Logo: small map of Scotland

InformationPaperback: 192 pages
Luath Press Ltd
1 August 2012
3rd Edition
ISBN-10: 1908373407
ISBN-13: 978-1908373403
Size: 16.8 x 11.8 x 1.4 cm
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Everyone with any interest in walking in Scotland will have heard of the West Highland Way, the country's most popular long distance footpath, which runs for 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William. Kevin Langan's "East Highland Way" as described in this superb little guide is less well known. It runs for between 82 and 85 miles (depending on choices you make about route options presented in the book) from Fort William to Aviemore. Because it is an unofficial long distance path, much of it is not waymarked, placing a higher premium on navigational ability (and on the clear route instructions presented in this book); and this also means that the infrastructure increasingly associated with the official long distance paths, like baggage carrying services, is inevitably less developed.

On the plus side, tackling the East Highland Way means you are much more likely to have the landscape to yourself than if you form part of the steady stream of people who can be found on any given stretch of the West Highland Way on most days of the year. The two routes are not, of course, mutually exclusive: it would be perfectly possible to walk the East Highland Way after walking the West Highland Way. And if you really did have a surfeit of time and energy, you could then pick up the Speyside Way at Aviemore and carry on walking...

Because this is a largely unwaymarked route, the quality of the guidance on offer is much more important than it would be on a waymarked route, and it is fair to say that Kevin Langan has produced a route guide that includes everything you could possibly want within a very small and beautifully produced package. Despite the book being small enough to fit into your pocket it packs in a wealth of excellent colour photography alongside maps produced specifically to show the route, and detailed instructions that read as if they have actually been produced on the ground and at the time, and which helpfully highlight possible navigational pitfalls. The book also finds space for information about many of the attractions passed on the walk, and a clear introductory chapter about the walk and about walking in Scotland. This really is an outstanding little book which can be recommended without reservation.

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