Told through a series of walks beside the sea, this is a story of the most beautiful 742 miles of coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: their rocks, plants and animals, their views, walks and history, and the people who have made their lives within sight of the waves. As he travels along coastal paths, visits beaches and explores coves, Barkham reflects on the long campaign to protect our shoreline from tidal erosion and human damage and weaves together fascinating tales about every aspect of the coast – from ancient conquests and smuggler's routes, to exotic migratory birds and bucket-and-spade holidays – to tell a more profound story about our island nation and the way we are shaped by our shores.
Patrick Barkham was born in 1975 in Norfolk and was educated at Cambridge University. He is a features writer for the Guardian, where he has reported on everything from the Iraq War to climate change. He is the author of The Butterfly Isles: A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals and his new book, Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal. He lives in Norfolk.