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Snettisham Footpath Order Confirmed

July 26, 2014




Thrillers and mysteries

July 26, 2014

Taken from the Gaslight Crime blog at


The books are now available in paperback and on Kindle.


Following the success of A Seaside Mourning, – a new Inspector Abbs novella, set around Christmas in a lonely Norfolk village, will be published in the Autumn.  The events take place a month after the mystery in the first novel.

A full-length 1930s thriller, set in London and Scotland, will appear later this year, featuring a new set of characters in a desperate hunt for a man who threatens to bring chaos to the world.

And, yes, a new William Quest Victorian mystery will appear in the New Year.

We will put an announcement on the Gaslight Crime blog on publication day.

Thank you to everyone who has bought copies of A Seaside Mourning and The Shadow of William Quest. As a small publishing imprint, in direct competition with the major publishing houses, we appreciate your support.

Please do tell your friends about our publications and the Gaslight Crime blog.

A return to Glen Tilt

July 24, 2014

Readers of blogs passim will know of my fondness for Glen Tilt, that great pass in the hills easterly of Blair Atholl.Scotland 2014 023

A good one to explore, even in small stretches, particularly if you have a stinking cold, as I had as we set out from Bridge of Tilt.

A hot and humid day, though there was a short sharp shower as we walked the track to Gilbert’s Bridge.

The rifle range was very busy that morning, as we walked parallel to the firing line. A sharp crack and then the echo reverberated up the glen and back again.  A bit like being sniped.Scotland 2014 025Scotland 2014 015

There were still the fresh green leaves on some of the trees, that freshness that had already passed over in England. The river Tilt dark and brown amongst its rocks.

And best at that lovely stand of beech trees at Gilbert’s Bridge. My thoughts went back to other longer roaming in this glen.

I was there doing research for the conclusion of my new novel, a thriller set in the 1930s which has its conclusion in the Highlands. The hero is a hillwalker and stravaiger in his spare time. It will be out by the end of the year.

So often what I write comes from landscapes I know.

After a drink at the Blair Atholl hotel we drove back to Pitlochry – seeing a Pine Marten on the way.

Lake District Scorchio!

July 23, 2014

Lake District – Scorchio!

Walking to Loch Muick

July 15, 2014

Scotland 2014 128The clouds were still sitting over the top of dark Lochnagar and its attendant summits as we set out from the Spittal of Glenmuick to do the circuit of Loch Muick (pronounced Mick!).

We walked the good broad track on the northern shores of the loch, Scotland 2014 137leading to the solitary house of Glas-Allt-Shiel – a modest property built for Queen Victoria when she was staying at nearby Balmoral, so that she might mourn in solitude for the deceased Prince Albert. Though she seems to have made an exception and allowed the company of John Brown from time to time.

The house is half-hidden amidst a fine stand of pines, which conceal it from every direction apart from the loch. There is no electricity on the property, though the present Windsor family Glas-allt-Shielstill come up here for picnics during their stay at Balmoral – I understand that walkers are asked to go round the back if they are there.

We rested on the bench nearby, watching the antics of the Common Gulls who were nesting on the tiny island nearby.Scotland 2014 161

Walking around the head of the loch and crossing the Allt-an-Dubh-loch river, which comes down from the Dubh Loch – an extension to this walk if you want one.

The path on Loch Muick’s southern Scotland 2014 162shores is higher and much narrower, with fine views across the water and into the surrounding hills, its route lined with beech trees and rowan. A few meadow pipits and a yellowhammer about.

Just where a fine waterfall takes the Black Burn into the loch, there were at least fifty Canada Geese sheltering on the lochside sands.Scotland 2014 163

An easy walk into the wilder fringes of the hills.

(c) John Bainbridge 2014

(c) John Bainbridge 2014

Scotland 2014 176




A treacherous act

July 13, 2014

Originally posted on CampaignerKate:

Seventy-five years ago today, 13 July 1939, the Access to Mountains Act 1939 received royal assent.  My predecessor at the Open Spaces Society, Sir Lawrence Chubb, had a big hand in this but it is nothing to be proud of.  We can only feel relieved that the act was repealed ten years later by clause 84 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 without ever being applied.

In summary, the act did not grant a right of access, it merely prohibited owners from keeping walkers off the land during daylight hours; the act only applied to mountain, moor, heath, down or cliff where there was an order for access, the process for achieving this was cumbersome, slow and expensive, and in certain circumstances trespass became a criminal offence, punishable by fine.

Tom Stephenson, former secretary of the Ramblers’ Association (RA), wrote in detail about the 1939…

View original 961 more words

Walking around Oban

July 12, 2014

I’ve written before about my affection for Oban.  Such a nice town for strolling around.Iona, Staffa and oban 092

As the sea mist lifted we walked up to McCaig’s Tower, built to provide work for struggling Victorian workers. Iona, Staffa and oban 099

Then to Pulpit Hill, with a fine memorial for a man to his father. Such a lovely viewpoint over the town and harbour and across to the islands of Kerrera and Mull. In the distance the ruins of Dunollie Castle.Iona, Staffa and oban 086

Then along the seafront to the particularly moving war memorial, showing not some martial scene but two soldiers helping a wounded Iona, Staffa and oban 109comrade.

There are longer low-level walks from Oban if you are there for a day or two.

My favourite is to take the 5-minute ferry journey across to Kerrera and take the southern loop walk, past Castle Gylen.

Or walk from the town up Iona, Staffa and oban 101Glencruitten and then take the old coaching road – now a humble track – to Connel, then a return via the Black Lochs of Kilvaree. You can get a Iona, Staffa and oban 106number of variations of these walks in local walking guide, or see blogs Iona, Staffa and oban 104passim.

A place I always want to return to.


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