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.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Day 122 - progress and ancient history

Today started and finished on hilltops showing the remains of pre-historic settlements, but along the way there was another example of how things have changed in more recent years.

Breakfast was great - sunshine, views all round, dancing gnats and skylarks. We made our way across open moor north then west (onto map 200) to Hawk's Tor with its rocky summit (see photo), then we had a long slog along the busy A30 - impossible to avoid. We left it to drop into Bodmin town, where we visited the impressive church of St Petroc (one of the patron saints of Cornwall), and lunched at the Weavers.

We crossed the Bodmin & Wenford railway and then the A30. We had a few km of respite from it along narrow country roads, and just as we reached Bokiddick Farm, Tim said he could smell the sea - we weren't very far from St Austell on the south coast at this point.

We would have been back on the A30 for a while according to my 2002 map, but it had been dualled, leaving the original road as a deserted byroad. We had good views to the south of the China Clay Mountains. (The new road had gone straight through the site of the historic Bodmin Radio Station).

After supper in Victoria, we walked up the B3274, and then made our way to the summit of Castle Downs, and camped within the Iron Age fortifications called Castle-an-Dinas (at 945624).

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