The Old Ways: a Journey on Foot – Robert Macfarlane

At last, a proper page turner after two less engrossing reads…. I’ve developed a real love of nature/travel writing, and Robert Macfarlane’s meditations on ancient pathways on land and sea bring together landscape and wildlife, modern politics and ghostly sacred sites, ancient hunter gathers of Formby Point and present day gannet hunters of Ness, and much more through the prism of Edward Thomas‘s poems.

Named “best book of the year” by many an author in 2012/2013, it more than lived up to the hype.

Time to look out some of the writer-walkers who’ve inspired him, in particular Nan Shepherd and her book The Living Mountain, Barry Cunliffe‘s Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and its People, 8000BC-AD1500 and Barry Lopez‘s Home Ground: Language to an American Landscape….

… and to find out how feasible it might be to pay my own pilgrimage to Minya Konka (Mount Gongga; simplified Chinese: 贡嘎山).

Publisher page: The Old Ways: a Journey on Foot – Robert Macfarlane