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, 4 July 2002

Day 63 - Hadrian's Wall and curlews

This was another dry day, and a lot more interesting. We walked across Thirlwall Common and then followed a farm track which eventually led us into the village of Gilsland. We shopped, lunched at Samson Inn, and watched Tim Henman losing a set at Wimbledon.

We crossed the railway line, Hadrian's Wall (not all that impressive at this point - see photo) and the A69 in fairly quick succession, and were looking forward to getting up onto the Pennines proper. Before getting there, we had to negotiate 4km of forest on Denton Fell, a working quarry (which we trespassed across as everyone had gone home for the evening) and the village of Hallbankgate.

Then we were on our way up again. We camped at 581566 below Brown Fell. Curlews had been calling all day, and as we ate our supper we had the new treat of witnessing one of them doing a "drumming" display.

[Footnote, this is the first photo in the blog in which the blue "Wylies' Watershed Way" sweatshirt makes an appearance. I'd commissioned 20 of these from a local firm, to give to whichever of my relations joined me on part of the Watershed. The design shows the map of the route and the planned dates - 1996-2009. The photo at the top of the blog was taken at Land's End at the completion of the walk, by which time 19 of the 20 had been awarded and were being proudly worn.]

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