Travel Books & Guides
Arabian Sands is Wilfred Thesiger's stunning account of five years spent crossing the Arabian Peninsula by foot and on camels, with nomadic Bedouin tribesmen as guides. Travelling between 1945 and 1950, the British explorer treks through Yemen, The Empty Quarter, Oman and parts of the then Trucial States, crossing and re-crossing around 250,000 miles of this most inhospitable terrain. He was the first European ever to set eyes on the dunes and wadis of these deserts. Faced with constant challenges and trials beneath the punishing sun, his journey is also spiritual and enriching, as it requires the utmost courage, patience, generosity and humour. In clear and evocative prose, Thesiger documents a journey of unimaginable hardship and startling beauty, as well as a time, place and people on the cusp of change.
- RRP £42.00
- Save £11.71Save 27%
When Ted Simon rode 64,000 miles round the world on his 500c Triumph Tiger, he inspired thousands of motorcyclists to begin their own adventures, including Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, who chronicled their travels in Long Way Round. Nearly thirty years later, Ted Simon took to the road again to retrace the epic journey he made in his 40s. He meets up with old friends and acquaintances, revisits old landmarks and locations, and rediscovers himself, as well as the world, along the way. Dreaming of Jupiter is a remarkable achievement and a fitting sequel to Jupiter's Travels, the groundbreaking classic of motorcycle adventure.
- RRP £50.00
- Save £10.00Save 20%
For a period of seven years, Wilfred Thesiger canoed through the marshes at the confluence of Iraq's Tigris and Euphrates rivers, living among the native Madan tribes and their islands made of reeds. Now extinct, their ancient way of life is speculated to have existed for 5,000 years, going back to the days of ancient Sumer, and possessed a unique culture found nowhere else in the Middle East. Thesiger documents the tribes' conflicts, traditions, cuisine, relationships, justice systems and art, and reveals how they built their unique water-borne society, with its beautiful canoes (taradas) and stately guest houses (mudhifs) - it is a remarkable familiarity gained through Thesiger's innate understanding of tribal ritual and etiquette, and the trust he earned through the use of a basic medical supply kit that he brought along with him. Poetic and immersing, The Marsh Arabs brings alive the sights, sounds and smells of the marshes, and a culture that has now vanished forever.
- RRP £27.99
- Save £5.60Save 20%
It's two decades since Chris Stewart moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in southern Spain and his daughter Chloe is preparing to leave for university. We find Chris, a local literary celebrity, using his fame to help his old sheep-shearing partner find work on a raucous road trip; cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef, Rick Stein; and, most movingly, visiting famine-stricken Niger for Oxfam.
- RRP £20.41
- Save £4.08Save 20%
Random House presents the audiobook edition of Erebus, written and read by Michael Palin. In September 2014 the wreck of a sailing vessel was discovered at the bottom of the sea in the frozen wastes of the Canadian Arctic. It was broken at the stern and covered in a woolly coat of underwater vegetation. Its whereabouts had been a mystery for over a century and a half. Its name was HMS Erebus. Now Michael Palin - former Monty Python stalwart and much-loved television globetrotter - brings this extraordinary ship back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic. He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the dashing James Clark Ross who charted much of the `Great Southern Barrier' and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and the troubled John Franklin, who at the age of sixty and after a chequered career, commanded the ship on its final, disastrous expedition. And he vividly recounts the experiences of the men who first stepped ashore on Antarctica's Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to reach them. To help tell the story, he has travelled to various locations across the world - Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic - to search for local information, and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew. Illustrated with maps, paintings and engravings, this is a wonderfully evocative and epic account, written by a master explorer and storyteller.
- RRP £20.00
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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 best-selling 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 around 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. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today. Music written and performed by Richard Digance, inspired by The Road to Little Dribbling
- RRP £20.00
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James Purefoy stars in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Robert M. Pirsig's multi-million bestselling philosophical novel One of the most important and influential books of the past half-century, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance[registered] tells the iconic story of a father and son's motorcycle trip across America in the 1960s. Yet it also describes a personal and philosophical journey, asking questions along the way about how to live a meaningful life. The narrator takes a cross-country motorcycle trip from Minnesota to California with his young son, during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an illustration of how to unify the cold, rational realm of technology with the warm, imaginative realm of artistry. The narrator wrestles with both the ghost of his past and some of the most important philosophical questions of the 20th century. The narrator's need to reconcile his past and present selves drives him and his son forward, to a point where all is lost or won. Now dramatised for the first time by Peter Flannery (Our Friends in the North, George Gently, The Devil's Whore) and starring James Purefoy (Rome, Injustice, Ironclad), this full-cast drama adds a new and original dimension to a true modern classic. WARNING: this recording contains strong language.
- RRP £13.25
- Save £0.66Save 5%
In "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star", Paul Theroux retraces the steps he took thirty years ago in his classic "The Great Railway Bazaar". From the Eurostar in London, he once again sets out on a journey to the East, travelling overland through Eastern Europe, India and Asia. Infused with the changes that have shaped the exterior landscape and enriched with developments to his own perceptions and psychology, "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" is an absorbing and beautifully written follow-up to "The Great Railway Bazaar". This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60 per cent of the author's work and as low as 30 per cent with characters and plotlines removed.
- RRP £35.75
In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born. Travelling as a 'modern troubadour' without a penny in his pocket, he stopped along the way to give poetry readings in village halls, churches, pubs and living rooms. His audiences varied from the passionate to the indifferent, and his readings were accompanied by the clacking of pool balls, the drumming of rain and the bleating of sheep. WALKING HOME describes this extraordinary, yet ordinary, journey. It's a story about Britain's remote and overlooked interior - the wildness of its landscape and the generosity of the locals who sustained him on his journey. It's about facing emotional and physical challenges, and sometimes overcoming them. It's nature writing, but with people at its heart. Contemplative, moving and droll, it is a unique narrative from one of our most beloved writers. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.
- RRP £20.41