Silver Travel Book Club - August 2020

81 people found this feature helpful

Silver Travel Book Club

Each month, we'll find out what Andrew is reading about a different destination, and two lucky Silver Travel Book Club readers can win a free copy of the month's book.

HF HolidaysThis month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by
HF Holidays – is reading Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper.

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was a war hero whose exploits in Crete are legendary, and above all he is widely acclaimed as the greatest travel writer of our times, notably for his books about his walk across pre-war Europe, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water; he was a self-educated polymath, a lover of Greece and the best company in the world.

Artemis Cooper has drawn on years of interviews and conversations with Paddy and his closest friends as well as having complete access to his archives. Her beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts - no one wore their learning so playfully, nor inspired such passionate friendship.

As normal life edges closer, our sponsor HF Holidays has opened up more of its country houses in the most beautiful parts of the UK, and has restarted its much-loved guided walking holidays from 31 July.

Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland

HF Holidays – Guided Walking Holidays in the UK

Continuing our phased re-opening of UK country houses, HF Holidays are excited to be bringing back places to stay in Northumberland, the North York Moors, the Peak District, Exmoor and the South Downs from 31 July. From this time, we will also begin operating Guided Walking Holidays again at the 10 country houses in England that will be open. Although the number of people allowed to walk together will be limited and all walks will start from the houses to remove the need for shared transportation to trailheads, there will be a choice of daily walks for people of different abilities and experienced Leaders to navigate the routes as usual. Accommodation is full board and you will have access to all house facilities.

So enjoy a great adventure in the great outdoors and discover stunning walking locations. From the rolling North York Moors to the airy Northumberland coast and the rugged outcrops of the Peak District, there is something to suit everyone on a late summer or autumn escape.

More details

HF Holidays - Mam Tor, Peak District
HF Holidays - Alnmouth, Northumberland
HF Holidays - Dovedale, Peak District

Patrick Leigh Fermor: An AdventureHow to win a copy of 'Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure' by Artemis Cooper

Walking the 1,400 miles from Rotterdam to Istanbul like Patrick Leigh Fermor is not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, most of us would probably rather have the tea accompanied by a soggy digestive, whilst sitting in a deckchair and reading a book. But if your legs never got tired and you could walk forever, where would you choose to explore? Would it be the Silk Road? The entire Camino de Santiago? Lands’ End to John O’Groats? We’d love to hear all about your own perfect adventure on two legs.

Simply add a comment at the end of this page to tell us about your dream walk. The two best entries will win a copy of this brilliant biography.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Book Club books.

81 people found this feature helpful

Did you find this feature helpful? YES
Enjoy reading other articles and reviews on this subject.
Read more

What are your thoughts?

To leave a comment, please Sign in

Other Members' Thoughts - 22 Comment(s)

  • biddy
    10 months ago
    My dream walk would be around Ayres rock in Australia. This place has fascinated me since I was a very young child.
  • Allie
    10 months ago
    My dream walk - on my doorstep - is The Wolds Way. I've done bits of it but would like to walk the whole route. It's not as well-known as the Yorkshire Dales or Moors but the big, open skies and hidden dales are a joy to behold. Hockney quite likes the Wolds too! Further afield, I would love to walk in PLF's footsteps in the Mani in Greece. I've been fascinated by his story for many years and would love to visit his home in Kardamyli.
  • Delcy
    10 months ago
    My dream walk is on a cold but bright winter morning walking from Ripon to Studley Royal National Trust property, through the seven bridges. Beautiful flora and if your lucky you will see through the morning mist the wonderful deer at the deer park. Looking at the spider webs covered in frost on the hedgerow is amazing. Then walk around the Fountains Abbey water gardens and back home for Sunday lunch contentment and peace restores your well being by absorbing the atmosphere.
    There are many dream walks, the one I wish I could have made this year was to walk into my daughters arms in Vancouver Canada from the airport but the Ripon to Studley walk allows me to dream of no Covid and better times. For those with poor mobility looking on the internet at some beautiful places to walks gives them a sense of happiness. Keep safe and be happy everyone.
  • Marpau
    10 months ago
    The Scottish North coast 500.
  • IvvieN
    10 months ago
    I’d love to walk the Great Wall of China, seeing all the wonderful places and sights all the way. I’d top off at little villages and eat the local food all the way. More practically, our favourite walk is along the boardwalk at Shoreham Beach in Sussex. We have been going ever since the end of Shielding, and feel safe there as most people are so sensible about social distancing. Lovely wide beach, views all along the coast, loads of plants, insect life and little lizards all along the edges of the boardwalk
  • Purleypops
    10 months ago
    The lakes would be my ideal walk, so serene and beautiful, heaven.
  • yorkshirecat
    10 months ago
    I'd give anything to be able to walk through Epping Forest with my dear dad again. On long summer evenings back in the 50s and early 60s he'd come home from work, put on his walking shoes (but leave on his shirt and tie) and stride off with me and my brother out of our side gate, jump across a small stream and follow paths through the woods that surrounded our house. Clasping one of our Observer Book of birds, or trees, or fungi, or butterflies we'd learn so much about the local wildlife. We'd pause to spy a treecreeper winding down a trunk, a blackbird rustling through the leaves, a woodpecker drilling into the bark. Oh the thrill of tramping back along the woodland paths clutching various fallen leaves, nuts and egg shells bound for the school's nature table.

    At weekends in spring or summer we'd take fishing nets and jam jars to collect frog spawn and tiny creatures from Highams Park Lake, or fashion fishing rods from a fallen branch, piece of string and a bent pin and amazingly pull out shiny stickleback, roach and perch. In autumn we'd seek out fungi and in winter crunch through the crisp frost-laden grass and lacy spider webs to see whether the lake had frozen over.

    Most years we couldn't afford holidays but we never felt we missed out. My dad taught us the sheer joy of escaping into the natural world and to appreciate the changing seasons on our doorstep. A wonderful legacy that lives with me today, helped keep me sane during lockdown as I've been able to take long hill walks from my front door, and has passed on to my children who have had some amazing hikes both in the UK and around the world.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    10 months ago
    Thanks for the really interesting comments on this month's Book Club challenge.

    @Hardyplant - thanks for sharing your aspiration to walk the entire Via Francigena, from your Canterbury home all the way to Rome. What an adventure on two feet that would be. Like you, I would want to 'smell the roses' along the way and not just pound out all those 1,180 miles as quickly as possible. I'm sure Patrick Leigh Fermor would agree!

    @Hunter - have you seen the film 'The Way'? It's a moving story about a father walking the Camino de Santiago in honour of his son, and about the entertaining people he meets along the route. I'm hoping to walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino next month in memory of my Dad. Not as far as the classic route from France, but hopefully quieter and still as rewarding:
    I hope you get there soon too.

    @The-lone-traveller - thanks for letting us know about that Sbrinz walk, I certainly hadn't heard about it before.

    @MickeyRatMan - couldn't agree more! A few years ago, inspired by the classic Wainwright Coast to Coast walk across the north of England, I researched the logistics of creating a Greek equivalent, from the Ionian coast to the Aegean. It proved too challenging for several reasons, but I did discover the beautiful and remote Zagori region, so it was far from a wasted effort. Hope you get to do it one day!

    Please keep these wonderful comments coming to be in with a chance to win a copy of this month's book: 'Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure' by Artemis Cooper.
  • MickeyRatMan
    10 months ago
    My ideal walk would be from the Aegean Greek Coast to the Greek Ionian coast.
  • DRSask
    10 months ago
    I am torn because like @GypsyWanderer and @LH I'd love to walk the coastal path around Britain, slowly to take it all in, but I'd also like to walk the Camino de Santiago like @Hunter. I'm not religious but I've always been intrigued by the walk in Spain. Although I've been to southern Spain and as far north as Seville and Granada (yes, I know, still south), I've never been to the north and I've read many articles written by people who've made the trek. It sounds like an amazing experience. I've also visited many coastal areas in Britain and would love to connect them all. Decisions, decisions...
  • philatel
    10 months ago
    I would like to walk along the Thames bank - have done parts of it but would love to walk the whole length!!
  • Foxy_1
    10 months ago
    Bucket list, Would love to walk a small section, of the Great Wall of China.
  • GypsyWanderer
    11 months ago
    I'm seventy and getting slower so would love to do a very slow walk of the coastal path around Britain. I plan to do short sections at a time, sending my luggage on in advance, walking from one village to the next. Walking slowly, taking in the views, stopping to sit on this bench and that, taking photos, listening to bird song, watching for seals and dolphins. and then, on arrival, time to explore the bay, village, church, and to find a good place to eat. As I said a slow walk, a very slow walk absorbing everything.
    'What is this life if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare'/ i will have time to stand and stare!
  • WiltshireWanderer
    11 months ago
    My dream walk would be down the church aisle with my daughter, aged 42, who has two children with her partner of over twenty years.
  • Littlejules
    11 months ago
    I would love to do the Wales coast path. We have only visited Wales a couple of times, and I have heard how beautiful this coast path is - so it would be a perfect way of seeing more of Wales and its lovely coastline.
  • you
    11 months ago
    A walk to every HF&RS Station....
    Reason ?
    My husband has just retired after serving 54&a half years .... he has connections to so many of the stations.
  • LH
    11 months ago
    I wish to trek the whole coast of Britain - I'm sure they will have finished the coastal path by the time I have walked the coast path of Wales and the South West! That is what I would love to do if my legs never tired, on your doorstep but seeing our wonderful coast, and dolphins, minky whales and who knows what out to sea, and wonderful coastal flowers in the Spring.
  • Ozdevon
    11 months ago
    I would trek the Abel Tasman Coast trek on New Zealand's south island. I have heard that it isn't too difficult & the scenery especially along the coast is amazing.
  • The-lone-traveller
    11 months ago
    A walk I would love to do is the historical Sbrinz walk from Lucerne in Switzerland to Domodossola in Italy though the Alps in May The trek began by 10 women who were taking a trek of a lifetime using Mules and horses to carry the trade goods, the mules are used because they knew how to find the shortest route. The Swiss carry cheese to exchange for wine in Italy. You travel for 8 hours a day over 8 days in traditional dress and every night you are greeted by the locals who offer hospitality with cheese, wine with horn blowing and local bands. Oh to be fitter and younger to admire the countryside and wild life on route though the Alps.
  • Hunter
    11 months ago
    My dream walk would be The Camino in Spain. Such spectacular scenery, unique culture and gastronomy and provides a deep sense of spirituality and one with nature. Also the opportunity to meet people on route and hear about their experiences.
  • discerning-traveller
    11 months ago
    My dream walk would be exploring in depth all the islands of Scotland. Having fallen in love with Orkney and the Shetlands on a brief trip there I would love to immerse myself in the beauty. I'd love to visit the Hebridean Islands and walk until I'd explored every corner, taking time to just stop and soak it all in,
  • Hardyplant
    11 months ago
    My dream walk would be the Via Francigena from my home city of Canterbury to Rome. In medieval times it was an important pilgrimage culminating in visits to the tombs of the apostles St Peter and St Paul. I am not religious but the historical aspect of this walk interests me and if I had my time over again I would attempt this walk of 1180 miles. Apparently a reasonably fit person could do it in about 90 days but I would definitely take my time in order to properly explore the places en route - Reims, Champagne (oh yes), Lake Geneva, the Alps (ouch), Umbria, Tuscany - then Rome. I'd get my Pilgrims Passport from Canterbury Cathedral to enable me to stay in hostels and monasteries dedicted to pilgrims and set off towards Dover for the walk of a lifetime.