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.

Sunday, 2 October 2005

Day 96 - Leckhampton and the Golden Valley

After church in Charlton Kings with Bernard, he accompanied me back up the steep escarpment of Leckhampton Hill, and we parted company at the Devil's Chimney (see photo, overlooking Cheltenham).

The Watershed follows the Cotswold Way round the top of the hill as far as the Cotswold Hills golf club, where it continues south on a country road as far as Shab Hill. There were then footpaths to the Gloucester Beeches alongside the A417. This is a lovely spot, but spoiled by the fly-tipping from a lay-by.

After a few km of road, I followed the Macmillan Way overlooking the pretty Golden Valley as far as Sapperton. My mood darkened however when none of the locals would offer me a patch of ground to pitch my tent - they all seemed to be terrified of the Earl of Bathurst who owned it all.

I went on, with my tail between my legs, to Frampton Mansell, where I reluctantly forked out £35 for B&B at the Crown (924028).

[This day was actually walked on 23/9/2001 but has been blogged today to reflect the geographic continuity of the Watershed.]

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