Rampant Scotland Book Review
349 Views of Scotland
Beinn Scrien, Eriskay
Title: 349 Views of Scotland
Author: David Squires
Publisher: Whittles Puiblishing
This book has information on each of the 349 view indicators that are spread throughout Scotland. View indicators are generally metal discs or plates which give the viewer an idea of some of the mountains or other notable features in the distance.
The first view indicator was installed in 1890 in Ladies' Rock in Stirling. They range from the Mull of Galloway, the most southerly point in Scotland to Shetland in the far north and from sea level to the tops of the highest mountains.
The book's marketing declares that it "will be an essential companion for anyone visiting the viewpoints and wishing to know more about their history". That claim can be made but I think that the author has missed a few tricks in this book. Often the text is pretty dry, for example the indicator on The Binn, Fife is described as a "Metal disc on a stone cylinder. Erected by Burntisland and Kinghorn Rotary Club in 1992."
I would have liked a bit more about how to get to the indicators and the author could have also inserted some personal reminiscences on his favourites. There are ten pages of lovely colour photos, but the others are of variable quality - black and white pictures sometimes taken on a misty day, although that is often typical in these areas. The graphic on the right is of Bealach na Gaoithe looking to Upper Loch Torridon.
The author builds on the work of Ben Humble, a dentist from Dumbarton, who wrote extensively about Scottish views and viewpoints in the 1930s. I liked his take on some of his best loved views - "My own favourite ( I do not say it is the best) is the summit of Dumbarton Rock. How could it be otherwise for a son of the Rock?" The graphic on the left is at Allermuir, Pentland Hills near Edinburgh.
The book is available via Amazon UK or Amazon.com or from Whittles Publishing Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland, KW6 6EG.
Images on this page are courtesy of Whittles Publishing. Image on the right is the viewpoint in Glenmulliach Forest, overlooking Tomintoul and the surrounding hills.
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