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23 books to discover Scotland with

Genre: Adventure, Environment, Nature, Scotland, Travel
Age group: Adults

Take an armchair journey through Caledonia

Scotland packs a lot into its 30,000 square miles. Stunning vistas, romantic ruins, remote islands, bustling cities, craggy mountaintops and a beach with water bluer than the Caribbean. Would you care to learn more? Step into one of these books and embark on a fascinating journey of discovery.

George MacKay Brown Following a Lark

This collection of poetry peels back the layers of history around the Orkney islands – from Norse crusaders to solstice and equinox ceremonies.

Iain Banks Raw Spirit

In a bid to uncover the unique spirit of the single malt whisky, author Iain Banks undertook a tour of the distilleries of his homeland. His tour of Scotland combines history, literature and landscape in a fun, memorable journey.

John D. Burns Bothy

Travel with author John Burns as he introduces you to the whole cast of characters he meets in the mountain shelters he visits. A mixture of emotional and humourous, people share with him stories of journeys through the wilderness seeking solace and the self. Try to resist the urge to grab your walking boots and rucksack and go exploring!

John Barrington Red Sky at Night

John Barrington's work as a shepherd in the hills overlooking Loch Katrine is marvelously interwoven with the story of the glen, of Rob Roy in whose house John lived, of curling when the ice is thick enough, and of sheep dog trials in the summer. Whether up on the hills or along the glen, John knows the haunts of the local wildlife. He sets his seasonal clock by the passage of birds on the loch, and jealously guards over the golden eagle's eyrie in the hills.

James Crawford Wild History

James Crawford explores the traces of the history hidden and often isolated across the Scottish landscape. Off the beaten path, he visits and shares the stories of lost landmarks, reclaimed by nature and without a plaque to explain their significance.

Mike Cawthorne Wild Voices

The journeys in this book are tales of adventure on foot and by canoe through some of the last wild places in Scotland. Each journey is haunted by the ghost of another writer who has left behind the trace of his or her own experience of these isolated hills, glens, streams or lochs.

Anne Lorne Gillies Songs of Gaelic Scotland

Discover Gaelic music from across the Highlands and Islands in this acclaimed anthology – with included English translations of lyrics, and commentary on the social and historic context of each song.

James Hunter On the Other Side of Sorrow

The clash between local needs and the push of the environmental preservation movement is deeply probed in this sensitive, thought-provoking book.

Jonny Muir Isles at the Edge of the Sea

Beginning on Arran, Jonny Muir sets out to explore these places with a single ambition: to reach the faraway St Kilda archipelago, the islands at the edge of the world.

Peter Wright Ribbon of Wildness

The Watershed of Scotland is a line of water that separates east from west. The changing vistas, wide panoramas, ever present wildlife, and the vagaries of the weather, are delightfully described on this great journey of discovery.

Charles W J Withers Christopher Fleet Margaret Wilkes Scotland: Mapping the Nation

A beautifully illustrated history of Scotland, told from the innovative perspective of maps and map-making.

Jane Smith Wild Island: A Year in the Hebrides

Depicting a year in the life in the remote island of Oronsay, this is a book for anyone interested in wildlife, for art lovers, for tourists wanting a memento of their holiday, for everyone who loves the west coast of Scotland.

Madeleine Bunting Love of Country

A journey delving deep into Hebridean history and culture that tells of how these Islands on the fringes of Britain helped shape our nation, and how the nation imposed its will on the Islands.

John Lister-Kaye At the Water's Edge

Drawing on Kay's lifetime of close observation, At The Water's Edge encourages us to look again at the nature around us, to discover its wildness for ourselves and to respect and protect it.

Anne Cholawo Island on the Edge

Anne describes her extraordinary transition from a hectic urban lifestyle to one of rural isolation and self-sufficiency, as well as the history of Soay and its unique wildlife, and the off-beat and colourful characters associated with the island.

Alan Taylor Glasgow: the Autobiography

Glasgow: The Autobiography tells the story of the fabled, former Second City of the British Empire from its origins as a bucolic village on the rivers Kelvin and Clyde, through the Industrial Revolution to the dawning of the second millennium.

Adam Nicolson Sea Room

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be given your own remote islands? Thirty years ago, it happened to Adam Nicolson, when he found himself in charge of one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Alastair Dunnett David Paterson Dorothy Dunnett The Scottish Highlands

Following a path from Argyll to the islands to the northern Highlands, the Dunnetts combine personal memories of Scotland with an anecdotal history interwoven with the legends and myths of one of the most beautiful countries on earth.

Garry MacKenzie Scotland

This enthralling guide gets under the skin of the country through the writers who lived in or visited Scotland, as well as those who simply imagined it in their work - from Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and the Scots 'Makars' of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to Keats, Coleridge and Robert Louis Stevenson; from Gaelic bards and anonymous balladeers to Hugh MacDiarmid, Jackie Kay, Ian Rankin and Kathleen Jamie.

Andrew Greig At the Loch of the Green Corrie

A fishing trip honouring a dying man's wish becomes a meditation on life, nature and friendship, a literary biography and a celebration of the beauty of the Highlands of Scotland.

Dan Boothby Island of Dreams

After more than 20 years of drifting, Boothby found a place to land, immersing himself on a tiny island on the western seaboard of the Highlands of Scotland.

Alistair Moffat The Hidden Ways

Moffat traverses the lost paths of Scotland, down Roman roads tramped by armies, warpaths and pilgrim routes, drove roads and rail roads, turnpikes and sea roads, tracing the arteries through which our nation’s lifeblood has flowed in a bid to understand how our history has left its mark upon our landscape.

Cameron McNeish There's Always the Hills

Follow Cameron's journey from his childhood in Glasgow to fulfilling his life long dreams, living and working in some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth and meeting many of the great characters of the outdoor world.