REWALK JANUARY 2016

Walks Isle of Mull, Coll & Tiree Author: Paul Williams

Walks Isle of Mull, Coll & Tiree Author: Paul Williams

Walks Isle of Mull, Coll & Tiree Author: Paul Williams

Walks Isle of Mull, Coll & Tiree – Author: Paul Williams

Re walked by Richard & Maggie Legate

This book was actually rewalked last summer, but office moves and other ructions have slowed up its appearance as ‘news’.  Our apologies for the delay, but it does mean that if you buy the book now it will be the new edition.
This is one of Scotland’s classic walking areas, though less frequented than the busier Skye, Wester Ross, the Cairngorms and the Trossachs.  Mull has only one Munro – Ben More (3169ft/966m) – but a mass of smaller hills and some stunning cliff scenery, notably around Carsaig on the south coast of the island.  In the south-west there are also splendid beaches at Erraid and Tràigh Gheal, while near the northern end of the island is the handsome capital of Tobermory (and a fine short walk out to the lighthouse of Rubha nan Gall).  There are no major changes to the walks described in previous editions, apart from a reworking of the paths around Ben More.
Mull is large enough (about 60 miles, around the coast, from Tobermory to Fionnphort via the ferry terminal at Craignure) to merit a long visit, but as the full title of the book – Walks Isle of Mull, Coll & Tiree (see centre left), including Iona and Ulva – will suggest, this book covers not so much a single island as a small archipelago.  The routes on Ulva have been slightly remodelled, to include the short waymarked walks from the ferry pier, passing the wonderful, low basalt cliffs on the way (see bottom left) and excluding the more difficult circuit of the island which involved a tidal section at the west end.  The routes on the beautiful little island of Iona – south and north to the ends of the island, passing the Abbey on the way – have been left as they were.  Likewise, the walks on Coll and Tiree have seen only minor adjustments.  These are low-lying walks, often along white sand beaches (one of which is shown on our header on the Home Page) and rarely out of sight of the sea.
If you enjoy travelling by ferry and walking in relative solitude through stunning scenery, Mull and the surrounding islands are well worth a visit.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.


 

REWALK JULY 2015

Walks Fife Author: Owen Silver

Walks Fife Author: Owen Silver

Walks Fife Author: Owen Silver

Walks Fife Author: Owen Silver

Re walked by Bruce Anderson

In a way, guides like Walks Fife are what the Pocketwalks series is all about.  Anyone with an interest in walking already knows about areas like the Cairngorms, Wester Ross, Skye or the Trossachs, but fringe areas like the Ochils, Moray, Caithness – or Fife – tend to be ignored by the visitor.  In a way, this is understandable, but there is terrific walking in these areas for anyone who cares to explore – and the paths are often much quieter.  Fife has its industrial areas, but there are also some beautiful corners.
The two major attractions are the Lomond Hills and the Fife Coastal Path.  The coastal path now runs 117 miles/190km, from Newburgh on the Tay to Kincardine on the Forth.  The quality of the walking varies, but the best sections – around Aberdour; the path linking the East Neuk villages; around Fife Ness; west from Wormit along the Firth of Tay – are terrific.  As for the Lomond Hills, they are often sighted – beyond Loch Leven when driving the M90 between Edinburgh and Perth – but less often walked.  There is an extensive network of paths over the hills, and though the peaks are not high there is a fine variety of walking, and splendid views from the tops.  Plus, the picturesque little village of Falkland on the northern edge of the hills, with its Renaissance palace and Real Tennis court, is always worth a visit.
Elsewhere, there is plenty of variety, and plenty of history: the historic village of Culross, industrial heritage around Loch Ore, the path from the little village of Ceres to the old tower house at Scotstarvit, plus the routes around the splendid old university town of St Andrews.  Amongst the usual minor adjustments and updates to the guide, a new route has been added with historic interest: Inchcolm Island.  It is a tiny island, so the walk is not long, but there is a particular pleasure in visiting islands, and this one involves a fine boat trip under the Forth Rail Bridge (see bottom left) and the remains of the handsome Inchcolm Abbey (see middle left) – as well as a fine array of bird life.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.


 

REWALK MAY 2015

Walks Isle of Arran Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Isle of Arran Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Isle of Arran Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Isle of Arran – Author: Richard Hallewell

Re walked by Richard Legate

The areas covered by some of our mainland guides can appear arbitrary, but the island guides are more easily understood.  This guide covers the island of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, plus little Holy Island, in Lamlash Bay.
Arran is large enough (20 miles/32km by 10 miles/16km) to allow walkers to visit for a week and find new walking every day, and varied enough that they will be able to find something truly different each day.  This variety has led to the island being described as a ‘Scotland in miniature’, with a mountainous interior, low land around the coast, moorland and woodland.  The best known walk (and people will often visit the island purely to complete it) is the climb up Goatfell: a 2867ft/874m peak, surrounded by other peaks and ridges, which can be climbed directly from the ferry terminal in Brodick.  It is a terrific climb, and the views from the summit are as good as any in Scotland (seebottom left), but it would be a mistake to concentrate on this one walk to the exclusion of everything else the island has to offer.  There is a coastal path running right round the island, for example, and individual sections – notably the Cock of Arran, in the north, and the headlands between Brodick and Lamlash – provide fine walking.  Elsewhere, there is an excellent woodland walk to Glenashdale Falls, the path to the extraordinary standing stones at Machrie (see centre left), and the fine paths across the wooded slopes around Brodick Castle.
The population of the island is small – around 5,000 – but all services are available.  Also, navigation around the island is simple: there are only three significant roads and a good bus service.
The guide has been completely reworked and updated, but there have been no major changes.  There is currently significant forestry work being undertaken north of Sannox, but the changes to the existing routes are well signposted on the ground.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.


 

REWALK MARCH 2015

Walks Malham & The Three Peaks Author: Richard Hallewell
Walks Malham & The Three Peaks Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Malham & The Three Peaks – Author: Richard Hallewell

Re walked by Richard Hallewell

This book covers the south-western corner of the Yorkshire Dales: the area around Ingleton, Horton, Settle and Malham.  While the other two guides to the area are centred on a single dale – Wensleydale, Wharfedale – this guide is centred on the famous ’Three Peaks’ (Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent) and the network of paths around the stunning Malham Cove.  The Three Peaks are often undertaken as a single 23- to 26-mile route: whether for simple pleasure, as part of a challenge (the idea is to complete the walk in under 12 hours), or during the annual fell race.  In this guide they are undertaken one at a time!  The routes are clear, the paths well maintained and the views terrific.
Malham Cove is one of the great natural wonders in the UK: a curved, perpendicular curtain of limestone, 260ft/80m high and 1,000ft/300m wide.  Once, it was part of a massive waterfall, but now only a small stream emerges from a cave at the foot of the wall and winds down the valley below.  Most people simply walk up the short path from the little village of Malham to look at the cove, but there are a number of fine, longer paths through the area, visiting neighbouring (and almost equally dramatic) Goredale Scar, Malham Tarn and the limestone pavement above the cove.  Limestone pavements – extensive areas of exposed, flat limestone cut into a crazy mosaic by deep incisions – are one of the features of the area, and are met with on a number of the routes.
In fact, this is a terrific area for anyone with an interest in geology, with numerous cliffs, coves, caves, pavements and erratics (large boulders left littering the landscape after the retreat of the Ice Age glaciers), as well as narrow, rocky valleys and waterfalls.  More generally, it is just a spectacular walking area, and the beautiful little village of Settle provides an excellent base for operations.
The guide has been completely rewalked and updated, though only minor alterations were needed.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

REWALK JANUARY 2015

Walks Inverness & Loch Ness Authors: John & Trina Wombell

Walks Inverness & Loch Ness – Authors: John & Trina Wombell

Re walked by Richard & Maggie Legate

This guide covers the city of Inverness and the hills, lochs and glens immediately to its south and west.  Inverness has long been the administrative capital of the Highlands; an importance which is due entirely to its position.  The city sits at the northern end of the Great Glen: the massive fault line which runs north-east to south-west through the northern half of Scotland, and which has long been the main line of communication between the two sides of the country.  Nowadays, that means that it carries the A82, but from earliest times travellers journeyed by – or on – the string of lochs which fill the glen (a journey made easier, around 200 years ago, by the building of the Caledonian Canal).  The major feature of the Great Glen is Loch Ness: at 23 miles/37km in length and 755ft/230m at its deepest point the largest body of fresh water in the UK.
The bulk of the walks in this guide are in Inverness, by the canal, or by Loch Ness, with the remainder scattered amongst the surrounding hills and tributary glens (Glen Moriston, Glen Urquhart, Glen Affric), or on the low land west from Inverness, south of the Beauly Firth, towards the little town of Beauly.  Highlights include the views from the hill climb up Meall Fuar-mhonaidh, the extensive forest of Scots pine around Loch Affric, the canal-side walk south of Inverness and the old military road over the Corrieyairack Pass.
The guide has been completely rewalked, but though descriptions have been updated few significant alterations were needed.  For more details of the guide or to buy a copy, click here.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

NEW BOOK SEPTEMBER 2014

Walks Islay, Jura & Colonsay Authors: Paul Williams & Richard HallewellWalks Islay, Jura & Colonsay Authors: Paul Williams & Richard Hallewell

Walks Islay, Jura & Colonsay Authors: Paul Williams & Richard Hallewell

This month sees the publication of our guide to Islay, Jura and Colonsay.  Though they lie close together, the islands have different characters.  Islay – the largest and most populous – is very varied, with heather hills and moorland, fertile farmland, fine woodland, miles of magnificent sand beaches (photo top left – The Singing Sands) and tall cliffs (photo bottom left – The Soldier).  In addition, there are picturesque coastal villages, a wonderful range of bird life and the famous malt whisky distilleries.  The walking is varied and dramatic.  Jura, in contrast, is more mountainous, and comprised almost entirely of moorland hills – notably the famous Paps of Jura: a distinctive cluster of peaks visible from many places on the west coast – while Colonsay is like a smaller version of Islay, though without the extensive moorland.
Most visitors to Islay will reach it by the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries from Kennacraig (near Tarbert, on Kintyre), while Colonsay is usually reached from Oban (there are occasional alternatives: check www.calmac.co.uk for details).  Jura is almost always reached via the narrow crossing from Islay.  There is accommodation on all three islands (more on Islay, as you would expect) or it is possible to spend a week on Islay and visit the other two islands on day trips.
The walking is terrific.  The islands lack the scenic grandeur and scale of Skye or Mull – there are no Munros, for instance – but they make up for it in the variety and charm of the landscapes and there are many memorable routes: along the wide sands by Loch Gruinart; the track to the Gulf of Corryvreckan (see left) – one of the world’s largest whirlpools – at the north end of Jura; or the walk from Colonsay to the old priory on Oronsay across the tidal Strand.  For the walker – or bird watcher, or general tourist – this is an area well worth visiting.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

REWALK SEPTEMBER 2014

Walks Fort William & District Authors: John & Trina Wombell

Walks Fort William & District Authors: John & Trina Wombell

Re walked by Bruce Anderson

This book covers a big area full large, dramatic features: lochs, sea lochs, glens and mountains.  The biggest of the latter is Ben Nevis – the biggest of them all – and if it is not the most exciting climb in Scotland, it is one which many people feel obliged to do.  Avoid the effort if you are unfit or ill-equipped – the views, though stunning, are rarely visible, and it is cold up top, even in the Summer.
Other large features included in the guide are the Great Glen (this guide covers up to Invergarry; for the northern half look at Walks Inverness) and its southern extension, Loch Linnhe.  To the east is the stunning scenery of Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor; to the west the winding roads leading through moorland to Glenfinnan and Loch Hourn, with the Rough Bounds beyond.
For scale, variety and drama only Wester Ross and Skye can hope to match the landscape around Fort William.  As in those areas, we have avoided the routes better left to mountaineers and concentrated on paths through the mountains and up the lower hills (such as The Pap of Glen Coe – see left), but that should be enough for the casual walker: the walks and views (always assuming you manage to avoid the rain…) are outstanding.
The guide has been completely rewalked, but few significant changes were needed.  The only major alterations were to the organised paths around Glenfinnan, where there have been changes to the car parks and signposting.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.

 

REWALK JUNE 2014

Walks Caithness Author: Richard HallewellWalks Caithness Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Caithness Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Caithness Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Caithness is one of our slowest selling books, but one of my personal favourites.  Walkers tend to be drawn away to the hills of neighbouring Sutherland; explorers heading north keep straight on to Orkney or Shetland.  If it weren’t for John o’ Groats and Castle of Mey there would be nothing to bring it to the mind of the general tourist.  But Caithness is a unique little corner of the country: an undulating blanket of heather moorland dotted with countless lochs and lochans, edged by a selvage of good quality grazing land, with a final fringe of beetling sandstone cliffs and enormous sand beaches.  Windswept and treeless, with a tiny population and only two significant towns – Thurso and Wick – it has, nonetheless, a charm all of its own.  The wide silvery skies, low-slanting Sun, vast empty silence (on those occasional windless days) and peculiar field walls of flagstones buried on edge, are all typical of the place and unmistakable.
Besides these qualities, it is a splendid place for students of early archaeology, with a mass of burial cairns, stone rows and brochs.  Having entirely rewalked the book this Spring, we have included one new route – the short climb to Cairn of Get: a 5,000 year old burial cairn with an Iron Age fort nearby.  It is a short walk, but has the advantage that it allows us to mention the neighbouring Whaligoe Steps – not a walk at all, really, but an extraordinary place to visit: a flight of over 300 steps cut into a cliff to allow access to a tiny fishing harbour surrounded by cliffs.
That apart, there are just the usual alterations and updates to keep the descriptions as accurate as possible, but there is one general alteration to the county which is worth mentioning.  Not having been to Caithness for some years I was surprised by the scale of the new wind farms.  There is, perhaps, some logic in harnessing wind power in a place with so much wind, but it would be difficult to argue that the partial industrialisation of so stunning a landscape has been an improvement.

For more details or to order a copy click here.

NEW BOOK/REWALK MAY 2014

Walks Aviemore including Glenmore & Speyside Author: Richard Hallewell

Walks Aviemore including Glenmore & Speyside Author: Richard Hallewell

The old Walks Speyside guide has been completely rewalked.  This is one of our earliest books (1999), and covers one of Scotland’s most popular walking areas.  As with the East Perthshire guide, we felt that the old title no longer meant much to the casual visitor, so have brought the main walking centre – Aviemore – to the fore.  The walking is, of course, superb: the massive, rounded, Cairngorm Mountains; the long paths through the magnificent Caledonian pine forest around Loch Morlich; the more gentle hills of the Monadhliaths – the hill path from Aviemore to Carrbridge, via Sluggan Bridge, is a personal favourite (photo bottom left).
Few of the routes had changed to any degree.  The footbridge at Carnachuin, in upper Glen Feshie, was washed away in a flood and is yet to be replaced; there are some new signposts (and a new forest road) on the path from Drumguish to Glen Feshie; the forest walks at Glenmore and the little Uath Lochans have been altered, but otherwise most of the routes are much as before.  The one new route in the book is the path from Kingussie to Newtonmore via Loch Gynack: a pleasant, varied walk, staring through mixed woodland and ending over open moorland.
Most serious walkers will have spent some time in this area.  It was worth revisiting these walks – after a few years exploring other areas – to be reminded just what a terrific walking area it is.
For more details or to order a copy click here.

 

REWALK SPRING 2014

Walks Grasmere, Ambleside & Windermere - Author: Richard Hallewell
Walks Grasmere, Ambleside & Windermere – Author: Richard Hallewell

At the end of last year we rewalked one of our most popular guides.  Although the geographical area covered is tiny – the smallest of any of our guides – such is the density of good footpaths in the heart of the Lake District that this is a very strong selection of walks.  The hills are rugged; the lakes and tarns numerous and varied; the dales winding and beautiful.  And the whole area is criss-crossed by a web of footpaths which can be linked to make walks of any length.

Usually, Lake District rewalks are simple affairs.  The routes have been established for so long that there are rarely any major changes.  This time around things were slightly different.  Bridges removed (Great Langdale) or added (Skelwith Bridge); paths altered (Tarn Howes to Coniston) or removed (Brundholme Wood); the ever shifting paths on the east side of Loughrigg – virtually every route needed an alteration of some kind to bring it up to date.  Well, the changes have been made and the updated guide is now available (now at £2.50, to bring it more into line with the other books in the series).

This is a very popular area, of course, and very busy – it is some time since I braved walking around Ambleside in high Summer – but for sheer quality and variety of walking within a given area, the Lake District remains hard to beat.

For more details or to buy a copy click here.

NUMBERING THE SERIES

NUMBERING THE SERIES

Shortly after we published the first Pocket Walks Guide – Walks Deeside, in 1994 – it dawned on us that it might be possible to produce similar guides for the whole of Scotland, and that the existence of such a series – providing seamless coverage, split into small areas – might prove useful to the general walker.  Since then we have gently progressed towards that goal – slowed by rewalks and by enjoyable diversions into England along the way – and with the completion of the two Wester Ross guides we feel that the north of the country is sufficiently well covered that we can begin to number the series, north to south.

At present we have 29 Scottish guides (with another due this year: watch this space), describing 802 walks.  When we are finished there will be 38-40 guides, describing over 1,000 walks from Shetland to the Solway.  It may take a little while to reach the last area, but from now on we shall be showing the (rough) boundaries of the anticipated books beside those of the books which have been completed.  At this juncture I would like to pause to thank all those of you who have bought books from the series in the past, and who have passed on comments on the routes.  Good walking to you all!  Here’s hoping for a decent Summer, and I hope you will continue to find the new guides – and the completed series – useful.