After a long career in education, information technology and academic publishing, Jacquetta became interested in long-distance walking and trekking. After completing the West Highland Way, her first long walk, in 1998 she progressed to Mount Kilimanjaro, which she has summited four times by four different routes. She is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and in 2016 won its Award for Excellence with Trek to Everest.
In 2000 she launched the rainproof Rucksack Reader format with built-in maps for guidebooks. The first two titles, Speyside Way and West Highland Way were soon followed by a further 40 guidebooks. Of these, she has either written or co-authored 24, as well as editing them all and creating frequent revised editions of earlier books.
Over the years, she has walked and re-walked most of Scotland’s Great Trails and many of England’s National Trails. in 2017 she created the website Scotlands Great Trails in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage (now NatureScot).
In 2013 she moved from Dunblane to Edinburgh, while also completing the route research for the John Muir Way (about 190 miles including cycle options). In 2014 she also rewalked the Great Glen Way including High Routes for its fifth edition. In 2015 she completed the Fife Coastal Path including Elie Chainwalk, and more recently she has also walked the Annandale Way, Borders Abbeys Way, Arran Coastal Way, Heart of the Cotswolds, most of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, and the entire Causeway Coast, Forth to Farne and Rob Roy Ways.
In April 2007 she was among the 200+ volunteers who trekked to Everest Base Camp (5360 m/17,585 ft), undergoing medical tests daily en route, featured in the Scotsman Magazine (17.2.07 p38). She was interviewed about this on Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors. She later returned to Nepal to revisit Base Camp and also to explore the Gokyo valley via the Cho La pass (5368 m) for the award-winning guidebook Trek to Everest.