Review: Cruel Crossing – Edward Stourton

Back in late 2011 I heard a BBC Radio 4 programme in which Edward Stourton joined an annual walk, Le Chemin de la Liberté, across the Pyrennees which celebrates the Second World War route used by Allied soldiers, Jews, French resistance fighters, spies and many other groups of people who were trying to escape Nazi [...]

Review: In the Dolphin’s Wake – Harry Bucknall

Travel writer Harry Bucknall is an experienced wanderer with a background in both the military and in theatre production – an interesting mix of talents which has enabled him to write a distinctive travel book in which he describes his travels through the major (and many of the lesser) Greek Islands. The book has received [...]

Review: Best Foot Forward, a 500-mile walk through hidden France – Susie Kelly

I enjoy reading about the adventures of lone travellers, particularly when they are travelling under their own steam. In the middle of winter, its particularly good to read of someone setting off on a spring morning to see where their journey is going to take them.

I’ve already reviewed Susie Kelly’s book The Valley [...]

Review: Olivia Laing – To the River

To the River is an unusual book, combining local and literary history, a walking journal, meditations on the topic of rivers and water, and a hefty amount of biographical material about Virginia Woolf. The author, Olivia Laing, walked the Ouse Path during a time of great personal sadness, soon after she had broken up with [...]

Review: Forgotten Land – Max Egremont

In Forgotten Land, Max Egremont describes his travels among the old lands of East Prussia, bringing to the task a deep knowledge of modern history and the proficiency of an experienced writer. The book is a mixture of history, travel-writing and personal interviews, a fascinating mix which builds up a compelling picture of these lands [...]

Review: The Valley of Heaven and Hell – Susie Kelly

The Amazon Kindle has provided a versatile publishing platform for people who want an alternative to getting their books published through the usual route of finding a “paper” publisher and persuading them to invest in their life’s work. Some of these Kindle-only books have done incredibly well. perhaps not least because they provide very economical [...]

Review: Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes – Robert Louis Stevenson

Since buying a Kindle e-reader I’ve been tempted by the vast number of free books available on sites like Project Gutenburg (and many others). I don’t think I’ll be spending a lot of time reading these as generally there are so many new books coming to my attention that its difficult to devote a lot [...]

Review: Germania – Simon Winder

We have just come back from The Black Forest, having driven across France from Dieppe to Strasbourg and then into Germany, staying for a week in a very comfortable rented house in Titisee-Neustadt – a place I would recommend to anyone who appreciates wonderful scenery and all the facilities of a lakeside resort.

Before I [...]

Review: Three Ways to Capsize a Boat – Chris Stewart

Ever since Jerome K Jerome had such a phenomenal and long-lasting success with Three Men In A Boat, other travellers have written humorous accounts of their exploits, increasingly so in recent years. There seems to be a vast market for these books, and I enjoy reading them from time to time, usually as light relief [...]

Review: Shadow of the Silk Road – Colin Thubron

For those who like in-depth accounts of epic journeys, Shadow of the Silk Road is perfect. No Bryson or Palin-style humour here, rather a serious traveller of the old-school, who does it the hard way, pushing into remote, forbidding regions, taking risks in a way which suggests he has given up on life itself, Colin [...]