Parking change at Abbotsford

The home of Sir Walter Scott remains popular with visitors. The car park, less so.The home of Sir Walter Scott remains popular with visitors. The car park, less so.
The home of Sir Walter Scott remains popular with visitors. The car park, less so.
Promising an injection of energy at a time of year when it is in short supply, the Eastgate Theatre’s brand-new Wild Writers Festival looks set to banish potential winter blues next weekend.

Held over January 27-29, the festival celebrates the wealth of exceptional writing that explores people’s relationship with the living world – from nature writing and adventure to outdoor memoir.

It features established as well as up-and-coming authors, photographers and illustrators from Scotland and beyond who will share ideas, stories, influences and inspirations.

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Enjoy readings, meet-the-author sessions and signings, Q&As, panel discussions and lively solo presentations covering a wide range of topics and interests – from gravel riding and trail running to cold water swimming and the study of Scotland’s isolated snow patches.

Among the highlights are headline presentations by author and broadcaster Cameron McNeish, endurance athlete and adventurer Jenny Tough, plus a joint appearance by Leonie Charlton and Malachy Tallack, two of Scotland’s most sensory writers.

Blending nature and travel writing, Leonie Charlton’s Marram is a meditative memoir about an extraordinary journey on Highland ponies that took the author and a friend from Barra to the ancient stone circle of Callanish on Lewis.

Malachy Tallack’s latest book, Illuminated by Water, is about a different kind of love altogether, as he traces a lifelong passion for fishing, born from growing up among Shetland’s myriad lochs.

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Anna Fleming, whose book Time on Rock was shortlisted for the prestigious Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, talks about her progress from terrified beginner rock climber to confident lead climber and describes how physical contact with rock became a profound new way into the landscape.

There is also a chance to meet Siobhan Daniels and Jo Moseley, two authors and good friends who will share stories about ageing positively. In Retirement Rebel, Siobhan tells the story of how, aged 60, she made a choice to sell her home and belongings and live a nomadic but more fulfilling life on the road in a motorhome.

Jo Moseley, meanwhile, discovered the sport of stand-up paddleboarding in her 50s, and has never looked back. As she reflects in her companion guide Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Great Britain, it is a sport that has provided everything she needed: health, confidence, freedom, friendship and a chance to experience some of the UK’s wildest places from a unique perspective.

“This is an event that we’ve been looking to put together for some time and we are so pleased to feature such an exceptional line-up of presenters – each exploring nature, landscape, people and place in their own unique way,” said Rich Rowe, festival programme director.

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Held at the Eastgate Theatre and nearby venues, the full programme of the 2023 Wild Writers Festival is at and search under Festivals. The event is supported by Go Tweed Valley and Scottish Borders Council.

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