Author Topic: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland  (Read 2163 times)

adalard

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An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« on: 17:00:53, 30/01/18 »
Evening all,


Just came across this article on Twitter from Backpacker Magazine and I thought it was an interesting read, both from the point of view of an American park ranger visiting Scotland and also re: the information he provides on land ownership and access in the USA. Just in case anyone else might enjoy it, here you go:


https://www.backpacker.com/stories/scotland-right-to-roam


Cheers,  :)

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #1 on: 17:28:09, 30/01/18 »
I am not quite sure if Wales, has such a relaxed stance on a right to roam as does Scotland.
I suppose if you just leave footprints, and respect nature and land owners property, then you should be fine, but has anyone been challenged and told, that due to to certain restrictions, access to a certain area is denied.

Apart from the Epynt ranges beyond Brecon, during live firing exercises, are there any other parts of Wales that access is denied.


So far during my travels, i have not come across anywhere in Wales, both North and South, where i was denied access.

phil1960

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #2 on: 18:20:17, 30/01/18 »
The cnewr estate in my neck of the woods is closed for the lambing season officially, but Iíve not had a problem walking where I want to be honest. Even on Epynt their not that bothered as long as you stick to the main road and footpaths.
Touching from a distance, further all the time.

Thedogsmother

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #3 on: 07:47:57, 12/03/18 »
A fascinating read. Iím not entirely sure I agree with him about the absence of wildlife though. I think he must have been specifically thinking about larger animals.
A walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells

Owen

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #4 on: 21:16:47, 12/03/18 »
A fascinating read. Iím not entirely sure I agree with him about the absence of wildlife though. I think he must have been specifically thinking about larger animals.


I completely agree with him on this one, it's only when you go walking abroad that you realize just how barren Scotland is. There are large areas of the North-west that are little more than lifeless deserts. Because the knobs have shot or had shot everything except the deer and grouse (which are reared and released just for shooting). The idea of wildlife management is a sick joke, it's little more than the bloodlust of the idle rich.     

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #5 on: 10:33:24, 13/03/18 »
Everyone once in their life, should venture as far north  as possible in Scotland , to see what real remote countryside is like.
I stayed in Dornoch, which is less than 80miles from the very tip of the country at John O Groat's.

One of the trips on my holiday, involved a journey to see the Kyle of Tongue from our base in Dornooch.

The entire journey was up a well maintained single track road, through the Duke of Westminsters vast estate, the distance was only around 55miles, but it took us nearly two and a half hours to complete it.

There were one or two people building brand new properties in such desolate surroundings, that i thought they must be trying to escape from society.

No, until you have visited the very top of Scotland, nothing else in the British Isles can compare with it for desolation.


Islandplodder

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #6 on: 13:04:38, 13/03/18 »

I'm surprised he didn't see more birds.  But as TheDogsMother says, he may have been thinking of larger animals.  And things like otters aren't unknown, but you have to sit around for a while to see them.   I suppose when the area is so big, the wildlife has plenty space to keep out of your way.
It's odd though, when I go back to England I am always slightly surprised that I can't walk pretty much anywhere, and having to skirt round farms instead of waving and stopping for a chat.  You get used to the 'right to roam' thing incredibly quickly.


jimbob

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #7 on: 14:05:24, 13/03/18 »
Dyffryn did you really mean desolation? I could understand isolation, but desolation (synonyms:barrenness, bleakness, starkness, bareness, dismalness, grimness; aridity, sterility;)?
Too little, too late, too bad......

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #8 on: 18:54:09, 13/03/18 »
From the Kyle of Tounge to around five miles outside Dornoch, there was not a single petrol garage or village shop, and the scenery unlike the Western Highlands was desolate and barren, like the Denbigh moores on a mamoth scale.
No point in getting annoyed that you forgot a pint of milk in this desolation, as the nearest grocery shop was around 50miles away, down this single track road, the best maintained bit of single track highway ive seen anywhere in the Uk, like a billiard table, no pot holes, and beautifully maintained.

There was no grass growing in the middle, to indicate how infrequent traffic was in this part of the Uk, it was a credit to them Scots.

Maybe it would have been quicker to visit Ullapool, but no, thats 82miles distant, in a southerly direction, down another single track highway.


It took the experienced coach driver nearly 3hrs to drive the road from the Kyle to Dornoch, and he does the route regularly, as he was a local resident, employed by Shearings, so he knew the road well.

Forward planning to get the local shopping in, takes serious consideration, and heaven help you if your car breaks down, or runs out of fuel.


I never tried my mobile phone signal there, what a shame, but if its on par with Mid Wales, around the Llanbrynmair area, it will be non existent.


We did see a regular Tescos delivery van coming towards us, in the middle of nowhere, but i pitty the poor driver who has to accomplish this manouver in the winter months.

There is remoteness and a desolate landscape, that even people living in Inverness cannot comprehend, ive never seen such remote habitation anywhere on the British mainland.

If your the antisocial type, move to the NE area to the west of Dornoch.,  ive never seen such isolated properties, miles from the nearest shop or family entertainment.
« Last Edit: 19:16:03, 13/03/18 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Islandplodder

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #9 on: 20:10:31, 13/03/18 »

I have been entertaining myself with a road atlas, trying to work out how you got from Kyle of Tongue to Dornoch without going through any towns.
And don't worry, if you break down in the highlands you ring the AA like everywhere else. It works, I've done it.

Thedogsmother

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #10 on: 23:31:32, 13/03/18 »
If your the antisocial type, move to the NE area to the west of Dornoch.,  ive never seen such isolated properties, miles from the nearest shop or family entertainment.


Sounds absolutely heavenly to me. Iím trawling Rightmove as I type!
I agree with you. I think it is good to experience the sheer vastness of this incredible area. There canít be any truly wild totally untouched places in the UK. Except possibly some remote inaccessible cliff faces somewhere in the west of Scotland. However to get a real feeling of wildness this would be the place to do it.
A walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #11 on: 14:21:54, 14/03/18 »
Just checking my map, the coach driver followed the A838 from the Kyle of Tounge towards Durness, and bared off at Laxford Bridge heading towards the shores of Loch Shin.
The A838 is single carriageway its entire length, and boy does it venture through remote countryside.

The only habitation were very small villages, none of which had a village shop, which i found amazing considering how remote they were.

The only petrol garage i remember seeing was way back at the Smoo Caves near the Kyle.

Rescue service membership is essential for anyone daring to attempt this area of the North Coast 500.

Breaking down on the A838 heading towards Loch Shin,  would not bare thinking about.

Unless you have visited this part of Scotland, you cannot really comprehend how quiet and unpopulated the area is.

Even in the height of summer, traffic is still very lite, come Autumn and Winter, you may not encounter a single vehicle all day.


What other part of the Uk mainland can you experience that kind of solitude and being possibly the only person in many miles.

Its a remoteness and solitude i will never forget, but i would love to venture back to this part of the Scottish Highlands again some day.


Check out the short but excellent YouTube video titled "GB Road Trip North Coast of Scotland Driving the A838 route"


It will give us an idea of how stunning this part of Scotland is.
« Last Edit: 14:31:28, 14/03/18 by Dyffryn Ardudwy »

Owen

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #12 on: 15:20:39, 14/03/18 »
Actually the A838 has a huge amount of traffic on it, it's becoming the "in" road trip to do. A couple of years ago we had a German caravan club turn up in an approximately 500 vehicle convoy. They caused chaos on the single carriageway and the Police had to break them up into smaller groups just to keep the traffic flowing.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #13 on: 15:46:47, 14/03/18 »
Just imagine if my Shearings coach had been coming in the opposite direction when Germany invaded Scotland.
Who would give way ?   Mrs Merkel or Mrs Sturgeon.

My pound (not funny munny Euro) would be on Mrs Sturgeon, tough cookie that one.

Owen

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Re: An American Perspective on Hiking in Scotland
« Reply #14 on: 16:11:40, 14/03/18 »
Hardly the place for politics.