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.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Day 116 - Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all...

This was a gentle day, as there was plenty of time for me to get to South Zeal to meet up with my golfing friend Tony. He had been intrigued by my Watershed venture, and had offered me his company across Dartmoor, and a couple of nights in his cottage.

After walking through Copplestone, I briefly followed the Two Moors Way at Clannaborough Barton. There's a magnificent herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle which have been bred there by the same family for at least 6 generations. I also spent time at the parish church next to the farm, and was amused to see a notice saying that the electoral roll contained nine and nine-fourteenths people! There were plenty of house-martins, and I could hear buzzards calling most of the day.

There were no roads or footpaths available between Thorne farm and after Hilldown, and I needed a minor trespass to get through. The only challenge came from a dog. Lunch was at the Tom Cobley Tavern in Spreyton, from where the ill-fated trip to Widdecombe Fair set out in 1802.

Straightforward road-walking after lunch brought me to South Zeal by 4pm, and I was met there a bit later by Tony. The Watershed turns south just before the village - at 663931.

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