Walking With Cattle

In Search of the Last Drovers of Uist

Terry J. Williams

Date Published :
November 2017
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781780274881
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 7.7 X 5.1 inches
In stock


Droving was once the lifeblood of Scotland’s rural economy, and for centuries Scotland’s glens and mountain passes were alive with thousands of cattle making their way to the market trysts of Crieff and Falkirk. With the Industrial Revolution, ships, railways and eventually lorries took over the drovers’ trade, and by the early twentieth century, the age-old droving tradition was all but dead. Except, however, in the Western Isles, where droving on foot continued until the mid-1960s, when MacBrayne’s introduced a new generation of ferries capable of bringing livestock lorries to the islands. In this book Terry J. Williams follows the route of the drovers and their cattle from the remote Atlantic coast of Uist to the Highland marts.

Travelling by campervan and armed with a voice recorder, a collection of archive photographs and a set of maps marked with the old market stances, she seeks out the last surviving drovers. The resulting narrative is an extraordinary insight into a lost world, told through the voices of the few remaining individuals who remember the days of walking with cattle.

About The Author

Terry J. Williams is a farmer’s daughter who was brought up in Cumbria and has lived in Scotland for many years. She lived for 10 years in a crofting community on the Isle of Skye, working as a freelance photographer and writer. Her book Ten Out Of Ten was published in 2010 to celebrate the first ten years of Sgoil Chùil na Gàidhealtachd in Plockton.


Compact and focused in her ambition, [Williams] pursues Uist’s drovers from the Atlantic’s edge to the marts of Oban and Dingwall, bringing us memories from practitioners from a former way of life. Her subject is the marriage of people and place, and in careful prose, and with black and white photographs, she makes a fascinating way of life both grounded and heroic’

- Tom Adair, Scotsman

More from this publisher