Familiarity and geographical centralisation promotes rider happiness, especially in what is becoming a fairly standard number of entrants each year. However, I'm sure from a Rally Master's perspective moving locations about would present more opportunities for deviousness and fun allocating points to far away bonus locations.
A central starting point gives the most people, the most options, to go in most directions, provided the bonus locations are widely spread. Hard to see a benefit from starting at an extremity, unless perhaps the finish was in a different extremity...?
If the rally starts and ends in a different location all the rally team and scoring system has to move. The Rally team would move on two halves so that safety cover can be maintained throughout the rally. Not impossible but a logistical nightmare.
Where ever the start and end is some will always have to travel more than others. Dye in the wool iron butt riders would not mind that but it could put new riders off having to travel to far to the start and home from the finish.
Regarding to the full distance frim home amd rally and back it made no real differences. But - at the end on the way home I be happy about a shoryer distance.
So from my personel point of view, near a ferry is a good point... (not thoose to Ireland!)
All the options have pros and cons. Central (UK central not England central ) means that all points in the UK are accessible, although it does mean that the extremities are not for the faint hearted. Starting nearer one end (or side) of the country may well put some riders off entering (although it doesn't seem to bother our continental Europe diehards), and it will almost certainly discount some areas of the country from most riders, but does mean that some of the, normally lower scoring areas of the country may well attract higher scores.
Overall, I'd like it to start nearer the middle of the UK in travel time terms, not geographical (i.e. a line from Carlisle to Newcastle), but no matter where it starts, I'll be there next year.
That sounds like a proposal worth considering. One upshot of moving the location is that it may attract new riders who do not live in the mid/south of england from where a large proportion of the regular riders seem to come from. A Rally HQ on the coast would make a nice change of scenery.
I think riders in the "toughest rally in the Uk" should be able to handle a few extra miles to/from the start/finish.
Premier Inn Dumfries , have every single bonus in Scotland or Wales with any 5 Islands or Mountain passes from a list of 15 required to be a finisher ! Sorted