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.

Sunday, 7 July 2002

Day 66 - discretion or valour?

We had a relaxing morning in Dufton, enjoying a leisurely breakfast at the YH, Sunday papers, a great service at the Methodist Chapel, and an outstanding lunch at the Stag Inn.

We were back on the Watershed at 3:30pm, and continued along the ridge to High Cup Nick (see photo, which doesn't do it justice).

We then encountered the MOD Danger Area - the  enormous firing range under the control of Warcop Barracks. I'd corresponded with the camp commander in advance, and although there are days when firing is suspended (this was one of them), he strongly advised against taking the Watershed across the fells. "There's 30 years of unexploded ordnance up there!". However, we should be OK if we stuck to the footpaths - which we did. This entailed breaking our thin-blue-line rule a couple of times over small streams - but at least we lived to tell the tale. The paths followed Maize Beck and Swarth Beck, and then we camped at 773253.

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