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Hamish's Groats End Walk: One Man & His Dog on a Hill Route Through Britain & Ireland [Paperback]

Hamish M. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Mar 2011
Soon after completing the first continuous round of the Munros and publishing th ephenomenally successful Hamish's Mountain Walk, Hamish Brown took to the outdoors and writing full time. With his famous Shetland Collie, Storm, he walked from John O'Groats to Lands End over the summer of 1979. A historical snapshot the resulting book is also an in depth look at these islands. Hamish took his time to meet people and to search out the soul of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. The result is the classic Hamish's Groats End Walk.

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Hamish's Groats End Walk: One Man & His Dog on a Hill Route Through Britain & Ireland + Hamish's Mountain Walk (Non-Fiction)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Sandstone Press Ltd (10 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190520759X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905207596
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 677,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great walking adventure 21 Mar 2011
By Deep Reader VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like his earlier Mountain Walk classic, Hamish Brown's Groats End Walk has served as an inspiration to several succeeding generations. Hamish Brown, as all who know him are aware, is a great teacher and encourager and these two books have led many into the outdoors, both onto the mountains and into long distance, self sufficient walking. Republished now with substantial revisions by the author, the text also serves as a window on an era recently departed. No mobile phones, no emails or home computers, the two delightful full colour photo sections were taken as slides and are now cleaned and scanned to bring back that earlier world. In some respects what is most remarkable is how little the various hill countries have changed. In others it is all so different. A delightful book, Hamish's Groats End Walk returns in its new form as a companion to Hamish's Mountain Walk, a 'must have' for all lovers of outdoor literature, Scottish, British and of world standing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic walk through the British Isles 10 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A superb account of Hamish's long trek from John O'Groats to Lands End, but with a difference. Not the direct route for Hamish, instead he walks out towards Cape Wrath, and then down his preferred route through Scotland, and embarking the 'wrong' way down the Pennine Way, diverging at Dufton to walk out and through the English Lake District. After returning and completing the PW he heads through Cheshire to Snowdonia, crosses to and through Ireland, down the Cambrian spine before finally finishing through the fine hills of the South West to Lands End.

Much of the account is told with warm humour, not least the debates with some B&B and pub owners as to access for him and his dog! Along the way he meets many like-minded folk, and he recounts of friendship and time spent with them and their shared values of long distance walking, the hills and the beauty of our British country. There's great hill information and guidance on wild camping too; accordingly Hamish's Groats End Walk may set up many an idea for long distant backpacking trips for the reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and entertaining 21 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very good book. I have always been aware of it as a mountain classic but have never got round to reading it until now. I am currently three-quarters of the way through it and will have that childhood sense of regret that it is over when I come to the end - a sign that I am living inside the book which is a great credit to the author. As well as an enthralling and entertaining narrative it is also informative about the flora and fauna of the country through which Brown traveled it is highly suggestive to anyone looking for footborne routes through Britain and Ireland.
It is well written with engaging prose even if on the odd occasion the prose is little overworked. Above all though, he has the popular novelists knack for well-paced narrative that keeps you up an hour later at night than you intended. Like Buchan in many ways. A real achievement given the 'then we arrived in ... then we went to...' format.
One difference of opinion rather than complaint, however. The opening chapters prate a bit about the dismal state of the human world in a slightly naive and irritating way. For example, criticisms of modernity laid at the feet of 'the scientists' and others as if they represented an identifiable interest group or community rather than being employees and professionals woven into complex structures of the state, NGOs, multinationals and business. They do not sit around setting their own agendas but are part of the market and state system for better and for worse. In part, this seems to stem from a strain of misanthropy in some 'outdoor' writing. It is also part of the rhetoric of a sloppy sort of uncritical environmentalism.
Having said this, I would not have taken the time to write this at such length if I did not think this book a great contribution to its genre. Moreover, Mr Brown's record as an educationalist and historian as well as a writer about hills and walking more than testifies to his engagement with humanity.
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