Over the past few weeks I have felt at times like I have been making a grand tour of Scotland as I travelled in a bit of a whirlwind from Invergordon to Galloway, Dunblane to Royal Deeside, Comrie to Aberfeldy and Pitlochry. I have been lucky enough to spend most of this time in the great outdoors seeing a fair bit of this fabulous country. As an independent woman who can read a map, I feel comfortable and confident exploring my world. I wonder though how I might have fared in the Victorian era.
Some of my recent travels involved filming in Galloway for part of a BBC series called Grand Tours of Scotland with Paul Murton ( screening in November). The series loosely follows the diary of a Victorian traveller and they are looking at women in the outdoors in the episode I’m involved with. Much has of course changed since those days however in some respects there are underlying similarities. In those days women were almost always chaperoned in the great outdoors as it was seen as a dangerous place. Many women still fear to go far into the outdoors on their own – and rarely travel on their own preferring the company of others – men or women. Confidence in map reading skills and fear of getting lost often stop women exploring their world further. If that sounds like you, or someone you know, there is always time to take up the challenge, learn new skills and build your confidence. Tell yourself aye can and get some breathing space outdoors.