1. The Seaside: England’s Love Affair, Granta, £20.
Journeying around the country, from Scarborough to Blackpool, Madeleine Bunting aims to understand the enduring appeal of seaside resorts, many faded from their 18th-century grandeur. Meeting local people, she delves into the landscapes, histories and contemporary plight of our coastal towns and cities.
2. Lost in the Lakes, Summersdale, £16.99.
Tom Chesshyre takes a 379-mile hike around the Lake District, venturing into backcountry, away from the tourist honeypots. He stays in remote bothies, shepherd’s huts and climbers’ hotels, meeting farmers, hikers and fell runners en route. One for casual hikers, budget travellers and those interested in the landscape, ecology and day-to-day life in the Lakes.
3. Paddle Scotland, Adlard Coles, £16.99.
Scotland is best seen from the water, according to author and paddleboard instructor Alasdair Findlay. There are itineraries for all abilities, from short outings to wilderness day trips, and they come with maps and glossy photography. Most are suitable for kayak and canoe. Some, like the Shin River System, are a joy best experienced by paddleboard.
4. Walking the Bones of Britain, Doubleday, £25.
The Times’s walking correspondent Christopher Somerville makes a thousand-mile journey from the Outer Hebrides to the Thames Estuary to tell the story of Britain’s unique geology. As part of the journey, this book explains how the land has shaped our past and continues to define the fabric of the nation, from farming to the Industrial Revolution and beyond.
5. Sarn Helen: A Journey Through Wales, Past, Present and Future, Granta, £16.99.
Sarn Helen — Helen’s Causeway — is a Roman road that runs north-south through Wales. Tom Bullough walks the route, painting a picture of the changing landscapes around him and exploring Wales’s political, cultural and mythical history. The book is packed with beautiful, earth-hued illustrations.
6. Moderate Becoming Good Later, Summersdale, £9.99.
This book tells the story of one man’s attempt to sea kayak all 31 areas reported in BBC Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast. Toby Carr undertook the journey after his brother’s death from cancer and passed away from the same condition before he finished writing. His sister Katie completed the book: a moving voyage of discovery.
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