From early childhood adventures and a sense of belonging a mountaineer war born. This long-awaited autobiography of Cameron McNeish shines a light on the life of one of Scotland’s greatest hill walkers.
There’s Always the Hills is a comprehensive collection of McNeish’s finest travel tales which often involve some of the most iconic hill walkers Scotland has produced over the years, including Tom Weir and Chris Brasher. The book also shows a deeply personal side of McNeish as he describes how his one-time life as national athlete led to a career as a professional outdoorsman and television personality.
The book is an enjoyable read and quickly takes you from your couch to the peaks of the Cairngorms. It gives a good sense of McNeish’s deep love for the environment and insights into how he sees the world in a time when we are battling climate change. Even those who live their lives by the hills will walk away with an even greater respect and care for them.
McNeish doesn’t just recount the good times in his life, however. He recounts the loss and struggle that he has faced, which adds a greater balance to the book. At times the book did feel repetitive, which made for a few slow-going moments. These, however, were brief and before long the reader is swept back to a far-flung adventure in Petra, Jordan, or the Outer Hebrides.
If you grew up watching Cameron McNeish on television, eagerly listened to his radio specials, or used his books to guide you through the vast expanse of Scotland’s hills, then reading his latest work will feel like coming home.