Please take your time to read this section of the website. It will hopefully prove to be very helpful to those less experienced (like myself), and should provide you with a few hints and tips that you may otherwise not have thought of.
Maps & Books
I bought two books on the subject of end to end. As I am sure that you will discover the majority of references to end 2 end relate to Lands End to John O'Groats rather than the other way round but which ever way you decide to do the ride all the books are still useful. The following two books are a my recommendations.
Lands End to John O'Groats
The Great British Bike Adventure
Author Phil Horsley
Lands End to John O'Groats
Author Simon Brown
The maps that we used for this trip where the Ordanance Survey Travel Maps (Road) numbers 1, 3, 4, 6 & 7. These are priced around £7.99 from the usual stockists. We decided on this particular map as it meant that we would be carrying less with these maps covering 4 miles to each 1 inch. You may want to check out ebay for second hand ones to keep your costs down.
There are obvioulsy various options available to you ranging from camping to 5 star hotels. I was tempted by the camping option, at least on the odd few nights as this seemed very cheap and if you are not having a particular arduous day, you may feel that the sacrifice of comfort it worth it with prices staring at around £5 per night. If you decide to go with the hotel option then you really must try and weigh up the benefits of this. If you are paying £50 a night for a hotel you must consider things such as breakfast times and check in times. You may decide that you want to get out and start your ride at 5 or 6 am as we did in which case you will be wasting money on a breakfast that you are not having.
We decided on a mix of B&B's, Travel Lodge's and posh hotels. The B&B's where great with very helpful people allowing us to store our bikes (which you must arrange with them before hand). Many of the B&B's would provide us with breakfast earlier than normal allowing us to get an early start. The Travel Lodge hotels where also very good. Although basic accomodation with no breakfast in the morning, the £10 and £26 rooms between the three of us allowed us to keep the costs down. Travel Lodge also allow you to keep your bikes in your room which obviously gives you the opportunity to do a little maintenance while keeping warm and dry. The Travel Lodges tended to be on the main routes that we travelled on too so they where very easy to find. We where also given the opportunity for a bit of luxury by two Best Western hotels in Brisol (Clifton) and Newquay. They where really good and gave us a discount on the rooms which really helped us as we where financing the trip ourselves.
http://www.freewebs.com/walteredward/ - Dale Collins website. We met Dale at Lands End just as he was about to start. He is an amazing guy who completed the ride in just 9 days. Check out his site.
http://yorklejog2007.googlepages.com - Steve Kelsey and Keith Hagger do the ride again, the other way and in just 7 days. Find out how they got on.
http://www.tomparkin.bravehost.com - Tom Parkins solo trip Bottum Up!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lands_End_to_John_OGroats - Wikipedia brings you further information on the world famous bike ride.
http://www.sustrans.org.uk - Full of useful information and a place where you can buy maps and the books mentioned above.
http://www.yha.org.uk - If you are on a budget then you may decide on youth hostels.
http://www.travelodge.co.uk - A little more comfort than a youth hostel but can also be cheaper if you take a look at where their cheapest rooms are. They are also easy to find which helps at the end of the day when you've just cycled 100 miles or so.
http://www.helmsdale.org - For finding accomodation in Helmsdale. This site contains a fairly comprehensive list of B&Bs and other places to stay in this beautiful coastal village.
http://www.edengreenguesthouse.com/ - Keswick B&B where we stayed. Great Breakfast. Well worth trying to get booked in here. Alternativley try the next link.
http://www.bedandbreakfast-directory.co.uk/uploads/estate/html/co-Cumbria.htm - A comprehensive list of B&B's all over the lake District No matter where you decide to stay on yor way.