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Blog | 10 June 2024

Meet Harry, a Scout who’s raised £21,000 cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats

Nicola Hilliard, Creative Content Producer

Harry's cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats twice, raising £21,000 for Hedgehogs in the process, and has just earned his Blue Peter Gold Badge for his fundraising. He’s now about to do the journey again, but this time he’s going there and back again. We caught up with Harry and his dad, Nick, to find out more.

Hi Harry and Nick! How did you decide you wanted to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats?

Harry: It started with my Beaver challenge. I wanted cycle 100 miles.

Nick: But he had no idea what mile was, he was only 6. I think we needed up doing 127 miles.

Harry: I can’t remember much of it, but I know it was hard. 

Nick: After lockdown, I decided to cycle from Land's End to John O’Groats. Harry and his mum joined me on the trip, but they travelled in a campervan. While I cycled, they went to the beach and met me at the campsite!

Harry: I wanted to do the Three Peaks Challenge on the trip, so I joined Dad for that bit. At the end of the trip, I asked if I could do Land's End to John O’Groats too, so that’s how it started when I was 8.

Harry in his cycling helmet with a hedgehog

We hear you do it to fundraise for a charity. What do you do it for? 

Harry: I chose Tiggywinkles, as I really love hedgehogs. I’ve raised over £21,000 for them so far. We’ve a trailer for the back of Dad’s bike named Tiggy after Tiggywinkles. We’ve two Hedgehog mascots that come with us called Winkle and Geoff. Winkle is named after Tiggywinkles and Geoff is named after a man we kept bumping into in Scotland, who was also doing Lands End to John O Groat's.

Nick: We visited wildlife shelters on the way too and we try to go see Tiggywinkles when we can. 

Harry: We even rescued one hedgehog on the way in Lancaster. We picked it up, moved it out of the road and gave it water. We spotted a rare pheasant, and we had to stop the bikes to watch three Red Squirrels playing!

What happened on your first trip?

Harry: The first day we were on BBC Radio 1 and spoke to Greg James. Radio 1 had hidden puzzle pieces around the UK and we saw one at Lands End, so we called the number to say we found it. Greg then asked me what I was doing, so I told him about the bike ride.  

Nick: Later in the week, Radio 1 asked to do a catch-up with us again, so we did, but this spiralled into lots of press coverage. This Week Junior did a feature called Harry the Hedgehog Hero, and we were in the Independent and even Czech newspapers.

Harry: I was on Good Morning Britain too. We raised £17,000 on the first trip because of all the attention we got. There were lots of interviews!

Harry with his puzzle piece at Lands End

Did you do anything different the second time?

Nick: The second time we did it in reverse, going from John O’Groats to Lands End, but what else did we do?

Harry: Every weekend we did a parkrun. We did them in Stornoway, at the Eden project and at Mallards Pike. The one in Lancaster was after a 10-mile cycle and at top of big hill - that one was hard!

And what are you doing this year?

Harry: This time we’re going to do it again, but go there and back. 

Nick: It’ll be a shorter route, as we normally plan a longer route to take in the scenery and avoid main roads. We’ve usually stayed in hotels too, so we may camp along the way this time, but with warm showers.

Harry with his hands to his face by a sign to Drumochter Summit that shows a cycle climb of 457 metres

What have been your magical moments along the way?

Harry: There were 5 bulls in a field in Exmoor and we had to jump over the fence.

Nick: Yeah, we mooo-ved it over the wire very quickly! 

Harry: We follow signs and find interesting places, then learn lots of facts. We’ve swum with dolphins, been to museums and theme parks, went to a busy Cheddar Gorge, had a mini golf competition that I won, and went to lots of beaches. We ended up swimming with dolphins in the wild, which was very cool. I also like going to gem museums and trying to find gold.

Nick: Yes, it means the trailer gets a lot heavier with all the things we find, so we often have to post them back home! 

Harry: We also met some Scout groups along the way who were walking on trails - they’d heard about us, which was nice!

Nick: We have a helmet communication system, which is great. I can hear Harry mooing at the cows and we can play games. My favourite game is how long can we be silent for!

Harry: I ate lots of ham and cheese toasties, so wherever we go this year, they have to have those. I also liked inventing the Hamwich. It’s cheese slices and you wrap ham around them, the peak of human ingenuity!

Bear Grylls, a Scout called Harry and Blue Peter presenter sat together with Harry and Bear wearing their gold badges

What’s the support been like?

Nick: The supports been great, we’ve around 700 Facebook followers and each day we release a blog of what we’re doing or where we’ve been. We left leaflets at cycle cafes and often bumped into people who knew who we were.

Harry: I’ve also won awards at the LEJoG association’s award dinner. I won the Griffin trophy for the highest fundraiser and have also been shortlisted for young person of year. We also filmed at Tiggywinkles for Blue Peter, where Bear Grylls presented me with my Gold Blue Peter Badge. I’ve also met and cycled with Scouts Adventurer, Sean Conway, who I’m really inspired by.

Whats next?

Nick: We were planning a cycle get away, such as the River Rhine to Rotterdam, but this year we’ve been tempted back to cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats, then back again.

Harry: I also want to beat Sean Conway’s Iron Man record of 105 in 105 days and cycle around the world or across America. 

What would you say to anyone else wanted to go on an adventure?

Harry: Don’t give up, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it. 

Nick: I remember we were near Bristol, I thought we’d set our target to high and wanted to find somewhere nearer to stay, but Harry turned to me and said ‘no, we said we’re going to do these miles, so we’re going to do these miles’, so he was very motivational. That made me keep going!

Harry on his bike on a stone bridge overlooking a river. He's wearing a red helmet.

Finally, what are you favourite things to do in Scouts?

Harry: I love paddle boarding, camping, hiking and we did a bit of surfing too. I’ve got my cycling badge and I want to try coasteering.

Nick: We also ran a cycle camp at a local race track, as I volunteer in Harry’s Scout Group. The Cubs and Scouts got to meet the Paralympic gold medallist cyclist, Kylie Grimes, we also had a bike mechanic on the course, then everyone got to cycle around the track all day long. Our group’s going again this year at the end of June.

Harry: I crushed it time wise and did 50 miles in around 5 hours!

Nick: People were surprised with how fast he could cycle, especially everyone older than him, but we’ve had a lot of practice.

Harry: I also am a keen litter picker and want to collect 1000kg of litter. I’ve helped our Beaver section and a couple of other groups on litter picks. We also try to pick up 10 pieces of rubbish each day on our cycle rides - I’ve got 100kg left to go.

Want to find out more or follow Harry’s trip this year?

If you’d like to find out more about Harry’s trip, you can follow his journey on Facebook, on Instagram, on YouTube, or on Harry’s website.

You can also get in touch with Harry and Nick on, as they’d love to visit any Scout groups that they can along the way, though may not always be able to.

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