HSD pupil cycles length of UK

A High School of Dundee pupil has completed an epic journey – cycling the length of mainland UK!

HSD pupil cycles length of UK

Ethan Campbell, F5, recently crossed the finish line in a bike ride that spanned an incredible 976 miles in total, all the way from Dunnet Head to Lizzard Point.

Ethan and his dad Neil, who accompanied him on the journey, first toyed with the idea of taking on the challenge last summer, with Neil having previously completed the same journey with Ethan’s brother Sam two years ago.

So just before Ethan joined the school in May 2022, he and Neil decided to test the water (or should that be the comfort of the saddle?!) by attempting the first ‘half’ of the adventure: cycling from John O’Groats to Berwick.

In spite of not being a serious cyclist Ethan rose to the challenge and - buoyed by their success - just after Ethan had finished his exams last month the duo made their way back to Berwick to begin the rest of the journey.

The second half carried extra significance though as shortly before they were to set off, Ethan’s grandfather, Neil’s father, Roddy sadly passed away after battling dementia. Ethan therefore decided to use his epic cycle ride to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Society.

The shortest distance for the traditional John O’Groats-Land’s End cycle ride is 874 miles. However, that wasn’t enough for Ethan and Neil, who wanted to begin at Britain’s most northerly point – Dunnet Head – and end at the most southerly point – Lizzard Point.   

And after overcoming numerous unexpected road closures, the odd puncture, and misdirections by the cycle route-finder - not to mention the sheer volume of miles and steep climbs and descents – the duo made it to their finish line.

Ethan said, “Last summer, my dad just came out and said, ‘do you fancy cycling the length of Britain?’!”

“It was a rewarding feeling at the end. I was very tired and I don’t think it fully sunk in until a few days later; literally straight after reaching Lizzard Point we had gone to stay with family, so there was no time to stop and take it in.”   

Making the gruelling journey unsupported meant that Ethan and Neil had to carry everything they needed with them, as well as carrying out any bike repairs by themselves along the way.

According to the 16-year-old though, it was all worth it.

“It was a great journey to take on and it was nice feeling to have been able to raise money for the charity along the way,” he said.     

So far Ethan has raised almost £400 for Alzheimer’s Society and you can find his sponsorship page at: https://www.justgiving.com/page/ethanandneilbotle?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=one_page&utm_content=page/ethanandneilbotle&utm_campaign=pfp-whatsapp&utm_term=db5350b76469407fb738e8d3b7043208