With a Victorian guidebook in his hands, historian Paul Murton travels the country and traces the changes that have taken place since the birth of Scottish tourism 200 years ago. For centuries, "north of the border" had been regarded as a place to avoid and early travellers complained about the savage terrain and uncouth habits of the natives. To find out what changed to make Scotland an internationally celebrated tourist destination Paul recreates six journeys suggested by a well thumbed copy of "Black's Picturesque Guide to Scotland". Travelling by age-old modes of transport including a horse-drawn caravan and steam train, Paul explores the most fascinating parts of the country and follows in the footsteps of the first tourists to come to Scotland and that have been charming visitors ever since.
The Romantic Ideal Paul goes in search of the romantic ideal, travelling from the Trossachs out to Iona and then the fabled Isle of Staffa. The Sporting Life Paul travels from Dunkeld via the Tay river to Balmoral on an 1870s tricycle. In Search of the Real Scotland Paul travels by train from the foot of Ben Nevis to the fabled Isle of Skye. Mind, Body and Spirit Paul traces the history of the great outdoors, taking in Loch Tay and Rannoch Moor. In Search of Perfect Isolation Paul journeys from Shetland through to the musical Orkney Islands. Wish You Were Here Paul journeys from St Andrews across the Firth of Forth, and ends up in Edinburgh.