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Safe as Houses

David Lintern celebrates the humble mountain shelter, past and present. As intimated in the close of my last piece here, I found it impossible to walk from Fort William to the Cape without reflecting on the past inhabitants of the glens we walked through. On the way, we passed many bothies I’d not yet visited; real highlights of the walk for me. While these buildings were officially closed due the pandemic, doing a long walk like the Cape Wrath Trail reiterates just how important these shelters are from a mountain safety point of view – there were days when we

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Lessons from the Cape Wrath Trail

In May 2021, regular Walkhighlands columnist David Lintern walked over 200 miles from Fort William to Cape Wrath. Here’s a few things he wished he’d known at the start. The long walk to the Cape means different things to different people; a challenge, a pilgrimage, a journey of discovery, an escape from the norm, a test of endurance, willpower and fitness. People generally start in Fort William and finish at the Cape Wrath lighthouse, although we met a fair number who were heading in the opposite direction. Is it the toughest trail in the UK, as it’s often billed? I’ve

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Posted in Features, Magazine

The colour of spring

David Lintern walks out of lockdown with a Black Dog. (What shall we doWith all this useless beauty?The stuff that can’t be harnessedTo the yoke of productivity,Or another ideology.) With restrictions relaxed, I’m content to head north and camp again. I’ve unfinished business in the Fannichs, and want to catch the last snows. This time, I’m ‘extreme camping’. I have forgotten the hot drinks bag, so it’s snowmelt only; a suitable beverage for this particular pilgrimage. It’s been a year since I was last here. My friend and I left in a hurry, as high winds and lockdown stopped us

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Going further: Planning for long distance walks

Getting your head around preparation for a big trip can be confusing. David Lintern takes it step by step… Over the coming months, we’re all looking forward to a little more freedom to travel and more outdoor exploration, but where to start, after what might well be a year away from the hills? A brief glance at the Long-Distance Route page on Walkhighlands is more than enough to whet the appetite, and the first and most obvious to say is not all long walks are created equal. Some require lots of logistical wrangling, others are more straightforward. Walkers on the

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Posted in Features, Magazine

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

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

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

Outdoors for all – Nathan Francis

David Lintern speaks to Scottish hillgoer and microbiologist Nathan Francis Please introduce yourself I am Nathan, a microbiologist by day, and struggling to admit I’ve now entered my forties. I was born and raised in Fife but now living on the outskirts of Edinburgh at the foot of the Pentland hills. I was initially just a hillwalker but camping, bothying and mountain biking have been added to my outdoor activities along the way. I mostly keep to Scotland, but I’ve also branched out to England, Wales, Iceland and a few Alpine trips. What’s your favourite Scottish hill/place and why? My

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Outdoors for all – Zahrah Mahmood

David Lintern speaks to Scottish hillgoer and accountant Zahrah Mahmood, aka the Hillwalking Hijabi Please introduce yourself Hello, my name is Zahrah Mahmood, I’m a Scottish Pakistani Muslim from Glasgow. During the week I work as a Chartered Accountant and most of my adventures are saved for the weekends or annual leave! What’s your favourite Scottish hill/place and why? Oh that’s so hard to choose! I absolutely love Glencoe, but how can you not? The Lawers range is also one of my favourite places to hike. The views are just awe inspiring, especially as you’re driving in. It fills you

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Outdoors for all – Nav Bakhsh

In the first of a short series of interviews covering race in the outdoors, David Lintern speaks to Scottish hillgoer Nav Bakhsh, founder member of Boots and Beards hillwalking group. Please introduce yourself My name is Nav Bakhsh, I am a father of 4 boys from Glasgow and one of the founders of Boots & Beards. What’s your favourite Scottish hill/place and why? There are so many favourites ones to choose from, but would have to say Conic Hill, as that was my first ever hill walk and that’s when I fell in love with my new hobby. How did

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Posted in Features, Magazine


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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.