Spring reads: six ways to celebrate the outdoors while staying indoors

We may be stuck inside this spring, but these new, nature-inspired books will help to bring the outdoors in.

Saturday, April 25, 2020,
By Sarah Barrell

The England Coast Path
The eponymous coastal path is rumbling towards completion (it’s scheduled to fully open in the latter half of this year) and to celebrate, we can expect a bevy of books exploring the new long-distance route, which will be the world’s longest managed coastal path when finished. Journalist Stephen Neale worked as a path surveyor for the project in 2018, spending months seeking out over 1,000 of the best places to wild swim, hunt for fossils and eat seafood in 16 coastal counties. This resultant guidebook pairs practical information with a real passion for this section of Britain’s coastline. (Bloomsbury, in association with National Trails. RRP: £18.99)

Scottish Bothy Walks
Heading north, hikers can now plot a route between Scotland’s network of free-to-use cabins and shelters by referencing this most inspiring of guidebooks. Author Geoff Allan expands on his best-selling Scottish Bothy Bible by offering up day walks and weekend adventures in some of the country’s most dramatic landscapes, with plenty of titbits on wildlife, geology and history en route. (Wild Things Publishing. RRP: £16.99)

Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town 
Set in the country’s southwestern-most corner, this tome sees author Lamorna Ash return to the town of Newlyn, Britain’s largest working fishing port. Here, she explores the seascapes and beaches of her childhood summers, takes trips with trawlermen, learns how to gut fish and gets to grips with other aspects of a coastal lifestyle that’s under threat. (Bloomsbury. RRP: £16.99)

Greenery: Journeys in Springtime
Tim Dee follows the season as it blooms, travelling north from the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to northern Scandinavia, encountering swallows, storks and other wildlife and recounting verdant quotes from DH Lawrence and Samuel Taylor Coleridge along the way. (Jonathan Cape, £18.99)

The Little Book of Nature Blessings
With an extended title Myths, Rituals and Practices for Finding Calm in the Natural World, this therapeutically minded guidebook by Teresa Dellbridge brings together wildlife legends, botanical facts, and green-minded festivals encouraging readers to get outside. (Watkins Media Ltd, £10.00)

The Accidental Countryside: Hidden Havens for Britain’s Wildlife
The unstoppable Stephen Moss seeks out Britain’s hidden corners where wildlife survives against the odds. From Shetland’s Iron Age structures to London’s glass-and-chrome skyscrapers, humankind has, in many cases, inadvertently created an oasis for the natural world. (Faber, £16.99)

Published in the April 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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