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.
Tuesday, 27 September 2005
Day 92 - for whom the bell tolls...
Today's walk was more road than path, but the roads were quiet and offered good views of the increasingly rolling countryside. I went through some very select villages including Fenny Compton (just after crossing the Oxford Canal) - best-kept-village, cleanest-fire-engine (as in "Penny Lane"?).
On the way I spoke with a few farmers, who were all suffering with the implications of the foot-and-mouth epidemic. Although footpaths had officially re-opened, they weren't all pleased to see me.
The Watershed coincided with the Centenary Way and the Macmillan Way along Edge Hill, scene of the famous battle in 1642. The site was marked by a notice - rather less impressive that that at Naseby. The photo shows the view down from Edge Hill, down which the Royalists had charged.
Having passed through Epwell I arrived, pretty shattered and with very sore feet, in Swalcliffe just as the church clock struck 6pm (a nice echo of this morning). I camped with permission in a copse at 379363.
[The day was actually walked on 18/9/2001 but has been blogged today to reflect the geographic continuity of the Watershed.]