Would you like to know where to find good walking books? Although the chain bookstores sell some, they are not the most inspiring, you are better off seeking out more unique and interesting guides by independent publishers. Often these are also written by locals, rather than commissioned by travel journalists. You can find these in your local library or buy from your indie bookstore (all links go to Blackwell’s, an indie bookstore if you can’t find them locally). You can buy good walking boots from Wills Vegan Shoes or Ethical Wares.
Urban Rambles: 20 Glorious Walks Through English Cities is an illustrated walking guide like no other. Whether you live in the city or country or just visiting for the weekend, this book will inspire you to go explore your nearest city on foot. The 20 walks include:
- Cathedral cities (York, Lincoln)
- Seats of learning (Cambridge, Oxford)
- Trading ports (Bristol, Liverpool)
- Cities for pleasure (Brighton, Bath)
- Victorian industrial cities (Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham)
- A 25-mile circular route of London past rivers, parks & palaces
Other Good Walking Books
- Walking Home is the follow-up by Yorkshire poet Simon Armitage to his book Walking Away, where he swapped moorland uplands of the north for coastal fringes of south west England. Now he decides to walk his native Pennine Way (a challenging 256 mile route), but back-to-front, walking towards the village where he was born. Without a penny in his pocket; singing for his supper with poetry readings in village halls, churches, pubs and living rooms.
- Walking the Great North Line is the story of poet Robert Twigger, who stumbled upon the Great North Line, and decided to follow the straight line following 1 degree 50 West up Britain. From Christchurch to Northumberland, he walks through Salisbury Plain, the Peak District, Birmingham, the Yorkshire Moors and Consett. He wild-camps, reads poetry, sleeps in a prehistoric cave, falls into a river, crosses a ‘suicide viaduct’ and gets told off by a farmer’s wife for trespassing. But in this simple life, he finds woven gold..
- Walking Cheshire’s Sandstone Trail is a lovely online guide to one of the best walks in north west England, and also you can find many good local guidebooks. The Trail stretches for 34 miles of superb elevated walking across this beautiful area of Cheshire.
- Hallewell Pocket Walks focuses mostly on Scotland, but also publishes nice pocket guides England. Each walk includes brief descriptions, two-colour sketch maps and Ordnance Survey grades.
- Pocket Mountains offers lovely walking guides with beautiful cover illustrations, featuring 40 Coast & Country Walks series that cover several counties, Northern England and Scotland.
- Wild Things Publishing offers walking books for wild places (and swimming), a series of Lost Lanes books for cyclists, and unique books to find hidden beaches & wild ruins.
- Northern Eye Books makes award-winning books that mostly cover coastal paths, footpaths and long-distance trails. Most walks focus on the English Coast Path, Lake District, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, national parks, Cheshire and Wales Coastal Path.
Nice Dog Walking Books
See how to find good dog walks, to learn about safe dog walking and following the Countryside Code (to keep dogs and livestock safe). Check for updates, as some of these books are a few years old.
- Countryside Dog Walks ((Wet Nose Publishing!) produces beautiful walking guides for you and pooch, many centred around good pubs.
- Countryside Books is a little publishing company that releases many small walking guides for every area of England, with walks centred around pubs with good food or tea rooms, waterside walks – search by niche or region.