Secret Scotland

Cover1Welcome to Scotland… Not to the Scotland of glossy tourist brochures, airbrushed landscape photographs, coach parties, visitor centres and woollen mill cafes, but to a nation of secret, treasured places, free of crowds and tartan trappings.

Here, we veer off the well-trod tourist trail and wander down backroads and byways to reveal the country’s unusual and offbeat attractions, quirky curiosities and hidden gems, secluded and less well-known spots that await discovery.

Of the 50 attractions listed in the book, most can be visited at any time of the year, day or night, with no booking required or admission charged.

So, whether you want to wish upon an ancient stone, spend the night in a Royal lodge or hermit’s bothy, drive an alpine road, climb a manmade hill, spot gnomes all at sea, descend into a pagan canyon or see where oil rigs go to die, pack a bag and enjoy the journey…

Available now in paperback from Amazon

Secret Scotland for a taste of Secret Scotland

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Angus Coastal Trail

cover03 copyAfter devoting the summer of 2012 to the Angus Glens, I spent much of this year exploring the county’s shoreline, hiking the coastal path between Broughty Ferry and Montrose and discovering some real gems along the way. The fruits of these labours have now come to fruition in the publication of Angus Coastal Trail.

The linear route is 68km in length, although there are plenty of detours and distractions as the trail progresses north.

From the Firth of Tay, the mouth of Scotland’s longest river, sandy beaches, backed by a gently rolling grassy hinterland, give way to more rugged and dramatic scenery.

Beyond Arbroath, spectacular cliffs, interspersed with craggy coves, secret caves and unique geological features, rise from the insistent ebb and flow of the tide. Beyond the cliff top village of Auchmithie, the coastline reaches its highest point at Red Head, a towering sandstone promontory.

Carlingheugh Bay, near Arbroath

Carlingheugh Bay, near Arbroath

The terrain softens again, the forgotten hamlets of Ethie Haven and Corbie Knowe lying at the southern end of Lunan Bay, a sweep of golden sand. However, a more exposed and inhospitable stretch of shoreline leads round the coast to Scurdie Ness lighthouse, standing guard over the entrance to the county’s busiest port, Montrose.

The trail can either be walked in its entirety or the various sections can be undertaken as day walks.

Fully illustrated, Angus Coastal Trail includes clear mapping and a wealth of background history, geography and wildlife information, plus practical advice on accommodation, public transport and places to eat.

The book is currently available from Amazon for Kindle and Kindle apps. Click here. However a paperback is on its way soon…

Walking in the Angus Glens

Angus Glens coverThe summer of 2012 dispensed some of the most unpredictable – and wettest – weather I have encountered for a long time in Scotland. Despite this I managed to achieve a long term personal goal – to produce a book of walks covering the Angus Glens, my favourite part of the country.

Living in Dundee, the glens are on my doorsteps. I began walking there as a child, both with family and through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and have an enduring passion for the area. Over the years I have explored the hills and glens in all seasons and never fail to be inspired by the varied scenery and rich heritage of the landscape.

Hill and valley walks abound and a clutch of mountains, including several Munros, provide more challenging excursions for those seeking high ground and some of the best views in eastern Scotland. While the Munros are well known, I hope this book will introduce walkers to many lesser but equally satisfying peaks.

Coire Fee and Glen Doll

Coire Fee and Glen Doll

After many days wandering the mountains and valleys with notepad and camera in hand and countless hours tapping away at the computer keyboard with a ready supply of coffee close by, the end result is now at hand – Walking in the Angus Glens was published by Cicerone in June. The book covers the five main glens – Isla, Prosen, Clova, Lethnot and Esk – and contains 30 routes ranging from mountain ascents to linear hikes following the ancient Mounth highways linking Angus and Aberdeenshire. Lots of info on the book, including a sample route, can be found here.

Highland Hermit Brought to Book

Our popular book Highland Hermit is now available in paperback form. It sold well in Kindle format but following a number of requests we have now published the title in traditional book form. It is available from Amazon priced at £4.99 plus shipping.

The book can also be ordered from CreateSpace by clicking here.

On the same topic, Ghosts of Barlinnie is also available in paperback form, again priced at £4.99 plus shipping, from Amazon and CreateSpace.

The content of both titles is exactly the same as the Kindle versions although all images are reproduced in black and white.

West Highland Way Round

Delighted to announce the publication of my latest title for Kindle and Kindle apps – West Highland Way Round.

The ebook describes a 99km circular walking trail through the Scottish Highlands, starting and finishing in Glen Nevis, near the UK’s outdoor capital, Fort William.

The route follows the existing West Highland Way between Fort William, Kinlochleven and King’s House before heading east to join the ancient Road to the Isles at Rannoch Station. From there it heads north to Corrour Station before roaming through wild, uninhabited glens. Read more…

All Terrain Pushchair Walks: Scottish Lochs and Reservoirs

Researched and written last summer, it’s great to see my new book – All Terrain Pushchair Walks: Scottish Lochs and Reservoirs – nearing publication. Scheduled for release on June 30 by Sigma Press, 2012, it describes 30 loch and reservoir family walks in Scotland, all of them suitable for all terrain pushchairs. Of course, you don’t have to have children or an all terrain pushchair to enjoy them! It is available for pre-order on Amazon now.

Locations covered include Camps Reservoir, Crawford, Gladhouse Reservoir, Penicuik, Harlow Reservoir, Edinburgh, Strathclyde Loch, Motherwell, Mugdock & Craigmaddie Reservoirs, Milngavie, Loch Spling, Aberfoyle, Loch Coille-bhar, Lochgilphead, Gartmorn Dam, Alloa, Glendevon Reservoirs, Auchterarder, Loch Leven, Kinross, Birnie & Gaddon Lochs, Collessie, Crombie Loch, Carnoustie, Forfar Loch, Forfar, Loch Lee, Glen Esk, Loch Kinord, Aboyne, Cambus o’May Lochans, Ballater, Loch Mharaich, Glen Shee, Loch Shandra, Glen Isla, Ledcrieff Loch & Laird’s Loch, Coupar Angus, Cally Loch & Mill Dam, Dunkeld, Uath Lochans, Kincraig, Loch an Eilein, Aviemore, An Lochan Uaine, Glenmore, Loch Ossian, Corrour, Loch Oich & Loch Lochy, Laggan, Carbisdale Woods Lochan, Bonar Bridge, and Loch Fleet, Golspie.