In 2013, tired of shabby flatshares and frenetic London life, Danie Couchman bought a narrowboat. Unable to afford a permanent mooring, she moved every fortnight, navigating the Thames, the Grand Union Canal and the River Lea. In five years of itinerant, off-grid living in this urban wilderness, she reconnected with nature and found friends amid the eclectic, nomadic community of boat-dwellers.
The Epic Story of the Men Who Kept the Endurance Expedition Alive
Shackleton's 1914–17 Antarctic expedition is best remembered for its legendary escape after his ship Endurance was crushed by ice. Less well known are the exploits of the 'Mount Hope Party', dispatched aboard the Aurora to lay food depots across the Great Ice Barrier, without which the planned crossing of the frozen continent would have been impossible. Drawing on the diaries of six expedition members, this book records their story of hardship, heroism and camaraderie – and their tragic fate.
A Traveller's Reader
This anthology offers a selection of writing by past visitors and residents about the life and customs of Moscow, its history, art and architecture, and includes an introduction and a map. Beginning with the Kremlin, it tours the city's districts through the eyes of English visitors from Richard Chancellor in the 16th century to Maurice Baring in the 20th, alongside Russian writers including Tolstoy, Kropotkin and Gorky.
Slow Train to Guantanamo
A Rail Odysesy through Cuba in the Last Days of the Castros
The award-winning foreign correspondent Peter Millar journeys through Cuba aboard a decaying railway system that was once the pride of Latin America. From the capital Havana, he travels with ordinary Cubans to the US naval base and detention camp at Guantanamo, sharing anecdotes, life stories and political opinions. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
An Arabian Journey
One Man's Quest Through the Heart of the Middle East
In September 2017, against the backdrop of the conflict in Syria and the occupation of Iraq by ISIS, Wood set out on a 5,000-mile walking expedition around the Arabian peninsula. In his account of this six-month journey he shares the stories of people he met and uses their perspectives on the Middle East’s history and politics to challenge stereotypes and provide more nuanced insights into an often-misrepresented region.
A Journey Round Britain's Quizzes
Starting with quiz night in the Prince of Wales on Highgate Hill, Mark Mason sets off in search of the perfect quiz question. In venues as far-flung as a hotel bar in Edinburgh and a village pub in Suffolk, he meets the aficionados of the quiz world and a veritable deluge of facts, figures and trivia.
Japan's Season of Fire and Farewells
For decades, Pico Iyer has spent part of each year in Japan with his wife Hiroko. Called back by her father’s sudden death, he embarks on a cycle of rituals honouring the departed. In this meditation on human nature and mortality, he introduces his ailing mother-in-law; his estranged brother-in-law; and the elderly men and women of the ping-pong club, traversing the autumn of their years in different ways.
The Sea Takes No Prisoners
Offshore Voyages in an Open Dinghy
Peter Clutterbuck, now a professional yachtsman and sailing instructor, looks back to the 1960s and youthful adventures in his Wayfarer dinghy Calypso. He learned to sail it in coastal waters, then ventured out to sea – across the Channel and the Bay of Biscay, and eventually the North Sea and the Baltic. For anyone with a love of sailing and the sea, Clutterbuck’s book is both an engrossing read and a mine of information and advice.
50 Journeys that Changed Our World
Spanning five continents and several centuries, the journeys in this book are united by their feats of endurance and lasting impact. Some, such as Columbus’s 1492 landfall in the Americas, changed the course of history; others, such as Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle, altered the way we see the world. Illustrated with historical and modern maps and photographs, they include Amelia Earhart’s transatlantic flight, the voyages of Zheng He, and the travels of Ibn Battuta.
Escape to Ikaria
All at Sea in the Aegean
In the late 1970s Nick and Ros sold their Welsh farm and took their three children to the Greek island of Ikaria, with just a few hundred drachmas and no knowledge of the language. Soon their lives were entwined with those of the islanders. Looking back after 40 years, Nick recalls night fishing, work on building sites, a kindly nun, and an enigmatic visitor called Artemis. Slightly off-mint.
The Immeasurable World
Journeys in Desert Places
Throughout history, many travellers have seen deserts as hostile, desolate places; but William Atkins was drawn to them. Travelling to five continents over three years, he visited Oman’s Empty Quarter, Australia’s nuclear test grounds, China’s Gobi Desert, the dried-out Aral Sea, and the arid regions of the American West. Illustrated with maps of each area, his travelogue explores the history, the people, the cultures, the folklore and the symbolism of these forbidding places.
Journey to the Edge of the World
Billy Connelly recounts with customary humour his ten-week journey through the North West Passage, piloting an aeroplane over Iceberg Valley, trekking through mountains and kayaking through ice floes. Although in awe of the landscape, illustrated here with hundreds of photographs, it was his encounters with ordinary people that made the greatest impression, introducing him to traditions that were essential for survival in this challenging environment. Slightly off-mint.
The Rule of the Land
Walking Ireland's Border
On foot and by canoe, from Carlingford Lough to Derry/Londonderry, Lough Foyle and Magilligan Point on the northern coast, Garrett Carr follows the twisted border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Travelling along rivers and through divided towns, villages and farms in borderlands with a troubled past and an uncertain future, Carr aims to examine ‘how the land and its people have reacted to the border, and the ways in which the line is made manifest’.
Over the Top
The First Lone Yachtsman to Sail Vertically Around the World
Adrian Flanagan’s solo expedition took him down to Cape Horn and the Southern Ocean, then all the way north to cross the ice-filled waters of the Russian Arctic. This account of his adventure includes maps charting his progress on the 30,000-mile journey and diary entries recording challenges that included capsizing, a tropical cyclone, encounters with whales and polar bears and a brush with pirates.
Travelling the South Seas
The first Europeans to see the islands of the South Pacific thought they had found Paradise, but the disruption and disease they brought devastated their ecology and indigenous cultures. Sailing to Vanuatu, Fiji and the Cook Islands, Hans-Christof Wächter discovers what has survived.
Napoleon & St Helena
On the Island of Exile
The remote South Atlantic island of St Helena is famous as the site of Napoleon’s 68-month incarceration as ‘Europe’s prisoner’. Willms draws insights from his own visit as he investigates what life was like there and dispels legends that the Emperor himself helped to create.
The Liquid Continent
Travels through Alexandria, Venice and Istanbul
First published as a trilogy, this travelogue explores the three great maritime cities of the eastern Mediterranean. Delving into their cosmopolitan histories and culture, shaped by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, Jews and many others, it reveals these ancient ports to be rooted in – and linked by – not the landmasses of Europe, Asia and Africa on which they stand, but a ‘continent’ of their own: the sea itself.
From Cape Wrath to Finisterre
Part travel book, part musings on life from the deck of a yacht, this is Larsson’s homage to Celtic lands and waters, from the westernmost point of Spain (Finisterre) to the north of Scotland (Cape Wrath). Admitting to ‘rootlessness and impermanence’, Larsson reflects on the difficulties of an alternative way of life, but also the opportunities it presents.
Innocence and War
Mark Twain's Holy Land Revisited
In 1867 Mark Twain joined a six-month tour of the Middle East amid a company of Presbyterians committed to bringing Christianity to the Ottoman Empire. Following in his footsteps, Ian Strathcarron travels through Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank to Jerusalem. He finds many parallels between the troubled region then and now, and rich ironies to match Twain’s observations of his travelling companions.
White Boy Running
Having been raised in an Irish family in South Africa, the poet-novelist Christopher Hope grew up with a deep insight into apartheid. He returned to the country, after twelve years’ absence, during the 1987 whites-only election. Recalling a childhood road trip (as a white boy running through the landscape) he gives an objective account of the historic grievances of both Afrikaners and the black townships.
The Café de Move-on Blues
In Search of the New South Africa
A quarter of a century after the end of apartheid, Christopher Hope embarks on a road trip through his homeland from Cape Town to the Zimbabwean border, meeting exploited black miners and embittered white nationalists. In the face of persisting economic inequality and interracial bitterness, he concludes that Nelson Mandela’s dream of a ‘rainbow nation’ is fading, and it might be the turn of the whites to hear what anti-apartheid politician Oliver Tambo called ‘the Move-on Blues’.
The Holy Mountain
An Anzac veteran, Sydney Loch (1888–1955) and his wife Joyce settled in Thessalonika, in the last village where women were allowed before the wall of the male-only Athos peninsula. Drawing on 25 years of living there and exploring the Holy Mountain, this is Loch’s account of the autonomous region inhabited only by Orthodox monks, living in monasteries on the flanks of the mountain and keeping Byzantine time, in which the day begins at sunset. First published in 1957. Small print
Travels to the World's Legendary Places
For over a century, National Geographic teams have been travelling the globe and describing exotic sites in words and photographs. For this book, 50 places have been chosen as the most desired, but often challenging, places to visit. Arranged by continent, from Cappadocia in Asia to the Marquesas Islands in Oceania, the description and photographs of each place are accompanied by travel tips and a ‘Nat Geo Flashback’ to an early expedition or a ‘Classic Shot’ by one of the magazine’s photographers.
The Places in Between
In 2002, shortly after the fall of the Taliban, Rory Stewart walked 300 miles through the remote highlands of Afghanistan. His account describes the landscape, society and his encounters with opium growers and mujahedin fighters. An afterword to this new edition reflects how more than a decade of foreign engagement has failed through a fundamental misunderstanding of the country’s traditions.
The Un-Discovered Islands
An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes
This guide to islands that have never existed examines 24 products of imagination, deception and human error. Some have emerged from myth, others as phantoms, plain mysteries, or fakes. The island of Frisland was claimed as British territory by Elizabeth I but turned out not to exist, and there were fraudulent inventions such as Phelipeaux, in Lake Superior. Illustrator Katie Scott adorns the text with mythical beasts.
When the foreign correspondent Patricia Clough bought a house in Umbria, it was the beginning of a long and not always easy introduction to a region of green hills and ancient villages. This personal account records her growing understanding and appreciation of the area's history and culture, its landscapes and wildlife, its food and wine – and her tussles with its bureaucracy.
Sailing by Starlight
In Search of Treasure Island
Alex Capus traces Robert Louis Stevenson's last years, focusing on his seemingly inexplicable decision to settle on Samoa. He concludes that Stevenson had discovered a real-life ‘Treasure Island’ nearby – and that it was this discovery that inspired his most famous work. Literary Traveller series.
Stanfords Travel Classics
The Stanfords Travel Classics series reprints the finest historical travel writing, including this trio of remarkable books: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879); Edith Wharton’s In Morocco (1920), an account of her journey from Rabat, via Fez to Marrakech at the end of the First World War; and Sailing Alone around the World (1900), in which Joshua Slocum tells the story of his 1895 circumnavigation in a 100-year-old rebuilt sloop.
Great American Railroad Journeys
Historical Companion to the BBC Series
In his popular TV travel series, Michael Portillo followed 19th-century railway guides, tracing the history and development of each destination since their original publication. This historical companion to the BBC series focuses on the railways of America, telling the story of the first pioneers, engineering mavericks and tycoons and how the railroad helped to shape the country before and after the Civil War, and into the 20th century.
Memories and the City
Against a backdrop of shattered monuments, neglected villas and ghostly backstreets, a daydreaming boy seeks refuge from family discord in the imagination. In this highly original memoir, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk interweaves his own life, and the lives of his glamorous, unhappy parents, with that of his home city. The result is a blend of family reminiscence, history, philosophy, literature, art criticism and urban myth. This edition contains a new introduction and more than 200 additional photographs.
The South American Diaries
Struggling to write a novel set in South America, John Hopkins decided to revisit the continent, travelling slowly by train, bus and river boat from Mexico City to Argentina, via Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, savouring every experience along the way. The diary he kept is a vivid portrait of Latin America, a tequila-soaked chronicle of solitude and writer’s block, and an angst-ridden account of his troubled love for his travelling companion Madeleine.
Where the Wild Winds Are
Walking Europe's Winds from the Pennines to Provence
Nick Hunt narrates a journey on foot, watching the weather and listening to local lore, as he goes in search of Europe’s fiercest winds. He starts in the Pennines, walking to Cross Fell, to meet the demonic Helm, before travelling to Croatia and the Bora, the Föehn in the Alps and the Mistral in Provence.
Walking the Himalayas
For six months, Wood and his guides trekked along the foothills of the Himalayas, through Afghanistan, Kashmir and Nepal. His account of the 1,700-mile journey explores the region’s history, politics and the lives of its people, including yak-herders, separatist fighters, Buddhist monks and blood-drinking shamans. Off-mint.
Journeys Among Special People and Places
Alastair Sawday’s love of adventure began as a teenager and led to a career as a bestselling author of travel guides. These personal sketches are infused with his passion for authenticity, for the quirks of humanity, culture and landscape. Peopled with eccentric guests and peculiar hoteliers, the stories range from the majesty of Venice to the lush valleys of Wales, and from a chaotic Spanish farmhouse to a Parisian café where the elderly waitresses perform the can-can.
The Northwest Passage
Atlantic to Pacific: A Portrait and Guide
For five centuries Europeans sought a sea route to the Pacific through the Canadian Arctic, losing many ships and lives before Amundsen completed the crossing in 1906. Now global warming has thinned the sea ice, it is possible for tourists to make the trip. This illustrated guide provides both a history of the region and a valuable practical resource for visitors.
Innercities Cultural Guides
Martin Garrett traces Oxford’s history from Anglo-Saxon ‘oxen-ford’ to the present, with chapters on its architecture, ‘town and gown’, and writers and religion; and goes beyond the city to surrounding places of interest including Blenheim Palace and White Horse Hill.This guide is part of the Innercities series, which takes the visitor beyond the tourist sights of the world’s great cities to explore their cultural and political life. Each book features chapters on history, architecture, literature, music and the performing arts, and a selection of colour photographs.
A former resident, Schürer explores the juxtaposition of Berlin’s past and present in history, architecture, the arts and entertainment, and religion, with a final chapter on the suburbs and Potsdam.This guide is part of the Innercities series, which takes the visitor beyond the tourist sights of the world’s great cities to explore their cultural and political life. Each book features chapters on history, architecture, literature, music and the performing arts, and a selection of colour photographs.
The Other Paris
An Illustrated Journey Through a City's Poor and Bohemian Past
Paris, the City of Lights, has always had its dark side: a city of the poor, the outcast, the criminal, the eccentric and the nonconformist. Illustrated with more than 300 historic images, this journey through its dance halls and whorehouses, its absinthe bars and hobo shelters, finds their traces in the bricks and stones of the modern city, revealing lives that were a far cry from those of the haute bourgeoisie.
In 2009, walking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths beneath our feet. How do they form? Why do some improve over time, while others fade? What makes us follow, or strike out alone? Over the next seven years, Moor travelled the globe seeking answers to these questions, tracing human pathways from long-lost Cherokee trails to the internet. This wide-ranging and thought-provoking book explores 'how we make trails, and how trails make us'.
The Snow Tourist
A Search for the World's Purest, Deepest Snowfall
What is it about snow that leaves us spellbound? What draws us to play with it, sledge over it, and even risk our lives in it? In this finely woven blend of memoir, history and travelogue, self-confessed snow obsessive Charlie English wraps up warm and goes in search of the answers to these questions, from the Cairngorms to Vermont, from Chamonix to the Canadian Arctic.
Love and War on the Côte d'Azur
In 1925 the young American architect Barry Dierks and his lover Eric Sawyer built Le Trident, a Modernist home at Miramar on the Côte d’Azur. Word of Barry’s talent spread, and the commissions that followed propelled them into the heart of Riviera society, with clients including Somerset Maugham and the Marquess of Cholmondeley. This biography recalls Barry and Eric’s time with their glamorous circle of friends, contrasting the lifestyle of the Jazz Age with the hardships that were to come under German occupation.
Thirty-Six Voyages to Various Parts of the World
Made Between the Years 1799 and 1841
Cadiz, the Azores, Sweden and Russia, Chile, Peru and Rio de Janeiro are just some of the destinations of the Yankee sea captain George Coggeshall and his letters-of-marque schooners. This volume is the third edition of his very popular journals. Originally published in 1858. Slightly off-mint, musty smell due to long storage and no jacket.
An Indian Love Affair
Simon Gandolfi first visited India in the 1960s, driving a VW to Goa, where he met and fell in love with Vanessa. Forty years later, fury at the terrorist attacks on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai leads him to return, this time on a Honda 125. Gandolfi’s unique and charming travelogue interweaves the two trips, combining bittersweet memories of the past with a window on the India of today.
Omaggio a Trieste
Top of the Lonely Planet's list of the world's unsung places, Trieste is almost cut off from Italy, by geography and history. This Omaggio a.. volume shows the city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it was a great cosmopolitan centre for art and literature. The book contains around 80 sepia tone photographs with captions, and a short introduction. Texts are in Italian and English.
A Secret Life of London's Waterways
Travelling across London by canal boat, from Walthamstow Marsh to the suburbs of Uxbridge, Helen Babbs witnessed abundant wildlife, and the impact of seasonal changes and developers on the city’s landscapes. In this blend of nature writing, social observation and memoir she recalls the practical challenges of her year-long journey, as well as the unusual perspective it offered her, to create a unique portrait of the capital’s history, politics and people.