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Features

The thunderstorm, the flood and the landslide

Generally speaking, we in Scotland live in a quiet corner of the world. Our volcanoes are long extinct and there’s not been a major landscaping event since the glacial ice retreated. Sure, the earth shakes from time to time, and the turbulent atmosphere occasionally rattles our homes, but for the most part we live on pretty solid ground. We can therefore be forgiven for looking at our landscapes with a comforting sense of permanence. This is how it has always been, and this is how it will always be. Scotland is timeless. Scotland is forever. It’s an illusion of course,

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Munro Mountain Moths

Scotland’s mountains are famed for their wonderful landscapes and iconic wildlife. However, to many this conjures up thoughts of majestic Golden Eagles, approachable Ptarmigan or bounding Mountain Hares. However, Scotland’s mountains are also home to many species of scarce and specialised moths that have adapted to live in this hostile environment. Most of these are very under-recorded as few lepidopterists regularly venture onto the high tops, whist many hillwalkers are mostly oblivious to their presence, soaking in the wonderful panoramas unaware of fluttering or crawling moths around their boots. Remarkably several of these species are day-flying, for instance, the very

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

Our picks: Scotland’s best wee hills

Sometimes you don’t have the energy or time to slog your way up one of the great iconic giants of the Highlands. Some of Scotland’s best-loved hills are the smaller peaks, often more accessible, full of character and offering equally spectacular views. Here’s our pick of 16 of the best wee hills around the country… some widely famed and celebrated, others virtually unknown, but all under 600m high. Ben A’an, Trossachs Ben A’an is the archetypal ‘great wee hill’. A glance at a map reveals it’s just a bump on the southern slopes of the inconsequential higher summit of Meall

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

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

Our pick: 10 of the easier Munros

Height certainly isn’t everything (see our pick of Scotland’s Best Wee Hills), but there seems little doubt that many people find some extra motivation when the objective reaches over that magical 3000 feet height. Here is our pick from some of the Munros that may be suitable for people early in their hillwalking career. Note that no Munros are really easy – anyone going hillwalking needs to learn basic map-reading skills, including the use of a compass, carry appropriate clothing and pay attention to the weather forecast – take a look at our skills and safety section for more information.

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

I finally bought my own trail camera!

I’m a bit excited when I check my new trail camera for the first time. It’s that same feeling I remember so vividly from Christmas Day in the 1980s – when you finally got to see just how amazing that new toy you’d been craving from the Argos catalogue for the past year actually was. What hidden garden wonders will be revealed? What new creatures will be discovered? Oh the anticipation! I walk up to it, open the housing, and the display inside reads 4/455. YES! Four new files have been created. Four 20-second snippets of an animal moving in

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature, Photography

Our pick: Scotland’s West Highland beaches

Whilst most people associate Scottish landscapes with mountains and glens, the coastline is equally magnificent. When it comes to beaches, there is truly an unmatched range from tiny rocky coves to majestic windswept bays of perfect shell sand. There’s really far too much to cover in just one ‘Our picks’ article, so here we look at the beaches of the West Highlands, from the Great Glen heading north to Durness. In further posts we take a look at the unmatched beaches of the Scottish islands, and the best beaches of Eastern Scotland. Sanna Bay, Ardnamurchan The Ardnamurchan peninsula – the

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Our picks

Blood and Concrete

Patrick Baker’s book The Unremembered Places was shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Award, and is published this month in paperback. In it, he uncovers the human histories that have left traces in Scotland’s wild places. His writing blends walk report with archival research to tell the story of what you see in the landscape. This extract tells the story of the building of the Blackwater Dam above Kinlochleven in Lochaber, and the graveyard that is to be found there. At the start of the twentieth century, in a remote glen in the West Highlands, the clatter of pickaxes and voices

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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

Wild Winter

This week sees the publication of Wild Winter, the latest book from John Burns, bestselling author of The Last Hillwalker. In Wild Winter, John sets out to rediscover Scotland’s mountains, remote places and wildlife in the darkest and stormiest months. He traverses the country from the mouth of the River Ness to the Isle of Mull, from remote Sutherland to the Cairngorms, in search of rutting red deer, minke whales, beavers, pine martens, mountain hares and otters. In the midst of the fierce weather, John’s travels reveal a habitat in crisis, and many of these wild creatures prove elusive as they

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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.