Bishopston author’s travel guide sells out

Published on: 27 Oct 2017

A NEW guidebook book written by a Bishopston author has been so successful it has gone to reprint inside three months.

The Outer Hebrides, the Western Isles from Lewis to Barra, is written by Mark Rowe and is the first dedicated guide to the islands. It has become the top-ranked seller for guides to Scotland on Amazon and the best-selling book for the travel publisher Bradt. 

The book is a practical guide to the islands, what to see, where to stay and what to eat and how to get there; but also includes lots of personal insights into the islands, based on visits made by Mark over the past 15 years. 

“They are true magical islands,” says Mark, who lives in Bishopston. 

“The landscape of moors, mountains, lochs, beaches and coast is stunning. People are genuinely friendly and the Gaelic culture is really strong. The wildlife is amazing - it's like being in an episode of Springwatch!”

The book includes lots of things for families to do - something Mark is well placed to describe as he has taken his own three children up there every year for the past seven years. 

“It's a paradise for kids,” he says. 'They can just be themselves, there are huge beaches to roam over - you'll have them to yourselves - there is no one to scowl at them. They will love the wildlife - they will see otters, seals, red stags and golden eagles for sure. And the cafes are brilliant -the best milkshakes and home-made cakes you will ever have.”

While researching the book Mark met several people from the south-west who have relocated to the islands. These include a former Bristol university lecturer and a master baker from the city, Darren Cole and Chris Griffiths have set up Hebscape, a cafe and art gallery on Harris.

Despite being a remote part of the UK, the Outer Hebrides are easily reached from Bristol. Mark says: “EasyJet's Bristol-Inverness route is one of their most popular. You can pick up a hire car at Inverness and be at the port of Ullapool to cross to Lewis in just 90 minutes.”

The book is stocked in Stanfords and Waterstones and available online from Bradt (, Amazon and Hive (, the online bookseller that supports high street bookshops. Mark tweets updates about the islands at @wanderingrowe

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