Feeling the desire to explore closer to home or travel to far flung places? We have a selection of titles to satisfy your wanderlust. Whether you’re planning a great adventure or reading about your favourite parts of the world, have a browse of our Travel selection.
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation's heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn't altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain's occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.
This stylish guide to Glasgow is a great way to discover the city and, despite its compact size, the 128 pages are packed with pretty much everything you need to know to explore the city’s top sights on foot, while discovering lots of hidden gems and lovely local eateries along the way. The terrific Top Ten section helps travellers focus on the area’s un-missable sights, while the detailed Walks and Tours section takes visitors to the heart of twelve varied places, from following the fascinating MacKintosh tour, to discovering the likes of Loch Lomond further afield. Each of the walks is clearly mapped, with local highlights clearly marked both on the map itself and flagged-up on the page. The succinct cover flap suggestions for green activities, what to do on a rainy day, and ideas for keeping kids entertained are very handy. All in all, this is a convenient practical aid with plenty of inspirational ideas, and the bonus free eBook is a nifty addition too.
This smart, compact guide combines snappy text with full-colour photography to highlight the very best of Edinburgh, with an excellent Walks and Tours section suggesting several inspired routes that makes discovering the city’s delights, well, a delight! Whether you’re exploring the historic scenery and bustling Old Town and castle, or taking in the spectacular Palace of Holyroodhouse and views from Arthur's Seat, each walk suggests a selection of places to eat and drink as you go, while the maps plot all the major sights to look out for. The Travel Tips section was truly handy for finding out about active pursuits and themed holidays, alongside providing indispensable practical information.
There is a saying that goes 'When life gives you lemons make lemonade' but in E. James Chapman's hilarious book, The Plane Now Standing at Platform 3, this keep positive in all situations attitude is stretched to beyond breaking point as we follow his family's journey from Spain to Canada and back again. Heaven knows what the Chapman family did in a past life, but 'bad karma' doesn't come close as they encounter mishap, mayhem and Murphy's Law and learn never to say the words 'well nothing else can go wrong now'.
Winner of the Selo Catedra Award, Brazil in partnership with UNESCO Gorgeous, fascinating and heartwarming, this is a book to put a smile on your face. In 2013, aged five and a half, Toby decided to write a letter to someone in every single country in the world. His Mum Sabine, embraced the challenge and started to seek out people who would be interested in writing back to Toby. A website was started as a means of storing the letters, social media leapt aboard and Toby’s dream started to come true. This is a book containing just a few of the letters, to and from the world, and what a special book it is too. Suitable for children as well as adults, each letter is a snapshot of the country and the people that live there. You can dip in and out, and each time you visit somewhere new, learn something new and wonder at the magic that has been created. In ‘Dear World, How Are You?' you can see how Toby has spread love and cheer around the globe, one letter at a time, how fabulous! Click here to read a special blog by Toby's Mum about the book and how it has changed alot of people's lives. April 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
LONGLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD Katharine Norbury was abandoned as a baby in a Liverpool convent. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she grew into a wanderer, drawn by the beauty of the British countryside. One summer, following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine and her nine-year-old daughter Evie decide to follow a river from the sea to its source. But a chance circumstance forces Katharine to the door of the woman who gave her up all those years ago.
Octogenarian Anthony Smith's journey was originally inspired by both the Kontiki Expedition of Thor Heyerdahl (who he knew) and the incredible story of the survivors of a 1940 boat disaster, who spent 70 days adrift in the Atlantic, eventually reaching land emaciated and close to death. While this might sound like a voyage no-one would wish to emulate, to octogenarian Anthony Smith it sounded like an adventure, and he placed a typically straightforward advertisement in the Telegraph that read Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only. In his inimitable style, Smith details their voyage and the hardships they endured with a matter-of-fact air that makes his story seem all the more impressive. His advanced age allows him a wider perspective not only on the journey but on life itself, and his never-say-die attitude to the difficulty of the journey is inspirational. 'Old men ought to be explorers' said T.S. Eliot, and this book certainly gives a compelling argument in his favour. It is both a great story (a huge storm on the final night of the voyage almost wrecked them on a reef) and a call to action for the older generation - do not go quietly, says Anthony Smith, but seek out adventure as long as you are able.
With seven inspired, detailed walking tours of this stunning island, plus plenty of practical tips about where to eat, drink and stay, and what to when the weather plays up, or the kids need entertaining, this compact guidebook is a brilliant way to get to the heart of all that Jersey has to offer. Each of the suggested tours – among them St Helier, the North Coast and the Sights of the East – are thoroughly mapped-out, with essential must-see sights clearly signposted. Of particular interest is the delightful Durrell’s Wildlife tour. Alongside fascinating background information about this famed family, this section also details how to get to the Durrell Wildlife Park, and what to look out for while you’re there. Tech-minded-travellers will also love the free accompanying eBook- it contains the same invaluable content as the book so, if you’re looking to travel light, you can leave the print edition at home.
If there's an adventure to be had, it's likely that David Hempleman-Adams has been there first. Ranking alongside Ranulph Fiennes and Chris Bonnington in the pantheon of British explorers, he is the first person in history to achieve what is termed the Adventurers' Grand Slam, by reaching the Geographic and Magnetic North and South Poles as well as climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents. The question Hempleman-Adams is most often asked is, simply: what drives him on? Why risk frostbite pulling a sledge to the North Pole? Why experience the Death Zone on Everest? Why fly in the tiny basket of a precarious balloon across the Atlantic? Is it simply the case that he likes to push himself to the limits, or is there something more to it? No Such Thing as Failure answers these questions and more, uncovering what drives arguably the world's greatest adventurer.
Great Continental Railway Journeys is now a firmly established series on BBC2, following in the illustrious tracks of its predecessor - Great British Railway Journeys. Both series are fronted by ex-politician Michael Portillo and in this European odyssey he travels around continental Europe, using George Bradshaw's 1913 Continental Railway Guide. Now coming up for its fourth instalment this autumn, Portillo guides the train-travelling fan across Europe arriving at a myriad of magical and historically fascinating cities we all dream of travelling to by train. From London, to Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Copenhagen, Oslo, Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin, Monte Carlo, Prague, Munich, Zurich, Rome, Budapest, St Petersburg; all the way down to Constantinople, Haifa and Jerusalem - Portillo describes the great feats of engineering that built the various railway lines connecting Europe and further afield and the men and women who made these journeys famous through their deeds and words.
Part coming-of-age story, part wilderness survival epic. I found The Rising of the Son to be an exciting read that took me by surprise and made me think. The prologue hints at something life-threatening having taken place. The tension was built, I was intrigued and so I read on. Told from multiple perspectives, Jonno and his dad, James, attempt to climb Mount Casharaqu without a guide. It doesn’t go quite to plan and they are put in a situation where they are struggling for survival and in need of rescue. The Rising of the Son looks at themes of identity, grief, loss, acceptance, love, masculinity, tourism and growing up. Putting it all in a list that seems like a lot, but the use of different perspectives, from Jonno and James in Peru to Macie and Mum back home, taxi drivers and villagers help this book deliver on a number of different levels in a way that seems authentic. I like Jonno, I was endeared by his confusion and struggle to work out where he was in life and what it means to grow up and be a man. Throughout it seemed that everyone was looking for, or missing something. It would be a good read for fans of literary fiction as well as those interested in survival stories as it looked past the tension of a hiking expedition gone wrong to comment on the human condition. I was intrigued by the “outside” perspectives of the airport worker, the taxi driver in Lemur, and the villagers. I think that the author effectively raises a valid point about the real impact of tourism and tourists, even in countries that rely on this industry. The author, Giles Dawnay has extensive experience working in the expedition travel industry and his knowledge from living and working alongside local people create a second side to this book that stops you in your tracks and makes you think deeply about how you travel. All this while also enjoying the story of the expedition. As an occasional and admittedly fairly ignorant tourist myself, I know these narratives will ensure that this multifaceted book will stay with me for many years to come. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation's heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain. Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed.
We all love to travel. We all love escape. Granted, some are more adventurous than others, hankering to cross vast plains of unchartered territory, while the rest of us just want to find a nice hotel somewhere by a crystal blue sea. Whatever your level of wanderlust, there’s something here to inspire, inform and invade your senses. Follow in the footsteps of pioneers, heroes or trusted raconteurs; visit the real settings of favourite works of fiction (See our Reading on Location guide and read great novels set in the place you’re sitting in!); discover off the beaten track getaways; ponder the history of travel itself, laugh at anecdotes of the hapless. In short, by using our Book of the Month recommendations and taking a little stroll around the section, you can discover the world without leaving your fireside chair. Free your mind, they say, and the rest will follow.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Elliot