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John Yellowlees, Scottish chair CILT.

John Yellowlees: Far North Line has huge potential not just for locals but for tourism too

CILT promotes excellence in professionalism, driving a transport and logistics ­sector that is fit for the 21st century. However, sometimes we have to take our hats off to the volunteers who ­lobby for the retention and development of our transport infrastructure – and the 25th anniversary of the ­foundation of the Friends of the Far North Line has allowed us to take stock of the group’s achievements, recorded in a recent commemorative booklet.

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Nepali climber Nirmal 'Nims' Purja standing at the summit of Gasherbrum II on 18 July 2019. The mountaineer went on to smash the speed record for summiting the world's 14 highest peaks, racing up all the "8000ers" in just six months and six days PIC: AFP via Getty Images

Fort William Mountain Festival has something for every kind of hill-goer

Scotland’s mountain-going community is hugely diverse – on any given weekend, on any of the country’s Munros, Corbetts, Grahams and Donalds, you might find climbers and hikers, skiers and snowboarders, artists and photographers, mountain bikers and paragliders, twitchers and botanists. Month after month, year after year, these people are drawn back to the same remote, high places, yet they all look at them through very different eyes: the climber typically seeks the most challenging route to the top of a mountain while the skier looks for the most exciting route to the bottom; the paraglider tries to predict where the best thermals will be, while the photographer aims to reach the best possible viewpoint in the best possible light conditions. And yeah, the twitchers never seem to be satisfied until they’ve managed to spy at least one ptarmigan.

Outdoors
Four-year-old Tom enjoys the wide-open spaces on the beach at Houlgate.

A fabulous taste of France in Normandy

Beautiful Normandy really has it all – a thousand years of history, from William the Conqueror and Joan of Arc to the D-Day landings, all tied together with glorious scenery, delicious food and drink and an infectiously easygoing attitude to life.  
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