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Features

Shooting the Breeze – Ways of Seeing

David Lintern shares a few tips for unlocking a more creative outdoor photography It’s been a year since the last photographer interview on Walkhighlands, at least two since the last photo tutorial, and the start-stop nature of Lockdown (and of my tutoring and guiding work) has afforded time to reflect on why I still love to teach, and the kinds of technical and artistic issues students often present with. As discussed online and in magazines, there’s no shortage of dogmas, opinions and ‘rules’ in outdoor photography, but face to face teaching has shown again and again that many of these

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Photography

Scotland’s Canals – a refuge

With the hills out of reach, outdoors enthusiast Nina Smirnoff tackles the towpaths on her doorstep to escape the strains of the pandemic. Canals were once the lifeline of central Scotland, transporting goods and connecting people, as important then as the roads and internet are today. Struggling with modern stresses and the constraints of lockdown, those same canals have been a very real lifeline to me centuries later. Since 1790 and 1822 when the Forth & Clyde and Union canals respectively opened, they were vital to business and communities in the Central Belt of Scotland. Connecting the North Sea with

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Following Footprints

Ben Dolphin gains a glimpse into hidden lives through studying the trails and tracks left in the snow. I spend a disproportionately huge amount of time staring out the kitchen window. Partly because, like everyone else, I’m spending a lot of time at home just now and I can’t help myself. And partly because there’s always the chance that something of interest will come ambling through the garden while I’m watching. But in recent weeks I’ve seen very little. The snow and cold have driven migratory species off the hill, snooze-prone species into slumber, and the remainder into networks of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Long Covid – a hillwalker’s experience

Jackie Baxter, a keen hill bagger, wild camper and lover of the outdoors, describes her struggle after contracting Covid-19 at the age of 30. It’s early March 2020 and I’m plodding my way along a track in the Borders, exhausted and out of breath This seems a bit odd given that the gradient is virtually flat, I’m walking slowly and I’m used to long days in the outdoors. Putting it down to an “off” day, I push myself through the rest of the walk, getting more and more exhausted with every step and let Malky, my other half, drive home.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Brain Games

The mountains in winter are both exciting and dangerous. David Lintern takes a look at what happens in our heads when we’re lost in the moment outdoors – whether we are ‘beginners’ or ‘experts’. A couple of months ago I had an accident in my boat on the River Findhorn. My friend Debra and I had enjoyed a glorious afternoon paddling under a bluebird sky flanked by broadleaf trees in full autumn psychedelia. We’d paddled all the rapids we’d set out to, bathed in the blissful tranquillity of the flat stretches in-between and finished earlier than planned. It was just

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Avalanches in Scotland – interview with Mark Diggins

As wintry conditions develop on the hills, we put questions from Walkhighlands users to Scottish Avalanche Information Service co-ordinator and senior forecaster for the Cairngorms, Mark Diggins. 1. How many avalanches are there in Scotland a year involving walkers and what are the most common causes? During last winter 2019/20, 27 avalanches were human triggered – this basically means that they were set off by people who were traveling in avalanche start zones in avalanche terrain (see diagram below) walkers are equally susceptible in terms of entering this type of terrain when following paths that are covered by snow. For

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Hamish MacInnes, the Fox of Glencoe

Hamish MacInnes, a giant of Scottish mountaineering and mountain rescue, passed away at home on Sunday. This tribute from Dave “Heavy” Whalley MBE BEM was originally published on his blog. There will be much written by many in the mountaineering world who climbed with Hamish MacInnes over the years. His exploits are legendary and so impressive. Hamish climbed all over the world, yet his passion was Scotland. He wrote many books of his exploits; they, like his films, are a part of his legacy. I got to know Hamish through Mountain Rescue where he was known as “The Fox of

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Posted in Features, Magazine, News

Walking in Scotland’s level 3 & 4 areas – part 2

Do you live in one of Scotland’s local authorities that are currently under level 3 Coronavirus restrictions? We’re taking a look at what walking opportunities are still available to you, within the government guidance. The first half of this article, covering level 3 Coronavirus restriction areas from Angus to Glasgow, can be read here. Inverclyde The classic walk in Inverclyde is the excellent Greenock Cut, a circuit following an old aqueduct above the towns, with fantastic views across the Clyde. For a short outing, Craig’s Top rewards the effort of ascent with panoramas over both Greenock and Gourock, or there’s

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Walking for those in Scotland’s level 3 & 4

The continuing coronavirus pandemic has seen restrictions on travel in Scotland (and the rest of the UK) – cutting down on the areas where we can walk. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland or the Western Isles are currently allowed to travel and walk within all of those areas, but not travel into a level 3 area for a walk. But for those living in a level 3 area, all is not lost – as you can still travel to begin your exercise throughout

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

Langholm – a landscape of hope

David Lintern visits Dumfries and Galloway to find out about plans for the Langholm community buyout. There’s something astonishing happening in the Scottish Borders. In mid-September 2020, the Newcastleton community bought an area known as Holm Hill. Over the hills at Wanlockhead – reputably Scotland’s highest village – plans for another buyout are also underway, with the land valued at 1.4M and the community now submitting a grant application to the Scottish Land Fund. But the new land reform charge is being led by the people of Langholm. At around 10,000 acres (that’s 7,562 football fields to you and I)

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature


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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.