By: Blonde Two

Which is your favourite region of Scotland for walking?

Where do you head for when you want to go walking in Scotland? We usually make a mad dash as far north as we can get in our rush to reach the Highlands and Islands.

It’s hard not to.

Hard enough perhaps to choose between the majesty of the Cairngorms, the fascination and history of Speyside, and the misty sultriness of the West Coast islands. Without considering the lovely lands of the Borders, the forests of Dumfries and Galloway, and the myriad of lochs in between. Perhaps the answer is to take a longer trip. A couple of months maybe to explore at will, and really get to know the Scottish countryside, and some of its fascinating towns and cities.

Dumfries and Galloway

Last year Mr B2 and I found ourselves crossing the border without adequate time for our usual mad drive north. No NC500 for us, and not our usually pilgrimage to the mountains around Aviemore either. Instead we enjoyed five wonderful days in the southwest of Scotland on the Rhins of Galloway peninsula.

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs

One area we sometimes find ourselves driving through instead of stopping to properly enjoy is Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. As we cruise through the scenery I often find myself wishing we had planned a stay, and found time for walking (or indeed swimming and cycling). We’ve managed van picnics on the banks of the Loch but never really given the area the opportunity to show off its ‘away from the road‘ persona.

This could all be about to change as I’ve just received a copy of Vertebrate Publishing’s Day Walks in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs. If this book has been designed and written to tempt even the most reluctant of walkers off the beaten track, I’m sure it is going to be successful. One evening’s perusal had me eager to visit (but almost certainly not climb) The Cobbler, surmount Beinn an Lochain (a former Munro), and finally get to the top of the Scottish Ben Lomond (I climbed the New Zealand version 34 years ago).

One thing I really love about Vertebrate’s walking guides is their proper and safe use of local guides. Gerald McGarry clearly loves his landscape, and presents it with honesty (mostly about visitor numbers) and humour. For example, following a legend about how the Devil flicked his tail to create the Whangie, he says, ‘Obviously this is the most likely cause of the rock split, but some try to explain it using science.‘ Then goes on to do exactly that in clear and precise terms.

Scotland in autumn

Mr B2 and I are considering a trip to Scotland this autumn. Looking at my growing itinerary, I think we’ll be needing at least three months!



Tuesday’s Ten – Things about Scotland

Ordnance Survey Road Maps – Scotland