Print issue two has left the building...

At long last, we’re thrilled to announce that the second print edition of Ernest Journal has left HQ and is on its merry way to the printers! Fancy a quick look inside?

In our 24-page guide to the Hebrides, we aim to capture the spirit of slow adventure and to focus on how an appreciation of the local landscape, industry and history can enrich your journeys. We spend a day with Hughie Macleod who has been fishing for langoustines these past 30 years; we gain a new perspective on exploring remote islands by sea kayak and we meet the industrious weavers who incorporate Skye’s rich colours and textures into their cloth using a contraption made from a tractor wheel, sewing machine, old dishwasher and telephone exchange. The Heath Robinson approach to invention is still very much alive in the far-flung corners of these isles.

In the spirit of finding new ways to explore the world, we invite you to embark on some compelling psycho-geographical wanderings. Follow us as we unearth a handful of Britain’s 3,000 ghost villages, from a thriving Medieval port that slipped into the sea to a hamlet deserted so armed forces could practice their shooting; take a walk down a historic network of pathways in the north of England that tangle the past and present; and gain an insight into the endurance and camaraderie of our ancestors who battled in Normandy 70 years ago.

As often happens in Ernest, a second and more unexpected theme emerged as we compiled the issue. Those with a fascination for anatomy should skip straight to our feature on a research facility in Bristol that stores over 900 human brains; read a macabre guide to the medicinal use of wolf carcass through the ages; explore the extraordinary home of sculptor Liddie Holt and follow a grisly battle of wills between an 18th-century surgeon and London’s most popular circus attraction.

Pre-order your copy and we'll pop it through your letterbox in the first week of December.

Pre-order Print Issue 2

Inside print issue 2:

  • Explore the Outer Hebrides by sea kayak, meet the couple weaving Skye's landscape into cloth and spend a day with a West Coast prawn fisherman.
  • Follow a battle of wills between an 18th-century surgeon and an Irish circus attraction.
  • Enter a room filled with over 900 frozen brains to learn about these mysterious organs.
  • Meet the Isle of Wight globemaker who fuses NASA technology and modern design with a devotion to time-honoured methods dating back to the 1600s
  • Salted hides, oak liquor and fish grease: step inside Britain's last oak tannery.
  • Investigate the murky origins of porter
  • Gather cockles and edible seaweed then prepare a simple lobster supper on the barbecue.
  • Meet the father and son team restoring ancient keyboards to their former glory.
  • Search for Britain's 3,000 ghost villages.

Pre-order for delivery in the first week of December 2014.

Ernest Journal is 160 pages, perfect bound and printed in full colour on FSC approved uncoated 140gsm and silk 170gsm paper in Bristol, UK.

Posting & packing: UK £3.50. Europe: £5. USA & Rest of the World £8.

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Menthe's legacy

David Gerrans of The Whip Mayfair shares his recipe for the classic cocktail from America's Deep South: the Mint Julep, while delving into the legendary origins of one of its key ingredients

Menthe was a water nymph who entranced and seduced Hades, ruler of the Underworld and husband of the beautiful goddess Persephone. The beauty and charms of Persephone could not keep Hades from the arms of Menthe, and when Persephone caught the pair up to their dirty deeds, in her fury she turned Menthe into a low-growing plant so that the feet of humans would forever trample her. Hades, feeling sorry for Menthe, gave her a sweet aromatic smell to omit from her when crushed, so humans would grow to love her as he did. Hence the story of how mint, one of the four key ingredients in a Mint Julep, came to this world.

Rather than trample on your mint, lightly press it in the Julep tin cup to release its aromatics before adding sugar ice and whisky to this slow sipping cocktail.

Mint Julep

50ml American bourbon whisky
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp water
6-8 mint leaves

Add the mint to your julep tin or glass and lightly press it with a spoon to release its aromatics. Add the sugar and water next – sugar has a hard time dissolving in alcohol so give it a quick stir – then add 2 shots of whisky. Wrap up some ice in a tea towel and with a mallet or a frying pan go to town on it. Scoop your newly crushed ice on top and add a mint sprig garnish. Julep strainer optional. 

The Whip is a new cocktail bar perched above Mayfair's oldest pub in London.

A fine winter coating

We've curated this selection of British-made outerwear that will have you cackling in the face of our unpredictable weather. Rain? Wind? Herring? Have it, you!

1. One Nine Zero Six Ventile Parka, £199

This waterproof drawstring parka (very much of of the flashing ilk) is made of Ventile – a 100% cotton material invented in the 1940s for pilots' flying suits. It's durable, breathable and lots of other words that end in 'able'. 

2. BEE Autumn Stroller Jacket, £340

Designed with the changeable autumn weather in mind, this navy and yellow jacket (always a winning colour combo for Ernest) comes with a removable storm cape and wind shield collar. All coats should come with a storm cape, right?

3. BEE Duffle Coat, £360

We love BEE Clothing's spin on the duffle coat, weaving in all the classic essentials such as the large front pockets, horn buttons and roomy hood but finishing it off with a snazzy printed shoulder yoke rather reminiscent of father's pyjamas.

4. BEE Signature Jacket, £300

There are multiple reasons why we keep harping on about this awesome jacket. It's water repellant, it's reversible, it's warm and just look at that colour! So orange it hurts the eye, but in a good way. With this coat you'll be ready and armed for whatever the weather throws at you.

5. Percival Eiger Jacket, £109

This versatile jacket from London clothier Percival caught our eye for its distinctive beeswaxed cotton panelling, horn buttons, removable hood (also lined with waxed cotton so rain runs off) and its fetching bunting patterned inner lining. Even Ernest likes a bit of bunting.  

6. Lavenham Hundon Worker Jacket, £99

When Lavenham aren't making quilted horse rugs and waistcoats they craft these classic country jackets too, in quilted diamond cord. Perfect for walking the dog on a frosty morning, leaves crunching underfoot, thinking "I fancy a spot of grouse for lunch, what what."

We chose this selection of coats from our Directory member Made In These Isles, an online store that sources and showcases the finest products that have been designed, crafted and manufactured in the British Isles. If you would like to join our directory, email

The ghosts of Dartmoor

Beware disembodied hands, a blind highwayman and bloodthirsty hounds of hell on the wilds Dartmoor in this dark and dastardly week. Mark Blackmore is your guide...

Dartmoor is a national park in south Devon, 954 square km of moorland studded with granite tors. It’s an ancient place, long inhabited by hardy souls, and you can still find stone circles, the remains of Bronze Age settlements, among its hills and valleys. Little surprise then that a land with such a rich history, of such isolated splendour, should be absolutely seething with ghosts. Totally infested, it is. One time the Blair Witch visited for a holiday but left early because the place was freaking her out.

Let’s take a tour. It’s safe as long as you take Ernest’s hand, but whatever you do, don’t let go.

We’ll start with one of Ernest’s favourites, over at Postbridge on the B3212. Here, drivers of carriages, cars and motorcycles report their vehicles being forced off the road by the ‘Hairy Hands’, disembodied hands that grab the wheel (or handlebars or reins). The Hairy Hands often remain invisible, a sign of their supreme cunning.

Now let’s stop by the picturesque village of Chagford. The Three Crowns Hotel offers polite hospitality, a great restaurant and the ghost of Sydney Godolphin, a Cornish Member of Parliament who died on the front porch after being shot in the thigh with a musket during the Civil War. Most of the rooms at the Three Crowns have had a visitation or two, but then it is a very nice place.

Over to Beetor Cross, and there’s the highwayman who stands watching the road. Give him a wave and pretend you haven’t noticed the empty eye sockets. We won’t dally at Bradford Pool, because that soft voice calling your name won’t stop until you have drowned. And we’ll keep going past Cadover Bridge, because those sounds are from a battle between the forces of Cromwell and Charles I. Yes, those are the screams of the dying. It’s not very nice, to be honest.

Now, here we are at Chaw Gully. There’s treasure in the pit here, but see that raven? He’ll call to the guardian, should you try to reach it. No, you don’t want to meet the guardian. We’ll head over to Clasiwell, where at night a disembodied voice can be heard giving the name of the next local to die.

Watch your step

Slightly less depressing, though more dangerous, is Dewerstone Woods. Here, should you be caught alone at night, a huntsman will chase you to the highest peak, and when you fall, the hellhounds will be waiting for you. It’s not the nicest way to go, no.

Let’s zip by New Bridge – see the fairies who still live there? You can also catch them at Sheeps Tor – and go straight on to Dartmoor Prison. The jackdaws here contain the souls of dead staff, which I’d wager wasn’t in their original employment contracts.

Widecombe-in-the-Moor is one of the prettiest villages on the moor, though it wasn’t really the place to be the day the Devil visited. A man named Jan Reynolds had sold his soul for seven years of good luck, but when it came time to pay he took shelter in the village church. The Devil struck the church with lightning, and Jan and three others died in the fire.

Ignore Gibbet Hill – that’s the ghost of a murderer, ineptly hung, who eventually died of thirst. He’s begging for someone to kill him. More interesting is the stone circle at Lustleigh Cleave, where you can sometimes see the ancient inhabitants still going about their daily lives.

Pretty much anywhere on Dartmoor, of course, you could run into the black hound. This legend is the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, and the most likely way you’ll see the hound nowadays is under the control of one Richard Cabell, who likes to hunt children with his devil dog. Perhaps best then to keep a child handy, just in case the situation should arise.


Mark Blackmore has written for many diverse publications including Men’s HealthBBC HistoryCountryfileFocus, The World of Cross Stitching and Sabotage Times. He recently published The Wager, a novel about a bet between God and Lucifer.

You can read more of Mark's dark tales in iPad issue 4, on sale now.

The Crossing of Antarctica

One hundred years after Sir Ernest Shackleton set out on his ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica, this book celebrates the expedition that succeeded where he failed. Thom Hunt of 7th Rise and Channel 4's Three Hungry Boys shares his thoughts on The Crossing of Antarctica

Fierce winter winds carved a gully behind the hut at Shackleton © The George Lowe Collection

Fierce winter winds carved a gully behind the hut at Shackleton © The George Lowe Collection

In a world saturated by health and safety regulations, hedging your bets and insurance for every possible scenario, this book smashes through wary modern thinking like a freight train on its way to unexplored corners of the world.

The Cross of Antarctica tells the story of the 1957-58 expedition led by Vivian ‘Bunny’ Fuchs – an epic journey that fulfilled Shackleton’s dream and became one of the 20th century’s triumphs of exploration, a powerful expression of human willpower. 

The book comes from a time when men were men, with beards and dexterity; men who could fix almost anything and would laugh in the face of a blizzard. The photography – sourced from the private archives of Everest veteran George Lowe as well as items from the Fuchs' family collection – is mind blowing and the words and interviews a mixture of poetry, philosophy and downright bluntness. And why wouldn't they be? These chaps had been there, done that and gone back for more. 

I, for one, am thankful that these stories and photos have been discovered and published but I guess the last real test is this: if we read such tales of courage and determination then we close the pages only to remain stagnant, I believe we are doing a disservice not only to ourselves but also to these great men of adventure. Greatness is not reserved for the few enlightened ones, it is available for each and any of us who commit to advancing towards the unknown. This book taught me, just when I needed it, that the extraordinary is but a decision away.

If life is as adventurous as you want it to be then it ain't broke, so don't fix it. But if thoughts lurk in your mind of a life less ordinary, buy this book, read it,  then see how far the rabbit hole goes.

Star rating: 5/5

Reconnaissance foray on the Skelton Glacier, 1957 © The George Lowe Collection

Reconnaissance foray on the Skelton Glacier, 1957 © The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

George Lowe taking a portrait of a penguin  © Jon Stephenson

George Lowe taking a portrait of a penguin  © Jon Stephenson

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

Vivian ‘Bunny’ Fuchs’ Sno-Cat Rock’n’Roll becomes jammed nose first in the far wall of a deep crevasse © The George Lowe Collection

Vivian ‘Bunny’ Fuchs’ Sno-Cat Rock’n’Roll becomes jammed nose first in the far wall of a deep crevasse © The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

© The George Lowe Collection

The Crossing of Antarctica: Original Photographs from the Epic Journey that Fulfilled Shackleton's Dream by George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones is published by Thames & Hudson at £24.95.

Reviewer and adventurer Thom Hunt runs bushcraft and wild cookery courses with 7th Rise and is one of the Three Hungry Boys on Channel 4.