349 Views of Scotland is about the network of 'view indicators' located throughout Scotland. Each of these indicators locates a specfic site where visitors may visually cast their eyes upon something unique upon the Scottish landscape. The viewpoints are often inspirational, historical and well-known, and most of them are truly inspirational and breathtaking. Information at each site provides details that are historical and include details about the builders of the monuments. Consequently, the view indicators serve as historical records, location identifiers and a rich source of educational knowledge.
Book Review: 349 Views of Scotland
2016 | 208 Pages | ISBN 978-184995-171-5
The book 349 Views of Scotland is a comprehensive and intriguing listing of these indicators, providing information about their physical description, designer, date and the various trusts, groups, councils, etc. that built them. Thirty-two maps show where the indicators are located and there are over 130 photographs, some of which date back many years, providing a fascinating historical aspect to the book.
Anyone who has walked or climbed in Scotland will sooner or later come across a view indicator – one of the discs or plates which identify surrounding features in the landscape. This is the first full-length work devoted to these devices. Since the first indicator appeared in 1890 at Ladies’ Rock in Stirling, more than 340 have been installed at viewpoints around Scotland – on hilltops, coastal sites, historic buildings, parks, golf courses and lay-bys. They range from the Mull of Galloway to Shetland, and from sea level to the country’s highest mountains.
The author visited each of the view indicators, experiencing the unique nature of each. This was a feat also accomplished by Mr. Ben Humble in 1938, and later published in the Glasgow Evening Times. However, readers will quickly learn that many new view indicators have been erected since that time, and continue to be built. Each is located through the use of GPS location. One does wonder how many citizens or others have become interested in these indicators and have visited them alone.
To foreign readers, this book is fascinating because it is a visual experience accompanied with historical significance. I learned a lot about Scotland through reading the book. There are pictures, maps and other graphics that show each of these view indicators. They are all different in design, oriented uniquely on the landscape, well kept and maintained usually and filled with valuable information. Indeed, this book is a good reference to other Whittles titles that also feature Scottish geographical topics.
The color panels in this book are exceptional and provide details of the view indicators. When one considers the organizations and participants involved in building these indicators, it becomes clear that many organizations in Scotland value the locations and markers, and often consider them in terms of their ability to generate historical perspective and geographical value within the regions of Scotland.
In summary, 349 Views of Scotland is educational, informative and a valuable documentation of the Scotland landscape. This book can serve both as educational resource and reference resource. Others may consider its value in terms of historical record. There are so many breathtaking viewpoints in Scotland, that it is hard to imagine going there and not taking a copy of this book with you.