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.

Thursday, 29 September 2005

Day 94 - into the Cotswolds

The farm where I'd camped was adorned with several old hand ploughs in the front garden (photo).

I took the Monarch's Way into Blockley, whereupon I found myself unable to get through the gate out of the churchyard without going on all fours because of my large rucksack. The onlookers enjoyed the spectacle. Just after the village I went up a lovely wooded (streamless) valley towards Holt Farm.  Arguably I did a minor trespass at this point (according to a logging contractor and some notices), and the rhododendrons had been allowed to rampage. Nevertheless I managed to get through to the A4081 near the Guide Post marked on the map at the top of Five Mile drive on the A44.

Onto map 150, the Watershed is clearly into the Cotswolds by now, and I had a pleasant walk across to Snowshill - encountering my first Cotswold stone wall at Seven Wells (316m). After lunch in the Snowshill Arms, I continued along the ridge as far as 069298, where I dropped down (past some clearly visible Strip Lynchets) into Winchcombe where a family friend, Bunny Lee, had agreed to put me up for the night.

[The day was actually walked on 20/9/2001 but has been blogged today to reflect the geographic continuity of the Watershed.]

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