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The Next Stop: Inverness to Edinburgh, station by station Paperback – 9 Mar 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (9 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1494922959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1494922955
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,079,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Simon Varwell is a travel writer from Inverness, in Scotland. He has visited over thirty countries, but has a keen interest in local exploration and the obscure and unusual that lurks in unlikely places. He is the author of three books.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
REVIEW: The Next Stop: Inverness to Edinburgh, Station by Station – by Simon Varwell

When Simon Varwell set out on his big railway adventure, he wasn’t altogether heading into the unknown. He was already familiar – perhaps even over-familiar – with the full length of the Inverness to Edinburgh line. What made his journey special – probably unprecedented, in fact – was that it entailed getting off and exploring every town and village on the route.
On any routine journey from one end of the line to the other, these are places that would be bypassed with barely a desultory glance from the carriage window. From the Highlands to Perthshire, on to the Fife coast and either side of the Firth of Forth, Varwell was determined to find out something about the history and character of each one of these twenty-odd communities and whether it would be worth returning for a longer visit.
The result is The Next Stop: Inverness to Edinburgh, Station by Station.
Varwell aimed to spend a minimum of two hours in each place (a rather flexible time limit, as it turns out), with a few essential overnight stays. And he was rewarded with some delightful experiences. Newtonmore and Markinch are among those that fall into the category of pleasant surprises – and I for one am interested to see there is someone else who finds it mildly exciting that Raith Rovers’ football ground can be glimpsed from the train when trundling through Kirkcaldy.
Some other destinations fail to capture Varwell’s imagination in quite the same way, having lost whatever importance, vitality and sense of purpose they might once have had.
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Format: Paperback
The motto of Queens Park FC in Glasgow is 'ludere causa ludendi', which translates as 'to play for the sake of playing'.

A Latin scholar could usefully come up with a similar motto for Simon Varwell, 'to travel for the sake of travelling'. This well-written wee book is classic Varwell - he doesn't scope out unusual or exciting destinations for his travel writing. Rather, he finds a hook and then does it. His previous books covered his travels around the world for places with the word 'Mullet' in their names. This book's destinations are chosen simply because they are stops on the Inverness - Edinburgh railway line. Some of these places are mundane, dull and/or unattractive. Some are quaint, interesting, beautiful and/or historic. Varwell visits them all regardless, and writes honestly, personally and amusingly about his journey.

To see the beauty in the mundane and the story in the banal is one of Varwell's gifts, and I recommend this book for lovers of Scotland, for anyone who does the Inverness - Edinburgh journey, and for those who, like Varwell, believe in travel for the sake of travel.
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Disappointing. I'm a regular traveller along the route and thought this book might provide some interesting insights into the places that, like the author, I regularly pass through rather than exploring. It started off well enough, but as the book progressed the reviews of each stop got shorter and shorter and the author spent more and more time telling us how bored he was with the whole affair and how many train fares he'd been able to dodge paying. This boredom showed itself in the writing style, which was lively and amusing to begin with but soon became humdrum. Fare dodging is not something to be proud of. If the guard/conductor doesn't come by to collect a fare on the train that doesn't make it right. Tickets for any journey leg can be bought online or at staffed stations and since the whole trip was planned in advance, tickets could have been purchased in advance. Maybe the author would like to donate a portion of his royalties to charity by way of penance?
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