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Going solo

I was in my sleeping bag by 6:50 PM on the night of the Spring equinox and still able to write by natural light. I looked east, watching through the tent flap as the light died over Meall nan Tarmachan, Ben Vorlich, Stuc a Chroin. I couldn’t see the sunset directly, having pitched my tent at about 750 m on the south-eastern crags of Meall Ghaordaidh to shelter from increasing night winds. However, a sharply demarcated block of shade had risen up the hills, contrasting with a diminishing russet glow on the tops as blue-grey clouds draped over them, the

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Walking in Circles

Snow was tickling the inland hills when I arrived at the ruined chapel at Kilmarie on the Craignish peninsula. It was early December and melancholy-grey; the sea and sky stilled after a weekend of violent storms. All was now holding its breath before a proper fall of snow. Overhead the sound of crows’ wing-beats and a curlew’s whoop seemed amplified. Despite planes going over, the fishing boats out again after the storm, a radio playing on a nearby building site, there was a sense of ancientness here amidst the glister of wet rock and mottled gravestones, their ownership gradually being

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Mother Nature’s Recipes

I chose the autumn equinox when everything is held in balance; when light and dark are of equal length. I thought of this walk as a deep breath before the winter: a good time to look back, then accept the receding light and look forward without foreboding. Walking the track upstream along the Almond from Newton Bridge, I was at first between some of my familiar, round Perthshire hills, climbing gradually west towards Loch Tay. But then at the head of the valley I planned to leave familiar territory and turn south over the westerly flanks of Ben Chonzie to

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Assynt’s Rare Animals?

Linda Cracknell is an-award winning Highlands-based writer known for her creative approach to exploring wild places and man’s interaction with them. Her Walkhighlands’ essays cover the cultural aspects of the Scottish landscape on a quarterly basis. In May this year I climbed Quinag for the first time. I had saved its magnificence for such a day; recently raucous south-westerlies had stilled and cloud flurried high above the summits. Threading through its towers and buttresses, gaping clefts and chutes of long, vertical scree, I felt I was touring the walls of an ancient castle. Its giant proportions invited a very different

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Posted in Features, Magazine

The Writers’ Path: across the hills to Moniack Mhor

Linda Cracknell is an-award winning Highlands-based writer known for her creative approach to exploring wild places and man’s interaction with them. Her Walkhighlands’ essays cover the cultural aspects of the Scottish landscape on a quarterly basis. Always keen to make my travel interesting, I arrived as guest reader on a travel writing course at Moniack Mhor having made a four-day journey on foot. I chose a route which began with an east-to-west crossing over the Corrieyairack Pass from Laggan to Fort Augustus through the Monadhliath mountains, and then walked north along the Great Glen Way. There’s something about Moniack Mhor.

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Stepping Out, Stepping In

From Crieff To Aberfeldy on Wade’s Military Road Linda Cracknell is an-award winning Highlands-based writer known for her creative approach to exploring wild places and man’s interaction with them. Her Walkhighlands’ essays cover the cultural aspects of the Scottish landscape on a quarterly basis. ‘I’m just reading a book about that,’ the bus driver from Aberfeldy said, having learnt I was going to be walking a road made by General Wade. ‘It says he took all the credit, but his successors did most of it.’ ‘Major Caulfeild?’ I asked. ‘That’s the one!’ ‘You’ve a braw day for a hike anyway,’

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Iona: Walking Within Small Bounds

Linda Cracknell is an-award winning writer based in the Scottish Highlands and known for her creative approach to exploring wild places and man’s interaction with them. Walkhighlands will be publishing a specially-commissioned piece emphasising the cultural aspects of the Scottish landscape on a quarterly basis. ‘I think I’ve fallen in love,’ Kate said, less than 24 hours into our enchantment. We were sitting on a small hill on the island’s south east corner, looking north towards the village, the ferry plying to and fro from Fionnphort, the abbey sunlit and watchful beyond. To the south-east the archipelago of islands and

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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.