Hitchhiking author takes route to Scottish independence

Andrew Pickering from Oakley, who has written a book called The Hitch Hiker's Guide To Scottish Independence
Andrew Pickering from Oakley, who has written a book called The Hitch Hiker's Guide To Scottish Independence

An Oakley man has written a book about Scottish independence after hitchhiking around the country.

Andrew Pickering, who has had a life-long fascination with Scotland, quit his job of 30 years as an accountant when the independence referendum was announced so he could write ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To Scottish Independence’.

Given his interest in the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, his knowledge of which won him a place on the BBC’s Mastermind, the 55 year old decided to travel the route of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army.

Over three weeks this took him from the Highlands of Scotland to the southernmost point they reached in Derby, then back north to Inverness, the scene of their final defeat.

Along the way he spoke with a host of people, Scottish and English, about independence and the upcoming referendum.

Father of two Mr Pickering said: “I fell in love with Scotland after being taken there on a school trip when I was 14.

“I only had a short window in which to write the book before the referendum so I thought I would take a chance and I resigned from my job.

“I hadn’t hitchhiked for 35 years and didn’t even know if it was even possible in Britain these days.

“It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

“People went way out of their way to drop me where I wanted to go and never asked for petrol money, and there were never any threats from anybody.”

Mr Pickering said the majority of Scottish people he spoke to were in favour of the union being kept together.

His self-published book is now available as an e-book on the Amazon Kindle Store for just over £3.