"Scotland's Countryside Parks, Volume 1, West" by Tom Prentice is an invaluable and very nicely presented book which achieves what you might have thought to be an impossible feat in opening up a new and hitherto underexplored area of Scotland for enjoyment by walkers. OK, that's slightly misleading, as what you find between the covers isn't information about some previously undiscovered island. Rather it covers a series of areas which have for far too long been hiding in plain sight and as a result are much less well known than they deserve to be.
Mica Publishing have a tendency to provide helpfully informative subtitles, and here we find another: "60 Walks in Scotland's Country Parks, Country Estates & Regional Parks." What you find are 60 very nicely illustrated and mapped walks in countryside parks mostly accessible by public transport and close to urban centres such as Glasgow, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell, Airdrie, Paisley, Greenock, Ayr, Kilmarnock, Dumfries and Stirling: though including the Ayrshire coast and the Isle of Arran.
Scotland's country parks and estates, and its regional parks, are a remarkable resource for anyone wanting to spend some time in the open air. And if you visit you tend to find them well used. But listen to those around you when you visit and you rapidy come to understand that while these parks are well known and highly appreciated by those living nearby, they are much less well known, still less appreciated, by visitors to, or passing through, the area. What is needed to broaden their appeal is a book which illustrates the best of what each has to offer, sets out a little of the background, and provides a focus for a visit in terms of a specific walk or walks you can do for yourself. And that is exactly what Tom Prentice has achieved with this book, which has succeeded in being enjoyable to read while at the same time prompting the reader to take action and dig out their walking boots. We will certainly be using it to help improve our knowledge of some of the parks it covers: and we very much look forward to what we presume will be a follow-up volume covering the east of Scotland.