It’s out! Massive thanks to Wild Things Publishing for producing such a beautiful book and helping me share these incredible places with more people !
Available from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Islandeering-Adventures-Around-Britains-Islands/dp/1910636177 .
Everything you need to know to walk around fifty incredible British islands and enjoy plenty of adventure on the way.
Islandeering is a term that I have developed to describe the activity of travelling around and exploring the outer edge of an island. With cliffs, caves, geos, stacks, tidal crossings, vast sand beaches and rockpool filled foreshores, seabirds in their thousands and historic and ancient ruins each and every island is a magnet for the adventurer and curious mind.
I have one hundred and fifty islands in the bag – all walked, swam, cycled, ran or kayaked around with many more researched and ready for logging and sharing. What started as a weekend hobby has now become an obsession and the book has been written to share the routes around my favourite 50 islands.
The project was ignited when I sat down and thought about where I chose to go on holiday. The spark was the realization that I always chose a mountain or an island somewhere in the world. My island list read like a Conde Nest guide to exotic travel – Hawaii, Borneo, the Andamans, Sicily, Sardinia, Croatia, the Canary Islands, Sri Lanka and Vancouver Island to name a few. That’s where any similarity ends though. For me these destinations were about mountain and road biking, volcano hiking, exploring and getting back to the tent or hostel tired and grubby when most normal holidaymakers were on their way out for their evening entertainment. Then, on one wet, wild and beautiful day several years ago whilst kayaking between islands on Scilly I realised that I didn’t have to travel far for island beauty and adventure. Some of the best were right on my doorstep.
On returning from that kayak trip I immediately started to research the islands of the British Isles. In all shapes and sizes they are innumerable with a unique and navigable coastline to explore around many. I looked on OS maps to see if there were potential routes around the coastal terrain, then checked on google maps for a satellite image to improve my level of confidence before finally taking the trip to find the route myself – whether that be a walk, a mountain or road bike route, a sea kayak or a swim around.
This book is about my favourite walking routes. Some islands have a well-marked official or unofficial coastal path, others a route used by islanders and the preserve of local knowledge. Others require some free-range walking and route finding. For each there are plenty of optional stops on the way to enjoy local food and beer, visit points of interest, swim, explore the foreshore and cliffs or to sit and enjoy the wildlife.
Although this started as a journey to discover more of the natural beauty that surrounds us one of the big surprises has been the richness and diversity of people that I have met on my islandeering trips. They have all been fascinated by the project and wanted to know more out about the islands and routes. I often heard ‘you should write a book’. So I did and here it is.