Saturday, April 9, 2011

Alwych all-weather notebooks from Scotland

It was on my very last day living in Scotland that I discovered these amazing Scottish notebooks! Actually even before I moved to Scotland last year Massimo had recommended I check these out (see his comment on my New Life, New Planner? post in August last year).  But then after I arrived I completely forgot.  Then reku tweeted me about them a few days before I moved away last month, and I realized I very nearly missed my opportunity to try these most Scottish of notebooks.

On the Friday before I moved on Tuesday, I phoned up to order directly from the company, and managed to place my order just in time to receive it before I left. They were super-fast in getting my order out that very day. In fact, my package arrived the next day (Saturday) while I was out, and since it was too big to fit through my letter slot I got a card to go pick it up at the post office on Monday, the day before I left. Which is probably for the best because otherwise I would have spent the rest of the weekend playing with my new notebooks instead of finishing up my pre-move task list!  I quickly snapped some photos before tossing these into my suitcase.

Alwych notebooks ( have an all-weather cover and an old-school retro look I love. Here's the large one:
Here's the pocket size one:

I wanted to order one in each of the four sizes, but they were temporarily out of the two middle sizes so I got two each of smallest and largest sizes. The smallest is perfect to fit in a pocket, and the largest is still just 8 by 5 inches so it fits easily in a field bag. Click on the photo below to enlarge so you can see the measurements of all their books.

The page edges are blue, which looks cool:

The page lines are green:

The ruling in the large book is slightly wider than in the pocket size book. Click on the photo for a better view:
The all-weather cover is flexible:

The binding is sewn so pages won't fall out of the book:

Click on the photo below to read the product info sheet which has information about the paper and binding. There are 280 pages in the large book:
 And 160 pages in the pocket size book:
Here is a shot of my Alwych notebook collection with my beautiful back yard I had in Scotland in the background. I miss that back yard!!!

There is a fantastic post on Black Cover that compares the Alwych notebook to Moleskine.  Please click here to go read it then come back.

And let me just stand and applaud.

I completely agree, I've never been impressed by Moleskine's rhetoric about what famous people used to use a similar notebook.  But I am very impressed that real-life people with outdoor jobs and activities (like paleontologists and ornithologists) use Alwych notebooks in all weather conditions. I identify much more with that crowd.

I am disappointed with myself that I didn't get my hands on these notebooks right when I first moved to Scotland. I would have loved to fill up my Alwych notebooks with field observations of birds and plants in the forest, sea life when I visited the coast, and wildlife observations of all kinds. Maybe I'll save one of these specifically for when I return to Scotland.  And you can bet when I do get back to Scotland I'll order up a shedload of these great notebooks!

Click here to order Alwych notebooks online: or call 01698 357 223 to order. To order from outside the UK, email with your order and full mailing address, and they will reply with your total including shipping. They are very nice people there and extremely helpful, so just give them a call and they will be happy to help you out. :)


  1. You should definitely save one for your return to Scotland as I know you will go back there at some point! Your back garden was amazing. No wonder you miss it!

  2. These are just what I have been looking for (albeit plain rather than lined) I've just ordered 4, thank you

  3. Alwych also makes a hardcover version of the notebook, 9" x 7", same all-weather cover, same wonderful retro branding, blue edge on the paper, smyth-sewn binding, 240 pages, 8 mm rule. The item number is A34/120. Not sure how much they sell for. They don't list them on the web site for some reason, but an inquiry will give you the details.

    Also, an eBay seller carries some Alwych notebooks, so he may be a viable source for folks in the U. S.

  4. Steveareno, the hardcover version sounds great! One day I'll get my hands on one of those.

  5. I picked up a couple of the pocket sized lined ones on Amazon here in the States a couple of years ago. You can sometimes find them there, and Laurie, I agree, they are much higher quality than Moleskine. The only problem is getting them to lay flat, but eventually they will.

  6. you can get them in the USA now: