By: Blonde Two

Last week, just before Mr Blonde Two and I departed Dartmoor (the UK’s most southerly National Park for the Cairngorms (the UK’s most northerly National Park), I had a very exciting parcel drop onto my doormat.Walking in the Cairngorms 1The parcel came from the lovely folks at Cicerone and it contained a copy of their ‘Walking in the Cairngorms’ book; which I am going to do my very best to review for them while I am away.

A first stroke of the book (doesn’t everybody stroke new books) told me that I immediately liked it; it is obviously a book that has been designed for the mountains. It has a flexible plastic cover (are we expecting rain), it is pocket sized (large trouser leg pocket) and it has shiny paper (are we expecting sunshine)

Inside is just as exciting, with an amusing introduction to the author Ronald Turnbull; followed by an impressive list of over 100 walks and Bimbles. It is difficult, when you go to a new area, to know exactly where to walk. Buying (the correct) Ordnance Survey maps helps, and you can stumble on a trail or route that is perfect for you. However, this is more likely to happen after a few wasted days of over populated tracks (I know – I am a tourist too) or what I like to call Forestry-Trail-Losers.

The Cicerone guide has whet my appetite for a variety of walks and Bimbles. It offers plenty of choice; I would like to bag at least one Munro (it would be my first); but holidays aren’t all about the more challenging “long steep rough ascents; rocky ground and scrambling”. ‘Walking in the Cairngorms’ provides tempting glimpses of riverside ambles, forest exploration (without getting lost) and loch circumnavigation. I definitely have that, ‘I want to go there.’ feeling. What more could a Blonde want?

There are lots of pictures (always good for a Blonde) and both OS maps and unique ‘sketch maps’. The level of information looks appropriate and helpful, and to be honest, I can’t wait to get walking!Walking in the Cairngorms 2So thanks very much to the  Cicerone folks; I’ll let you all know how I get on with my shiny new book when I get back. Hopefully it will bear a couple of battle scars by then!