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 - 45 Comment(s)

  • Rowsie
    11 days ago
    My favourite coastline is Cornwall. So rugged and wild but also with beautiful beaches. From my reviews you can see that my family are trying to walk the whole South West Coast Path and at the moment we are about half way along. We are hoping to be able to get back down there as soon as restrictions are lifted. During the 300+ miles we have already walked I have developed a real love of the coastlines of Devon and Cornwall but it is Cornwall that invokes thoughts of Poldark and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.````````````
  • janetj
    11 days ago
    Love travelling which involves British or Irish coast especially if it also includes islands. Coastal walking is so exhilarating.
  • RobJones
    11 days ago
    16 years of holidaying in Cornwall at a lovely cottage in Porthleven, being accepted by the locals as "one of them" fantastic walks, great food & a quiet pint overlooking the sea, aahh memories memories...
  • leswar
    11 days ago
    A combination of relaxation and excitement. To sit on a clifftop or a beach and just watch the sea in its various moods is both relaxing and exciting, as is the birdwatching and fossil hunting. Stroll on the end of lockdown.
  • Happy3
    11 days ago
    The best part of travelling in the North West is visiting Liverpool and Belfast. Both places have lots of free experiences as well as giving travellers the chance to explore the local area. Both are renown for their friendly welcome and desire to help visitors enjoy their stay.
  • GrannyCR
    11 days ago
    We spent our honeymoon visiting the Summer Isles, based in Achiltibuie, and would love to go back. Such tranquillity and beauty! We will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in May and hope that by then we will be able to travel and meet with our children and grandchildren for a family party!
  • Marpau
    11 days ago
    I loved a trip to giants causeway and Antrim coast many years ago. I would love to visit all the Scottish islands have visited a few but many still on wish list.
  • Pardeus
    11 days ago
    My wife was born on the Antrim coast and I have many happy memories of our visits there. Even more so now that she is no longer with us.
  • Hunter
    11 days ago
    From the Wild Atlantic coast of Ireland, idyllic fishing villages with many a sea yarn to tell, natural beauty and geology of the Jurrasic coast, to the rugged and isolated coves of the Cornish rocky promontories, I have seen and love them all. I do however, 'harbour' a soft spot for the Northumbrian Coast near where I was born with it's miles of beaches, and a galapagos of islands of outstanding natural beauty which is so spectacular. Memories of climbing over the sandunes, invigorating walks and sea breezes before tucking in to some tasty fish and chips or a soft ice cream eaten quickly before it dripped all over your hands.
  • The-lone-traveller
    11 days ago
    Many years ago, i went on a tour to the west coast of Scotland. We commenced our tour from Fort William, then the train to Mallaig on the scenic.(now Hogwarts express) passing Glenfinnan monument. We then took a ferry to Isle of Skye with beautiful scenery of the Cullin mountains, lochs, and forests with all the colours imaginable. We could see the Kyle of Bute on the right, the wild life was great including seals, otters, deer and many types of birds including the golden eagle.There was many very tiny settlements, all giving us a welcome, showing us points of interest and many showing us the local craft they manage to do in the winter months. The memories of the holiday and the people we met i will never forget.
  • Romanies
    11 days ago
    We've spent years travelling the world. When the children were small we did do towns and cities as an education for them. Now in these trying times we like others are turning our sites to the uk. We thought our roving days were over but seeing we could still do cruises especially river cruises in the uk and travel to coastlines we have never been too we are so looking forward to the future.
  • LH
    11 days ago
    I recommend the Pembrokeshire coast path for haunting headlands and amazing inlets, and fantastic walking. We walked it in May - the best month for all the Spring flowers of gorse, bluebells and banks of thrift bobbing in the breeze. The calls of the red beaked choughs soaring overhead as you walk and admire the Celtic coastline with another headland and cove coming into view, and peregrines riding the updraft from the cliffs. Once we saw some seals bobbing about and playing in the surf below us as we walked St David's headland. If you have time and the weather is fair take a day trip to Skomer Island - the puffins will keep you amused all day long and great for cute photos as they go in and out of their burrows at your feet amongst a mass of bluebells and pink campion covering the island!
  • Hardyplant
    13 days ago
    As my understanding of Celtic includes Cornwall I'm commenting on the wonderful Isles of Scilly. I've only been there once; we flew from Lands End and stayed on St Mary's for a week so only had time to visit and explore Tresco, St Martins and Bryher. They are all wonderful for different reasons but the beaches on St Martins are absolutely gorgeous, white sand and turquoise sea. I remember Bryher as being more wild and rugged, Tresco has its famous subtropical gardens and St Mary's is a good place to stay as there are boats to all the other islands from its harbour, although it's also worth exploring the island itself on foot. We always meant to return to visit St Agnes and Samson but the journey has put me off a bit. However, now the helicopter route is being re-instated I might be tempted to visit again.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    13 days ago
    I am so enjoying reading your comments, especially as I am a Piscean ! and my family home is also by the sea, in Walberswick in Suffolk. The light there is wonderful and the village is especially popular with artists.
  • ferrit
    16 days ago
    Whenever I hit the coastline and see the seaI feel an inner peace and tranquility come over me.This is totally understandable as I am a cancerian (the crab) and crabs are at home in the sea.When I see the sea I feel an overwhelming feeling of happiness and belonging
  • GypsyWanderer
    19 days ago
    “Where are you going on holiday this year? “
    “The north coast”.
    In Norfolk this did not mean Northumberland or any other northern coast line. It meant the north Norfolk coast. Norfolk has three coasts, west, north and east and eighteen years gave us plenty of time to explore.
    Blakeney was only an hour away and we would often jump in the car in the early evening to catch the sunset over the sea then go on to Cromer for fish and chips.
    I guess the north Norfolk coast was our favourite. Walking along the old sea wall from Blakeney to Cley, stopping for the children to play on the ‘pirate ship’, the abandoned life boat, bird watching, seal spotting as we went. Cley meant tea and cakes and maybe a pot of smoked herring pate from the smoke house before the last mile back to Blakeney and the car, tired but happy.
    The end oft he pier show at Cromer was a summer treat and the Splash at Sheringham meant warm water fun in winter. And oh, those huge empty beaches at Wells and Sheringham and how could I not mention boats to Blakeney Point to see the seals and explore the pebble beaches there.
    The north Norfolk coast seemed to have everything, traditional seaside towns, a coastal steam railway, stately homes, pine woods and wonderful walks. Everything my family could wish for. Happy memories. Love that coastline.
  • reader_1
    20 days ago
    We live on The Solent opposite the Isle of Wight. It makes a fascinating coast, as there is always something on the move. Hovercraft, Ferries, Liners, Yachts, Windsurfers and More. Also the Island make a great backdrop, so much more interesting, than just sea up to horizon. There are also four island forts in the Solent, a piece of English History, curtesy of Lord Palmerston. These forts, and the surrounding mainland ones, are known as Palmerstons Follies. The solent is also home to Cowes week in the summer, so you can tell there is never a dull moment.
  • TeresaBak
    20 days ago
    This is so on my bucket list to do as I have been trying to research my Irish roots. I have had the opportunity to view a Viking Ship and they look amazing. A book to get lost in is just what we need at the moment until we can freely travel again.
  • Bookblogger69
    20 days ago
    My thoughts are of when me and my children lived across from the beach in Bridlington. Every night after work I would take a cup of coffee and a book along with the kids and rabbit to the beach . They would play and have fun whilst I relaxed. The rabbit got so it didn’t need a lead it would follow my daughter everywhere and cause passers by to stop and chat about it. Sunset was an an amazing sight after a long days work and the kids thrived in the fresh air.
  • DRSask
    21 days ago
    Maybe being born in a coastal town is what draws me to the coasts for holidays. Whatever the cause, I often find myself on or overlooking a beach or rugged coastline on my travels. I don't mean sat on a beach under an umbrella reading a book, though I have done that a bit in my younger years. I mean walking along the coast and drinking in the views. In recent years this has meant Looe, St. Michael's Mount, Fowey, Polruan and Port Isaac in Cornwall, both sides of the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside, and Berwick-upon-Tweed, Holy Island and Bamburgh in Northumberland. One coastal trip that sticks in my mind though was in the Northwest of Scotland. I was based in Oban for a week and would walk to the end of the esplanade most evenings to watch the sun set which was stunning. One day I went to the islands of Mull and Iona. I distinctly remember having a picnic lunch on Iona by the Abbey. The water was so blue and the weather so warm, if I didn't look at the Abbey I could imagine that I was on a Caribbean island. Last year I was supposed to explore the Channel Islands for the first time. Fingers crossed we'll make it there soon...