The English coast-to-coast route between St. Bees in Cumbria and Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire has been well-covered in DVDs; to these video travelogs Cameron McNeish now adds a Scottish coast-to-coast walk, from Aberdeen to Inverie. Observing the time-honored ritual of coast-to-coasters, McNeish dips his feet into the North Sea at the eastern end of this 200-mile journey and then into the Irish sea at the western end. In between, he walks from glen to glen over the highland mountain passes, at times following the River Dee, at times the Caledonian Canal, past the royal lands of Balmoral (and a lakeside estate built by Queen Victoria) to the Cairngorms resort of Aviemore, to the Corrieyairack pass on the way to Fort Augustus. In one of the more unusual segments of his journey, McNeish stops at the town of Newtonmore, where locals have concealed in plain view more than 100 life-size individually painted ceramic wildcats for residents and tourists to spot as they pass by front yards and windows. An admitted "munro-bagger," McNeish starts by climbing Scotland's most eastern munro, Mount Keen, and days later, its most westerly equivalent, Lladar Bheinhn. McNeish is an appealing and knowledgeable traveling companion, who's as enthusiastic digging into an order of fish and chips as when he's sharing these breathtaking vistas of the Scottish highlands.
Though the program itself is wonderful, the DVD must be downgraded a notch because of one annoying--and unaccountable--aspect: it lacks a chapter menu and chapter stops. This is also the case with McNeish's other Scottish Walks offered by Mountain Media--"The Hebridean Trail," "The West Highland Way, "The Skye Trail," and "Sutherland-The Empty Lands." ("Wild Walks," on the other hand, does have a chapter menu.) You can't get from one section of the program to another by selecting a chapter on the root menu or even by hitting the "skip" button (skip gets you to the next program); you have to scan either on fast forward or fast reverse. What were they thinking?
Larry B | Ventura, California | October 2018