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.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Day 124 - to the south coast

What a great contrast with yesterday! The weather was fine, and there was plenty of interest in the walking.

We followed narrow roads and footpaths through Wheal Busy, Tregullow and Vogue to reach Gwennap Pit (on map 203 - see photo left) at about 11am. I had taken part in the Walk Cornwall mission in 1993, which had culminated in a memorable meeting at this famous Wesleyan gathering place.

We then took the B3280 for about 8km - pleasant enough and we made good progress towards our planned rendez-vous with my brother Bartow's four children this evening. After Black Rock we were onto narrower roads and footpaths to Nancegollan, and through the Wheal Vor ancient mining area (more about this in the book). Up and over Tresoweshill and down an overgrown path to the A394 at Ashton. Lisl, Anna, Jonny and Ben arrived by car, and Lisl and Ben joined us for the last part of the walk while Anna and Jonny took the stuff to the campsite (a real one this time).

I had spotted from the maps that it was possible to take the Watershed right onto Praa Sands, and then tomorrow up to the north coast without crossing any thin blue lines - so that's what we did. The photos at the top right show Tim, Ben and Lisl on the coastal path, and a very happy me with Praa Sands in the background. We left the Watershed at 580282 to camp at Pentreath. A hilarious evening ensued.

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