Issue 9, Winter

6 of the best books for lovers of the outdoors

Books

From epic adventures to finding walks in the city, here are six of the best books for outdoor-lovers.

Ascent by Chris Bonington

This is the big one – an autobiography from one of Britain’s most celebrated mountaineers. This book is a very candid look at his remarkable life, which has included 19 Himalayan expeditions (including Everest at the age of 50) as well as the overcoming of personal grief. An inspirational tale. 

The January Man by Christopher Somerville

This book, shortlisted for the 2017 Wainwright Prize, follows a year of British walks, month by month, season by season, region by region. Christopher Somerville walks all across the UK – in areas such as Sherwood Forest, Yorkshire’s Nidderdale and the floodlands of the River Severn – memorably describing the history, wildlife and people he encounters. 

Where The Wild Winds Are by Nick Hunt

It’s an intriguing concept for a book: to literally follow the winds from the fells of Cumbria, along the Rhône and into the Alps, examining how Europe’s winds have affected the countries they pass through. It’s a travel book at heart, but one that also explores the science (and folklore) behind the forces of nature. 

Walking in London by Peter Aylmer

Not all nature walks need to be out of the city. One of Cicerone’s latest walking guidebooks looks at 25 routes covering parks, heaths, forests and waterside spaces in London, as well as the wildlife you can find there. It also includes the history along the way. Walks range from four to 14 miles. 

Britain’s Best Small Hills by Phoebe Smith 

Subtitled ‘A guide to wild walks, short adventures, scrambles, great views, wild camping & more’, this book, published by Bradt, goes in search of the 60 best small hills in Britain for mini-adventures. Phoebe writes exquisitely about these easily reached hills, and the stories they hold.    

The Edges of These Isles by Simon Bray and Tom Musgrove

Less a book than an art project, its printed pages give a photographic and artistic look at seven landscape locations. The book itself is an objet d’art with sketches, hand-drawn maps and personal accounts from Simon and Tom. There’s also an evocative film at theedgesoftheseisles.com

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