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Features

The Longest, the Loveliest and the Loneliest

Cameron McNeish’s new book, Come by the Hills, is published later this month, following on from the success of his memoir, There’s Always the Hills . In this extract, Cameron delves into the history and legends of one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens. IT was Sir Walter Scott who first described Glen Lyon in the above terms and my old mentor Tom Weir was fond of using the same alliteration to describe this 34-mile long glen of highland Perthshire. He often told me Glen Lyon was his favourite glen and for a man who knew Scotland like few others that

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Wanderers – A History of Women Walking

A new book by Kerri Andrews, Wanderers examines the history of female walking by looking at ten women who, over the past three hundred years, have found walking essential to their lives.  In a series of intimate portraits, Wanderers traces their footsteps, from eighteenth-century parson’s daughter Elizabeth Carter – who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England – to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed. For each, walking was integral, whether it was rambling for miles across the Highlands, like Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, or pacing novels into being, as Virginia

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Managing tourism – lessons from overseas

This has been a difficult summer for anyone who loves visiting Scotland’s glorious landscapes, especially those who enjoy wild camping or campervanning. With overseas holidays largely off the agenda, and formal accommodation capacity in Scotland much reduced due to Coronavirus measures, social media has been ablaze with anger at littering and poor behaviour, tension between visitors and locals, and talk of “overtourism”. Over the last 12 years I’ve spent on average a couple of days a week out in the Highlands, all year round, sleeping in a vehicle by the roadside – firstly in a Berlingo, more recently in a

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine

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

Hostelling at risk

There’s a crisis brewing for Scotland’s hostels. The COVID-19 pandemic has cut a swathe through the tourism industry and the hostel sector has been particularly badly hit. Along with his partner Helen, Gregor Barclay owns and runs Saddle Mountain hostel in the Great Glen. The forward bookings began to dry up in mid-February. We were then closed between late March and mid-July because of lockdown, losing a large chunk of our income for what is a limited season. The Scottish Government allowed tourist accommodation to reopen from 15th July onwards. However, the requirement for guests to physically distance from each

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Posted in Features, Magazine, News

Quarandreaming the Cairngorms

David Lintern returns to the centre for his first post lockdown overnighter. After dark confinement, air and space and the colours of summer. Down in the glen, the first blaeberries, voluptuous purple bell heather and the vivid yokes of bog asphodel line the path. Further up, fresh juniper, birch and pine shoots wave skinny young arms in praise of a warm breeze. Topping out, there are fluorescent green flushes with rust oxide hearts, sharp edged newly bolted deer grass, fluffy head-nodding cotton grass, clusters of dusky white, purple and pink Orchids. It’s an outdoor festival, a landscape in motion. The

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Posted in Features, Magazine

A homecoming

Lucy Wallace feels all her senses heightened on an emotional return to the hills. Granite has it’s own smell. I think I’ve always known this. I’ve travelled the world and there is always something familiar, intangible and yet homely, in a granitic landscape. Today, in the brisk, dry air, the acrid scent of decaying minerals is distinctive. It’s a sharp, metallic odour, but not unpleasant. I’ve missed it. There are other smells. As soon as we step out of the car, we pick up the earthy flavours of damp soil. We set off through thick birch wood that gives way

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Posted in Features, Magazine

Welcoming back visitors to the Cairngorms – the National Park’s view

Across Scotland, preparations are being made for the potential reopening of countrywide travel and recreation from July 15th. We asked Grant Moir, CEO of the Cairngorms National Park, how his area is getting ready to welcome visitors back. I suspect, like me, you have missed heading out to the mountains for a long day or visiting your favourite Cairngorm spot with your family. More than that, visitors are the lifeblood of the Cairngorms National Park economy. The coming weeks will hopefully see the reopening of the countryside and we need to try and ensure that this is done safely for

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Posted in Access issues, 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.