IT was two years ago that tens of thousands marched down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to Holyrood Park, led by a small team who had just completed a 500-mile walk for independence.

They were given a deserved place of honour and a rousing reception, many people having followed their epic journey online and in the pages of The National.

Now a new book, 500 Miles: Walking Towards an Independent Scotland, tells the whole story of that journey. The authors are the walkers – Jim Stewart, Laura Marshall, Nicholas Russell, Dave Llewellyn and Dean Woodhouse. Woodhouse was responsible for coordinating the publication and providing most of the photographs that illustrate 240-odd pages of what can only be described as an inspiring story.

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It’s not often the Yes DIY pages feature a book review – we wish there were more books about the Yes movement – and not surprisingly, we are giving the book five stars. It it a well-told story that Yessers will like, especially if they look back to the events of 2018 when All Under One Banner marches and 500 mile walkers took the cause of independence onto the streets. Only coronavirus has removed that presence – and we’ll all be back on those same streets as soon as we can.

The blurb describes the book perfectly: “The true story about an adventurous group of Scots, who chose to walk 500 miles across Scotland in autumn 2018. They started on the Isle of Skye and continued onwards through Inverness, Peterhead, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Stirling and Glasgow until they reached their final destination three weeks later.

“Starting out as strangers from locations across Scotland, the group quickly became friends, walking to connect Yes groups and inspire the swelling support for Scottish independence.

“The walkers brought attention to their goal of joining thousands of marchers in Edinburgh. The hundred thousand people who arrived that day collectively displayed the now unstoppable support for Scotland’s freedom.”

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There are many anecdotes about the welcome the 500 milers got all over Scotland, starting with Ian Blackford MP sending them on their way from Skye by ringing the Freedom Bell. They took their name from The Proclaimers’ song 500 Miles and Craig and Charlie Reid were good enough to send a message of support before they got under way.

The book is a warts-and-all account, because it wasn’t always a smooth passage. The most shocking revelation is that the walkers were being spied on by a woman who was apparently friendly – she even rang the Freedom Bell – but was passing on their route to Unionists.

The book is an Amazon Fulfilment production and is available on