I remember many years ago (obviously can’t remember quite when as I can’t even remember what I had for lunch yesterday) reading a report which said that a huge number of Scots said their favourite place to travel was in their own country.
I have to say that despite having lived here for most of my life there are still many places I haven’t visited. In fact I went to the north coast for the first time only earlier this year.
However, whenever I do go I always make sure that I have my copy of Scotland The Best – this is a travel book like no other. Updated every two-three years by its author, Peter Irvine, it takes you to places that you may never have thought about before.
Not only the best places to eat and sleep, which is obviously quite handy when you are away from home, but there are sections on best waterfalls, best scenic routes etc, etc.
And it isn’t snobbish in the slightest. Of course there are various Michelin restaurants and five-star hotels, but alongside all this you can find the best fish and chips in whatever area you happen to be as well as another titled Bloody Good Pubs. I bet there’s no other guide book in the world with a section called that.
Anyway, the thing about this is that it is written in such a personal way that you know that Pete has walked these walks and eaten the bread from the New Artisan Bakers. Not, of course, so that you don’t have to but because you should.
He doesn’t slag anything off, because if it ain’t in the book it’s probably not worth a trip. But, once again that is in his opinion although quite frankly that’s good enough for me.
So the 25th anniversary edition has just landed in the shops. I’m off to get a couple of copies as it’s a good idea to have one for the car and another at home. Setting off without one makes the trip a lot less enjoyable.