Cairngorms bothy book

Bothies cover - 2 cairngormsAfter a longer than planned gestation period, the second of my guides to Scotland’s bothies – Bothies, Huts & Howffs in the Hills – Cairngorms National Park is now available.

Taking the same format as the first book in the series – Bothies, Huts & Howffs in the Hills – Perthshire & Angus – it is a comprehensive listing of open bothies, unlocked huts and howffs within the Cairngorms National Park. It includes popular shelters like Corrour and Ryvoan alongside less well known refuges like Coyles Cottage and the Garrocher Hut with its fine wooden privy! Chapters cover Lost Bothies, Royal Bothies and the famous Secret Howff.

The book is available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon.

If you are planning a trip into the mountains and glens of Angus or Perthshire, Bothies, Huts & Howffs in the Hills – Perthshire & Angus offers ideas on places to stay in the great outdoors.


Kerrowmore Wood trails closed

3 - The first of the forest lochans encountered - James Carron, Take a HikeThe network of trails through Kerrowmore Wood, near Bridge of Balgie, Glen Lyon, is currently closed to allow the Meggernie Estate to fell existing forestry and replant it as a native pinewoods.

The paths will be upgraded as part of the project, which is due for completion sometime in 2019/20.

Other routes on the estate, including walks in Meggernie Birchwood, remain open.


Bothies, Huts & Howffs in the Hills

bothies-cover-12NEW BOOK – Bothies are basic shelters in remote corners of the countryside, a home from home in the hills for walkers, backpackers, mountain bikers and others who love spending time in the great outdoors.

Scotland has a long tradition of bothying and, while the better known ones are easily found, one of the great pleasures of exploring the nation’s mountains and glens is stumbling upon one for the first time – and finding the door open.

This guide takes some of the guesswork out of the equation, listing unlocked habitable shelters, ranging from comfortable, well-equipped bothies suitable for overnight stays to simple wooden huts and howffs offering protection from the elements, a place to break for lunch or a bolthole in an emergency.

Covering Perthshire and Angus, the fully illustrated guide details the location of each bothy, hut or howff by grid reference, offers advice on how to reach it and outlines what to expect upon arrival. Available as a paperback and ebook from

Angus & Dundee walks

Working on a new project – a book of 40 short walks in Angus and Dundee due to be published in Spring 2011 by Pocket Mountains. Currently undertaking route research – flitting back and forth across the county in the trusty Rover (trusty that is apart from periodic electrical problems and a broken exhaust which has on occasion required the acquisition of a rather more reliable Corsa).

Auchintaple Loch, Glen Isla

I live right on the doorstep of Angus and I thought I knew the county pretty well but I have been discovering some real hidden gems. Venturing into the upper reaches of Glen Mark, beyond the Queen’s Well, was a particularly memorable outing as I managed to find the elusive Balnamoon’s Cave while Glen Isla provided some great little hikes, including an ascent of Mount Blair in perfect weather and a wonderful trek to Auchintaple Loch. Despite some disappointing weather, the research is going well and I am hoping to have all 40 routes walked and written by the end of September. Will keep you posted on progress…

Sandwood Bay & Strathchailleach

Added a new route – Sandwood Bay & Strathchailleach – to the Walks section. It is a fairly challenging there-and-back hike from Blairmore to Strathchailleach bothy via Sandwood Bay.

For over 30 years (from the 1960s to 1994), Strathchailleach was home to James McRory-Smith, a reclusive individual who survived in this remote spot without electricity, gas or mains water. I am in the process of writing a biography on this unique character and would be very interested in hearing from anyone who may have encountered him over the years. The excellent pic of James was taken by Howard Patrick.

If you knew James or ever met him I’d love to hear from you. Email me at

PS: I have also added a new link under Online Articles to a walk over Hart Fell, near Moffat in the Scottish Borders.


Welcome to my new blog. Just starting out on this one but if you click on the Walks link above you will find a couple of routes.

This is just a taste of what is to come. A selection of my favourite walks and outdoor adventures in Scotland and overseas along with some news, reviews and other snippets will follow soon…