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The Next Stop: Inverness to Edinburgh, station by station Paperback – 9 Mar 2014
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simon Varwell has an attractive anecdotal style reminiscent of Hunter Davies. For 'The Next Stop' he visited both the interesting and not so fascinating stations along this... Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2015 by susan holmes
What an interesting journey I had on and off the train from Inverness to Edinburgh with Simon Varwell. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2014 by Maureen Hunter