THROUGH his highly successful BBC2 television programmes, Wilderness Walks, and his long running editorship of TGO (The Great Outdoors) magazine Cameron McNeish has long been recognised as one of Britain’s best known outdoor commentators.
A former youth hostel warden, ski and climbing instructor Cameron, along with two partners, started the outdoor magazine Footloose in 1982, leaving in 1985 to become editor of Climber and Rambler magazine. In 1991 he took over the editorship of The Great Outdoors magazine, now called TGO Magazine. www.tgomagazine.co.uk In 2010 Cameron left the editor’s chair to become editor-at-large, giving him more time to pursue other aspects of his career and spend more time on the hills and trails. Later that year he was awarded the Murray Cochran Lifetime Achievement Award by PPA Scotland for services to magazine publishing.
Cameron is also an experienced radio and television journalist and presenter. He presented the weekly magazine programme, Leisure Trail for BBC Radio Scotland from 1985 to 1986, following that by presenting Weekend Break and Winter Break between 1986 and 1989. Reflecting his growing interest in wider countryside issues he hosted the BBC Radio Scotland environmental programme, In the Country between 1987 and 1991. He also wrote and presented two 6-part series called Tales of the Hills that were broadcast in 1987. In 1991, the centenary of the publication of Munro’s Tables, he wrote and presented a programme for Radio 4 called The Munro Challenge.
In 1994 Cameron first collaborated with Richard Else of Triple Echo Productions to present the BAFTA-winning BBC2 television series, The Edge: One Hundred years of Scottish Mountaineering. Also in 1994, Cameron presented a 6-part series called The Great Outdoors for Channel 4 and in 1997 he presented Wilderness Walks, a 6-part series for BBC2. In October 1998 the second series of Wilderness Walks was broadcast to critical acclaim.
More recently, in 2007, Cameron acted as consultant on Griff Rhys Jones’ highly successful series for BBC1, Mountain, and currently contributes a regular slot, Wild Walks, on the BBC Scotland series, The Adventure Show. A “special” Adventure Show was shown on Boxing Day 2008 and 2009 in which Cameron presented ‘Sutherland - The Empty Lands?’ and ‘The Skye Trail.’ In 2010 he continued the series by presenting ‘The Hebridean Trail.’
Since 1982 Cameron has contributed a weekly outdoors column to his local newspaper, the Strathspey and Badenoch Herald , one of the longest running weekly columns in Scottish publishing.
Cameron, in collaboration with Striding Edge productions of Cumbria, has also made a number of videos and DVD’s, contributing to the company’s Great Walks series. Since then he has produced a number of outdoor DVD’s and books working in collaberation with Richard Else under the company name of Mountain Media Productions Ltd
Published books include:
- 1978: Highland Ways
- 1980: The Master Guide to Snow Camping
- 1981: Backpacker’s Scotland
- 1983: The Backpacker’s Manual (Published in five language editions)
- 1986: The Book of the Climbing Year
- 1989: Classic Walks in Scotland (With Roger Smith)
- 1990: The Best Hill Walking in Scotland
- 1991: The Munro Almanac
- 1994: The Corbett Almanac
- 1994: The Trossachs
- 1994: The Edge: 100 Years of Scottish Mountaineering, with Richard Else
- 1996: The Munros; Scotland’s Highest Mountains
- 1997: Wilderness Walks, with Richard Else
- 1998: More Wilderness Walks, with Richard Else
- 1999: Scotland’s 100 Best Walks
- 2001: The Wilderness World of Cameron McNeish
- 2006: The Munros; Scotland’s Highest Mountains (10th Anniversary edition)
- 2009: The Sutherland Trail, with Richard Else
- 2010: The Skye Trail, with Richard Else
In 1999 Cameron was elected president of the Backpackers’ Club and between March 2000 and March 2003 he served as president of the Ramblers’ Association in Scotland. He is currently a Vice-President of RA Scotland and in 2007 became Chairman of the Nevis Partnership. In 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for services to geography.
Cameron McNeish is also well known as a lecturer and after dinner speaker and regularly takes part in business seminars giving motivational talks on the re-creational benefits of countryside and wilderness. These talks include advice on isolation, stress relief, creating a personal haven and the necessity of scheduling quality time for planning, visualisation and self-improvement.
An enthusiastic world traveller, Cameron has hiked, backpacked, skied and climbed in the Alps, the Pyrenees, Spain, Iceland, North America, Norway, Sweden, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Central America, Slovenia, Russia, Guatemala, Corsica, Jordan and Turkey. He currently leads treks several times a year for KE Adventure Travel of Keswick, Cumbria.