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Journey Through Britain

January 30, 2014

First published in 1968, Journey Through Britain by John Hillaby, detailing his long walk from Lands End to John O’Groats, made a huge impression on me when I first read it.

In this very readable volume Hillaby recounts his adventures as he takes the back paths of Britain, through the west country, along Offa’s Dyke, up the Pennine Way and then through the Borders and Highlands of Scotland to his destination.

Now, of course, we are used to people doing such long walks but, at the time that Hillaby did it, the practice had become unusual.

Hillaby is a grand travelling companion, anecdotal, fascinated by nature, landscape and people. His book was massively influential on publication, probably inspiring the creation of many a long distance trail and correspondingly long walks.Great Asby Walk 019

It now has an historical value, giving as it does the feel of the long lost 1960s in Britain (and how some of us miss them!).

Do give it a try or a re-read:

Other books by John Hillaby:

Journey to the Jade Sea

Journey Through Europe

Journey Through Love

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathryn Marsh permalink
    January 30, 2014 9:53 am

    Thank you for the reminder – I haven’t re-read it in years but it formed the basis of the next three summers – including our honeymoon – when it appeared. I’ll have to go digging on the shelves đŸ™‚

  2. January 30, 2014 5:55 pm

    Where’s the photo?

  3. January 31, 2014 8:06 am

    It’s the Helm Beck just down the footpath from Little Asby, Westmorland.

  4. February 1, 2014 2:48 pm

    His Journey Through Britain / Europe are two of my favourite walking books. I love how Hillaby just gets on with the job without moaning, and no dull chat about equipment!

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