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, 12 August 2007

Day 109 - Blackdown Hills and Wellington

In the morning we went to All Saints church in Trull just outside Taunton with a family friend (whose step-daughter Mary has subsequently married my son Tim). Mike then drove us back up to Holman Clavel where we lunched at the Holman Clavel Inn.

Mike joined us for an hour or so along the country road running the length of the Blackdown Hills, with good views to the north over the Tone valley. Onto map 181, we reached the Wellington monument (see photo) - a major landmark for this region.

The last part of the ridge is the Gallops on Blackdown Common - beautiful heathland with heather and gorse in full bloom. We then followed roads through Burlescombe, and camped (without permission but with an explanatory note through the farmhouse door) at 075174.

We ate at the tent, then walked into the village for a pint at the Ayshford Arms, where were shown the "longest skittle alley in the west".

That night I stayed outside the tent for a couple of hours in my sleeping bag in order to see the Perseid meteor shower. I only saw two, perhaps because there was intermittent cloud cover.

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