In the UK, we generally think of John O’Groats in Scotland (the most northerly point of mainland Britain) to Land’s End in Cornwall (the most southerly point) as the longest route you could do via road. That’s 874 miles. But what if we told you that there are some bus routes that cover more than 50,000 miles? It’s true – the longest coach journeys in the world cross multiple countries and can take weeks (if not months) to complete. We can only imagine how stiff we’d be after travelling on one of them! To give you an idea of the sort of distances we’re talking about, here are just three of the longest coach journeys in the world.
Birmingham to Mirpur
The journey from Birmingham to Mirpur (a city in Pakistan-administered Kashmir that is known as ‘Little Birmingham’) is 4,000 miles long and runs through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Serbia and Belgium. The bus route, which was thought up by Kashmir’s transport minister, is still a work in progress, with the idea being to bring the two cities closer together. Tickets for the coach will cost passengers just £130, and the journey will take 12 days to complete.
London to London
In November 1988, three men (Hughie Thompson, Richard Steel and John Weston) set out on a bus journey that would become the world’s longest bus journey, according to the Guinness World Records. It took more than a year to complete. They travelled in a double-decker bus from London to Copenhagen, Hamburg, Milan, Istanbul, Dubai, Lahore, Bombay, Singapore, Perth, Sydney, Rio, Santiago, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Liverpool, arriving back in London in December 1989. In total, the route covered 54,289 miles.
Rio de Janeiro to Lima
The Transoceánica is a bus route that links the Cristo in Rio de Janeiro to Machu Picchu in Cusco (which is close to Lima). It is more than 3,850 miles in total, and takes about four days to complete, with just two scheduled breaks for refuelling! The journey costs about £150.
So, there you have it: three of the longest bus and coach journeys in the world. Whether or not you’d want to go on them is another discussion entirely – we think we’d get too stiff!