Skip to content


April 16, 2013


Journeys into the heart of Forbidden BritainCTC-Refined_edited-2


John Bainbridge

(Now available)

In 1932, five ramblers in England were imprisoned for daring to walk in their own countryside. The Mass Trespass on to Kinder Scout, which led to their arrests, has since becoming an iconic symbol of the campaign for the freedom to roam in the British countryside.

The Compleat Trespasser – Journeys Into The Heart Of Forbidden Britain, written by outdoor journalist John Bainbridge, looks at just why the British were  – and still are – denied responsible access to much of their own land. This ground-breaking book examines how events throughout history led to the countryside being the preserve of the few rather than the many.

It examines the landscapes to which access is still denied, from stretches of moorland and downland to many of our beautiful forests and woodlands. It poses the question: should we walk and trespass through these areas regardless of restrictions?

An inveterate trespasser, John Bainbridge gives an account of some of his own journeys into Britain’s forbidden lands, as he walks in the steps of poachers, literary figures and pioneer ramblers. The book concludes with a helpful chapter of “Notes for Prospective Trespassers”, giving a practical feel to this handbook on the art of trespass. At a time when government is putting our civil liberties at threat, destroying the beauties of our countryside, and your right to access it, this book is a most useful read.

The Compleat Trespasser is now available at a special price for a limited period of £2.06 for the next fortnight on Amazon Kindle (you don’t need a Kindle to read the book, a free Kindle App. is downloadable from the or  websites).   Published by Fellside Books.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. inge dornan permalink
    April 16, 2013 7:55 am

    Looking forward to reading this – and getting some tips!

  2. April 16, 2013 3:13 pm

    Hope you enjoy the book, regards John

  3. Kathryn Marsh permalink
    April 16, 2013 6:00 pm

    You just ruined my afternoon John – had to finish it before I did anything else so I missed a sunny (if cold and windy) session in the garden. Certainly here in Ireland where the legacy of colonialism is “it’s mine and no one else is setting foot on it” trespass is often the only option

  4. April 16, 2013 8:25 pm

    Excellent, have just ordered a copy for my Kindle and will read while trespassing and wild camping in a Hertfordshire wood later in the week

  5. April 17, 2013 7:01 am

    Have a good trip Martin, and thank you Kathryn and Inge for the kind comments, John B.

  6. April 18, 2013 7:04 am

    Grateful if readers could please leave a review, however brief, on the book’s page on Amazon, Thank you all.

  7. April 20, 2013 3:21 pm

    Very many thanks Martin. Liked the Just William idea – one of my boyhood heroes!

    • April 20, 2013 3:33 pm

      I always think of William when I’m out hiking and am about to trespass or wild camp : )

  8. Kathryn Marsh permalink
    April 20, 2013 3:30 pm

    We were raised on William, Bevis and John McNab – caused a lot of problems for park keepers and game keepers as a result

  9. April 20, 2013 5:37 pm

    Yes, Buchan’s John MacNab is a lot of fun. Have you read Andrew Greig’s modern take “The Return of John Macnab”? Ditto Bevis.

  10. May 7, 2013 10:12 am

    Ah – wish I had this book before I went to Ireland. I will get it in time for my next trip 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: