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, 10 August 2008

Day 118 - Dr Beeching's legacy

After the morning service in the church next to Tony's cottage, he dropped me back on the Watershed at 12:30pm. I took the path down to Meldon (about 4km SW of Okehampton, which is now the terminus of the railway system).

I walked a short way along one of the railways which was axed by Beeching (and is now a cycleway), and then onto another, which had previously run through to Bude. This route started off quite walkable, but eventually became completely overgrown, so I transferred onto the A3079 and stayed on it all the way to Halwill Junction (onto map 190).

I had a good supper at the Junction Inn and learned some of the history of the place. Beeching's decision to close the branch lines which converged at Halwill led to the closure of the station in the 1980s. I was amused at the ironic naming of the housing estate built over it.

The disused line to the north has been converted into a cycleway and nature reserve, and made for some good walking. It then became a forest track. The map showed that I needed to detour from that track, but the Higher Whiteleigh owner refused me entry, and I had to retrace my steps and cross a small trickle. Not happy.

Once out of the forest I was on the A3079 then the A3072 as far as 382042, where I camped (rather late) in another poultry farm with permission.

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