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, 20 September 2005

Day 87 - Coventry oaks

This was a pleasant, dry day. The morning was virtually all on roads, and the afternoon virtually all on footpaths (part of the Coventry Way), skirting the city to its west.

In the morning the Watershed crosses the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and the Grand Union Canal. I saw a notice (see photo) underneath the bridge over the GUC - confirming that I was in the right place. The Trent River Authority was responsible to the left, and the Severn to the right.

I lunched at the Famous Tipperary Inn at Meer End, where the tune had been written in 1915. Then onto map 140, and a serious of good but flat footpaths across farmland. There was plenty of wildlife - squirrels, hares, rabbits and shrews - and an abundance of oak trees. By late afternoon I'd reached the Queen's Head near Meriden, which I learned about the village's claim to be the centre of England.

I had a bad and painful stumble as I got onto the footbridge over the M6, but was able to make my way to Fillongley, where I camped in the back garden (at 291874) of a couple who made me very welcome (and even gave me some money for my sponsored charity).

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