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  • The green front cover of Wild Britain features a dramatic view over a moor.
  • A double-page spread photograph, taken from a west country tor, accompanies an anecdote about the region.
  • A double-page spread photograph of dewy nettles accompanies an excerpt from Wild Britain by Douglas Botting.
  • An excerpt from Wild Britain is illustrated by a map of south-east England and a photograph of the New Forest.
  • This excerpt from Wild Britain is illustrated with a photo of Wharfedale in Yorkshire.
  • An excerpt from Wild Britain accompanied by a photograph of Hadrian’s Wall.
  • An excerpt from Wild Britain describes the Northumberland coastline, featuring illustrations of birds.
  • An excerpt from Wild Britain describes the Pembrokeshire Islands. A photograph of sunbathing seals occupies the right page.
  • An excerpt from Wild Britain describes the Solway coast and is illustrated with a map and a photograph of Rough Firth.
  • An excerpt from Wild Britain describing Ben Nevis, featuring a photograph of Glen Coe.
    • “Will be enjoyed by everyone who hopes to find unspoiled places off the tourist path.”
      The Times
    • “Book of the Week…There’s plenty of relish in Douglas Botting’s text and lots of information about where to stay, what to take and which maps are best.”
      The Observer
    • “You are put in the places that are mentioned through a blend of expert storytelling and information.”

    Wild Britain

    A Traveller’s Guide


    The author takes you through wild Britain, from the broad-leaf woodlands of southern England and the rolling Yorkshire Dales of his childhood to the wind-lashed granite cliffs of the Outer Hebrides. He describes where to fish, climb, cycle, ride, camp and even go ballooning, as well as suggesting some unusual places to stay.

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    • RRP: $21.95
    • Format: 210 mm x 149 mm (8 ¼ x 5 4/5 in)
    • Pages: 224
    • Weight: 0.4 kg (0.9 lb)
    • Pictures: 50 colour, 45 b/w
    • Maps: 7 colour, 18 b/w
    • Binding: Paperback
    • ISBN: 978 1 873329 31 3
    • Publication: 2000

    The New Forest is hardly the sort of wild or remote place where you would expect to get lost, especially if you are an experienced traveller, but Douglas Botting managed it. ‘There were no sounds of civilization to give us a bearing on the outside world, no distinguishable landmarks, just trees, and more trees, and clearings, thickets, groves, gullies leading nowhere in particular, and trees again.’ As he explains in this warm and lyrical book, it does not do to underestimate wild Britain. He makes a wonderful job of showing you around, taking you from the broad-leaf woodlands of southern England to the wind-lashed basalt and granite cliffs of the Outer Hebrides. Whether he is celebrating the rolling Yorkshire Dales of his childhood, where the lapwings cried and the bluebottles huzzahed in the cowpats, or engaging with the earth-shattering intricacies of plate tectonics, Douglas Botting is always readable and entertaining. The book also describes in detail where to go fishing, climbing, cycling, caving, riding, camping and even ballooning, and offers some unusual ideas for where to stay, including the time capsule of Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rhum, intact in every detail down to the scoreboard of its Edwardian billiard room. This edition of Wild Britain is published in association with Friends of the Earth, and has been thoroughly revised with their help. The entire text has been reset. All names and addresses have been brought up to date, and fax numbers, e-mail addresses and web-site details added. Sustrans cycle routes have been incorporated wherever appropriate, along with other improvements.


    About the Series

    Map of Britain Showing Chapter Areas

    The Shape of the Wild
    Protected Wild Places
    The Rules of the Wild
    To the Reader

    The Two Moors Way and Bodmin Moor
    The Mendip Hills and The Somerset Levels
    The South West Coast Path (Somerset, North Devon and Cornwall Coast Paths)
    The Isles of Scilly
    The South West Coast Path (South Devon and Dorset Coast Paths)

    The New Forest
    The Shropshire Hills
    The East Coast
    The Norfolk Broads
    The Fens

    The Peak District
    The Yorkshire Dales
    The North Pennines
    The Lake District
    The North-West Coast
    The Pennine Way

    North York Moors
    Northumberland Coast

    South Wales
    Brecon Beacons
    Central Wales
    North Wales
    Offa’s Dyke Path

    The Solway Coast
    The East Coast
    The Southern Uplands
    The Southern Uplands Way

    The Southern Highlands
    The Central Highlands
    The Cairngorms and East Grampians
    The North-West Highlands
    Wester Ross
    North-West Sutherland
    The West Highland Way
    Scotland: The Islands
    The Inner Hebrides
    The Outer Hebrides
    The Outliers


    Useful Addresses



    Douglas Botting was born in London and educated at Oxford. He is a writer and photographer who has travelled on numerous scientific and filming expeditions to wildernesses around the world. He has made three journeys through the Amazon basin, once as official photographer for the Royal Geographical Society Expedition to the Mato Grosso. He has journeyed across East Africa in a balloon to observe and photograph the great game herds, and led two expeditions to the little-known Arabian island of Socotra. He was one of the first Westerners in modern times to venture across Arctic Siberia and, as a member of the European Conservation Project Operation Seashore, he circumnavigated the 6,000-mile coast of the British mainland twice on assignment for the BBC and The Times.

    Douglas Botting has made many documentary films for television, including the BBC World About Us series, and has worked on assignments for Time-Life, The Geographical Magazine and national newspapers. His books include works of reportage and travel, amongst them One Chilly Siberian Morning, Wilderness Europe and Rio de Janeiro, as well as biographies of the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt, the naturalist Gavin Maxwell, author of Ring of Bright Water, and Gerald Durrell, the conservationist and author of My Family and Other Animals. He has also written several books on the history of the Second World War.


    Our days on the highest, wildest land in England south of the Pennines brought saturating rain, obliterating mist, towering cloudscapes and a saucy sun gleaming brazenly out of a pellucid, rain-rinsed sky. There were no trees to shade us, precious few bushes to provide shelter from the wind that slithered over the long curving granite scarp of Corn Ridge. We squelched back and forth across an amphitheatre of blanket bog and waded knee deep down the icy, scurrying streams that fanned out of them like the veins of a leaf. Now and then we holed up for a smoke and a corned beef sandwich inside the stone ruins of a Bronze Age hut, where once people just like us, looking out on a view just like this, had contemplated mortality and the infinite in a fug of peat smoke and cow dung.

    It was October, but still warm, and I flung open the shutters of the small croft by the beach to catch all the sounds and ghosts of the night – the listless flop of the waves on the sand, the distant cataract roar of the waterfall above the burn, in spate after an autumn of incessant rain, the kraak of a solitary heron stalking fish in the moonlight at the edge of the tide, a seal singing softly in the bay below the croft, the plaintive, child-like voice rising and falling like a phantom lullaby.

    The next day, miraculously, was as warm and blue as high summer. I followed the tracks of the wild sea otters barefoot over the crunching shell-sand and icy shallows to the otter islands where long before I had foraged for limpets and gulls’ eggs to eat, and as I stumbled over the black rock and bladder-wrack the grey seal colony gathered to stare, snorting in the sunlight, and bobbing their flippers up and down on the bottom to catch a better view.

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