I Adventure Equipment Edinburgh‘s Sports Warehouse has an extensive. full-colour catalogue ofoutdoor clothing. rucksacks. sleeping bags. tents.


gear essential for any activity holiday. They're based at 24/26Coburg Street and can be called on 031553 6003.


I Scottish Activity Holidays Promoting sixteen activity holiday organisations in Scotland. the Scottish Activity Holidays Marketing Group has a brochure featuring everything from rock climbingto hillwalking, from canoeingto mountain-biking. and it's available by calling Kim Forsyth on 05733 216.

.- ., ya KoblN HOOD

I Robin Hood Search Making the most ofthe two Robin I lood movies on the circuit this year. Nottinghamshirc County Council is gearing itself for an extra spate of visitors keen to redistribute the wealth in Sherwood Forest. Starting in July. there are a series of weekend breaks called In Search of Robin Hood which give you the chance to check out a medieval fayre. search for outlaws and explore the landmarks associated with the legend. Prices for this and other Nottinghamshire Special Breaks range from £68 per person for two nights including accommodation. Further information from FREEPOST. Trent Bridge House. Fox Road. West Bridgeford. Nottingham N02 lBR. Tel (0602) 824215. I Vinland Revisited As we go to press. (iaia. a replica Viking flagship. is leaving Shetland in the direction ofthe Faroes. Iceland. Greenland. Nova Scotia and. by October. Washington DC. The aim of the voyage. which will be the subject ofaTV series. is to promote international cooperation and ecological values. L_.__- _


life on the open rail

In the first of a series of Scottish activity holiday articles, Mark Fisher

makes tracks along the Highland rail network.

‘Did you see the deer?‘ the relentlessly cheerful stewardess demands of two hapless tourists at the other end of our carriage somewhere between Perth and Inverness. Ofcourse they didn’t nor will they see the Loch Ness Monster, I‘ll wager- but tonight they’ll sleep safe in the knowledge that they‘ve been close to a noble part ofScotland‘s wildlife heritage. It says something about the economy of the Highlands and Islands that anyone caught looking with interest through a train window outwith the Central Belt is assumed to be a tourist. You don‘t even need the day-glo backpack, plethora of maps and naff tartan berets that so readily identify the Lowland visitor. Still, ifit enables you to strike up a conversation with the staffof Scotrail even ifthis particular stewardess had a rather unconventional grasp of natural history then who's complaining? I‘ll confess to being a bit ofa train buff. A veteran oftwo Inter-Rail forays into Europe. I won‘t be caught collecting rare engine numbers. but I have developed the fine art ofsitting. eating. reading, sight-seeing and sleeping in the one window seat for hours at a stretch. And what better way to see the world? Compared to the tedium of motorways, the social isolation of the automobile, not to mention the commitment to doing your own driving, train travel is not only very easy, human and relaxing. but also a far better way to appreciate Scotland’s staggering landscape. Enter Travelpass 91, a remarkably cheap ticket marketed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. that gives freedom of the trains and ferries north of a line lying roughly between Dunoon and Elgin. For £65 in the summer months (£40 after October), the pass allows you passage to and from Glasgow or Edinburgh and a week’s worth of travel that can get

you as far as Orkney and Stornaway. Scotpass

For areas where the tracks don‘t stretch, the pass entitles you to one third offbus fares. And because the Travelpass is open. you can break yourjourney at any place that takes



HiverBrora, Sutherland

your fancy. Deciding more or less

_ spontaneously to take a long

weekend. we forked out our £40 (off-season rate) on the Thursday and were heading north from Edinburgh first thing Friday. Equipped with the substantial guide

book and timetable that comes with the pass. and trying not to take the stewardess’s wildlife commentary too seriously. we gave ourselves till

' Inverness to map out the

forthcoming weekend. Summertime travellers might care to book ahead with a wee bit more diligence. but

gagznbggzzgtlzs and available. Further IN F0 R MA" 0 N participating restaurants. figflfflgg3°§2°23§4f3

, tourist attractions, castles Travelpass 91 and museums. Steam Days DUI A seven-day Travelpass To" .1 31 From now until October, (valid over eight days) costs I t t- lnterCity’s steam-hauled £65 (Jun-Sept) or £40 n ("ma '0" train. 'The Lochaber', is (013-088). A "Ween-day Suggestions of Highlands running the route from Fort TfaVelllaSS (valid over and Islands holiday ideas William to Mallaig on fifteen days) costs £90 are available in a free selected days. Leaving roll (Jun-SOP!) 0'50 brochure by ringing William at 10.35am (Oct-Dec). You can buy Highland Direct on 0349 (12.15pm on Sundays), the Travelpass at Glasgow 65000. A lull list of Tourist two-hour ioumey. with Queen Street and Central. lnforrnation Offices is commentry from the Edinburgh Waverley. and available in the Travelpass Scottish Railway

Paisley Gilmour Street '91 leaflet. Preservation Society, taltes British Rail Stations, as . lace on Mondays from 17 well as Buchanan Bus 9 Boat Tram gun—30 Sept, Tuesdays Station, Glasgow and St the Scams" Railway frome Jun-3 Sept. Andrew Square Bus Station, pmmanon Society has Ihursdays from now until17 Edinburgh. Further scheduled 3 mm on 33” Oct and Sundays from 16 inlonnation is available by June "om Edinbumh Jun—8 Sept. The return phoning Highland Direct on Wager." "I",ny Symon; ioumey leaves Mallaig at in File, along "'8 1 (weekdaYS) and

Line to Kyle of Lochalsh. 4-459‘“ (Sundaysl- "'9

the fare is £32 for adults, return We is £14008“ Travelpass holders can £2210, children and £41 Travelpass is not valid on apply for a Scotpass [int class, A" 3..-“, mm this service. Telephone Countdown Card which and mu mm mm, is bookings on 0397 703791.

78The List 31 May— 13June I991