“All around me I felt the ghosts of an immense past, I heard their whispers and I smiled when they walked by my side through the fields and woods. I relished the companionship of the dead”
A powerful, surprising exploration of Scotland’s landscape and its hidden history
Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards
In The Hidden Ways, Alistair Moffat traverses the lost paths of Scotland - its Roman roads tramped by armies, its byways and pilgrim routes, drove roads and railways, turnpikes and sea roads - in a bid to understand how our history has left its mark upon our landscape. As he retraces the forgotten paths that shaped and were shaped by the lives of the now forgotten people who trod them, Moffat charts a powerful, surprising and moving history of Scotland.
“Our ancestors walked everywhere, unless they lived by a river or loch and travelled by boat, or were rich enough to keep a horse or pony. So Moffat will walk. He will walk over much of Scotland, following, sometimes struggling to follow, old roads that are now sometimes hard to find. This book is the story of a dozen such walks… This is a splendidly rich book – a treasure-house of information, memories and speculation”
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“This fascinating and compelling narrative will leave you spellbound and in no time you’ll be looking for your hiking boots and waterproofs … An absorbing and thought-provoking addition to the literature of Scotland’s byways”
”The Hidden Ways makes us think about Scotland and its history in a completely different way … A truly fascinating read”
“Retracing and walking Scotland’s lost paths makes Alistair Moffat reflect upon the country’s history in a different sort of way … From Perthshire to Ballachulish, Moffat explores the land in a personal, inquisitive way and searches for evidence of the people who helped shape it”
“A treasure trove of stories”
the Great Outdoors
Alistair Moffat was born in Kelso, Scotland in 1950. He is an award-winning writer, historian and Director of Programmes at Scottish Television, former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and former Rector of the University of St Andrews. He is the founder of Borders Book Festival and Co-Chairman of The Great Tapestry of Scotland.