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Turn Left At The Pub: 22 Walking Tours…
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Turn Left At The Pub: 22 Walking Tours Through The British Countryside

by George W. Oakes

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805038604, Paperback)

Britain is prime walking territory; it was made for the ramble. All you need to look the part is a pair of khaki shorts, some tennies, a knapsack and raincoat. Add Turn Left At the Pub to direct you, and you're off through historic towns like Oxford and Cornish fishing villages like Solva. Oakes and Powell detail 20 walks, from Bath and Canterbury to Knole and Hay-on-Wye. For each stroll there are clearly marked maps, and an educational narrative featuring the sights and history. Without such a guide you'd probably find yourself dead-ended by a freeway, wondering who built that crumbling castle and what the deal is with that old city wall. It's nice to have a route all plotted out, and the answers to your questions in your back pocket.

Take for example the chapter on Hay-on-Wye, a small town bordering Wales. The overview depicts a town of dramatic river walks, narrow village streets, and a plethora of secondhand bookstores. Between the book shops are pubs, teashops, and crafts, and there's a castle and clock tower to boot. It's off the beaten track and crying out to be walked. The hike starts at the clock tower, takes you along Broad Street (pointing out the histories and scandals associated with various buildings en route), down Bridge Street and Lion Street, past the former Butter Market and Town Hall, and so on through the rest of town and along the river, getting views of the castle and centuries worth of town history along the way. It solves the itinerary problem and answers that nagging question, "What are we doing today, Mom and Dad?" It's also a wonderful read. Dig in to its chapters on the flight over and you should have a serious case of the ramble bug by time you get there. --Stephanie Gold

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:50 -0400)

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