We might still be in lockdown, but Scotland’s wildest places have just got a little bit closer with the launch of Patrick Baker’s beautiful new book The Unremembered Places.
To celebrate the occasion, we’re delighted to bring you an exclusive video conversation between Patrick Baker and fellow outdoors writer Matt Gaw (author of Under the Stars, Elliott and Thompson, 2020), in association with our friends at Ullapool Book Festival.
You can watch the video below, along with a smattering of photographs from Patrick’s journey to these stunning Unremembered Places. Fingers crossed we can safely set out and explore more of Scotland again before long.
We were five kilometres offshore, and the sea was eerily calm. Beneath my kayak the water felt supple, gently flexing in fat swells, its surface unbroken and quartzy.
I can sense the passage of others here. The delicate tracery on the forest floor of those who have surreptitiously, knowingly, trodden these slopes before us.. And now, on this remote hillside, we’re searching for the same thing.
I rubbed my eyes into focus and saw the loch mirror calm. The previous day’s gales had abruptly ended, leaving the island ringing with silence. We packed the canoe and slid the boat out onto the steel-blue waters, paddling back in a cloudless dawn, our clothes still smelling of woodsmoke.
This sense of correspondence with landscape, the consensual traffic between person and place, had been with me throughout my journeys…I had come to think that wild histories seemed somehow indefinably linked with the spirit of a place, overlapping, meshed and entwined.
Patrick Baker has worked in the publishing industry for many years and is currently writer for an investment management company. He is a keen outdoor enthusiast and has walked and climbed throughout Scotland and Europe. He is also the author of The Cairngorms: A Secret History.
You can follow Patrick’s travels on Twitter @WildHistorian1.
All photographs credited to Patrick Baker.