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, 6 October 2005

Day 100 - Wessex Ridgeway

This was a very good final day, with some special moments and only a little road-walking. The pub had an outside loo, which I used at 5am, 7am and 8:30am - a phenomenon I'd noticed before as I approach the last day of an expedition. Perhaps relief in both senses.

I set off at about 9am and followed a succession of green roads, muddy rutted trenches, half-metalled tracks and paths for the next 5 hours to get me to Devizes by 2:45pm. The best bit was definitely the Wessex Ridgeway - not spectacular, but pleasant and rolling with even a couple of hills to climb (see photo). There were plenty of tumuli and historic earthworks along the way.

I was very pleased, on reaching the summit of Roundway Hill (just past the pig farm), to look down over Devizes. The final part of the walk was along the Kennet and Avon Canal, and the end of the Section was at 013617.

The stats for this Section were 241km and 1289m of ascent.

[This day was actually walked on 27/9/2001 but has been blogged today to reflect the geographic continuity of the Watershed.]

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