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.

Thursday, 27 July 2000

Day 59 - Wylies Craigs, Peel Fell and the border

This was the final push to the English border, and I'd previously identified three distinct end points on it.

We made good progress down to Note o' the Gate, then up the forest road to Wheelrig Head. On this road we met a forestry worker who was clearing our gullies which had been blocked by rocks during the "worst flash floods in living memory" two weeks before. 

We emerged from the forest at Hartshorn Pike, and then found a surprisingly good path to Wylies Craigs on the border (see top left with Peel Fell in the background). With our family name, this was a must! There were good views over Kielder.

We retraced our steps to Hartshorn Pike in order not to cross the Kielderstone Cleugh, and then climbed Peel Fell (see top right), encountering golden plovers, feral goats and peat groughs - all reminding me of incidents earlier on the Watershed.

Although the Watershed has reached the Border at this point, it doesn't move into England until about 15km to the SW.  We followed the Border to Thorlieshope Pike, and then left it to walk over Larriston Fells. Some of this involved the worst tussock walking so far. We reached the radio mast by Hurklewinter Knowe at about 8pm, disturbing a barn owl on the way. Then a final exhausted stumble through the heather until our GPS ("Madge") showed that we'd reached the magic point at Hobbs Flow (567902).

The stats for Section 5 were 231km and 6,280m of ascent. And for the Scottish part of the JoGLE Watershed 1,210km and 54,640m of ascent.

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