Appreciating geology and the physical landscape in Scotland: from tourism of awe to experiential re-engagement
Published:January 01, 2016
John E. Gordon, Matt Baker, 2016. "Appreciating geology and the physical landscape in Scotland: from tourism of awe to experiential re-engagement", Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism, T. A. Hose
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This chapter explores people’s experience of the physical landscape in Scotland from the perspective of parallel developments in geological science, landscape aesthetics and tourism since the middle of the eighteenth century. It begins with tourism of awe, inspired by the Romantic movement and the excitement of discovering natural wonders promoted through contemporary literature and art during the development of modern geological science in the late eighteenth–early nineteenth centuries. Popular interest and engagement in geology declined with increasing scientific specialization, although the physical landscape continued to draw many visitors and provide creative inspiration for poets and artists. In the 1940s, the beginnings of statutory geoconservation were accompanied by renewed interest in raising public awareness of geology and the physical landscape mainly through didactic methods. More recently, exploration of the cultural links between geology and landscape is providing new opportunities for experiential re-engagement, a shift that recognizes the close links between people and the physical landscape, and one promoted through voluntary sector activity in geoconservation and the development of Geoparks. Rediscovering a sense of wonder and reconnecting with the landscape offer a means of reconciling the natural and cultural worlds and enabling wider public appreciation of geodiversity.
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Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism
Geotourism, as a form of sustainable geoheritage tourism, was defined and developed, from the early 1990s, to contextualize modern approaches to geoconservation and physical landscape management. However, its roots lie in the late seventeenth century and the emergence of the Grand Tour and its domestic equivalents in the eighteenth century. Its participants and numerous later travellers and tourists, including geologists and artists, purposefully explored wild landscapes as‘geotourists’.
The written and visual records of their observations underpin the majority of papers within this volume; these papers explore some significant geo-historical themes, organizations, individuals and locations across three centuries, opening with seventeenth century elite travellers and closing with modern landscape tourists. Other papers examine the resources available to those geotourists and explore the geotourism paradigm.
The volume will be of particular interest to Earth scientists, historians of science, tourism specialists and general readers with an interest in landscape history.