About this blog

The journey from John o'Groats to Land's End took place in 14 sections, starting in 1996 (a week or so each year). The idea came to me in 1995 and I completed the British JoGLE Watershed in June 2009.

I was joined by a number of relations and friends from time to time. Most notable among my walking companions were my son Tim (7 sections) and nephews Peter and Jonny.

After walking the first section in 1996 I discovered that Dave Hewitt had already pioneered the Scottish Watershed (to Cape Wrath) in 1987, and had published his excellent account Walking the Watershed in 1994. We have been in touch since then, and he has been a great encouragement.

A simple definition of the watershed is that any rain falling to the left of the path finishes in the North Sea or English Channel, and anything to the right flows into the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea or the Bristol Channel.

I believe that this was the first walk along the full length of the British JoGLE Watershed. I became aware just after I completed the journey that the late Mike Allen walked a slightly different version (from Land's End to Cape Wrath) between 1988 and 1994, so he will have covered the same ground apart from the most north-easterly 220km.

There have subsequently been several walks and publications about parts of the JoGLE watershed, including Peter Wright's 2010 Ribbon of Wildness account of his Scottish section walked in 2005, which has brought the subject of watershed walking in the UK to a wider audience.

I hope you enjoy this blog. I'm planning to publish a full account in 2013/4. A summary of the walk appeared in The Angry Corrie volume 76 in 2009.

Malcolm Wylie.

Wednesday, 17 July 1996

Day 9 - the horseshoe to Merkland

The final day of this first Section of the Watershed was brilliant. We travelled about 5km as the crow didn't fly, but it took all day and included the grand horseshoe comprising Meall a Chleirich, Beinn Direach, Carn Dearg, and Cnoc a Choilich.

The photo shows Carn Dearg, which as an outlier of Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill. This marks the spot where the Cape Wrath and the Duncansby Head watersheds meet (or part company, depending which way you're going!).

We then dropped down to the A838 between Loch Merkland and Loch More. The section finished at 364333. After hitching for about half an hour, a Mr Munro (the man responsible for all the roads in Sutherland) took pity on us and drove back into civilisation. After a night in the outstanding Carbisdale Castle YH, we took the train home.

My records showed the Section was 228k long with a total ascent of 4765m.

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