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.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Day 112 - proper Watershedding again!

This photo shows where we camped on the last night of this Section.

We followed the road shown for 2km, then the Macmillan Way West for another 3km. As yesterday, this was a reasonable path. However, the Watershed leaves it at about 800410 (onto map 180), and we were pathless for the last 4km.

I was quite pleased to give Peter the authentic Watershed experience - heavy rain, long tussocky grass, bog-holes, heather and only the occasional deer track to follow along the flat ridge. He coped very well, particularly as he has inadequate waterproofs.

We reached the B3223 at noon. We were half a day ahead of schedule, and could have continued on the Watershed around the sources of the Exe, but after debating the options we decided to hitch to civilisation and call it a day. So this Section finished at 763417.

To our amazement, in our soaking and bedraggled state, we were picked up by the first car (containing 2 quite elderly women) and they took us down to Lynmouth, where we caught the bus to Minehead and then to Taunton for the train home.

The stats for this Section were 98km and 994m of ascent.

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