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.
Friday, 23 July 2004
Day 81 - around the Trent and Stoke
This was a sunny, shorts day, and there was a fair amount of road walking through Biddulph, Kidsgrove and skirting to the west of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle -under-Lyme. However, I chose footpaths wherever the Watershed allowed, so by the end of the day I'd enjoyed reasonable variety.
One highlight was Mow Cop (see photo), the most south-westerly grtistone outcrop of the Pennine range, and considered by many to mark its geological terminus. Just before lunch near Talke Pits, I crossed the Trent and Mersey Canal and the railway line where they run through the Harecastle Tunnels. The ventilation shaft chimneys marked their route.
Just after walking past some Keele University halls of residence (completely deserted - I initially though it must be a prison!), I reached the M6 at Keele Service Station. I camped with permission in a fairly wild garden nearby (at 806439).
During supper at the service station I watched the news that Mostar Bidge (destroyed during the Balkan wars in 1993) had just reopened, amidst scenes of great jubilation.