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.

Tuesday, 24 June 2003

Day 73 - Bronte country

The sun streamed into the tent when I got up at 7am - definitely a shorts day. A man walking his dog on the rec didn't seem fazed by my camping there, and we had a good chat. He was well aware of the village's position on the Watershed - they get their water from one side, and send their sewage to the other!

Pleasant footpaths took me over Kelbrook Moor and I then made a schoolboy map-reading error which sent me in a full circle and wasted an hour. Lunch at the Hare and Hounds cheered me up, and after some rather fiddly footpaths I crossed the A6068 and was on the open moor again. There was a long haul through thick bracken onto Ickornshaw Moor.

When I got down to the Bronte Way road (within just a few km of the famous Withins ruin) I was challenged by an estate worker. He said I shouldn't be walking on the moor in the nesting season, but I was allowed to continue once he'd phoned his boss with my explanation of the Watershed venture. There was thick heather on the way up Crow Hill, but the place was completely deserted and it was wonderful to strip off for lunch. Jackson's Ridge to Dove Stones (see photo) was much easier.

After crossing the minor road above Widdop Reservoir, I camped on the open heathland at 916323, with the lights of Nelson and Burnley twinkling below me to the west.

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