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Torridon (C&D): recommended reading

These are some books about Torridon and nearby: it's a personal selection - we hope you find some of them as absorbing as we have. They are listed according to our (again subjective!) sense of the relevance/interest, etc.: it's difficult to sort them like this: we think all of them are very worthwhile.

Murdoch MacDonald - "Walking into the past", published by Evanton Publishing.
Very beautifully written: the author was brought up in Alligin, and his insights are derived from much local knowledge passed to him aurally, his own intimate knowledge of the area, and scholarly research. It's a small book - light enough to carry on any of its walks into hidden places of history in the hills: these are not summits, or obvious valley or hill routes, nor are all of them at all easy to reach - much of the pathless terrain of Torridon is tough going and navigationally enigmatic: even if you never set foot off the roads, though, this is a fascinating, thoughtful and evocative book. (Availability: most stores, visitor centres, etc. in the Torridon area).

Murdoch MacDonald - "Old Torridon", published by Evanton Publishing.
This is a more comprehensive look at the history of Torridon: another compulsive read. (Availability: Evanton Publishing).

Murdoch MacDonald - "The Battle of the Black Pot", published by Evanton Publishing.
The history of illicit whisky-making in the area, again with lots of quotes and hints as to where some of the activities and events can still be traced. (Availability: most stores, visitor centres, etc. in the Torridon area).

Murdoch MacDonald, with Alice Maclennan and Donald MacDonald - "The Place-Names of Loch Torridon", published by The Right Reasons, Inverness.
A detailed and in-depth survey of the place names of the area, their meanings and origins. Illustrated with many anecdotes and photographs. (Availability: most stores, visitor centres, etc. in the Torridon area; also available from the superb Loch Torridon place names website).

Lea MacNally - "Torridon: Life and wildlife in the Scottish Highlands", published by Swan Hill, 1993, 175 pages. Torridon through the eyes of a National Trust ranger and renowned wildlife expert, and wildlife rescuer, who spent more than 20 years working on the hills here. A lovely book with some great photographs. (Availability: Swan Hill Press, and local shops).

Jeremy Fenton - "Wester Ross Rocks: The Geology and Scenery of Gairloch and District", published by Jeremy Fenton, 36 pages.
Excellent guide to the geology of the area: quite detailed whilst still being accessible to a non-specialist, and very well illustrated. (Availability: most stores, visitor centres, etc. in the Torridon area).

Brenda Macrow - "Torridon Highlands", published by Robert Hale, 1953, 212 pages.
One of a series of books in which the author lived for several months in a remote place and explored it. An informal, enthusiatic period piece, with a hint of poetry. Her "Kintail Scrapbook" is also well worth seeking out if you're interested in Wester Ross or the Highlands generally (Availability: sadly out of print, but we got a copy quite easily from the abebooks website, or similar).

Steve Carter - Various titles, published by Steve Carter.
Photographs by Shieldaig-based composer and photographer, Steve Carter. Centred on Shieldaig/Torridon, but also covering parts of Skye, the Outer Isles, etc.: great images. (Availability: Available from Steve Carter's website, and local shops.).

J. H. Dixon - "Gairloch and Guide to Loch Maree", published by Gairloch and District Heritage Society, 1886, 5th reprint 2004, 435 pages.
An amazing and detailed timepiece, which overlaps the Torridon area in many ways. (Availability: Gairloch museum and other local outlets).

Angela Nicholson - "The Complete Traveller's Guide to Gairloch and Torridon", published by Thistle Press, 1993, 170 pages.
Practical guide with plenty of interesting background. (Availability: sadly out of print, possibly available locally or via the abebooks website, or similar).

Peter Barton - "Walking in Torridon", published by Cicerone, 2010, 221 pages.
One of many UK walking guides in Cicerone's well-known series. Handy format, well illustrated with maps and pictures, and very clear. There's a good variety of walks for a good variety of levels of fitness etc. The author moved to Torridon 30 years before the publication of the book, before which he had much hillwalking experience, so again, it's very thoroughly researched. It is mainly a walking guide, though with many interesting asides. (Availability: most major outdoor shops in the UK).

Chris Lowe - "Torridon: the nature of the place", 2000, 360 pages.
Sorry we don't have our copy of this book now. Our recollection is that it's a very wide-ranging book, part nature-guide, but perhaps not as specific to Torridon as the other books on this page. (Availability: Amazon, and some shops in Wester Ross).

C&D home Torridon recommended books etc.