Silver Travel Book Club - January 2021

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Silver Travel Book Club

Each month, we'll explore a different destination, and lucky Silver Travel Book Club readers can win a free copy of the month's book.

VikingThis month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Viking – is reading The Summer Isles: A Voyage of the Imagination by Philip Marsden.

A lyrical and evocative account of Philip Marsden’s personal solo journey in a wooden sailboat from Cornwall to a small Scottish archipelago, The Summer Isles: A Voyage of the Imagination resounds with colourful characters and poetic descriptions.  

Giving a fascinating insight into the history, literature, and mythology of the Celts and their land, the author takes readers on a journey to the mysterious harbours and haunting headlands that he so skilfully navigated on his voyage along the wild west shores of Ireland and Scotland.

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

Explore the entire British Isles during Viking’s British Isles Explorer cruise, with overnight stays in Bergen and Greenwich. See the famed Shetland ponies on Shetland Island, keep an eye out for the Loch Ness Monster in the Scottish Highlands and enjoy an exceptionally rare glimpse into the Scottish royal history of Broomhall House in Edinburgh. In the Orkney Islands, you may choose to partake in a whisky tasting at Highland Park, the world’s most northerly whisky distillery, or try your hand at making your own craft gin. And in Belfast explore the majesty and mystery of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Follow in the footsteps of the Beatles while in Liverpool, discover the rich history of Dublin, and witness Welsh culture in Snowdonia on this 15-day itinerary.

For full details of the itinerary, dates and prices please click here.

And for information on other Viking holidays on rivers and oceans around the world please click here.

White cliffs of Dover and lighthouse
Viking Sun in Bergen

The Summer Isles by Philip MarsdenHow to win a copy of 'The Summer Isles' by Philip Marsden

Simply add a comment at the end of this page to tell us what the British or Irish coastlines mean to you. What are your own memories and experiences of beautiful, wild Celtic or other locations?

The five best entries will win a copy of this book.

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

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Other Members' Thoughts - 52 Comment(s)

  • Everton-Bill
    7 months ago
    I live in Crosby near Liverpool can see all ships coming in and wirral and wales what a fanstastic coastline I see so near to my home .
  • Happy3
    7 months ago
    Living in Liverpool, I recommend anyone who is interested in culture to visit the city. There are two incredible cathedrals, an number of fantastic victorian buildings, museums and art galleries to visit , which are all free to enter. If you travel by ship, the cruise terminal is actually very close to the city centre, with access to the Albert Dock and the shops. You can also take a "Ferry cross the Mersey". Sailing into Liverpool is an incredible experience , as you see the "Three Graces" come closer and closer. Just up the cost you have the reorts of Southport and Blackpool and the Lake District and Wales are within easy reach. I also love Belfast and the north coast of Ireland. Great places to visit and the jewel that is the Giants Causeway.
  • Lisajane13
    8 months ago
    I visited Lands End in Cornwall as a teenager with my younger brother and his friend and my mum and stepdad and even now that coastline stays with me just how it felt being at the end of the UK with the dramatic rocks and look of the area stunning!
  • you
    8 months ago
    Whatever part of the U.K. or Ireland I end up visiting I always have a quick dip....whatever the season.
  • Jeanette-Purvis
    8 months ago
    Britain has so many beautiful coastlines. We are very fortunate in Britain to have the luxury of Beautiful Countryside, Amazing Wildlife, Beaches that are various with rugged cliffs or beautiful stretches of sand.
    Want to relax go to somewhere peaceful in The Lake District, or for something for adventurous there are many places to choose if you enjoy Fairground rides, An animal or two, or maybe indulge yourself with some special food like a clotted cream tea or maybe a special seafood salad with crab, prawns, whelks, cockles etc. What more could you wish for maybe a visit to an Historic House or Castle and visit the wonderful gardens and may buy a plant or two.
  • Girlontour
    8 months ago
    Connemara in County Galway brings memories of walking an isolated Ballyconeely beach, the soles of my feet scrunching its coral fragments. Seals languishing on the rocks watched inquisitively through their dark eyes as I stripped and waded into the warm sea
    Later taking the short ferry to Clare Island,I meandered along the quiet deserted one and only road. Isolated, scattered cottages a woman sitting at a spinning wheel in her garden, I stop and we pass the time of day, she is spinning wool from her own sheep, the pale pink y orangey colour of the wool comes from its being soaked in rhubarb root which she proudly shows me. .
    Time stands still in this part of the world and for a a short while so did I
  • ESW
    8 months ago
    I enjoyed reading Upstart’s comments. It is probably 35 years since I was last up in that area and it is good to know it hasn’t changed. We alos took the ferry across the Kyle of Durness and did the land rover trip to Cape Wrath - talk about a desolate landscape. Did you also go to Smoo Cave?
  • Upstart
    8 months ago
    In May 2015 we visited Loch Eriboll on the north coast of Scotland. We were making a pilgrimage to honour my Dad’s memory.
    Seventy years earlier, in May 1945, a few days after the end of war in Europe, my Dad ‘s ship, HMS Byron, was anchored in Loch Eriboll. Thirty-three U Boats sailed into the loch to surrender to the group of Royal Navy ships waiting there. Dad wrote a letter home describing the wild beauty of the loch and its surroundings.
    We found that the loch had changed so little in seventy years that we could identify features he’d mentioned in his letter, including a white cottage nestled into the hill that sloped down to the water. It was such a peaceful scene that was hard to imagine the loch crowded with ships and submarines, all bearing scars of war.
    West of Loch Eriboll we found coves of pristine sand and grassy cliffs covered with orchids. A minibus bounced us 11 miles over rough tracks to Cape Wrath. The view was picture- perfect: the sea pushing against cliffs that marched to a misty horizon. On a stormy day it would have been a fearful sight, but the sun shone on gentle waves. Past and present came together and I could almost see, in the distance, a wartime convoy on its way to Russia, protected by my Dad’s ship.
  • PaulineTurner
    8 months ago
    Walking the coastal path has long been my favourite way of spending time when on holiday. We have walked many parts of the coast and there is always something fascinating to see. We have seen dolphins off Anglesey, seal colonies at Blakeney, watched peregrine falcons on the cliffs, and, best of all, walked along the coast at Balranald on North Uist. Balranald is an RSPB nature reserve, and a wonderful place to visit. We walked to the beach through the machair and were greeted by the sound of thousands of birds screaming overhead. We visited in early June when there were still young birds in the nests, and were dive-bombed by Arctic terms if we wandered anywhere near their young. After a wonderful walk in bright sunshine, we walked back through the wild flowers with the cries of the birds and the sound of their wings gradually fading away. A perfect day.
  • JulesC
    8 months ago
    We love following the coastal paths and discovering quiet little bays and absorbing the character of the sea in all weathers. It's a tonic for the soul.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    8 months ago
    I'm thrilled to see so many comments here and such lovely memories of childhood holidays. I'm also learning so many interesting new things about the British Coastline, giving me plenty of ideas of places to explore once restrictions allow !
  • ChrisR
    8 months ago
    I love my local coastline. It is the North Somerset coast of the Bristol Channel, an estuary so the water is always muddy. But this coast is full of happy memories such as full moon swims, swimming round Clevedon Pier and the 1 mile long swim from Ladye Bay. The best part is the company of the other swimmers who can be seen bobbing around with their brightly coloured floats and caps, and their muddy chins on exit (known as the Clevedon beard). The swims are followed by laughs, cake and hot drinks.
    I also walk up and down the coast with my dog, enjoying the ever changing scenery. This coast has the third highest tidal range in the world which makes for rapid changes which adds to the interest
  • Hitchin_Pete
    8 months ago
    The British Coastline evokes lovely memories of childhood holidays, where days seem to last forever, everything was an adventure, and every place visited had lots of wonderful stories and histories to discover. Whatever the weather there is always something wonderful to see or do and a new discovery to be made. I have travelled far and wide with my family, but the British coastline is the most interesting we've found!
  • Ruth
    8 months ago
    Early summer morning down near the Durdle Door with the sun glistening on the sea announcing a beautiful new day ahead to enjoy.
  • czechitout
    8 months ago
    I miss the sea (on it ,in it and by it) whilst we can't travel. Am dreaming of a better future, the Viking cruise sounds great
  • SuzCG
    8 months ago
    I'm never happier than when I'm by the sea! So many fond memories of childhood holidays - always getting lost or taking a wrong turn on the way there with my old Dad!!
  • Woofles
    8 months ago
    Fond memories of my late father taking me to the coast as a little girl for bank holidays. At the time they seemed such a distance away yet when I learnt to drive and had my own car, I realised they were so much closer!!
  • TeresaBak
    8 months ago
    I love reading books about travel. One can get lost amongst the pages. Some are so descriptive that you can imagine yourself there. They then leave a desire to actually explore the places yourself in person. Back when i was a child foreign countries were just places in geography books so the British coastline would bring back memories of childhood holidays with parents. Spending hours searching rock pools and building sand castles with moats, shells and flags.I would always dream of finding a fossil or piece of jet or amber. A journey along the British coastline would be for myself a trip back in time.
  • Zippey
    8 months ago
    I live in Northumberland, arguably the best coastline in Britain. The seas and cliffs are so varied, and watching the orange sun sink into the sea at the end of a day spent amongst the sand dunes, the rough heather and the frothy waves, is just magic. The sea birds swooping down, the varied flora and fauna and even the possibility of seeing dolphins swimming offshore are just incredible.
    I love the feel of the sand between my toes as well as the tickle of soft springy grass on the headland. Eating locally caught fish, straight out of the package, [with salty chips], in the company of my wonderful husband just finishes off a perfect day.
  • greatgran8
    8 months ago
    On a touring holiday in Ireland with a friend, we discovered not just beautiful countryside but lovely friendly and helpful people. All adding to a wonderful holiday.
  • Anthony639
    8 months ago
    Many years ago I visited Mull and a trip to Iona and still remember the total peace of the island. The trip was also memorable as the ferry back to Mull broke down and we had to hitch a lift with a fishing boat to enable us to return to our B & B on Mull. Our landlord and landlady were stalwarts of the local community and one evening we went to a ceilidh in Tobermory where they were performing. Most of the songs were in gaelic, but it was still a very enjoyable experience. I have never managed to return, but would love to.
  • you
    8 months ago
    love a book to keep me company in lockdown would be good
  • Juliana
    8 months ago
    As a child of Irish parents, we spent every Summer there... enduring the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry across the wild Irish Sea! Trips to the beach, often Ballybunion, involved piling into a car, well over capacity, (pre-seatbelts obviously) and a glorious day swimming in the sea and sand, eating our picnic and slowly being roasted by the sun (pre Sun lotion also!). Many years later, I took my own children to do the same... but with sun lotion! We parked near the beach at Goleen in our VW camper and watched the sun go down over the sea... no one else there except cows ambling across the sand... such powerful and precious memories....
  • Stoughtontraveller
    8 months ago
    We have been trying to book a British isles cruise. Not possible at present, so the book would give us a flavour of what to expect when we can go.
  • cidney
    8 months ago
    I've never been on a cruise. Not interested in huge liners with a population of holidaymakers the size of a small town. The British coastline? Yes. Definitely! I haven't holidayed outside the UK at all in the past 12 years, our coastline and towns, villages, inland are all that I need. I've seen some beautiful sunsets in Wales, watched seals sleeping and swimming off the Norfolk coast, seen shooting stars off numerous coastlines and wandered through innumerable villages throughout the country with their wonderful innovative craft shops with some beautiful smells, not forgetting the sampling of local foods. We have some truly lovely beaches, villages and little restaurants in the UK, I would say when lockdown ends we should all get out and get back to the places which make our country great. And we don't need "make Britain great again" hats to do it!!