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, 25 July 2004

Day 83 - worship, hospitality and Roman roads

I was up early, in order to get to Gnosall in time for the Sunday service. The morning's walk was an excellent mixture of country lane, footpath and tow-path (along the Shropshire Union Canal - see photo).

I was challenged by a farmer, who reminded me that a farm track being marked on the map doesn't constitute a right of way. Apparently this time I was on land owned by the Queen's cousin Lord Lichfield. He let me through, however.

I got to the church in Gnosall a bit late, and very sweaty, but was made very welcome. One couple even invited me back to their home in Eccleshall for lunch, which by mutual agreement included me having a shower! After lunch Adam gave me lift back to the Watershed.

The afternoon was all minor roads and a string of B villages (Beffcote, Brineton, Blymhill, Bishop's Wood). There was a short stretch of Roman road marked on the map (813180 to 822171) but to follow it I walked though head-high maize, standing corn and lines of straw awaiting the bailer.

I camped near Bishop's Wood having got rather reluctant permission from a farmer - at 829090.

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