This Pilgrim Journey touches on the four great northeastern rivers of Scotland, the Tay, the Dee, the Don and the Spey. Together they ring the Grampians while creating strategic routes through the hills, and feeding fertile lowlands beyond. The journey is therefore now Lowland and next Highland, and sometimes both together. Each of the rivers has created distinctive sites and traditions, while taken as a whole the pilgrim inheritance of the northeast is unrivalled anywhere in Britain.
The overall scale of this Journey is epic and deliberately designed to challenge preconceptions. Yet so concentrated at points is the interest, that one stage alone repays significant investments of time and imagination. But whether by coast or glen, historic village, or cathedral church, one cannot forget the majestic silence of the mountains at the centre. The vast isolation ecological fragility of those remote hills draws people inexorably to the mountain vision. The purity of sound and contemplation evoked ensures that however far we travel, and however busy our curiosity, something of the mystery will always elude us, carried from the mountains by those great streams of life to the sea.