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Lost Lanes

Book reviews serve only two purposes: to encourage you to buy and read a book, or to caution you against doing so.

Consequently they need not be very long. These days I shy away from book reviews on my blog as I get too many requests to do them. Lost Lanes is an exception to this because it ought to be compulsory reading for anyone in South East England who is tempted by a microadventure.

Here then is my review of ‘Lost Lanes: 36 Glorious Bike Rides in Southern England’ by Jack Thurston:

It’s brilliant.

It’s beautifully produced.

The photography is very pretty; the prose is great.

It’s chock full of genuinely lovely adventures close to London.

If you live in South East England and enjoy cycling, wild places, wild camping and wild swimming then buy this book.

Jack recently wrote this fantastic piece in the Financial Times which I was chuffed to be mentioned in:

As stars emerge like pinpricks into the deep, dark blue of the night sky, I wiggle a little deeper into my sleeping bag. It’s cold, surprisingly so, and quiet too. An owl hoots in the woods nearby and far above is the silent blinking light of an aeroplane en route to Gatwick, just a few miles away. We’re up on the chalk ridge of the North Downs, some way inside the M25, London’s orbital motorway. It’s a Tuesday night, and come tomorrow morning the three of us lying in this small grove of beech trees will be back at our desks. But for now, having enjoyed a candlelit camp supper of bean stew, couscous and a bottle of red wine, the office seems a very long way away…

Read the rest of the piece here.

I first met Jack 5 years ago when he interviewed me about cycling round the world for his excellent podcast.



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  1. It is a beautifully produced and well written book, and I don’t even live in the South East. The Bike Show podcasts from Jack & Resonance FM are pretty good too!



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