Wednesday 30 September 2020

Book Review: Wanderlust Europe by Alex Roddie


Yesterday a big book arrived and I've been browsing through it ever since. Wanderlust Europe is a collection of walks throughout the continent from Iceland to Georgia, the Canary Islands to Arctic Norway. It's for all walkers and includes day walks, weekend walks, and multi-week walks. It's not just the big names either. Indeed some, like the Tour of Mont Blanc, are not included. There are many tempting walks here I've not heard of before - Fagaras Mountains Traverse, Slovenian Mountain Trail, and Trancaucasian Trail amongst them.

I must declare an interest in the book as it is compiled and much of it written by my friend and colleague Alex Roddie who asked me to contribute some photos for two very different walks, Rothiemurchus Forest and the GR20 on Corsica. Eight of my pictures were chosen, three of them appearing as double-page spreads. There are many other photographers from the British outdoor world whose work is included too - David Lintern, Colin Ibbotson, James Roddie, Andy Wasley, Emily Woodhouse, Lizzie Shepherd, Paddy Dillon, Andrew Locking, Gavin Macfie, Gillian Price amongst them - and there are many images from Alex Roddie himself.

Each of the profusely and beautifully illustrated fifty walks has a descriptive essay, information page, and map. It's a book for inspiration and encouragement not a guidebook though. No one will ever carry this in their pack - indeed, there are probably ultralight hikers whose full packs weigh less than this tome! This is a coffee table book for browsing and daydreaming.  And as such it's wonderful. 

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