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Victorian visitors had shooting lodges – Scots had trips doon the watter.

Norwegian citizens had hytte – Scots had Butlins. 

Why have locals in one of Europe's prime tourist destinations been elbowed off the land and exiled from nature for so long?

I’ve been pondering this since I rented a hill-top ex-shepherd’s bothy in the late 1980s and spent every other weekend heading for Aberdeenshire to find ‘a place beyond’ the world of work, noise and money, without running water, electricity or plumbing. Of course, that made me look pretty weird in the eyes of ‘modern’ Scots. But perfectly normal in Norway. After visiting hytte from the islands of Oslo Fjord to the Arctic, I realised humble wooden huts have played a huge role in shaping Norwegian society. But their near total absence in Scotland - uniquely for a country at our wooded latitude - keeps kids distant from nature, Scots cooped up in cities and modest wee holiday homes completely beyond the means of the average family. This book, traces my journey from an eccentric eighties lone hutter in Scotland, to a hytte lover in Norway and then a researcher on both sides of the North Sea. What I found really surprised me and left me convinced that thousands of humble woodland huts would give Scots a vital post-covid connection with nature and affordable low-impact holidays in our own beautiful land - at last.

The e-book is available to buy on Amazon

ISBN 1913025632
ISBN 13 978-1913025632
Language English
Number of pages 256
Publisher Luath Press Ltd (17 Aug. 2020)
Ruth Watson on 03-10-20 03:35 PM
An eye-opening book with an eye to our history and a cry for what could be. This is a journey through Scotland's past and into our future with facts and anecdotes leading the reader, inexorably, to ask: why?

How did our country come to this, with a disconnect between town and country, with those growing up in rural communities unable to afford a home while shutters are closed on many cottages through much of the year?

Riddoch holds up a mirror to our Nordic cousins. They have second homes which complement instead of replacing their rural communities - residents in Norway's countryside are protected from the squeeze our rural communities find themselves under from second home owners.

Yet the need for urban dwellers to live in and access the countryside is a healthy and good thing. So what is the answer?

Read 'Huts, a place beyond' to find out more.
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