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Books

Book review – Wild Light

I know from our social media pages – and my own experience – that looking at photographs of nature, and of wild landscapes and well-loved places that are currently out of reach are a comfort for many of us in trying to get through these testing times. So I was delighted when this stunning book of Scottish panoramas – taken by Craig Aitchison – dropped through the letterbox for review. Craig was the inaugural winner of the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition, and this is his second book – following on from the successful The Highlands: Land &

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews, Magazine

Lockdown reads for lovers of the outdoors

Isolation Shepherd – Iain R. Thomson Delve into the world of remote isolation in this moving and very readable account of a shepherd and young family’s life in Glen Strathfarrar. Set in the mid 1950’s it tells of a world before modern communications and comforts but with many aspects – the mountains around Loch Monar, the relationship between laird and tenant, the tough winter weather, and the working of sheepdogs, that remain to this day. Plenty of photographs help to bring the story to life and the loving descriptions of the landscape mentally teleport you to that remote cottage at

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Posted in Books, Features, Magazine, News, Walkhighlands news

Mountain hare book scoops Nature Photography award

A debut book exploring The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare has gained public appreciation in an online vote to find the Favourite Scottish Nature Photography Book of 2018. It is the work of photographer Andy Howard, a leading expert on mountain hares, and includes stunning photography and field notes from his time on the hills tracking these majestic creatures, as well as a charming narrative about the life of the mountain hare. The book was reviewed on Walkhighlands on launch in October. The vote is held every two years by the Scottish Nature Photography Awards, which celebrate nature, wildlife and

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews, Magazine, Nature, Photography

Review: Hostile Habitats – Scotland’s Mountain Environment

The original guide to Scotland’s mountain environment aimed at hillwalkers and climbers has just been updated with a new edition. When Hostile Habitats was first published in 2006 it brought together information on the full context of Scotland’s hills – geology, landscape, flora and fauna, and human history – into one accessibly-written guidebook aimed at hillwalkers. The book proved popular and this second edition keeps to the same arrangement of nine chapters, written by different experts, but has been expanded and updated to reflect changes in understanding. A hefty hardback, this is a book to dip in and out of

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews, Magazine

Book Review: Scotland – a Rewilding Journey

It’s not often that a book is stunningly beautiful to look at but also conveys an important message – but “Scotland – A Rewilding Journey” may be one such. This new book is published by Scotland: The Big Picture, a not-for-profit social enterprise set up by a group of Highlands-based conservation photographers. Their track record is a strong one, with previous books including a study of the red squirrel, and – earlier this year – ‘The Lynx and Us’ which took an in-depth look at what it might be like if Scotland decided to reintroduce the lynx. This new book,

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews, Magazine

Review: The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare

Out of all the creatures with which we share Scotland’s hills, for me there are none that can match the charm of the mountain hare. Whilst on most encounters we walkers only manage to get a fleeting glimpse of their rear end as they skip gracefully away over the snow or through the heather, a close encounter with a relaxed hare reveals their endlessly endearing facial expressions and gestures. When it comes to photographing these magical creatures there’s one man who has risen to prominence as the pre-eminent hare photographer in recent years – Andy Howard – so this book

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Posted in Books, Magazine, Photography

Book Review: Days to Remember

YEARS ago I commissioned a young UIAA Mountain Guide to write a feature for the very first issue of Footloose, an outdoor magazine I edited in the late seventies. I’d read some of Rob Collister’s writings in the superb Mountain magazine and was very impressed. Some years later when I was editor of Climber Magazine I spent the day rock-climbing with Jim Perrin at Tremadoc in North Wales and in the evening Jim invited Rob and his wife Netti to join us for dinner. In the course of the evening I learned much about this gentle mountaineer; his expeditions in

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews, Magazine

Book review: The Grahams & The Donalds

Climbing the Munros has long been a mainstream activity for hillwalkers, and many also aim to climb the Corbetts (Scottish peaks from 2500 to 3000 feet high), either after completing the Munros, or at the same time. Whilst a too-keen obsession with bagging hills can blind us to the other joys that going to the mountains can bring, there seems little doubt that for many people having a list of hills to complete is a way of linking many brief days out into a single, bigger, satisfying adventure. The Grahams (peaks from 2000 to 2500 feet), though, have been the

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews, Magazine

Review: Doubling Back by Linda Cracknell

I’m not a great reader of non-fiction and have sometimes stumbled when setting out to read the supposed greats of nature writing. However I found Doubling Back to be both a compelling page-turner and an eye-opener to the mysteries and memories that can be unearthed by exploring on foot. Linda Cracknell has taken 10 journeys, mostly multi-day backpacks, and used them as the basis for involving descriptions of the landscape – linking history and culture perfectly with the day to day experience of walking, climbing and horse-riding, alone or with friends, and her encounters with strangers. There was something about

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews

Review: The Corbett Round by Manny Gorman

In 2009 fell-runner, Manny Gorman set out to complete a continuous traverse of the Scottish Corbetts on foot, bike and sail. At the time the run was followed avidly by many on Walkhighlands and the riveting read he has produced distills the epic 70 day challenge into a very readable book that will appeal to anyone interested in the Scottish hills or crazy human endeavours. The Corbetts are the 219 Scottish mountains Scottish hills between 2,500 and 3,000ft, with at least 500ft ascent on all sides. Less popular than the Munros, many do not have paths and are situated on

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Posted in Books, Gear reviews


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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.