For Paul Murton, the mythical call of the Orkney and Shetland isles has been strong since his childhood.
Thanks to his father’s Norwegian background, Paul spent a lot of his childhood travelling extensively among the islands of Norway’s fjord-riven west coast or tramping through the snowfields of Hardangervidda.
But Scotland’s own northern isles remained a mystery. After visiting Orkney for the first time in his thirties while filming, the big skies and wide horizons of the island which reminded him of Norway were enough to begin a long love affair with Scotland’s Viking north.
This beautiful book, full of colour photographs mostly taken by the author himself, is the result of explorations around Orkney and Shetland.
The writing is often a little dense and full of historical detail, but when the text moves on to Murton’s insightful observations, which describe the islands as they stand today, or the humorous anecdotes of his encounters with those who live or visit there, the oft-forgotten links between the islands and their Viking past is vividly brought to life.
The Viking Isles, by Paul Murton, published by Birlinn, £17.99.