Tuesday 1 June 2021

Book Review: The Earth Beneath My Feet by Andrew Terrill

Twenty-four years ago Andrew Terrill packed in his job and set out to explore the 'other' Europe, the hidden wild Europe, on a 7,000 mile walk from the southern tip of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea to the Norway's North Cape on the Arctic Ocean. Now he's written the story of this exciting and challenging venture. Just published The Earth Beneath My Feet covers the first eight months of the journey during which the author walks the length of the Apennine mountains and into winter in the Alps. 

I've known about this book since I met Andrew Terrill on my Colorado Rockies walk two years ago. Back then the book wasn't completely finished and he wasn't sure whether to look for a publisher or go down the self-publishing route. He settled on the latter and is selling it through Amazon

Since Andrew first told me about the book I've been looking forward to reading it, having enjoyed his many excellent features in The Great Outdoors over the years. My anticipation was further increased by the praise heaped on the book by editor Alex Roddie who reckoned it one of the best outdoor books he'd read. Now I have a copy I can say that Alex is right. I haven't finished the book yet, in fact I'm not half way through, but so far it is enthralling and intense. Despite the years that have passed Andrew Terrill has captured the excitement and thrill of youth, and the excitement and thrill of setting off on a long walk in wild country. I was immediately drawn into the journey and felt I was there with him as the landscape and people of southern Italy came to life. 

I'll post another review when I finish the book, and undoubtedly one of the second volume, On Sacred Ground, when it comes out. I love stories of long walks - indeed, it was such stories that set me off on my own long walks and my writing - and I have read many over the years. My two favourites haven't changed for decades though - Colin Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Through Time and Hamish Brown's Hamish's Mountain Walk. The Earth Beneath My Feet is up there with them. I now have three favourites. I think this book deserves to be a great success.


  1. Pre-ordered from Amazon USA for my Kindle. Looks great!

  2. Just ordered the sole copy available from Amazon France. Been waiting for this book ever since Andrew started writing it as a blog quite some while ago. Can't wait for it to arrive! Chris F.

  3. I ordered this book after reading your post. Finished it today. Excellent read an inspiring adventure. Thanks for highlighting it. Cant wait for the second volume.

  4. Excellent tip - really enjoyed it (kindle). I'm already having trouble sorting out public transport for my GR section walks, so the audacity of this enterprise is beyond comprehension. Indeed deserves to become a classic in the genre. I was a bit wary of the age of the story (the world changes fast), but it is evident the writing has been worked on seriously to make the story shine and is not just a bunch of old notes. Let's hope the second part doesn't take another 24 years... .