NEW author Alan Brown is encouraging people to get on their bikes and discover Scotland.

At Irvine’s Tidelines Festival on Friday, the Edinburgh man launched his debut book Overlander. Alan is Director of Bike Station, a cycling charity which promotes good mental and physical health through encouraging people to cycle.

Seeking a temporary escape from city life and a mad modern world, Alan plots out a personal challenge: an epic coast-to-coast trip through the wild and lonely interior of the Highlands.

He traverses paths historic and new, eschewing creature comforts and high-tech cycle gear, trusting his mongrel bike.

Armed with the essentials and a sense of adventure and curiosity, he discovers more about nature, history, people, his country, the concept of risk, and himself, than he ever thought possible.

The two-day festival also featured a gin-tasting session with Gin Galore author Sean Murphy and a launch by Mairi Kidd of Warriors and Witches and Damn Rebel Bitches. A Gruffalo Early Years Storytelling session was held on Saturday.