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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - February 2019

I can’t think of a more perfect book! I often use my daily walks for thinking through things, particularly when I’m writing. I’ve also used my walks to get to know my new city since I moved here two years ago – there are lots of walking trails and a weekly walking club that makes full use of them. One of my most memorable walks was in 2017 when I was visiting England and went on holiday to Northumberland with with some family. We spent a day on Lindisfarne Island off the east coast of England. It was a bit foggy as we started our walk which we found in the Short Walks Around St. Oswald’s Way guidebook provided in our rented cottage. It was moving to see the pilings still in the sand between the island and the shore marking where the pilgrims used to walk out to the island before the road was built in 1966. They looked mystical in the mist.

There were many different wildflowers along the route such as bluebells. We followed the path past the old lime kilns from the Kennedy Limeworks then the old waggonway to the right “where horse-drawn wagons took limestone from quarries at Snipe Point and Nessend to the kilns.” We found the map in the guidebook not to be entirely helpful. We took what we thought was the mentioned diversion to Nessend through the sandhills but never found the markers along the way. We could see the odd person in the distance along the far shore and followed paths through the sandhills until we reached the shore ourselves. It turned out we turned too early and came out at Snipe Point and walked along to Nessend where we found the markers and used them to get back to the main trail. The views at the coast were stunning though we did not see any seals.
The beaches and the cliffs were lovely and we watched the breakers and the shore birds for a while. Though it was breezy, the early mist cleared and it was a lovely and sunny morning.

With serendipitous timing, Kate Humble was talking about her new book ‘__Thinking on My Feet__’ at the Destinations Travel Show today, as part of the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival at London’s Olympia.

In conversation with Julia Wheeler, Kate talked passionately about how walking regularly has transformed her own life, and how lucky she is to live – with her husband and three dogs – at a beautiful farmhouse in the Wye valley, from where she can walk in every direction and of which she never tires.

Afterwards, your intrepid Literary Editor introduced himself to Kate and mentioned that ‘Thinking on My Feet’ is the Silver Travel Book Club book of the month for February. I’m hoping that Kate might find time to reply to some of your comments on this Forum thread, and add some of her own. But in the meantime, please tell us about your own most memorable walking experiences, whether on holiday or closer to home. Has the simple act of walking helped you to solve a problem, or improved your physical or mental well-being.

Join this Forum thread or comment on Silver Travel’s Facebook page and the best two entries from Silver Travellers will each win a copy of Thinking on My Feet.

Andrew

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – will be all about Kate Humble’s inspiring Thinking on My Feet: the small joy of putting one foot in front of another.

Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards ‘Travel Memoir of the Year’ this book is Kate’s tribute to the raw power of a walk: ’__I’ve discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to be nomadic is deep-rooted in all of us and perhaps because of that our brains are stimulated by walking. I solve all sorts of problems, formulate ideas, work things out to that gentle rhythm of self-propelled movement.__’

Thinking on My Feet tells the story of Kate’s walking year – shining a light on the benefits of this simple activity. Kate’s inspiring narrative not only records her walks (and runs) throughout a single year, but also charts her feelings and impressions throughout – capturing the perspectives that only a journey on foot allows – and shares the outcomes: a problem solved, a mood lifted, an idea or opportunity borne.

As she explores the reasons why we walk, whether for creative energy, challenge and pleasure, or therapeutic benefits, Kate’s reflections and insights will encourage, motivate and spur readers into action.

Also featured are Kate’s walks with others who have discovered the magical, soothing effect of putting one foot in front of the other – the artist who walks to find inspiration for his next painting; the man who takes people battling with addiction to climb mountains; the woman who walked every footpath in Wales (3,700 miles) when she discovered she had cancer.

This book will inspire you to change your perspective by applying walking to your daily endeavours.

What is your own most memorable walking experience, whether on holiday or closer to home? Has the simple act of walking helped you to solve a problem, or improved your physical or mental well-being?

Join this Forum thread or comment on Silver Travel’s Facebook page and the best two entries from Silver Travellers will each win a copy of Thinking on My Feet.

And read Jennie Carr’s fascinating recent Silver Travel Advisor interview with Kate Humble, to find out more about the writer and television presenter’s life and travels.

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