Rucksack Readers has long represented the gold standard for long distance walking guides. Their guides have always been bright, attractive, light, waterproof and comprehensive, containing between their covers pretty much everything you really need to tackle the walk in question: from excellent mapping to route descriptions to background features to sources of additional information. They are also large enough for the mapping and other information to be readily usable "in the field". Considerable effort is also made to ensure their guides are kept up to date, with new editions being published to reflect changes on the ground. Some may remember their older, ring-bound guides. Their newer guides, printed in the format of traditional books, show a strong family resemblance to what went before but in our view are even more usable. And they certainly sit more neatly together on the bookshelf than their predecessors!
The third edition of "Arran Coastal Way" by Jacquetta Megarry is fully revised. It provides an "all you need" guide to the 65 mile or 105 kilometre Arran Coastal Way, though as most of the island's settlements are on the coast and most of its roads run round the coast, this is also - perhaps almost incidentally - an excellent guide to the Isle of Arran more generally. The author says in her introduction: "Arran's geology makes it ideal for coastal walkers. The shallow coastal fringe of its raised beach encircles the island, and the Coastal Way follows it closely, seldom diverting inland."
The book begins with an introductory section that helps those wanting to walk the Coastal Way to plan their expedition, setting out everything from facilities in different locations to tide awareness and bus and ferry routes. There are also nicely illustrated features about topics of relevance, such as the island's prehistory; whisky making on the island; and habitat and wildlife. The heart of the book comprises sections of route description and accompanying mapping at a scale large enough (1:55,000) to allow you to follow the Coastal Way in detail. There's also a description of an alternative to part of the route that takes in Goat Fell, the island's highest point.
This is an essential guide for anyone thinking of walking the Arran Coastal Way and recommended reading for anyone else planning a visit to Arran.