Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review of "A Coast to Coast Walk" by Alfred Wainwright




Coast to Coast Walk: A Pictorial Guide (Wainwright Pictorial Guides)



As promised earlier here is a review of one of the Coast to Coast books.

Let me start with some interesting experience I had purchasing this book.

I, based in Singapore, ordered this book from in the US as I couldn’t find a copy of this book in Singapore. Alfred Wainwright's A Coast to Coast Walk was published in London, UK. The book was couriered from the US, travelled to Germany, Dubai, Bangkok and finally reached Singapore. When I open the book it says “Printed and bound in Singapore” Welcome to the world of globalisation!

And about the book – It is simply a classic! Almost 40 years after it is written, it is till such a great read.

In 1970's Alfred Wainwright (fondly called as "AW") came up with the idea of a Coast to Coast Walk - walking from the west to the east of England. According to him, the route he designed is one of the many Cast to Coast Walks and he encourages his readers to experiment. And many have done so.

It is such a unique book; anyone who plans to do a Coast to Coast Walk (in fact any one who loves walking) should read this book. Most interesting is the section "Some Personal Notes" with Wainwright’s writes about long distance walking, the various long distance walking routes in England, how he devised (a) Cost to Coast Walk, the good and the bad of long distance walking and walkers. It ends by saying

"I finished the Pennine Way with relief, the Coast to Coast Walk with regret. That's the difference".

Nothing like getting direct advice from the inventor of the Coast to Coast Walk (and tried not to patent it!)!

The book with handwritten text and pictures drawn by Wainwright, is unique (I have never seen another book of this sort) though some times cause excessive eye strain. Read a page, take a break, and then read another…

Though originally written in the 1970’s, it has been updated to reflect the changes landscapes go through. New villages and roads have come up. Old walkways have disappeared. Looks like all these changes are updated in the book. Having said that I am yet to do the Coast to Coast walk – so I am never sure.

A final piece….

I have learned one thing the hard way. If you are based in Asia, check prices of books and DVD’s (especially originating from UK) at both and The UK Amazon in many cases seems to be much cheaper – sometimes up to 50% off. One reason could be due to the decline of UK Pounds. The other one is probably because goods tend to be cheaper in “home markets”. After comparison of prices, all my new orders of DVD’s and Books on Coast to Coast walk has gone to and I have saved a lot of Singapore dollars!


Full disclosure: I have registered as an associate (not yet associate) and if you purchase these books from Amazon clicking the links above I earn an associate fee. All fees earned from the above two links (if any!), will be given away to charities.

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