There is no shortage of books about walking in Scotland, which means that any new one finds itself in a highly competitive market and needs to stand out from the crowd if it is to succeed. What sets Robin Howie's "100 Scotsman Walks" apart is the process through which the walks were developed and initially published. Robin Howie's is a very well known name in Scottish hillwalking circles, not least because for over ten years he has written a popular "Walk of the Week" column in "The Scotsman" newspaper every Saturday. The result is a nice book that will appeal to anyone looking for a day out as well as to armchair walkers.
The walks in this book are drawn from those first published in "The Scotsman". Those chosen for inclusion tend to be shorter low level walks that will appeal to the whole family and to anyone without the time or experience to embark on more challenging expeditions into the higher mountains. The walks are arranged within local authority areas, and each area has a map showing the location of the walks within it. Each walk starts with a key guide showing the distance an height gain, the nature of the terrain underfoot, the start point, likely time to complete the walk, nearest village, and recommended refreshment spot.
The key guide also identifies the Ordnance Survey map covering the walk. This is an important element as there no route maps in the book for individual walks. The detailed description of each walk that follows the key guide is more than sufficient to allow the reader to identify the course of each walk on a detailed map: and the absence of route maps from the book at least ensures no one will set out without first obtaining a detailed map. The distribution of walks across Scotland is quite good with, as is appropriate given the level of experience at which the book is pitched, a higher proportion in southern and central Scotland. The islands are not covered and the northern highlands feature only two walks, one of which is Foinaven, which seems a little challenging for the target audience of the book.