The Scottish Islands: The Bestselling Guide to Every Scottish Island Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008
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About the Author
Hamish Haswell-Smith, now retired from his own architectural practice, is a qualified yachtmaster who has sailed extensively among the Scottish islands. His sketches and paintings, some of which illustrate the book, have been exhibited in many top British and European galleries.
From the Back Cover
'As a reference source Haswell-Smith's book is invaluable . . . a monumental labour of love that communicates the author's own passion for island hopping and combines it delightfully with his further as painter and artist.'
Fully revised and updated, this is the only book with detailed information of every Scottish island and, for island hoppers, the original definitive list of the 162 'Haswells'. Beautifully illustrated with the author's own maps, sketches and painting, this wonderful guide will take you everywhere, whether in dreams or afloat.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a steal even at this price. Nothing compares - not the Clyde cruising club, not even Martin Lawrence.
My only quibble is with Hamish's official island list; he's gone over the top with respect to island definition. ie: I think Skye is still an island and an island is an island if it's surrounded by water at high tide, never mind if it dries out at low water and there are brilliant islands which fall off his official headcount 'cos they're too small, like Staffa (but note his text covers Skye and Staffa admirably).
Maybe I'm an obsessive island list-ticker - a marine Munroist - a real sad git!!!??? I'm planning to put the real list on the web soon!!
We have visited many Scottish islands and wish we had bought this book years ago as a companion and pre-visit taster.
Buy it - you won't regret it. In fact, it will be a treasure of your library. It's the sort of bargain that seems to only be found on Amazon and its personal review system.
There is not a single photograph in the entire 500 odd pages. Instead there are line drawings and water colors. These are very attractive but not devoid of artistic interpretation. This is a colorful book about the islands but hardly "the Rosetta Stone of island hoping" as declared on the cover.
The section on the one island I know well having lived there for a few years narrates all the old apocryphal myths with the occasional minor exaggeration rather than circumspection. Throw in a small amount of complete balderdash and one is left wondering how useful this book really is.
Never the less it is a monumental work, quite an achievement and attractively presented. You will learn the "stories" which are perpetuated about individual islands, which may or may not be true.
As for visiting any of the islands covered you will need to do your own up to date research and have your maps and charts or timetables to hand.
If I had browsed this book in a book shop I would not have considered buying it. It is interesting rather than useful. Having bought it online unseen I certainly don't object to owning it, which is just as well at the price.
H H-S's definition of islands is very strict, with both Skye and Scalpay excluded from the "list" because of their bridges, even though it is quite possible to circumnavigate them with a mast up. This can generate some grand debates over a dram!
I did find one error (uncorrected since the first edition): 2.13 Luing is listed with a height of 94m and the accompanying map confirms this: Cnoc Dhomhnuill 94m. On page 72, however, the text reads "The island's highest point, Binnean Furachail ... is 87m ..." which is clearly wrong. Both of these heights are confirmed by the OS map. In context, however, 1 error in over 500 pages isn't bad!
It is a beautifully produced and sizeable book covering all Scottish islands. Each one has a good map and details of population, history, geology, wildlife and access, as well as a general description of the island and any interesting features. Everything you could possibly want to know.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic - beautifully illustrated with a wealth of history and information. A great companion for anyone interested in sailing on the West Coast.Published 7 months ago by seashark
Was expecting to see lovely watercolours in full colour just as shown on the cover, unfortunately there are not many included and all are monochrome. A bit misleading.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer