NEW EDITION MAY 2022

 

Walks Wester Ross: Southern Area

Walks Wester Ross Southern Area

Authors: Richard Hallewell & Becky Coope

Rewalked by: Mike Lumb, Ronnie Mealyou, Rob & Becky Coope & Richard Hallewell

Wester Ross is a big area, and travelling between walks can take a good part of the day, so a team descended on the area covered by Walks Wester Ross Southern Area to check the routes for the new edition.  Covid restrictions also played their part in this rewalk, so the work was spread out over a few months.
For those who haven’t visited the area before, it is characterised in the north, around Torridon, by huge mountains rearing up from inland and coastal sea lochs.  The south of the area, around Kyle of Lochalsh and stretching down to Loch Hourn in the far south, is gentler in nature.  In addition, the remote Applecross peninsula, accessed by two dramatic roads (including the famous Bealach na Ba from Kishorn), provides excellent walking.
All the settlements in the area are small, but the largest – Kyle of Lochalsh and Lochcarron – are good service centres, and there are excellent shops and petrol stations in smaller villages, such as Plockton, Sheildaig and Glenelg.  There is also a number of good small cafés and restaurants throughout the area, so visitors will not struggle to get supplies locally.   The roads, even the major ones, are for the most part single-track, so plenty of time should be allowed for travelling around.
We have made little more than the usual small changes to most of the routes in the book, but two walks had more significant problems and have been removed.  The hill pass from Glasnock to Lochcarron has become difficult to follow in places, and has been replaced by a there-and-back walk to a fine hill loch, Loch Gaineamhach, in the hills above Kishorn.  Difficulties with parking have led to the route through Gleann Beag, near Glenelg, being dropped and replaced by a fine circuit; starting from from Galltair, near Glenelg, leading out to remote Ardintoul then returning along the coast.  There has also been a lot of new signposting in the National Trust woodlands around Balmacara Square, so we have improved our coverage of the available walks here and included a new circuit from Balmacara.
There really is something for everyone in this area as far as walking is concerned.  While we avoid the mountain tops in this guide (many are simply beyond the scope of this series) there are plenty of opportunities to get into the foothills in the walks featured, or to enjoy a fine woodland or coastal walk.
For more information or to buy a copy, click here
Photo: Bothy in Glenlicht (centre left); setting off from Balmacara (bottom left)

 

NEW EDITION MARCH 2022

 

Walks Inveraray & South Argyll

Walks Inveraray & South Argyll

Authors: Paul Williams & Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by: Richard & Maggie Legate

This is a gem of a book and we enjoyed exploring this fascinating part of Scotland, which we didn’t know at all prior to our visit. Our base for the week was a cottage was on the Crinan Canal at Bellanoch, and the only downside was that we unfortunately missed a superb evening of Northern Lights by having the curtains closed!

The area is rich in castles, neolithic and bronze age remains and superb cup and ring marked stones, and we could have happily spent much longer visiting the many archeological sites.

Stretching from the lighthouse at the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre, to Inverary in the north, there’s much to see and admire. In addition, as you are never far from the sea, there are always great views.

For us, the most fascinating walk was the tidal visit to Davaar Island along a lengthy spit of land. We viewed the walk from a hill above Campbeltown later in the day, at high tide, and marvelled at the fact that we’d been able to walk to a what was a very obvious island, a feat that now seemed unthinkable!  Another highlight were the walks from Tarbert on the east coast of the peninsula.

A boat trip is always a treat, especially on a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry, and so the visit to the delightful Isle of Gigha, with it’s clear turquoise water and fine views across to The Paps of Jura to the west, and Northern Ireland to the south west, was particularly memorable.

Forestry and Land Scotland have been busy in this area, and we were pleased to find new and informative signage and interpretation boards on many of the walks. FLS have also been carrying out a lot of harvesting in the area and this meant that the walk up Beinn Ghuilean, south of Campbeltown, which had featured in the previous edition of the book, had to be dropped from this new edition. It has been replaced by a short walk from the village of Saddell which passes an historic abbey and castle before arriving at a fine sandy beach.

This is a fine and varied area and often quite a bit quieter than other areas of Scotland’s west coast, and although there are no mountain walks, there is a fine range of walks to choose from.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.

Photos: Tarbert Castle (centre left), beach on Gigha (bottom left)

 

ONE MILLION BOOKS SOLD!

This year we reached a real milestone for the company when we passed the sale of our one millionth walking guide.

A huge thank you goes out to all of you who have bought and enjoyed the guides over the years, and to those who have come back and bought more. Over the years we have been lucky enough to hear from a good number of you, and this has led to many useful tips about routes and interesting and memorable conversations.

The series started in 1994, with Walks Deeside, and the success of that book (No 1 in the Press & Journal best-seller list) encouraged us to start work on a series covering the whole of Scotland, plus the best walking areas in England. We haven’t quite finished the series yet, but then I doubt if we would have expected to get as far as we have – or to have sold so many books – when we started out.

A lot has changed over the years. When we produced Deeside we were split between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, then for a long time we worked from our HQ by Loch Tummel, in Perthshire, until the office and warehouse finally migrated to Argyll, where they are today.

The way the books are sold has changed dramatically over the years, too. The guides were originally designed to be sold primarily through the large network of local Tourist Information Centres and bookshops, and online selling was in its infancy. The rise of online selling in part contributed to the sad loss of the vast majority of local TICs in Scotland. Small independent bookshops seemed to be going the same way, though – in part as a result of Covid – that trend seems to have reversed. Waterstones have always been a great supporter of our series, and remain one of our main sales outlets alongside the Visitor Information Centres, Amazon (inevitably!) and our own website. Once again, we are really grateful to the buyers who have consistently stocked the guides over the years, and to the regional and national wholesalers – many of whom we have been working with for well over 20 years – who keep the guides in the public eye.

Producing the guides has provided a wonderful opportunity to explore the country, and to visit corners we would never otherwise have reached. And where we haven’t been able to do the work ourselves, we have been lucky to work with a number of writers who have put their own style on the books they produced.

One of the main features of the guides is that we aim to keep them as up-to-date as possible, and to achieve that we have a small team of checkers who have undertaken regular rewalks over the years. They brave rain, snow and occasionally blistering sun to undertake the checks – usually in well-orchestrated walking weeks. A great thank you to all of the writers and checkers we have worked with over the years.

Like everything else, the writing and research has changed through the years. Richard started taking hand-written notes, then tape cassette voice recordings, and now uses digital dictaphones. This system has been faultless until one episode this year, on a rewalk of the Stirling book, when a spectacularly heavy shower when descending Dumyat soaked the recorder and resulted in the loss of the whole week’s notes. A second rewalk of the entire book resulted in a change of policy and a new recorder!

Computers were not commonplace when we started, and, being from design and publishing backgrounds, we put the early books together with hand-drawn maps and covers, and with the routes added carefully using a 3.0 Rotring pen to give the right size of dot! Contour shading and water were painstakingly cut out of Letratone with a swivel knife. All text and map lettering arrived from the printer on a roll of bromide paper and had to be cut out and pasted in place on the page and maps. The clear memory of finishing a job and finding one ‘0’ from a scale bar lying on the floor is still painful. Where DID it come from? In those days it was a bit of a leap of faith, especially with the covers, as we had no idea what the finished book would look like until they arrived from the printers.

All that has changed now, of course, and the books are put together on computer – though, as a trained artist, I have always looked to retain a high degree of artwork in the books. The maps all start life as a pen drawing which is then scanned and developed on the computer. The covers too start with a pen and ink outline (rather than the torn cartridge paper which we used in the early days). The pen and ink line illustrations, which have been a feature of the books since we started, are still carried out in exactly the same way, drawn with a Rotring pen on drafting film.

And then there are the printers. We have worked with quite a number over the years, and apart from one brief (and entirely unsuccessful) excursion abroad, we have proudly always printed the books in the UK. Predominately we have worked with Scottish printers and they have invariably done a great job. Sadly, the print trade, like many others, suffered from cheap foreign competition and many businesses went to the wayside over the years. But the technology has moved on rapidly, and UK printers are now extremely capable and competitive. For a number of years we have been working with the excellent Barr Printers in Glenrothes, and all of the books are printed on FSC papers.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the last 26 years producing the series and look forward to the keeping the series relevant as times change – and maybe even reaching the elusive goal of finishing the coverage of Scotland…

Rebecca

 

Photos:  Top right: No 1 in the Press & Journal charts in 1994; Right: The books at the recent St Duthac Festival in Tain.

 

NEW EDITION NOVEMBER 2021

 

Walks Malham & The Three Peaks

Walks Malham & The Three Peaks

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by: Richard & Maggie Legate

We were pleased to have the chance to check the routes for the Malham guide – the most westerly of the three current guides to the Yorkshire Dales. The walking is terrific, and you get the feeling that not much changes along the routes as you walk along paths, or by dry stone dykes, which scarcely alter through the years. It is all very photogenic, and there seems to be a delightful pub at the end of every walk! As the routes are all well established, very few significant adjustments were needed to the descriptions; just odd changes to gates and signage.

Central to the book are two settlements: the delightful market town of Settle and the little village of Malham. The latter is tiny, and can be incredibly busy, but once you get away from the wildly popular short walks (to the massive limestone amphitheatre of Malham Cove and the gorge of Gordale Scar) you quickly lose sight of the crowds and the countryside empties of humans in favour of interesting orchids and mountain pansies. There are fascinating geological features throughout the area, including pot holes, extensive limestone pavements and the strange Norber Erratics.

Beyond Malham, the main walking attractions are the ’Three Peaks’: Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent. Their distinctive silhouettes are a feature of the area, and many visitors see it as a challenge to climb all three. As an added attraction, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent can be reached using the fabulous Settle to Carlisle railway.

This is one of Britain’s classic walking areas, and one to which it will always be a pleasure to return.

For more details, or to buy the book, click here.

Photo:  Ingleborough from the Stainforth Waterfall walk.


 

 

 

NEW EDITION NOVEMBER 2021


Walks South Dartmoor

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by Rob & Becky Coope

The South Dartmoor check had been another victim of Covid restrictions. Originally planned for April 2020, it had to be re-scheduled a couple of times, but we eventually managed to get everything in place for a visit in early October. Our base for the week was the delightful Old Byre at Dousland near Yelverton. The owners had been extremely helpful and allowed us to change bookings on more than one occasion due to restrictions, and so it was with great joy that we finally arrived at the cottage on a sunny afternoon. It was a wonderful base and perfectly placed to access all of the walks in the book.

Never having visited Dartmoor before, I was immediately taken with the area. The grazing ponies are a wonderful feature of the moors. We were there during the busy ‘annual gather’ and it was great to see this unfold through the week. The walking is wonderful. The moor walks are mostly on short turf, passing masses of historical relics from many periods as well as the wonderful natural torrs which are a feature of the area. Lower level walks featured run through the wooded valleys of the rivers which carry water off the moor.

It is very different to other areas we have visited. There are often a huge number of grassy paths criss-crossing the moor – making it quite difficult to give precise directions, so a degree of navigational skill is needed, particularly if the famous mist rolls in! In general, the area was much quieter than many of the other areas we cover. The towns and villages are wonderful, with many quaint pubs and cafés, but minutes after leaving them you find yourself on the open moor. Many car parks were busy, but again, once you got a mile or so from them you could quickly find yourself in complete solitude with only the grazing sheep, cattle and horses for company.

The minor roads which lead to some of the smallest villages in the area are quite a challenge, being very narrow with few passing places, and to help alleviate the problems there seems to be a move to discourage visitors from driving to these. As a result, we had to make a couple of major changes to the book, the main one was rewriting the walk on Harford Moor as the car park at the original start point has been closed. We also decided to drop the walk from the tiny village of Scorriton for the same reason.

If you have not visited Dartmoor before, then we can thoroughly recommend it as a walking destination. Highlights of the week included the routes around Burrator Reservoir, the circuit by the wooded valley of the River Walkham and the high level circuit above the Avon Dam Reservoir.

For more details, or to buy a copy, please click here.

Photos: A sunny day at the tarn on Cox Tor (centre); dropping down from Corndon Down (bottom)

 

 


 

NEW EDITION NOVEMBER 2021


Walks Fife

Authors: Owen Silver & Richard Hallewell

Re-walked by: Julia Hallewell and Richard Hallewell

Of all of our book rewalks, none was more badly disrupted by Covid than this one. Julia started looking at the routes in 2019. (She had only recently moved to the county and, being a non-driver, was delighted to find that almost all the routes could be reached by public transport.) She provided us with her complete notes at the start of 2020, only for everything to go haywire. There were still details to be checked, but it was impossible to get out there to check them. In the meantime, travel restrictions meant that books covering populous areas (not just Fife, but also Perth, Stirling, Aberdeen and East Lothian), which traditionally sold relatively slowly, began to take off, as people looked for walking closer to home. As a result, we had to print up a short run of the existing Fife guide, and by the time that had sold out we needed to check all the routes again!

Anyway, it finally got done, and I am pleased we were able to give it full attention, because it is an area where routes change quite quickly – not the major set-piece walks of the area (the Lomond Hills and the Fife Coastal Path), which don’t change much, but the others. A couple of routes were so altered, or had become so difficult to describe, that we dropped them from the guide. Others were simplified. On the two routes on the south side of the Firth of Tay, for instance (ie, between Wormit and Balmerino, and west of Balmerino through Birkhill Woods), we have either simplified the optional inland return or removed it completely. Elsewhere there were a lot of minor changes to signage and route descriptions. The climb up Norman’s Law from Luthrie, for example, has been completely rewritten.

Another route which has been altered a lot is the climb up Benarty Hill. Previously this was just a possible extension to the path around Loch Ore, but now it is a separate route, so we can include the climb to the summit of the hill (which has terrific views over Loch Leven), an alternative return, and a mention of the path over to the RSPB centre at Vane Farm. In addition, we have now included an introductory walk around the centre of St Andrews – a beautiful town, which includes so much of interest that it deserved an entry of its own. Since the last edition of the book, the Fife Pilgrim Way, a long-distance waymarked path across the county, has been opened to complement the Coastal Path. This 64mile/103 km route is outlined in the book and readers will come across sections of it on some of the walks featured.

As I say, one of the few plus points of Covid was that it encouraged people to explore their local walks. In Fife, at least, they won’t have been disappointed. The county has its share of built-up and industrial areas, but there are some beautiful towns and villages, and once you get into the countryside there are some beautiful paths to be found. The coastal woods at Tentsmuir are a tonic on any day.

Sadly, the original author of this guide, Owen Silver, recently passed away.  We hope he would have approved of the changes we have made to the routes.

For more details or to buy a copy please click here.

Photos: Coastal Path – Anstruther to Crail (centre); the beach by Tenstmuir Forest walking from Tayport (bottom)


 

 

 

NEW EDITION AUGUST 2021

Walks Exmoor

Walks Exmoor

Author: Richard Hallewell

Re-walked by: Ronnie Mealyou & Mike Lumb

The rewalk of Walks Exmoor was another victim of the Covid travel restrictions, but we finally managed to get round to it in July this year. This is a beautiful walking area. The name ‘Exmoor’ is derived from the area of grass and heather moorland surrounding the upper waters of the River Exe, but the definition has now been extended to include lower level farmland and woodland, as well as the area’s spectacular coastal scenery. The book covers the area comprising Exmoor National Park which was created in 1954.

The towns and villages within the Park are varied and picturesque, with winding main streets, fine architecture and numerous thatched buildings. The little village of Dunster is a particular gem.

The greatest density of walks in this guide is along the coast, which contains the bulk of the area’s most dramatic scenery and a continuous footpath – the South West Coast Path. Highlights include the well-known walk west from the little harbour of Lynmouth to the dramatic crags of the Valley of Rocks (see bottom left), as well as a section of the SWCP running across the steep slopes between Heddon’s Mouth and Woody Bay.

Changes required to the book were minimal. If you haven’t visited this area before, there is a great selection of varied walking and no shortage of places to enjoy some refreshments!

For more details, or to buy a copy, click here.


 

NEW EDITION AUGUST 2021

 

Walks Stirling

Walks Stirling

Author: Alistair Lawson

Rewalked by: Richard Hallewell

The area around Stirling sometimes seems a bit of a forgotten corner for walkers in Scotland, but there are some splendid routes.  The Ochils give terrific hill walking – whether you are looking at the hill climbs (Ben Cleuch, King’s Seat) or the lineal paths through the hills to Perthshire – while the Gargunnock Hills and Campsie Fells also provide fine moorland walking.  Beyond that there is a string of den walks above the ‘Hillfoot’ towns which run along the foot of the Ochils – including Dollar Glen which, with the brooding Castle Campbell (see bottom left) at its head, is perhaps the finest in Scotland – and visits to the unexpected coastline of the upper Forth.  Plus a very large stone Pineapple (see right).
      Personal favourites are the crossing from Dollar to Auchterarder (which also appears in Walks Crieff, Comrie & Kinross, described in the opposite direction) and the three-waterfall walk in the Gargunnock Hills, with its fine views north to the hills of Perthshire and the Trossachs.
      As you might expect in such a busy and populous area, there have been quite a few changes to the routes since we last looked at them, some of which have led to new route descriptions.  The old ‘Back Road’ route linking the Hillfoots has been rebranded as the ‘Diamond Jubilee Way’ (though the retention of some older signs can be a little confusing), and a good deal of work has been done to tidy up the popular climb up Dumyat.
      If you haven’t tried walking in this area before, you will find some pleasant surprises.

For more details or to buy a copy, click here.


 

 

NEW EDITION JULY 2021

 

Walks Aviemore incl. Glenmore & Speyside

Walks Aviemore

Author: Richard Hallewell

Re-walked by: Maggie & Richard Legate

The Aviemore book covers the walks around Glenmore and Rothiemurchus Forest, the north west Cairngorms, and the Spey Valley between Newtonmore in the south and Grantown-on-Spey in the north. Though we live quite close, we were not familiar with many of the walks, and it was fantastic to get to know some beautifully maintained paths and wilderness routes.
One of the highlights for me was my first climb onto the Cairngorm plateau.  It has its dangers, of course, and great care has to be taken (it was windy and bitterly cold when we climbed Cairn Gorm, and there was plenty of snow, even in June), but it is also highly dramatic – and we were lucky enough to see both a ring ouzel and a snow bunting on the tops.  Another highlight was the long route from Glenmore round to Loch Avon, though that also needs a little planning.  We chose to camp overnight on a nearby Corbett (Creag Mhor) before descending to the Fords of Avon and seeing the loch surrounded by high, snowy peaks in the early morning sunshine.
It isn’t all long routes, of course, and there are terrific shorter walks through the Caledonian Pinewoods south of Loch Morlich and in the hills behind the towns and villages of the Spey Valley, as well as a number of routes also suitable for cyclists –such as the route from Nethy Bridge to Glenmore (see bottom left).
There were no major alterations needed to the book this time, though changes have been made to the signposting of the forest walks around Loch Morlich.

For more details, or to buy a copy, click here.


 

 

NEW EDITION JULY 2021

 

Walks Grasmere, Ambleside & Windermere - Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Grasmere

Author: Richard Hallewell

Re-walked by Maggie & Richard Legate

We spent a week in the little village of Chapel Stile while rewalking Walks Grasmere – the book centred on the northern end of Windermere, Rydal Water (the home of William Wordsworth) and Grasmere, and spreading west to Great Langdale and east to Kentmere.  This is one of the most popular centres in the Lake District and the walking is superb.  Our personal favourites were the climbs up Fairfield and Helm Crag, from the village of Grasmere, and the loop linking Ambleside and Troutbeck.  Other highlights were the circuit from Tilberthwaite to Little Langdale (don’t miss the Andy Goldsworthy sheepfold artwork near the car park) and the low level circuit from Elterwater (see bottom left).
      Few major changes were needed to the routes – all of which have been established for many years.  The one exception was on Walk 7 (Pike of Blisco), where the bridge over the Oxendale Beck is currently missing.  The structure was washed away when the beck was in spate, and we were amazed to see how far it had been carried by the water.  In case the bridge has not been replaced, walkers should plan for a possible alternative ending to the route.
      This is a beautiful part of the country, and for that reason it can be very busy during peak periods of the year.  If you have the option, it might be best to visit in spring or autumn, when the paths are quieter.
      For more details or to buy a copy, click here.

 

NEW EDITION JULY 2021

 

Walks Keswick

Author: Richard Hallewell

Re-walked by: Maggie & Richard Legate

The Covid restrictions had a significant impact on the Keswick rewalk – much as they had on everything else!  We started in November, but had to cut our stay short and complete the check in April.  Not that it is a hardship to visit the delightful market town and its surrounding hills, and it was a pleasure to be walking the routes when they were a little quieter than usual.
These are classic walks, of course, and very well-trodden.  Highlights for us were the climb up Grey Knotts – with its terrific views of Great Gable, High Stile and the rest of the peaks – and the clamber up and over Hay Stacks from the east end of Buttermere.  Also the lower climbs from Rosthwaite to Watendlath Tarn, Latrigg with its fine views over Keswick (see bottom left) and the circuit of Crummock Water.  In fact, one of the great attractions of the area is the variety of walking available.
In addition to the usual minor alterations needed to the write-ups for the routes, erosion had caused problems on a couple of the walks.  The walking/cycling route following the old railway line by the River Greta (Walk 4: Castlerigg Stone Circle) was closed – though work was being carried out, and it should be reopened soon – as was the path by Newlands Beck (Walk 9: Keswick to Newlands Beck).  It is unclear how long this latter path will be closed, but if the signs are still up when you visit then please follow the diversion we suggest via Swinside Inn.
Whether you enjoy high level treks or short, wooded lakeside walks, Keswick is one of the classic outdoor centres in the UK and should be visited by anyone with an interest in walking.

For more information, or to buy a copy, click here.


 

 

NEW EDITION JUNE 2021


Walks Deeside

Author: Richard Hallewell

Re walked by: Ronnie, Grant & Ewan Mealyou and Mike Lumb

Deeside is one of Scotland’s classic walking areas: the peaks of the Cairngorms and Lochnagar, the hill routes over the Mounth to Angus and the pine woods of Deeside itself.  This was the first book we published in the series, and we packed it with as much content as we could manage: over 230 miles/370km of walking, including eight Munros and eight lineal hill crossings (which need to be walked there-and-back if you are struggling for transport).  As such, it is probably the toughest rewalk of them all, and it took a group of walkers to get it checked in good time this time around.

The quality of the walking is terrific: the high rounded peaks of Ben Macdui and Beinn a’ Bhuird; the long moorland treks of Jock’s Road and the Firmounth and Fungle; and the path around Loch Muick, in the shadow of Lochnagar – plus the splendid shorter walks through the pinewoods of Glen Tanar, over Creag Choinnich, around Loch Kinord and the splendid natural amphitheatre of Burn o’Vat (see bottom left), and others.  The area itself, centred around the villages of Braemar, Aboyne and Ballater, is a beautiful place to visit.
There were few major alterations this time around.  There was some adjustment made to the routes around Derry Lodge and Allanaquoich, and at the north end of the Fungle, but the only major addition was the new path at the north end of the route from Ballater to Glen Tanar (a useful addition, as it allows you to avoid walking along the narrow B976).  That apart, only the usual minor changes were made to route descriptions and signage.
Most people who are used to walking in Scotland will have visited Deeside.  If you haven’t done so yet, I can recommend it.
For more information or to buy a copy, click here.


 

NEW EDITION MAY 2021

 

Walks Edinburgh

Walks Edinburgh, Midlothian & West Lothian

Author: Richard Hallewell

Re walked by: Richard Hallewell

With the partial lifting of the Coronavirus rules I was able to get out to check the routes for my local guide.  I have been walking in the Pentland Hills (the narrow range extending south from the edge of the city) for many years (see bottom left), and it is one of my favourite walking areas in Scotland: a linked network of paths climbing the low (but high enough for a sense of achievement) peaks and criss-crossing the range, plus the quiet access road from Flotterstone, past the reservoirs in the middle of the range, joining with the path which runs through Green Cleugh and on down to Threipmuir.  The paths are usually quieter than I expect – given their proximity to Edinburgh – but locals seemed to be using them to keep fit during lockdown, and I have seldom seen them as busy.
There were no significant changes required.  The paths have been established, and signposted, for a very long time, and if anything they are clearer now than ever.  If you are looking for a sense of isolation, head for the more southerly hill crossings – The Bore Stane and Cauldstane Slap – where you are more likely to have the path to yourself.
Elsewhere, it was a particular pleasure to revisit the path from South Queensferry, under the Forth Rail Bridge, and on along the Forth to the River Almond (passing Dalmeny House along the way), and the walk up the wooded valley of the North Esk from Rosslyn Chapel.  No major changes were needed in the book, and it was a pleasure to see so many people out relieving the pressures of 2020/21 on their local paths.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

NEW EDITION APRIL 2021

WALKS EASTER ROSS & THE BLACK ISLE

Author:Paul Williams

Rewalked by: Richard & Julia Hallewell and Becky Coope

Coronavirus travel restrictions and then winter weather delayed the new edition of Walks Easter Ross & The Black Isle, but we have finally managed to get the job completed!
This is a wonderful area to walk in with a rich variety of walks, from long coastal footpaths on the Black Isle to the lofty peak of Ben Wyvis, there are walks to suit all.
It had been a few years since our last visit and some of the routes had become impossible since then. We had to drop 2 routes around Strathpeffer which had become difficult to follow due to development around the village and the long route to Orrin Dam had to be replaced due to lack of parking at the start. We have brought in 2 new routes, the Right of Way following the route of an old drove road from Strathrory to Scotsburn and a short circular walk to the site of an ancient castle from the old fishing village of Avoch on the Moray Firth with stunning views across the firth.
For many years now the area has been synonymous with the North Sea Oil Industry, the deep waters of the Cromarty Firth being ideal for harbouring oil rigs – and there is rarely a view without a rig in it. However the nature of the industry is now changing and rigs are as likely to be being broken up as built as the country switches away from the carbon economy. In its place, the construction of wind turbines for the offshore industry is now an increasingly common site and the walk to the Novar Wind Farm takes you close to these modern giants of power production. Both on shore and land these great structures divide opinion, but they are an impressive example of modern engineering.
The area is also rich in farmland along the coastal strip and has some magnificent forests, and, apart from the popular NC500 route which cuts through it, is quite quiet compared to some of the hotspot areas in Scotland. If you aren’t familiar with the area, it is well worth a visit.
Highlights include the coastal paths around Tarbat Ness, the picturesque village of Cromarty and the view across the Beauty Firth to Inverness from Old Hill.

For more details or to buy a copy, click here.


 

And now for something a little different…

 

As some of you may have realised, we are a very small company. The business consists of Richard Hallewell – writer, editor and publisher who is responsible for writing and/or editing all of the walking guides – and his sister Rebecca Hallewell/Coope – an artist and designer, who does all of the mapping, illustration and cover artwork. The typesetting and book design are done jointly, and we are proud to say that all of our books are printed in the UK on FSC paper and distributed from our base in Argyll. We started the series of walking guides over 25 years ago, having worked together on various other projects for a number of years prior to that.

When Covid 19 hit in the spring, our sales of the guides (understandably) went into decline and walking was impossible. Although this was tough, it gave us the chance to finish a project which has been underway for a little while, and here it is.

Ka, the Ring & the Raven is Richard’s first novel. He uses his knowledge of Britain’s countryside and natural history – much of it gained during the thousands of miles he has walked researching walking guides – to create a children’s adventure story in which a young jackdaw discovers he has the ability to communicate with other birds and animals – even with people. The book follows his adventures as he is driven from his flock and embarks on a long and dangerous journey of discovery. Aimed at children or young at heart adults, the book is available now from this website.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.


 

COVID UPDATE – OCT 2020

Hello and welcome to our update on various things. Firstly, thank you to all of you who have been buying direct from our website – it is much appreciated. Thank you also for all the nice comments from customers old and new, it is always good to hear how you enjoy the books.
After a quiet Spring, things did pick up as lockdown eased across the country and people were able to get out walking again. We have been kept busy packing orders and also finally managed to get teams out rewalking the books that had new editions planned. I am happy to say that we are up-to-date with that, so new books should be appearing over the next few months. The one difficulty we have had is with the Easter Ross book. We were up there last week and checked most of the routes, but a couple of them need to be replaced, as the walks had become overgrown and could no longer be followed. This means a further visit is necessary and therefore the new edition of Walks Easter Ross & The Black Isle won’t now be available until next Spring. In some ways it is becoming our ‘Bond Movie’ with the release date perpetually delayed!

Thank you again to all of our customers, I hope that you all stay safe and well over the coming months and that we are all still able to enjoy some walking when and where we can.


 

COVID 19

Sitting in bright spring sunshine in Argyll, it is hard to totally take in the effect that the Coronavirus is having on us all.  From a work point of view, we have had to postpone planned re-walks in South Dartmoor, Grasmere, Keswick and Easter Ross.  This will mean that there is a delay in getting new editions of these guides out – however we will be monitoring the situation and re-arrange things as soon as it is practicable.  In the meantime, thank you to all of you who buy our guides – we hope that some walking is still possible over the coming weeks and months or at least planning for the time when things improve.


 

NEW EDITION FEBRUARY 2020

 

Walks North Peak District

Walks North Peak District

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by: Rob & Becky Coope

An initial attempt to rewalk our North Peak District book in March 2018 had ended up clashing with the ‘mini Beast from the East’.  We had booked a cottage (Loose Hill Lea in Shatton), which turned out to be a very comfortable base for what was a frustrating week’s walking – with only occasional forays into snow filled lanes in white-out conditions possible for the first couple of days.  When we did get out, deep drifts made any route checking impossible, so the book check was sadly abandoned.  We booked the same cottage for a second attempt and were rewarded on this trip with fine weather which enabled us to complete the routes.  Not having walked in the North Peaks before, we were greatly impressed by the area.  Few changes were needed to the write-ups – some previously muddy paths had been improved, some signage changed and some new gates installed in places.  
We arrived on a weekend, and soon found that car parks in popular areas such as Fairholmes and Ladybower Reservoir and those around Castleton quickly filled up, and the walks themselves were also very busy.  By Monday, most visitors had gone and the paths were much quieter.
In general the area is very compact, and less populated than the South Peaks.  It is not far to travel between walks, and you very quickly establish an understanding of the geography of the area, with many of the walks visible from others.
Particular highlights were the dramatic Hayfield to Kinder Scout, Cave Dale & Mam Torr, the circuit of Derwent Reservoir and Stanage Edge.  Many of the routes intertwine, so once you know your way around it would be possible to create any number of linking circuits in the area.  The routes covered in the book give an excellent selection of what is available at all levels.
With the area being so popular, there is a fine array of shops, cafés and pubs for the visitor to sample as well as the renowned caverns around Castleton to visit.  If you are not familiar with North Peak District as a waking destination then we can thoroughly recommend it.
For more details or to buy a copy, click here.

NEW EDITION FEBRUARY 2020

 

Walks North Dartmoor

Walks North Dartmoor

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by: Richard Hallewell

It was a real pleasure to revisit this beautiful area after seven years.  The name ‘Dartmoor’ conjures up images of bleak windswept moorland, with shaggy ponies sheltering from the mist and rain behind massive granite tors, but while there are a number of moorland walks to tors in this guide – including the short path to the spectacular Haytor Rocks (see left) – there is also a great deal of variety.  There are terrific woodland walks around Dartmoor, including the dramatic Lydford Gorge, the wooded valley below Castle Drogo and the gnarled moorland oaks of Black-a-Tor Copse.  Elsewhere, paths pass through conifer woodland, along the banks of lakes, through farmland and through the picturesque towns and villages of the area.
People have lived around the moor for a long time, and in addition to the thatched cottages, inns and churches, you will also pass the ruined castle at Okehampton, moorland crosses, stone circles and the much-photographed clapper bridge at Postbridge.  And, of course, the ponies, which graze freely on the moor.
The walks had not changed significantly since my last visit – in long-established walking areas like this they tend not to.  Some signposts have been replaced, but otherwise I simply altered some route descriptions which were no longer as clear as they had been.
Dartmoor is a terrific walking area, with much more to recommend it than just the long moorland paths for which it is famous.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

NEW EDITION FEBRUARY 2020

 

Walks Angus & Dundee

Author: John Fyfe

Rewalked by Richard & Maggie Legate

For walkers, the county of Angus is most easily visualised as three stripes, running north-east to south-west.  To the east is the coast, inland from that is Strathmore (farmland and towns), and furthest north and west are the Grampian Mountains, with a series of long, narrow valleys – the Angus Glens (see left) – burrowing in between the hills. Most of the walking is along the coast or around the glens.
The coast is surprisingly varied, with cliffs north of Arbroath, sand beaches at Lunan Bay and the wide tidal basin behind Montrose.  At the far south is the city of Dundee, made newly famous by the siting of the new V&A Museum overlooking the Tay Estuary.  The are fine coast walks in the guide – in particular the lineal cliff walk north from Arbroath to the old fishing village of Auchmithie.
The hill routes tend to be lineal; either linking the glens or crossing The Mounth to reach Royal Deeside (see Walks Deeside for descriptions of these crossings from their northern ends).  The Angus hills are often slightly neglected by walkers, who gravitate instead towards the higher – and more famous – peaks of the Cairngorms, but they shouldn’t be.  The Angus hills have a charm of their own, and the long crossings – Glen Esk to Glen Tanar over Mount Keen, or the paths between Glen Clova and Glen Muick – can provide a wonderful day’s walking.
There were few changes in the book this year.  The major adjustments are in Glen Doll (at the head of Glen Clova), where the waymarked routes are being altered.  The entry in the guide reflects the new (more restricted) range of walks.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.


NEW EDITION AUGUST 2019

 

Walks South Peak District

Walks South Peak District

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by Richard Hallewell & Becky Coope

Sprained knees and unexpected snowfalls have meant that the rewalking of this guide has been spread over two years.  There have been a number of changes to the routes since the guide was written.  Most dramatically, the old railway tunnels below Monsal Head have been opened to walkers and cyclists, and that is now reflected in the description of the circuit there.  Also, there has been some re-landscaping below the dam at Fernilee Reservoir, and that has changed the description, while work has been done improving the path around Tittesworth Reservoir.  That apart, most of the changes have been attempts to bring the descriptions of the various routes around Bakewell and the splendid Chatsworth House up to date, and to make them easier to follow – not easy, given the number of criss-crossing paths in the wooded hills and farmland in the area.
This is one of Britain’s most popular walking areas.  Apart from Chatsworth, highlights include the dramatic cliff-top walk above Matlock Bath, Thor’s Cave, Dovedale (see left) and the rocky ridge of the Roaches.  These aside, this is a beautiful place to visit; a mass of rounded hills, narrow dales and exposed, rocky edges.  The routes described give a good introduction to the area, but a look at the 1:25,000 OS map will provide walkers with plenty more routes to enjoy.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

NEW EDITION AUGUST 2019

 

Walks Wester Ross: Northern Area

 

Walks Wester Ross Northern Area

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by Richard & Maggie Legate

Wester Ross is one of the classic walking areas in the UK: a mass of abrupt, craggy hills, narrow inland lochs, long sea lochs and moorland paths.  The roads are few and winding (though the coast road is busier than it once was, due to the popularity of the North Coast 500) and there is only one significant settlement – the picturesque little whitewashed ferry port of Ullapool.  If you are planning to stay during busy periods, be sure to book accommodation in advance.
The area covered by the guide starts in the north with Stac Pollaidh – a typically dramatic north-western peak – then runs south past Loch Broom, Loch Ewe and Loch Gairloch before ending with the popular Red Point to Diabaig coastal walk along the northern shore of Loch Torridon (see left).  Other highlights include the circuit of the beautiful little headland at Mellon Udrigle, the fine hill crossing from Corrie Hallie to the secluded bothy at Shenavall, and the path into the road-less settlement of Scoraig.
There were few major changes to be made to the routes in this edition.  One of the bridges on the Loch Bad na Sgalag walks is still down, so you are advised to avoid that loop and stick to the clear track into Loch na h-Oidhche.  That apart, the major changes were to the system of paths in Flowerdale.  The waymarking has all been changed, but the entry has been updated and the main route – up to the waterfall at the top of the woods – is still easy to follow.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

NEW EDITION AUGUST 2019

Walks North Aberdeenshire

Walks North Aberdeenshire

Author: Luke Williams

Rewalked by Richard Hallewell

This is a beautiful area, starting in the moorland hills to the north of the Cairngorms, passing northwards through the hilly, wooded farmland of Strathdon, and ending at the string of towns and villages – Portsoy, Banff, Pennan – on the rocky coast of the Moray Firth.  In the north-east corner are the flat lands of Buchan, and the great fishing ports of Peterhead and Fraserburgh.  The walking is terrific and varied, though it tends to be overshadowed by the higher hills to the south and west.  Personal highlights include the coast walks passing the fishing villages of Crovie (see left) and Pennan, the dunes south of St Combs, the wooded circuit around the splendid Duff House, and the low ridge walk beside Glen Buchat.  In addition, there are a number of short walks laid out through the grounds of the fine castles and houses in the area which are ideal for families.

It is a while since we looked at this book, so small changes have needed to be made to most of the routes.  In addition, some of the older waymarked routes around Huntly and Strathdon have been removed (as they can no longer be followed on the ground) and replaced by three more recently waymarked routes from Strathdon.  That aside, the major problem at the moment is with the classic coast walk between Portsoy and Cullen, where the section between the village of Sandend and Findlater Castle is currently closed due to erosion and there is some further erosion on the path down to Sunnyside Beach.  There is a diversion in place for the path to the castle; beyond that, please take note of any new signs on the ground.  The route has been left in the book because it is a classic, and it is assumed that it will be re-opened in due course.

In general, if you have an old edition of this title it would be a good idea to get a replacement.  If you have yet to visit the area, I can highly recommend it.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

NEW EDITION JULY 2019

Walks Coniston & The Southern Lakes

Walks Coniston & the Southern Lakes

Author: Richard Hallewell

Rewalked by Richard & Maggie Legate

For walkers, this guide can almost be divided in two.  In the north, the routes described are classic Lake District walks: the climb up the Old Man of Coniston; the hill crossing from Coniston to Dunnerdale; the circuit of the peaks of Wetherlam and Swirl How.  This is Arthur Ransome country (the Swallows & Amazons books were largely based on Ransome’s knowledge of Coniston Water and the surrounding hills), with tight winding roads between stone walls, small fields, and herdwick sheep grazing on the fells.  It is also a post-industrial landscape, with the hills around the old mining village of Coniston riddled with disused copper mines and slate quarries (particularly impressive around Tilberthwaite – see left).  In the south, the hills decline into hilly farmland before joining the sea at the wide muddy expanses of Morecambe Bay and Duddon Sands.  Here the walking is very different, with gentle hill walking around Grange-over-Sands and Cartmel (the home of sticky toffee pudding!) and dunes and salt marshes around Barrow-in-Furness and Walney Island.  Both areas provide excellent – if very different – walking.
The usual small changes have been made to the route descriptions to keep the book up to date.  The only significant alterations are on the route climbing Latterbarrow from Hawkshead (where forestry work on the hill has completely transformed how the route looks on the ground) and on the loop between Dodgson Wood and High Nibthwaite, at the southern end of Coniston Water (where the pathless moorland section has been re-routed and rewritten to make the walk easier to follow).
For more details or to buy a copy click here.

NEW EDITION MAY 2019

Walks East Sutherland

Authors: Peter & Rosemary Koch-Osborne

Re walked by Richard Hallewell & Becky Coope

It has been some time since we looked again at the book for East Sutherland.  This has long been something of a forgotten area, overshadowed by the attractions of West Sutherland and Wester Ross to the west, and of Inverness and Loch Ness to the south, but its big empty spaces – and the fringe of villages and towns along the northern and eastern seaboard – are well worth a visit, and have become more visited recently as a result of the popularity of the North Coast 500 route.
Mention of the area will make most people think of the flow country – a vast expanse of banket bog dotted with innumerable lochans.  That landscape can be enjoyed from the short walks at Forsinard which lead to the impressive new wooden viewing tower, but the area has many more attractions.  The major addition to this edition, for example, are the new signposted walks in Migdale: a splendid area of mature, mixed woodland in a sheltered glen, managed by the Scottish Woodland Trust.  In addition, there are empty beach walks on the north coast (at Bettyhill and Invernaver (bottom left), for example, or along Armadale Bay, by the start of the new route to the deserted township of Poulouriscaig), and fine shore walks down the eastern coast (around Dornoch, linking Brora and Golspie, or by the side of the tidal Loch Fleet).  Inland, there are circuits through the rolling, empty moorland (pick a fine day for these; the charm of the area will be lost in the rain!)
As usual, there were plenty of small alterations to be made.  The guide has now been thoroughly updated, and we hope it will provide a useful introduction to an area which is often unjustly overlooked.
For more details or to buy a copy, click here.

 

REWALK/NEW BOOK MAY 2019

Walks Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

Authors: Luke Williams & Richard Hallewell

Rewalked 2019 by Richard Hallewell and Becky Coope

This is a restructured and expanded version of the old guide Walks The Trossachs, primarily changed because we wanted to include the western shore of Loch Lomond in the book.  The bulk of the walks (and the cover) are the same as for the earlier guide, but the name has been changed and three routes added to the west of the loch.
The most significant addition in the west is The Cobbler: one of the iconic climbs of the south-west Highlands.  The climb is short and steep, but tricky near the top.  The views from the ridge are spectacular.  In addition we have included 2 short walks to the west of the loch, the forest walk at Tarbet Isle and the short stroll to the splendid viewpoint at Falls of Falloch.
Although the routes in the rest of the book are largely unaltered, there is a mass of change in details and some new routes have been added.  The routes around Callander have been restructured, to make better use of the fine network of signposted routes which have been laid out around the town.  We have also added a new route – the circuit by the dramatic Bracklinn Falls.  The walks around Aberfoyle have also been improved and a new circuit by the River Forth from the village included.  Elsewhere, the description of the Ben Ledi route has been extended to become a circuit; a new signposted circuit has been added to the description of the route beside Loch Katrine giving a shorter there-and-back option from the car park at the east end of the loch; and the description of the path between Aberfoyle and Callander has been updated, to take note of the changes to the route on the ground.  In addition, there are a large number of small alterations to bring the text/maps up to date.
This is one of Scotland’s classic walking areas, with fine hill walks (Ben Lomond, Ben Ledi, Ben A’an), wonderful loch side paths and a variety of forest walks.  Since the establishment of the National Park in 2002, the area has become increasingly popular and considerable efforts are made to keep the paths and signposting in good order.  This is a gem of an area with walks to suit all abilities and a great range of services for visitors and well worth a visit.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.