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.

Friday, 27 June 2003

Day 76 - low and bleak on Bleaklow

This was a day of two halves, chiefly because the weather in the afternoon was really grim.

The morning was pleasant enough as I followed the Watershed mostly along boundary fences with reasonable tracks alongside. For 200m it coincided with the Trans Pennine Trail, which I hadn't come across before. It gave me pleasure to see from the trail-side plaque that its termini are Liverpool and Hull - where Tim and Emma respectively had gone to university.

I lunched at the dip before Bleaklow Stones, and the heavens opened. The afternoon was spent slithering around in deep peat groughs and zero visibility (see photo) and I got so disoriented that I could hardly remember my east from my west. I took several tumbles, one of which bent my stick irrecoverably. I understood why this is the most popular place for walkers of the Pennine Way to abandon the trip!

At last I made it down to the A57 at Snake Pass (088929) at 4pm.

I'd arranged to meet up with my younger daughter Karen with her husband and 3 month old son Rufus in a nearby caravan club site for the night, so I walked down into Glossop and spent a pleasant evening with them in Hayfield.

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