Unforgettable Walks by Julia Bradbury

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Unforgettable Walks by Julia Bradbury

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Category: Travel
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Eight walks from England and Wales, chosen because of the views. Perhaps one to read before the walk, or alongside the TV series, but not one for the rucksack.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: February 2016
Publisher: Quercus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1784298845

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I've long been a fan of Julia Bradbury's walking programmes on television - I credit her with sparking my own interest in walking - so the news that there would shortly be another series of programmes and a book to accompany the series was music to my ears. This time she's looking at Britain's best walks with a view and she roams through Dorset, the Cotswolds, Anglesey, the Yorkshire Dales, the Lakes, Cumbria, the South Downs and the Peak District. Unless you're in Scotland there's something reasonably close to just about everyone, with a good spread around all points of the compass.

I'm in the market for suggestions for new walks, so how did Unforgettable Walks stack up? All the walks are under ten miles, so they should be within the capability of most reasonably seasoned walkers. There is a map early on in the chapter on each walk, but it's not the sort on which you'd really want to rely, other than to follow the dotted line between various landmarks. If you depend on knowing that you need to turn left just before the bridge and that some parts are a little boggy in wet weather, then you will need something a little more detailed, particularly as the text is not forthcoming on such matters. There are thirteen full colour pictures in the centre of the book, but eight of them are essentially Julia Bradbury with the view being incidental.

What you do get from the text is a real feeling for the countryside, with frequent references to locations with which you'll be familiar from well-known television programmes. I'm sure that there will be people, say the fans of Broadchurch, who'll want to do the Golden Cap walk in Dorset for this reason. Where Unforgettable Walks has the advantage over the bog-standard walking book is that here we also get to meet the people, such as Emma Dent, the nineteenth century owner of Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds or Amanda Owen, the Yorkshire Shepherdess on the Malham Cove walk and she's definitely twenty-first century. The pieces about them are short but very much too the point. The look behind the scenes at the making of the TV programmes was fascinating. No - she's not out there on her own, talking to thin air!

For each walk there are recommendations about where to stay, where to eat, what to see and what to do. They are limited, but will definitely give you a start. So, did the book stack up? Firstly, I'll definitely watch the television programmes - and probably with the book by my side and I have a note (possibly to be added to when I see the programmes!) of which walks I'd like to do. It will be a good book to read before the walk, to point up what I want to see, but it's probably not one which I'd choose to put in my rucksack. But I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag - it's been a real treat.

To go with this book we can recommend While Wandering - A Walking Companion by Duncan Minshull and Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach by Jean Sprackland.

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Buy Unforgettable Walks by Julia Bradbury at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Unforgettable Walks by Julia Bradbury at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Unforgettable Walks by Julia Bradbury at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Unforgettable Walks by Julia Bradbury at Amazon.com.


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