they’d done it before in Nepal but weren’t sure they were brave enough for the Scottish weather!

“Instead we’d look at a map each afternoon, make a call on how much further we’d go, then book somewhere to stay for the night. It’s thanks to TouchNote that I remember exactly where we stopped. Every night after a hot shower and meal and a play with Amelia, we picked the best photos from the day, jotted down a quick summary and sent the postcard home before bed.”

A ready-made journal

When the family got back, their adventure was written up already. The collection of postcards waiting for them told each day’s journey, and together they formed a whole story to hold onto forever.

“It’s all presented beautifully, ready to be read and shared with friends – and Amelia when she’s old enough!”

They didn’t just send cards to themselves, they also used TouchNote to send out thank-yous for the amazing gestures of welcome and kindness they received on their trip. Plus they sent a few to their family to keep them up to date, too.

“We use TouchNote for just about everything. Especially Christmas cards, the best was Christmas 2015 when I sent all my Christmas cards from a beautiful beach on Lanzarote! And Amelia has the best Grandad in the world who keeps all her TouchNote postcards on the wall in his kitchen.”

Words of wisdom

Melanie says she’d absolutely recommended the 1,000+ mile trip to others.

“You see a slice of the UK, meet fascinating people, and feel the warmth and generosity of others. You miss all that when you whizz past on the motorway. There’s nothing like the feeling of knocking on a random farm door to fill up your water bottle, then being given not just water but the most amazing sponge cake, too. Or rocking up to a pub in the middle of nowhere, on a bank holiday, in the pouring rain, after they’ve finished serving food, and then be offered a cold pint and a hot roast dinner!”

If you decide to take the trip yourself, Melanie has some top tips!

“Take a jetboil so you can enjoy hot drinks whenever you fancy or prepare a hot water bottle. Get the weight of your luggage down to the bare minimum, then halve it again! Around 600 miles in, we ended up posting back home around 6.5kg of stuff we didn’t need. And, if you’re with kids, don’t take lots of toys. Instead pop into charity shops along the way, donate yesterday’s and buy new ones for pennies. It keeps it new, interesting and light, and raises money for good causes!”

A big thanks to Melanie for sharing her exciting journey with us!

Would you go on a trip like this? Let us know in the comments! Or, if you’ve got an exciting story to share, email Conni at and fill her in on what you’ve been up to.


Enjoyed that read? Why not check out some of our other travel blog posts:

What kind of traveller are you?

Four ways to breathe new life into old memories

Send a Postcard with a Hint of the Golden Age of Travel

How to: Decorate with your summer snaps

TouchNote / June 2017
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