A promising haul

Pretty ghastly weather hereabouts recently, but I’m brewing up a whole list of walks to seize the day when the sun does shine. Or it stops raining. Either. Both. I’m not fussy.

With this in mind, I nipped into my local Oxfam bookshop to browse their selection of second hand OS maps. They had none of the ones I was looking for, but if you’re in the market for an impressive coverage of the Highlands at all scales allow me to point you in the right direction. Did someone just move down from up there or was someone intent on leaving nothing to chance in planning their Scottish holiday?

But I did get lucky when I moved onto the books. First up was this splendid compilation.


Minshull, D. (ed) (2000) The Vintage Book of Walking. London. Random House. (Sorry, I just can’t help myself)

OK, I admit that it was the cover that sold it to me. (That’s my favourite colour. I never said I was deep). Plus it promises to be glorious, funny and indispensable – who could ask for more? Quite how the original owner could have dispensed with it is a question that has been worrying me ever since. I have read no more than the first page so far but I see that it opens with a lengthy quote from the second volume which leapt off the shelf at me. I mean, what are the chances?

Yes, I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but who could resist this one?


Jebb, M. (1986) Walkers. London. Constable.

What is going on here? Hipster 1 appears to be looking down his nose at Hipster 2 who looks crestfallen for reasons which are unclear.  And what about the fellow on the left, he who only appears when the whole dustcover is unfurled? He’s desolate. I’m thinking there may be some stick envy going on, but I cannot decode it myself (although I will confess to having taken a shine to Hipster 1’s old school staff). The only cheerful creature in this little tableau is the dog, carefully pretending he’s not with any of them. It’s not exactly a great advert for the convivial joys of walking so I am eager to see how Mr Jebb moves on from this unpromising start.

Back on the map hunt, I went and plundered my Dad’s cartographic collection. Success. Latterly he has taken to marking up his maps with an enviable collection of highlighters to note his route, the date and even the direction of flow. He’s a civil engineer; one would expect nothing less.


OS Explorer 168

I don’t know quite what’s so special about Luckington but clearly it’s well worth the detour. Think I may have to take a look.




2 thoughts on “A promising haul

  1. I like the look of those books. May I recommend one? No Fixed Abode by Douglas Legg.
    I bought it online, loved it.
    The map thing: could be Munro Bagger getting rid of his Scotland maps. Can’t be done without a map but baggers don’t often revisit the area so the maps become surplus


    • Hello Heather, Thank you for this recommendation. I’ve just had a quick look at it on Amazon and it looks really interesting so I’ll keep an eye out for a copy. And yes, a walker who has bagged all the Munros could well have been the donor of all those Scottish maps. Hadn’t thought of that. Makes a lot of sense. I find it hard to get rid of maps myself but there is only so much space on the bookshelf after all.


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