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, 12 July 1996

Day 4 - into the Flow Country

Another very good day for walking, weather-wise, but there was some serious bog-hopping to be done. This photo of the lochans doesn't really do justice to the difficulties we found in some places. The morning was a gentle ascent to our lunch spot on Cnon Maol-dhuin (410m), from where we could still see Duncansby Head and Orkney.

After that the only way we could avoid the thin blue lines was to find our way through a maze of lochans. Good fun, but you wouldn't want to fall into one with a full pack on - they can be immensely deep, we had been warned by a local. Some great wildlife today - golden plover, greenshank, frogs, newts and an adder which Tim nearly trod on.

Onto map 10 (crossing from Caithness into Sutherland), and as we dropped down into Forsinard we were greeted by a short-eared owl. We camped beside the railway at 883420, and had an excellent evening in the bar of the Forsinard Hotel - and retrieved the food parcel which we'd left there when our train passed through a few days earlier.

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