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Walking on Harris and Lewis: 30 Routes in the Outer Hebrides (British Mountains) Paperback – 20 Apr 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cicerone Press; 01 edition (20 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852845678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852845674
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 1.2 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Richard Barrett spent his working life as a professional marketer, but still found time for climbing, winter mountaineering and sea kayaking. Having fallen in love with the Harris Hills in 2007, he is now set to relocate to Maraig in North Harris, where he and his wife are building a guest house. This is his first book for Cicerone.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The first thing to say about this book is that it has practicality as a primary criterion. From the book's size being perfectly proportioned for the pocket of a waterproof jacket to the delightful detail of the four (yes, four) appendices in what appears to be a small book, but which has an encyclopedic degree of useful information packed into its petite pages.

One thing is clear from the tone of the guide - the author is not only a person who is dedicated to making the experience of walking in these rugged islands as painless as possible, but that he also has gathered together more knowledge on the scenery and sights to see on the islands of Harris and Lewis than any man should reasonably expect to garner in a mere lifetime.

Do not be discouraged by the apparent paucity of the number of pages dedicated to each walk. The information provided is obviously and immediately useful to the walker struggling to orient themselves in a difficult terrain, with references to the most intimate of details about the direction of peaks, walls, trials and water features, although you will find the short glossary of local words for things a god-send if the local words are unfamiliar.

At each turn the easiest or best route is described, which, given the unpredictable nature of the conditions of the terrain, this had to be one of the most thankful features of the route descriptions.

One thing I found particularly startling was the quality of the mapping used to describe the walk. Small pools of Ordnance Survey detail have been included for every walk, showing just the level of detail required to encompass the route - surely better than fighting with flapping maps in a strong wind?
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Format: Paperback
While I can't claim to have tried all of the walks described in this book, for those where I did use it I found it helpful. The terrain covered is varied but often wild, remote and trackless. The descriptions are good but despite the maps given I would be reluctant to use this (or any other guide) in these remote places without a map, a compass and preferably a GPS. The author himself says this. What the book does tell you that is not available from just examining the relevant OS map, is whether a particular route is likely to be within the capabilities of a walker, whether there is scrambling involved and an estimate of any difficulty, exposure or sheer drop. I found these important details to be accurate. So, in using this book to walk one of the Harris ridges (Ullabhal, Oirebhal, Cleisabhal) for the first time in low cloud and rain, it gave sufficient extra detail to allow myself and my companion to navigate our way over the ridge and back down to the road without too many problems. It was particularly useful in giving landmarks which, even if one can't see them at the time, allow a bearing to be taken from the map. We tried several other walks, though none in such poor conditions as the Ullabhal ridge, and the level of detail was about right for us. I would perhaps argue with the direction in which some of the walks are given but it is easy to go the other way around (eg Tiorga Mor).

Although there are a number of walking guides to the Western Isles, this is the most comprehensive I have come across. It is the only commercially available guidebook that I have seen that includes all the North Harris Hill ridges, so this is a timely and welcome publication and it enhanced my enjoyment of the Western Isles.
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Format: Paperback
This fine wee guidebook is bursting at the seams with fantastic walks covering the length and breadth of the Long Island. There's something for most people here with walks of varying length and difficulty. In my experience the route descriptions are accurate and succinct - exactly what you need when you're actually out walking. The interesting and informative background information to each route are a great help when sitting at home planning your walk. Clear maps and some great pictures too; highly recommended for anyone planning a visit to Harris and Lewis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This series of Cicerone Walking books is superb and this one is no exception. We managed 4 of the walks during our 1-week holiday on Harris (fantastic Island by the way). All routes that we followed were accurately described, with useful measures of difficulty and durations and containing many interesting asides.
My one slight criticism is that all walks are quite substantial. The younger & older members of our group would have appreciated a couple of shorter or less strenuous. However, this is a small gripe and for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and an interest in exploring some of the more remote and dramatic areas of Harris & Lewis this is the book for you.
It was also delivered earlier than expected, just as well as I ordered it only a couple of days before we departed.
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Format: Paperback
I have taken issue with a few other Cicerone Guides. The editors obviously make sure that maps etc. are correct, but the guides themselves are only as good as their author. This is in the top grade. Plenty of alternatives in the walks at differing levels of difficulty, easy to follow and very informative. Only minor quibble was with the route on Chalpaval, where I can't understand why he takes you up the steep southern side instead of up the nose, where we found a splendid path on descent. Never mind, we got to see eagles.
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