Recommend to your Librarian

Walking with James Hogg

The Ettrick Shepherd’s Journeys through Scotland

Bruce Gilkison

Hardback i (Printed to Order)
eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

Retracing Hogg’s remarkable journeys in the 21st century

James Hogg, also known as the Ettrick Shepherd, was a writer, poet, sportsman, musician and larger-than-life personality. In 1802, uneducated and still unknown, he set out on the first of a series of journeys through Scotland, from the Borders to the Highlands and Hebrides. The journeys were inspiring, life-changing and often frightening. They led him to a life of chaos, failures, fame, fun and literary masterpieces.

Show more


1. First Steps: A bumpy road
2. Hogg’s Ettrick (1802): A state of nature
3. Central Highlands (1802): Their remarkable inhabitants
4. Western Highlands and Islands (1803): Strange and wonderful views
5. Western Highlands and Islands (1804): Misfits and misfortune
6. Arrivals and departures: Life and other journeys
7. Life after Death: A never-ending journey
Last word
Brief Bibliography: Sources and Abbreviations

About the Author

Bruce Gilkison is a writer and a consultant in sustainable business issues. He is a New Zealander with a recent and growing love for Scotland. He has lived and worked in the Pacific, East Africa, North America and Europe, and is a keen traveller, hiker and climber. He has a passion for social and environmental issues and has been published frequently on these topics, with two articles short-listed for British Commonwealth Media Awards for Journalism. He has a strong empathy with other cultures and a fascination for the wild and wonderful.


Bruce Gilkison has pulled off something quite unusual. It is a charming mix of biography, travelogue and memoir, and a fine meditation on ancestry, time and the vicissitudes of literary fame and misfortune… thoroughly engaging, instructive, funny… one senses that Hogg and Gilkison would have made excellent walking companions, although probably not without a falling-out or two...

- James Robertson, author of ‘Joseph Knight’,’ The Testament of Gideon Mack’, ‘And the Land Lay Still’

It would be impossible to find a writer more suited to this project. He combines a unique ancestral connection, impeccable credentials as an adventurer and explorer, and shares Hogg’s gift for a good story.

- Suzanne Gilbert,lecturer, editor

This highly-original short book combines aspects of guidebook, scholarship, and hiking-journal… helpful short essays on such topics as the Statistical Account of Etterick Forest or kelpies (and the taniwha of New Zealand) or class or sublimity and biodiversity or the Clearances… Gilkison’s self-deprecating curiosity succeeds remarkably well in channelling the well-attested charm of his great-great-grandfather, and in linking this benign ‘ancestor-worship’ to his own twenty-first century appreciation for landscape and concern with ecology.

- Studies in Scottish Literature, 42:1

Walking with James Hogg is a joy… a fascinating look at an extraordinary life… well indexed with a glossary for the understanding of baffling Scottish words, a list of walks ‘with James Hogg’ and an extensive bibliography… a most worthwhile read and one that may have you too longing to wander the glaciated, wild landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and beyond.

- The Guardian (New Zealand)

You might also like ...