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.
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Day 117 - drenched on Dartmoor
As it turned out, we started in light drizzle which got progressively heavier - we were drenched. There was also a strong wind on the tops, so it was a tough walk across Dartmoor. I was expecting this to be the last really wild day on the whole Watershed, and it certainly was wild.
We passed a well-preserved stone circle on our way up to Hound Tor, on a well-defined path. After that, the going was rougher to Hangingstone Hill. Between there and Great Knesset is a large area of bog, which gives rise to several river systems. We looked for and found the Cranmere Pool Letterbox (marked on the map and shown in the photo). Someone had left half a bottle of straw-coloured liquid in it, which Tony nobly sampled first. It was good stuff! We signed the visitors book, and I left a few postcards there. It was gratifying to learn later that they had been duly posted by a later visitor, according to custom.
We floundered across the trackless moor in deteriorating weather and were relieved to get down to Sourton by 3:30pm. We left the Watershed at 551907, and took a bus and taxi back to the car.