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.

Monday, 24 July 2000

Day 56 - oh dear!

This was a very disappointing day, which prevented Tim from completing the Scottish part of the Watershed with me.

The whole day was spent in the Eskdalemuir/Craik Forest in unremitting pine. Once again, we were close to the boundary all day, and took a combination of forest tracks and firebreaks - whichever avoided the thin blue lines.

We reached the B723/709 (depending on how old your map is) at 12:30pm near Foulbog (appropriately named) and then disaster struck. Tim seriously ricked his ankle when climbing over the fence, and declared himself hors-de-combat after a break for lunch. He was keen for Jonny and me to continue, so we summoned a taxi from Lockerbie, which took him back to the railway station for the journey home. A great pity.

The afternoon was more of the same, through forest, and we reached our planned camping place by 10pm at Ewesdown Fell (333001). My grumpiness matched the ground's lumpiness as I erected the tent ineptly in near darkness. Jonny found it rather amusing!

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