Tag Archives: Scotland

Of Mice, Men, Mountains and Motors

AS the celebrated Scottish poet Rabbie Burns scribbled in the year 1785: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley/an’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain for promis’d joy.” How true. In early July, amid the heat … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Hiking, History, Mountains, Poetry, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Days Like This, No 26: Following Footsteps in France

CHILDREN. We encourage them to be like us and share our interests. We expect them to grow into the shoes of their parents and reach for the heights we failed to attain. Sometimes they become images of ourselves. Sometimes they … Continue reading

Posted in Butterflies, Camping, Childhood, Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Geology, Hiking, Mountains, Napes Needle, Rivers, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Days Like This, No 25: The Constant Mountains

JUNE 2000: The most noble of plans sinks into dregs outside the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. I’m walking the West Highland Way, and today I’ve hiked the few miles along General Wade’s military road from Tyndrum to the scattering of … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Camping, Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, Life, Mountains, Railways, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day’s Like This, No 24: Beinn Alligin – Horns and All

BEINN Alligin lifts itself out of Upper Loch Torridon with the casual assurance of a big beast among a clan of big beasts. With walls of bare striated sandstone and ridges that slice the wind, Alligin is a monument to … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Environment, Fish and chips, Footpaths, Geology, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Days Like This, No 23: Slioch – The Unseen Mountain

A LONG drive through the night to a lay-by on the shores of Loch Maree. A snatch of sleep broken by an airless dawn. Noodles and tea for breakfast while midges sting eyelids and ears. Then to gaze into an … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

In the Valley of the Toril

PATHS. They begin at our door and run through our lives. They rise and buckle and lead us to unknown places. They appear in all guises: woodland paths; coastal paths; moorland paths; paths of righteousness; paths of destiny. Sometimes they … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Gerald Brenan, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Rivers, Ruins, Spanish Civil War, Threshing floors, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Forgive Them Their Trespasses?

IT’S a perfect spring morning in 1982. Arkengarthdale slumbers green and shadowy beneath a blue sky as we sit in damp grass and drink tea from tartan Thermos flasks. Nothing moves except the wind in the heather and the birds … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Caving, Climbing, Country Land and Business Association, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Environment, Footpaths, Highland Clearances, Hiking, History, Hunting, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Politics, Potholing, Ranting, Rivers, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments