40 coast, moorland and mountain walks on all the isles of Uist and Barra
Author: Mike Townsend
Publisher: Cicerone Press Limited
This guide offers 40 walking routes on the Uists and Barra - a unique 100km cluster of islands in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. The walks are varied and graded, from short, flat beach walks beside crystal clear waters to long excursions across wild mountainous terrain, the routes visit all the major islands from Berneray to Vatersay but also those smaller and offshore such as Eriskay and Mingulay. Routes are described in four sections, by area, and illustrated with vivid colour photographs and OS mapping. Walking across these landscapes, especially the hill country, gives a sense of remoteness and peaceful solitude that cannot be found in the mainland's National Parks or on the Munros busy with peak baggers. Despite a relatively narrow area, Uist and Barra's diverse islands offer a contrasting walking terrain and many ancient historic sites such as chambered cairns and standing stones as well as lots of local wildlife. Upland areas are home to red deer and golden and white-tailed eagles, while along the coast grey seals are common and thousands of birds set up their breeding grounds in the machair. Daily flights between Glasgow and Benbecula as well as the ferry network mean that all of the islands are readily accessible.
The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra
Author: Mark Rowe
Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
adt's new guide to the Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra, by experienced writer and journalist Mark Rowe is the only full-size guide to focus solely on the islands of Lewis, Harris, St Kilda, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay. Masses of background information is included, from geography and geology to art and architecture, with significant coverage of wildlife, too, as well as all the practical details you could need: when to visit, suggested itineraries, public holidays and festivals, local culture, plus accommodation and where to eat and drink. Walkers, bird-watchers, wildlife photographers, beach lovers and genealogists are all catered for, and this is an ideal guide for those who travel simply with curious minds to discover far-flung places of great cultural, historical and wildlife interest. The Outer Hebrides is an archipelago of 15 inhabited islands and more than 50 others that are free of human footprint. Huge variations in landscape are found across the islands, from Lewisian gneiss, which dates back almost three billion years, to rugged Harris with its magnificent sands running down its western flanks and the windswept, undulating flatness and jagged sea lochs of the Uists. This is a land where Gaelic is increasingly spoken and ancient monuments abound, where stunning seabird colonies and birds of prey can be watched, and where the grassy coastal zones known as the machair are transformed into glorious carpets of wildfllowers in late spring and summer. Whether visiting the Standing Stones of Callanish, the Uig peninsula, Barra's Castle Bay, or historic St Kilda, or if you just want to experience the romance of the Sound of Harris, one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world, Bradt's Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra has all the information you need.
Over the course of a dozen years, Scottish plant collector Isobel Wylie Hutchison (1889?1982) explored northern latitudes from the Lofoten Islands of Norway to the far reaches of the American Aleutians. To achieve her goals, she traveled by any means available, from rowboats in Greenland to trading schooners and coast-guard vessels in Alaska. When necessary, she journeyed by snowshoe or sled in pursuit of her botanical specimens, accompanied only by strangers who served as guides. In Flowers in the Snow, Gwyneth Hoyle paints a vivid portrait of a woman gloriously out of the step with the conventions of her time.
Gary Sutherland was a lapsed golfer, until he acquired his late dad's putter. After studying a crumpled golf map of Scotland, Gary decided to embark on a voyage. His target was to play 18 rounds of golf on 18 Scottish islands in honour of his dad, a ship's captain who, when he wasn't at sea, was never off the golf course. His journey would take him from the Northern Isles to the Outer Hebrides. Playing in the Harris hail and Arran sunshine, he would encounter an odd variety of golfing hazards, including sheep on the tees, cows on the fairways and electric fences round the greens. This is golf in the raw - a million miles from St Andrews. It is a life-affirming tale of remembrance and discovery. It's about having a laugh and holding on to what's dear. And it's about a putter with magical properties. You can believe what you choose to, but it all happened...
When the rain stops falling and the mist clears there is no more beautiful place on earth than Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. Footprint’s Scotland Highlands & Islands gives you everything you need to get the most out of Europe’s last great wilderness: the loveliest glens and lochs, the spookiest places, the most evocative castles and most glorious beaches. • Great coverage of all the jaw-dropping scenery including national parks, mountains, castles, glens and lochs. • Comprehensive listings from B&Bs, bothies and baronial castles to where to enjoy a wee dram of malt whiskey • Loaded with information and suggestions on how to get off the beaten track, from puffin-spotting to horse riding • It includes fantastic mapping and inspiring color section to help you plan your way around the vibrant cities, stunning highlands and hundreds of islands. Footprint’s fully updated Scotland Highlands & Islands is packed with all the information you need to get the best out of this breathtaking region.
Legends & traditions from around the shores of Britain & Ireland
Author: Sophia Kingshill
Publisher: Random House
Pirates and smugglers, ghost ships and sea-serpents, fishermen’s prayers and sailors’ rituals – the coastline of the British Isles plays host to an astonishingly rich variety of local legends, customs, and superstitions. In The Fabled Coast, renowned folklorists Sophia Kingshill and Jennifer Westwood gather together the most enthralling tales and traditions, tracing their origins and examining the facts behind the legends. Was there ever such a beast as the monstrous Kraken? Did a Welsh prince discover America, centuries before Columbus? What happened to the missing crew of the Mary Celeste? Along the way, they recount the stories that are an integral part of our coastal heritage, such as the tale of Drake’s Drum, said to be heard when England was in peril, and the mythical island of Hy Brazil, which for centuries appeared on sea charts and maps to the west of Ireland. The result is an endlessly fascinating, often surprising journey through our island history.
John MacPherson, also known as ’The Coddy’, was one of the most renowned storytellers and characters of the Western Isles at the turn of the nineteenth into the twentieth century and beyond, and was the inspiration for Compton MacKenzie’s Whisky Galore. His warmth and personality shine through these stories, which are a wonderful mix of myth, tradition and anecdote. This edition includes a large number of traditional tales told in the inimitable style of The Coddy, grouped in a number of themed sections: Tales of the Macneils of Barra and Other Lairds - The MacLeods of Dunvegan - The Laird of Boisdale - Stories of Olden Times - Ecclesiastical Traditions - Place-names - Tales of Treasure - Tales of Local Characters - Stories of the Politician - Stories of Sea Monsters - Fairies, Second Sight and Ghost Stories - Witchcraft. For any student of folklore, for anyone interested in the traditions and history of the islands, or for anyone who simply likes a tale well told, The Coddy is essential reading. This edition is enhanced with a plate section consisting of period photographs of the Western Isles and informative notes on The Coddy and his stories.