Review – a year in the life of the Cairngorms by Chris Townsend

A year in the life of the Cairngorms.
Author Chris Townsend

a year in the life of the Cairngorms

A year in the life of the Cairngorms is a wonderful pictorial overview of our largest national park, a compilation of photograph’s that provide a pure and honest appreciation of this magnificent landscape. The book takes us on a journey through the course of a year depicting the dramatic affects the changing seasons have on this mountainous area.
Chris Townsend has authored many books but this could be considered a slight departure from what has gone before. Previously photographs have been used to back up the narrative but this time around the main focus is on the images themselves.
That is not to say there’s no writing here to enjoy, there is and it sets the scene beautifully. The introduction is composed of a number of concise paragraphs that give a grand overview of the Cairngorms; the landscape, the origins of the name, history , geology and of course the weather. Each season has its own chapter and starts with an brief description of changes that occur during that particular time of year.
The Cairngorms have been Chris’s ‘local hills’ for over 20 years and during this period he has probably got to know them as well as anyone. Countless daytrips and longer backpacks through all the seasons have allowed him to build up an intimate knowledge of the area.
I imagine these photographs are just part of a huge archive but those selected perfectly illustrate the Cairngorms in all their glory. Each photograph is accompanied by an informative caption placing us perfectly at the scene ready to enjoy the view. Many images capture immense detail while others perfectly convey the mood or changing light. For those of us who have been lucky enough to have visited the Cairngorms the book will I’m sure revive many memories while for those who have not it may just provide the inspiration to come and see this wonderful place for themselves.

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