Walking the Border

A Journey Between Scotland and England

Ian Crofton

In 2013 Ian Crofton undertook a journey he had been pondering for years: a walk along the Border between Scotland and England. It would be an exploration both of his own identity - not quite Scottish, not quite English - and of a largely unexplored stretch of country. Apart from the line marked on the map, the route is not obvious. For much of its length the Border either follows the middle of various rivers, or traces the Southern Upland watershed, an area of bleak moorland and dense conifer plantations. During the course of his walk, Ian Crofton investigates the history, literature and legend of the Border. He talks to a range of people he comes across - farmers, landladies, bar staff, anglers, labourers, shepherds, shopkeepers - to find out what they make of the Border, if anything at all. Such conversations lead to a consideration of the very nature of borders. Do they provide a necessary defence of the nationstate? Or are they, in this day and age, an affront to global justice? Walking the Border is in the best traditions of travel writing, combining vivid description with human insight, the whole spiced with a wry sense of the absurdity and necessity of both inward and outward journeys.

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A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable

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Fringed With Mud and Pearls

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