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With its forewords by the adventurer Ben Fogle and explorer Chris Bonington, this is a remarkable book that breaks entirely new ground. It brings together all the facets that have made walking our most popular activity. It could scarcely be more timely, as in an era of increasing stress there is nothing better than a good walk to improve both health and happiness. This evocatively illustrated book traces the whole history of walking from the early days of exploring wild places. It looks in depth at the great campaigns for access to once forbidden land, with the resulting creation of National Parks and long-distance trails. It also focuses on the hugely improved facilities for urban walking and the need to escape from car dependency.
Written by a noted campaigner on the subject, "Walk!" is being published in association with the Campaign for National Parks - a body that has done much to encourage outdoor activity. This book is supported by the National Trust, which is currently targeting its three million members with an 'Outdoor Nation' campaign. This is a truly fascinating text with a one-word message on what to do as soon as a spell of reading is finished: "Walk!".
Colin Speakman is one of the founding members of the Yorkshire Dales Society. He is a keen walker and is credited with creating the popular Dales Way route, which runs from likely to Windermere. He has written over 40 books and is a proactive campaigner for better public transport in rural areas, helping to set up the successful DalesBus Network.
This outstanding book could not be more timely.
- Ben Fogle