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We’re delighted to share with you the seventh edition of Hidden Scotland magazine. Welcome to the Autumn-Winter 2023-24 issue. 

Did you know that nostalgic feelings can be protective against the cold? Scientists think that’s one of the reasons we experience wistfulness in winter. Whether that’s true or not, what better theme to focus on in this issue than tradition? From tartan, which is getting the V&A Dundee treatment, to the resurgence of artisan weaving, and a return to traditional signage on shops, we explore how traditional Scotland intersects with modern Scotland. A great place to start is our guide to the traditions embedded in towns across Scotland – the likes of Stonehaven’s Fireballs at Hogmanay. 

Continuing the theme of tradition, we head to Up Helly Aa in Shetland, the festival of fire that may sound Viking but is rooted in more recent times. And we delve into the history of the Highland Games, which developed centuries ago as a tool to find the best warriors. There are features on tradition in landscape, too. One writer considers what it means to walk in Scotland; another uncovers the important locations keeping the history of Scottish blackhouses alive. 

As ever, the magazine is full of characters. We meet Scotland’s national poet Kathleen Jamie, who explains how poetry has shaped the country, and photographer Jamie Ellington, who tells us what it was like growing up in the sea-access-only village of Crovie. Then there are the communities who have pulled together to achieve amazing things – in places like the island of Eigg and the mainland’s most remote pub. 

It’s the darker season, so we’re giving you lots of opportunity to coorie doon. There’s a roundup of Scottish self-catering cottages, from tree houses to minimalist off-grid cabins. Or why not gather around the fire with Wild Kabn Kitchen on Loch Fyne, where outdoor chef William Hamer is reviving ancient cooking techniques? For those eager to get out and explore, we bring you a guide to Scotland’s most impressive whisky distilleries, a roundup of the nooks and crannies of Perthshire, and a local’s tips for exploring the spectacular winterscape of the Cairngorms. If you need any more inspiration to venture outside, read about the wintering geese of Islay: tens of thousands of them fly from Greenland to the Inner Hebrides every winter.