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.
Monday, 26 July 2004
Day 84 - Wolverhampton and the Black Country
There was the usual mixture of country lanes and footpaths for the first couple of hours. The main points of interest were crossing the M54, and walking "County Lane" for 3km - along the Shropshire/Staffordshire boundary.
Then I passed the Welcome to Wolverhampton sign (onto map 139), and it was largely a matter of getting the job done. It was notable how the quality of the housing started very high on the outskirts and gradually deteriorated as I moved towards the centre of the city. Not knowing it at all well, I was interested to see that the centre is on a hill, and that the Watershed goes right though it. The photo was taken by a local lager-drinker - hence the eccentric composition of the photo.
The Watershed then goes south to Sedgley and SW to Dudley and Sandwell. Just because it was there, I decided to have a bit of fun by walking through Netherton Tunnel (2.7km dead straight and very dark). The book will say a lot more about this.
I camped with permission in the beer garden of the Lighthouse pub between Blackheath and Halesowen (at 969854).