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.
Wednesday, 7 July 1999
Day 48 - civilisation?
En route we crossed the Forth and Clyde Canal (with some tricky navigation through the reedy swamp just to the west of the bridge at Banknock), the two railway lines, the Antonine Wall (which housed an agitated stoat), and the A80.
It was a relief to emerge into a field of buttercups and then Palacerigg Park, complete with the aerial walkway shown in the photo.
We passed by Greengairs village, and then had to cross a rubbish dump (marked as disused quarries on the map). Once onto map 65 we followed a dismantled railway for a while - it started well but became impassable after 2km. We were finding that walking through civilised areas was more demanding in some ways than the wilderness.
After a few more scrapes (including me nearly treading on a new-born calf - much to its mother's consternation), we camped just north of the M8 at 852655.