Wel­come

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Contents - Guy Proc­ter, Ed­i­tor

ne of my ear­li­est mem­o­ries of the coun­try­side is of a fam­ily camp­ing trip to Glen Etive, which is an off-shoot of Glen Coe. I re­mem­ber it as a val­ley of in­cred­i­bly steep sides lid­ded with a deep blue sky, of a mag­i­cally clear River Etive gar­gling great pink gob­stop­pers of gran­ite, and of moun­tain tops loom­ing above and around me like Greek gods gath­ered in stern con­fer­ence. It was at once heart-soar­ingly glam­orous and bowel-freez­ingly for­bid­ding – a world for big­ger folk than me (well I was only seven or so at the time).

In a way I think that set the tem­plate for how I would grow up feel­ing about Scot­land – the coun­try that was Too Big For Me. (My friend the OS map seemed to desert me too – leav­ing al­most all those moun­tains with­out the re­as­sur­ing stitch of a path. And where did that nice Mr Wain­wright go?)

Plan­ning walks in places like the Lake Dis­trict or the Peaks by com­par­i­son seemed as easy as sling­ing a meal in the mi­crowave. But I grew up won­der­ing about the inchthick steak, ex­otic veg and purga­tive roughage I felt a diet of Scot­tish walk­ing might pro­vide. Which is why I love this is­sue. It’s the host I wish I’d had at the feast to which I wasn’t sure I’d ever be in­vited. And do you know what? It turns out all I needed to bring along was my ap­petite!

This month I’ve been... 1 Rev­el­ling in the heat and the light and colour of a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally lovely May. And that stream that was warm and deep enough to swim in.

3 Rem­i­nisc­ing about a camp­ing trip to Glen Etive in the High­lands, where my men­tal poster-im­age of Scot­land was formed.

2 Doz­ing among a mil­lion dan­de­lions – a re­li­able and im­por­tant source of food for bees and but­ter­flies.

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