The UK’s County Tops by Jonny Muir, and published by Cicerone, is another interesting concept for a guide book. 82 walks to reach the top of 91 historic counties! Once again a great sounding book and after reviewing ‘Europe’s Highest Points’ last year, I was hoping to be inspired!
When I first flicked through this book, I was amazed to find that I could count 11 county tops that I had already dome from the list. Most of these were in the national parks, but some were in the lesser visited counties, which were still interesting and very different walks. So reading through the list I began to understand the idea behind this book, a challenge if you take it up, but also a great way to explore the UK!
Jonny Muir first visited the UK’s 91 historic county tops on a continuous 8000km (5000mile) cycling and walking adventure over a three-month period in 2006. A journalist for six years at newspapers in Cheltenham, Peterborough and Inverness, he now works as an English teacher in London.
Useability and layout of guide
The book is set out in four geographical areas; England, Wales, Scotland and Nr Ireland. There is a map of each county showing where the high point is, a small OS map, lots of nice photography, which is very varied as you would expect, explained directions for the route, including distance, time local information. There is also interesting information on the local area with historical notes too. I found the layout really easy to read as you can pick out the parts you want to know about. Following the directions given in the book is simple as well, but you will still need the relevant OS maps.
Value for money
This book has a RRP of £14.95, which I think is a reasonable price for a guide book that will have a worthy place on your book shelf.
I think what I most like about this book, is that it makes you think a little differently about where to plan your next walk, and you will get to discover all those places that you wouldn’t initially pick to go to, but are in fact interesting and lovely places to walk and explore. It’s definitely one of those books that you will keep getting from the shelf to fuel your enthusiasm for getting out on the weekend. A keeper!