Sunday, 30 December 2012

Scotland End to End

A minor bout of 'flu between Christmas and New Year was an opportunity to slump in front of the TV and watch the two part BBC Scotland Adventure Show featuring Cameron McNeish covering the newly opened Goretex Scottish National Trail. The Trail has as its starting point the Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm (being the start or end of the Pennine Way) and follows a meandering route north to Edinburgh, west to Falkirk and then generally northwards to Cape Wrath, a total distance of 470 miles. Along the way, Cameron meets various people who have something relevant to say about the landscape or a feature of it which adds to the interest. Needless, to say, the photography is stunning and really does justice to this amazing part of the world. The second part of the programme showed Scotland at its remote and wildest best. There was a brief switch at the end to the opening ceremony at the end of October 2012 when the Trail was officially opened by Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond. It is clearly hoped that the Trail will equal the West Highland Way in attracting visitors and their spending power to this part of Scotland. It will be interesting to see to what extent Mr Salmond and others in high places oppose the current plans for the Ministry of Defence to close off Cape Wrath (most of which it already owns). This will presumably have the effect of cutting off the final section of the Trail and force out of business the Ozone Cafe. There is a possibility of a community buy out and it is to be hoped that this is successful, otherwise this beautiful corner of Scotland will be closed to public access.