THE LAND'S END TRIAL

The original long distance trial




DATE:

15 & 16 April 2022

DURATION:

21 HR

NAVIGATION:

Roadbook

CLASS:

Main / O / R

Cars / Motorcycles / Sidecars

DISTANCE:

338 miles

START:

Popham Airfield, A303 Steventon, Hampshire

Hare Bushes Service Area, A417 Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Plusha Services, A30 Altarnun, Cornwall

END:

Loggans Moor Inn, A30 Hayle, Cornwall

Land's End map

SECTION HIGHLIGHTS:

1: Felons Oak / 2: Beggars Roost / 3: Riverton / 4: Sutcombe / 5: Hackmarsh / 6: Crackington / 7: Warleggan / 8: Blue Hills / 9: Old Stoney


The original MCC long distance trial. This 24 hour event will take you through some of the most remote and beautiful landscapes in the UK.

Steeped in automotive history, the Lands End Trial will see competitors truly test themselves and their machines as they navigate rocky hill climbs, observed trial sections, winding roads and unique green road access.

If you only take part in one trial this year, this is the one.

 
 

EARLY ORIGINS

Formally known as the London to Land’s End Reliability Trial, we’ve held the Land’s End Trial every Easter since 1908, with only the war years putting a halt to the event. We introduced steeper hills to test our competitors as vehicle reliability improved, though many of the sections have been in use since the 20s and 30s – keeping the event true to its heritage. A ‘retro’ event this is not!

THE ROUTE

The three start locations converge at Bridgwater & Albion Rugby Football in Somerset where hot refreshments and a mandatory rest stop await competitors. The 95 mile journey to Bridgwater is something of a prelude to the main event, though one which gives competitors the opportunity to check over their vehicles and familiarise themselves with the club’s written method of navigation.

The bustling camaraderie of the rugby club soon dissipates to isolated silence as competitors cross Exmoor by moonlight, with only the rocky sections of Felon’s Oak (1955) and Beggar’s Roost (1922) offering any human interaction. Refuelling is undertaken at Barbrook Filling Station, where the staff keep the pumps working throughout the night and volunteers serve tea, coffee and cake in the nearby village hall.

After leaving Exmoor via the eerie Brendon Two Gates, competitors must undertake the loose stone climbs of Riverton (2002) and Sutcombe (1964) before refuelling at Wickett’s garage in Bradworthy, which is operated by a family with extensive experience of competing in our events.

Hackmarsh (1934) and Darracott (1933) provide little respite for the weary competitor with sharp bends and loose rock that can sap momentum and reduce traction. Visibility improves from Darracott onwards, though most competitors will witness a spectacular sunrise over Widmouth Bay, just south of Bude.


Crackington (1936) – the first true daylight section – is famed for inexplicably being doctored with slurry shortly before the event. Colourful speculation of the cause is legion, but local farmers short of amusement remain the likely culprits. Expect spectators!


A cooked breakfast awaits competitors at Wilsey Down Hotel where another mandatory rest stop enables vehicle fettling and/or a nap. The following sections of Warleggan (1968), Laneskin (1999), Hoskin Hill (1970s), Bishop’s Wood (2002) and Hustyn (2018) are located on a mixture of rock slabs and stony dirt, where traction is often decided by the weather – a liberal coating of rain is enough for any of them to become a ‘stopper’. Some of these sections are held on private land owned by Forestry England, whom we are grateful to for their recognition and support of our low-impact, sustainable motorsport.

A final fuel stop sets competitors up for the crown jewels of the Land’s End Trial – Blue Hills (1936). These two sections are located on private, clifftop land owned by the MCC and attract hundreds of cheering spectators, cameras in hand. Look out for yourself online, but not before you’ve ascended Old Stoney (1952) and signed off at the finish!

A UNIQUE CHALLENGE

Following the setting sun might seem like a straightforward task but navigation becomes trickier at night, and the near-inevitable Exmoor fog can disorientate competitors unfamiliar with the route. The night sections are all held on damp, rocky hills where a lack of concentration is often sufficient to induce failure.

Fatigue may set in during the daylight sections, which provides good entertainment for the many spectators who dutifully frequent them each year. Competitors must remain resolute and focussed after a night of navigating between observed sections which ordinarily may be considered unremarkable – though as the event is anything but ordinary, nightfall, fatigue and the presence of spectators will all play their part in transforming the character of the sections in this, our longest (and therefore best value) event!



FIRST TRIAL? SEE OUR MEMBER'S TOP TIPS

Read the advice from those with experience...
Steve Hand

From Steve Hand, on Facebook

"Remember when you're doing the sections that you're bike or car needs to last afterwards too. Lol. If you're on a bike take spare tubes! And a small can of reserve fuel plus good battery life on a mobile. Come to terms with the fact that you will be cold. Get some good gloves and water proofs."
Caroline Ugalde

From Caroline Ugalde, on Facebook

"Don't forget to thank the Marshalls as you pass. Take plenty of energy drinks (you will need wings on some sections.) Good luck."

SEE YOU AT THE START LINE


 
 
 
 

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