The campaign has now finished. We hope you enjoyed reading these wonderful books and had a lovely Easter! You can still sample the first 10% of each book in the event and buy via your favourite bookshop.
We might still be in lockdown but reading allows us to travel wherever our heart desires and discover more about the world.
In partnership with some of our favourite publishers and independent bookshops, we are making a range of books available to read online in full for free from 9am on Tuesday 30th March until 9am on Tuesday 6th April via the Jellybooks Cloud Reader.
Discover more about the UK and Ireland, the natural world and our planet with an exciting range for books for everyone to enjoy.
To purchase any of the featured books in printed form and keep forever, click on the link at the end of each book to one of our featured high street bookshops. You can also find the links in the Jellybooks Cloud Reader navigation menu too.
We thank Innovate UK and Arts Council England for the funding that has made this special event possible, and we wish you happy reading and a happy Easter!
Share your thoughts on what you are reading on social media using the hashtag #FreeEasterReading and tag @Jellybooks.
Please note, that access to these books will only go live on Tuesday 30 March at 9 a.m. and end on Tuesday 6 April at 9 a.m. (year 2021).
The links will continue to work after Easter; however access will be limited to previews of each title (first ten percent). The entire book is available for the seven days over Easter only.
by Sarah Brennan, Jane Tanner
'Bleak was the day and the wind whipped down, when I and my sisters walked to town...' So begins the story of three sisters and their wild and magical encounter with a whale, stranded on a beach. With illustrations full of light and movement, a powerful text that reads like a ballad, children and adults alike will be transported to beachside holidays of long ago, feel the wind in their hair and taste the salt spray, as the girls battle against huge odds to save something precious and vulnerable. The artwork moves from black and white to full colour and is expansive and nostalgic. Both author and illustrator are passionate about the natural world and environmental issues and see the book as a way to encourage others to care.
by Paul Harfleet
A graphic novel in rhymed couplets, in which a young boy tackles homophobia in school by planting flowers at the site of homophobic attacks.
Out in the natural world, a boy is in awe of its beauty. Birds in flight amaze him. School squats at the end of summer. He is fey, and bullies aren’t comfortable with that. They attack him. How can he defend himself?
In a rhyming poem, the story comes to life in vivid graphic art. The boy takes strength from the flowers he loves. Where bullies pinned his life with their hate, he plants a pansy. The power of his actions empowers his school to value what is delicate and different.
The book comes complete with a personal field guide to the flowers that adorn and the birds that fly across its pages.
Some five star reader reviews: ‘A moving, warm, witty and uplifting story that speaks powerfully to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or misunderstood. This is stunning storytelling for all and accompanied by the most beautiful illustrations. Highly recommended.’ – Richard on Amazon. *****
‘If you’d like your child to grow up into a free thinker then this book will help you do that. I don’t have kids, but I’d like to think I’m a childless free thinker myself. So I bought this book and have it on my coffee table for all my friend’s kids to touch with their grubby little fingers, all over this beautifully presented hardback rendering MY book grubby, like their chubby paws.’ – Andrea on Amazon. *****
‘This is an truly outstanding book. It has excellent illustrations with a very touching story and great rhymes. The author has done exceptionally well with telling this story and matching the illustrations. A book for my coffee table at home and a gift for friends. If you want to go on an entertaining, rhyming and illustrative journey of thought provoking greatness, this is for you.’ – Riel Sibley on Amazon. *****
When We Went Wild
by Isabella Tree, Allira Tee
‘A charming inoculation of pure wild life - just what Dr. Earth ordered.’ CHRIS PACKHAM
From the bestselling author and rewilding pioneer Isabella Tree, When We Went Wild is a heartwarming, sustainably printed picture book about the benefits of letting nature take the lead, inspired by real-life rewilding projects.
'I love this book. It actually made me cry' PAM AYRES, Sunday Times best-selling author & presenter.
'A gorgeous and true fable that will delight and inspire the next generation of young rewilders.' PATRICK BARKHAM, Author & Guardian journalist.
Nancy and Jake are farmers. They raise their cows and pigs, and grow their crops. They use a lot of big machines to help them, and spray a lot of chemicals to get rid of the weeds and the pests. That’s what all good farmers do, isn’t it? And yet, there is no wildlife living on their farm. The animals look sad. Even the trees look sad! One day, Nancy has an idea... what if they stopped using all the machines, and all the chemicals, and instead they went wild?
The author’s own experience of rewilding her estate at Knepp has influenced conservation techniques around the world that are bringing nature back to the countryside and bringing threatened species back from the brink.
Ivy Kids brings you beautiful, sustainably printed books to rewild your child. They are hopeful, joyful stories and nonfiction about nature and the environment that are charmingly illustrated and printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, locally in the UK, and using renewable energy.
Praise for Wilding, the author’s bestselling memoir:
‘This must be the most inspirational nature book of the year…a narrative of conservation, courage, vision and miracles… The story of what happened is thrilling… the Knepp Conservation Project is world-famous: a beacon of hope… Read this book and marvel.’ – Bel Mooney, ‘The Year’s Best Books on Nature’, Daily Mail
Beyond the Burrow
by Jessica Meserve
The big, wide world can be scary, especially when it’s filled with strange-looking creatures who don’t eat carrots. But does giant, clawed and hairy have to mean scary? And is there a rabbit brave enough to find out?
From Jessica Meserve comes Beyond the Burrow, a beautiful book to inspire boldness – and encourage us all to step beyond the burrow.
by Mary Contini, Pru Irvine
Mary Contini and Pru Irvine provide over 60 recipes guaranteed to tickle the tastebuds, featuring a huge range of recipes, including a selection from around the world, not just Britain.
Including clear instructions and information about the basics of cooking and utensils, as well as safety in the kitchen, these recipes are designed for children to cook with an adult. Packed with helpful hints, jokes, and a totally fuss-free approach, once they have gained confidence and experience, kids will be able to cook many of them confidently on their own.
From Cheesy Easy Peasy Pasta, Tooty Fruity Chicken Curry and Moorish Carrot Salad to Portobello Burgers, Scrumptious Slappleberry, and Spanish Omelette, this is a fun and informative approach to cooking.
'Fantastic recipes designed to be cooked by children' --Press & Journal
Mouse and Mole
by Joyce Dunbar, James Mayhew
What will Mouse and Mole find to do tomorrow? They set out their plan: a picnic of cheese and cucumber sandwiches if it is a fine day, or roasted chestnuts and toasted muffins in front of an apple wood fire if it is wild and wintry. But what will they do if it is an in-between sort of day?
Other books in the series:
- Mouse and Mole Have a Party
- A Very Special Mouse and Mole
- Happy Days for Mouse and Mole
- Mouse and Mole A Fresh Start
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossom
by Julia Rawlinson, Tiphanie Beeke
Fletcher and his friends are eager to embrace the new season as spring arrives, but they’re in for a surprise – the ground is blanketed in white! Fletcher rushes to warn the other creatures, but could there be more to this sudden snowfall than there seems? Join Fletcher in this delightful, uplifting picture book to find out.
by Ben Hoare, Lucy Rose
Take an unforgettable tour around the world to meet the creatures that share our city spaces – from bears to bats, penguins to opossums – and learn about how they have adapted and thrived in this gorgeously illustrated gift book written by award-winning natural history journalist Ben Hoare.
Wild City travels the globe, exploring how animals have adapted to live alongside humans, in busy cities including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Stockholm, London, Alexandria, Singapore and Mumbai. Discover hawks by a world-famous shopping street, snakes slithering through city sewers, and penguins waiting patiently to cross the road. Feature spreads take a closer look at the animals, showing how some wander in plain sight while others hide away in our homes, and we meet wildlife heroes from around the world – ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make our wild neighbours feel welcome.
Lyrical and factual text written by the award-winning Ben Hoare is perfectly complemented by Lucy Rose's stunning illustrations. The beautiful cityscapes are full of detail with something new to discover with every look.
The White Hare
by Nicola Davies, Anastasia Izlesou
Back then, humans and animals were fellow beings under the sky. Perhaps that’s why it seemed possible for humans to change into animals.
One in a series of tales that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.
Books in the Shadows & Light series:
- The White Hare
- Mother Cary's Butter Knife
- The Selkie's Mate
- Elias Martin
- Bee Boy and the Moonflowers
- The Eel Question
How to Bee
by Bren MacDibble
Book of the Year in both Australia and New Zealand, How to Bee is set in a future Australia in a time when there are no bees and children are employed as pollinators, scrambling through the fruit trees with feather wands. Peony wants to be a bee. She's light, fast, and even though she's a year too young, she's going to be the best bee the farm has ever seen...except when you're only 9, it's hard to get everyone around you to go along with your plan. Torn between two different worlds, Peony fights to protect her family and the world she loves. A beautiful and fierce novel for middle grade readers, 'How to Bee' explores an all-too-possible dystopian social landscape with an intensely compelling and original voice.
by Nicola Davies, Abbie Cameron
Discover the delights of nature with zoologist, poet and top children's book author, Nicola Davies.
Follow her young adventurer as she treks through the jungle, dives deep down into the sea and climbs high up into the trees. Animal Surprises features animals big, small, wide and tall. Fully illustrated in colour by exciting new illustrator Abbie Cameron.
School Ship Tobermory
by Alexander McCall Smith, Iain McIntosh (Illustrator)
Follow the exploits of the children who go to a most unusual school - the sail-powered training ship Tobermory.
When a film crew arrives in Tobermory Bay, Ben and Fee are invited to be extras. But their suspicions are soon aroused - is the film crew genuine, or are they up to something sinister?
Ben and Fee soon discover the truth when they uncover a dastardly plan masterminded by a South American businessman.
'Sure to delight readers of any age' Edinburgh Life
'Written by Alexander McCall Smith, with all that means in terms of style and humour . . . what joy!' Scotsman
'With Alexander McCall Smith's detailed knowledge of sailing and his easy style of writing, this proved to be a really enjoyable book, complimented by comic strip style illustrations from Iain McIntosh' Women Together
Mary, Queen of Scots And All That
by Allan Burnett, Scoular Anderson (Illustrator)
'Packed with humour - I recommend the whole lot!' - The School Librarian.
Mary, Queen of Scots and All That is a real-life adventure packed with historical facts about Scotland's headless heroine.
Follow hot-blooded Mary's lifelong rivalry with her frosty cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England - and discover why the Queen of Scots gets her head chopped off. Start at the beginning by finding out how well Mary gets on with her pushy Mum, her ladies-in-waiting and her first boyfriend. Work out why she is hated by Nasty Knox the preacher and his Edinburgh mob. Meet Mary's horrible husbands and understand what makes her marry them. Solve the mysterious murders of her nearest and dearest.
Learn the truth about Mary's madness. Uncover the secret plots that earn the Queen of Scots a deadly date with her cousin's executioner - and decide for yourself whether Mary is guilty or innocent.
* Learn to tell the difference between Mary's romantic reputation and her real life.
* Find out why going to church gave the Queen of Scots a headache.
* Understand the difficult decisions Mary had to make.
* Discover the truth about her infamous Casket Letters.
* Aimed at children aged 8-12
Robert the Bruce And All That
by Allan BURNETT, Scoular Anderson (illustrator)
'Packed with humour - I recommend the whole lot!,' - The School Librarian
"Robert The Bruce And All That" is a real-life adventure packed with historical facts about Scotland's warrior king.
Gallop alongside King Robert the Bruce as he takes up the quest to free the Scots from terrifying King Edward and his bumbling son, Edward II. Voyage with Bruce to the mysterious islands of the west, and read about the secret plan to win over his kingdom.
Discover what happened to Bruce's queen and sisters when they were seized by the enemy. Learn how to capture a castle as Bruce and his men topple enemy fortresses across the land. Hear skulls crack as Bruce sends Edward II homeward to think again at the Battle of Bannockburn. Follow Bruce's amazing life after death as his heart is taken into battle in Spain - and find out how it was safely returned home.
Packed with fantastic illustrations, this brilliant book will make you want to dress up in chain mail and relive the action!
A TUDOR TURK
by Rehan Khan
Istanbul, 1591- and Sultan Murad III, the mightiest ruler in the world, has been robbed. The Staff of Moses has been stolen from his private collection in the Topkapi Palace, right under his imperial nose. The wooden Staff, held by Moses as he parted the Red Sea, is a magical symbol of power worth a king’s ransom – and the furious Sultan wants it back.
An undercover unit of trusted warriors is hastily assembled to track down the thieves. They are the ‘Rüzgar’ – the ‘Wind’ – and like the wind, they travel silently and unseen. Awa, the studious daughter of a noble family from the Songhai Empire in West Africa, was kidnapped and enslaved by Moroccans after the disastrous Battle of Tondibi. Will, who was snatched from his home in London at the age of 5, is now 16 and a galley slave on board a Moroccan warship. Joining the Rüzgar turns him into a man. The other comrades are Turkish, Greek and Albanian, all led by the charismatic Bosnian Mehmed Konjic, a wise counsellor and natural hero. Their task is to bring the Staff home – or not come home at all . . .
A Tudor Turk introduces extraordinary characters, cliff-hanging adventures, a plunge into 16th-century life in Europe and Asia, and a mission that is . . . almost impossible.
The Little Mistake
by Nicola Davies, Cathy Fisher
Rosie is given a sheepdog puppy to rear who looks and behaves differently to the other sheepdogs on the farm and is too friendly to herd the sheep. When she overhears her parents referring to her as their ‘little mistake’, her puppy teaches her that not all mistakes are bad in this charming story about belonging and finding your place.
Titles in the Country Tales series:
- Flying Free
- The Little Mistake
- The Mountain Lamb
- A Boy's Best Friend
- Pretend Cows
by Isabella Tree
‘A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope’ – Chris Packham
In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.
Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize.
Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs, and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500-acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.
Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers, and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.
Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.
Highly Commended by the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize.
This must be the most inspirational nature book of the year . . . a narrative of conservation, courage, vision, and miracles... The story of what happened is thrilling . . . the Knepp Conservation Project is world-famous: a beacon of hope . . . Read this book and marvel.
Bel Mooney, 'The Year's Best Books on Nature', Daily Mail
Particularly timely . . . an excellent primer, and anyone who is interested in how we share the planet — what it looks like, what we eat, and what nature can teach us — should read this book.
A poignant, practical, and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope.
Chris Packham, presenter of The Really Wild Show
NOTES FROM A SCEPTICAL GARDENER
by KEN THOMPSON
What is the best way to kill weeds in paving? How scared should we really be of Japanese knotweed? And what is a weed anyway?
Biologist Ken Thompson set out to write a different kind of gardening column, one that tackles what he calls ‘the grit in the gardening oyster’. In this new collection he takes a look at some of the questions faced by gardeners everywhere in a bid to sort the truth from the wishful thinking.
Why are the beaks of British great tits getting longer? Which common garden insect owns a set of metal-tipped running spikes? Why might growing orange petunias land you in hot water? Are foxes getting bigger? How do you stop the needles falling off your Christmas tree?
This expert’s miscellany of (mostly) scientifically-tested garden lore will make you look at your garden through fresh eyes.
by ROGER MORGAN-GRENVILLE
‘This delightful memoir is an inspiring account of changing direction in mid-life, and a passionate plea on behalf of the honeybee.’ Daily Mail
After a chance meeting in the pub, Roger Morgan-Grenville and his friend Duncan decide to take up beekeeping. Their enthusiasm matched only by their ignorance, they are pitched into an arcane world of unexpected challenges.
Coping with many setbacks along the way, they manage to create a colony of beehives, finishing two years later with more honey than anyone knows what to do with. By standing back from their normal lives and working with the cycle of the seasons, they emerge with a new-found understanding of nature and a respect for the honeybee and the threats it faces.
Wryly humorous and surprisingly moving, Liquid Gold is the story of a friendship between two unlikely men at very different stages of their lives. It is also an uplifting account of the author’s own midlife journey: coming to terms with an empty nest, getting older, looking for something new.
‘A great book. Painstakingly researched, but humorous, sensitive and full of wisdom.’ Chris Stewart, author of Driving Over Lemons
‘A light-hearted account of midlife, a yearning for adventure, the plight of bees, the quest for “liquid gold” and, above all, friendship.’ Sunday Telegraph
Bears of the World
by Vincenzo Penteriani, Mario Melletti
Bears have fascinated people since ancient times. The relationship between bears and humans dates back thousands of years, during which time we have also competed with bears for shelter and food. In modern times, bears have come under pressure through encroachment on their habitats, climate change, and illegal trade in their body parts, including the Asian bear bile market. The IUCN lists six bears as vulnerable or endangered, and even the least concern species, such as the brown bear, are at risk of extirpation in certain countries. The poaching and international trade of these most threatened populations are prohibited, but still ongoing. Covering all bears species worldwide, this beautifully illustrated volume brings together the contributions of 200 international bear experts on the ecology, conservation status, and management of the Ursidae family. It reveals the fascinating long history of interactions between humans and bears and the threats affecting these charismatic species.
by THOR HANSON
‘Popular science at its most accessible: fun, fascinating and full of engaging pen portraits of the scientists and bee enthusiasts he meets in the course of his research’ Melissa Harrison, Guardian
‘A smooth and accessible account of the insects that provide a significant amount of what we eat, introducing their fascinating diversity of behaviour. A reminder of why bees are wonders that we must protect.’ Matt Shardlow, BBC Wildlife
In Buzz, the award-winning author of Feathers and The Triumph of Seeds takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young.
From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They’ve given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.
As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you’ll never overlook them again.
by PAUL JEPSON , CAIN BLYTHE
As ecologists Paul Jepson and Cain Blythe show, rewilding is a new and progressive approach to conservation, blending radical scientific insights with practical innovations to revive ecological processes, benefiting people as well as nature. Its goal is to restore lost interactions between animals, plants and natural disturbance that are the essence of thriving ecosystems.
With its sense of hope and purpose, rewilding is breathing new life into the conservation movement, and enabling a growing number of people – even urban-dwellers – to enjoy thrilling wildlife experiences previously accessible only in remote wilderness reserves. ‘De-domesticated’ horses galloping across a Dutch ‘Serengeti’; beavers creating wetlands in the British countryside; giant tortoises restoring the wildlife of the Mauritian islands; perhaps one day even rhinos roaming the Australian outback – rewilding is full of exciting and inspirational possibilities.
by Harriet Springbett
A life fractured into parallel worlds. A quiet magic to accept or ignore. A decision to make.
Escape from difficult family dynamics is teenager Rainbow’s desire. When she discovers a strange gift for communicating with trees, she thinks she’s found her salvation. Even better, a mysterious but gentle man living in her Dorset village helps develop her powers.
But when tragedy strikes, Rainbow’s life is torn apart, creating parallel worlds in the process. In one life, the vulnerable Rainbow strives to salvage her family. In the other, her alter-ego, Mary, flees her past. Over the next few years the two versions of Rainbow follow very different lives. The source of their grief, however, is the same – a confession buried deep within their memories.
Could France offer more than a mere escape? As the two worlds draw closer and memories resurface, Rainbow and Mary’s futures must be determined. Can they receive the healing they need? Or will the renewed pain be too much to bear? Only by risking their lives will they know.
The Biological Universe
by Wallace Arthur
Are we alone in the Universe, or are there other life-forms ‘out there’? This is one of the most scientifically and philosophically important questions that humanity can ask. Now, in the early 2020s, we are tantalizingly close to an answer. As this book shows, the answer will almost certainly be that life-forms are to be found across the Milky Way and beyond. They will be thinly spread, to be sure. Yet the number of inhabited planets probably runs into the trillions. Some are close enough for us to detect evidence of life by analysing their atmospheres. This evidence may be found within a couple of decades. Its arrival will be momentous. But even before it arrives we can anticipate what life elsewhere will be like by examining the ecology and evolution of life on Earth. This book considers the current state of play in relation to these titanic issues.
Discovering the Deep
by Jeffrey A. Karson, Deborah S. Kelley, Daniel J. Fornari, Michael R. Perfit, Timothy M. Shank
The deep oceans and global seafloor are truly Earth’s last frontier. They remain largely unexplored, yet are critical to our survival on this planet. This magnificent, full-color volume transports you to bizarre landscapes hosting exotic life forms that rival the most imaginative science fiction. Starting with a historical summary of seafloor exploration and the developing technologies used to study this extreme environment, it then describes the distinctive geologic components of the Earth’s ocean floor and the unusual biological communities found along the mid-ocean ridges. This is an indispensable reference for researchers, teachers, and students of marine science, and a visually stunning resource that will enlighten and intrigue oceanographers and enthusiasts alike. A suite of online resources, including photographs and video clips, combine with the book to provide fascinating insights into the hidden world of seafloor geology and biology using the latest deep-sea imaging and geological concepts.
by Lewis I. Held, Jr
Among the offspring of humans and other animals are occasional individuals that are malformed in whole or in part. The most grossly abnormal of these have been referred to from ancient times as monsters because their birth was thought to foretell doom; the less severely affected are usually known as anomalies. This volume aims to dig deeply into the cellular and molecular processes of embryonic development that go awry in such exceptional situations. It focuses on the physical mechanisms of how genes instruct cells to build anatomy, as well as the underlying forces of evolution that shaped these mechanisms over eons of geologic time. The narrative is framed in a historical perspective that should help students trying to make sense of these complex subjects. Each chapter is written in the style of a Sherlock Holmes story, starting with the clues and ending with a solution to the mystery.
by David Costantini, Giacomo Dell'Omo
Widespread across open lands and cities of Europe, Africa, and Asia, the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is one of the most abundant and studied birds of prey. This book brings together and synthesises the results of research on kestrels for professional ornithologists and scientists that seek to consolidate a vast body of literature. It is also a reference for those readers who may not have the depth of scientific knowledge to navigate new fields of scientific enquiry. It examines many aspects of the species’ biology, from the reproductive strategies to the behavioural and demographic adaptations to changes of environmental conditions. It also discusses the roles of physiology and immunology in mediating the adaptability of kestrels to the ongoing environmental changes with a particular focus on contaminants. This volume presents new and exciting avenues of research on the ecology and behaviour of the common kestrel.
by Raul Rabadan
Since the identification of the first cases of the coronavirus in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, there has been a significant amount of confusion regarding the origin and spread of the so-called ‘coronavirus’, officially named SARS-CoV-2, and the cause of the disease COVID-19. Conflicting messages from the media and officials across different countries and organizations, the abundance of disparate sources of information, unfounded conspiracy theories on the origins of the newly emerging virus and the inconsistent public health measures across different countries, have all served to increase the level of anxiety in the population. Where did the virus come from? How is it transmitted? How does it cause disease? Is it like flu? What is a pandemic? What can we do to stop its spread? Written by a leading expert, this concise and accessible introduction provides answers to the most common questions surrounding coronavirus for a general audience.
by Mary-Ann Ochota
"A cornucopia of our weirdest and most wonderful archaeological sites and artefacts. They make you feel proud to be a citizen of these gloriously intriguing isles." Sir Tony Robinson
An Ice Age cannibal’s skull cup, a hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold, a seventeenth century witch bottle… anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota unearths more than 70 of Britain's most intriguing ancient places and artefacts and explores the mysteries behind them.
Britain is full of ancient wonders: not grand like the Egyptian pyramids, but small, strange places and objects that hint at a deep and enduring relationship with the mystic. Secret Britain offers an expertly guided tour of Britain’s most fascinating mysteries: archaeological sites and artefacts that take us deep into the lives of the many different peoples who have inhabited the island over the millennia.
Illustrated with beautiful photographs, the wonders include buried treasure, stone circles and geoglyphs, outdoor places of worship, caves filled with medieval carvings, and enigmatic tools to divine the future. Explore famous sites such as Stonehenge and Glastonbury, but also discover:
- The Lindow Man bog body, showing neatly trimmed hair and manicured fingernails despite having been killed 2,000 years ago
- The Uffington White Horse, a horse-shaped geoglyph maintained by an unbroken chain of people for 3,000 years
- A roman baby’s bronze cockerel, an underworld companion for a two-year-old who died sometime between AD 100–200
- St Leonard’s Ossuary, home to 1,200 skulls and a vast stack of human bones made up of around 2,000 people who died from the 1200s to the 1500s
- The Wenhaston Doom painting, an extraordinary medieval depiction of the Last Judgement painted on a chancel arch
Explore Britain’s secret history and discover why these places still resonate today.
A Taste of Scotland’s Islands
by Sue Lawrence
Sue Lawrence has been on a personal odyssey - a trip round some of Scotland's many islands speaking to producers and cooks, gleaning recipes along the way. From islands such as Mull, Raasay, Out Skerries and Luing she has amassed over 100 recipes mainly created from ingredients and produce she came across in her travels.
Some of the recipes are traditional, for example using seaweed or reestit mutton in a soup; others are more contemporary, like Shetland Salt Fish Cakes with Romesco Sauce or Venison Chilli.
This celebration of the landscape and history of the Scottish islands is illustrated with photos of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and with mouth-watering pictures of the islands' best cooking. Keen home cooks will find here a whole new world of delicious but easy to prepare dishes, presented with Sue's trademark warmth and clarity of method.
'This is a celebration of the landscape, the history, and, especially, the people of the Scottish Islands' Daily Mail
'Lawrence's enthusiasm for food, travel, and island life comes across in spades, making the book an enjoyable read as well as an interesting collection of recipes' Shetland Times
'Beautifully illustrated with photos from the isles and delightful portions of narrative - as intriguing to read as it is to use as a cookbook' Ileach
'Opens up a whole new world of cooking' The Dundee Courier
Swimming Wild in the Lake District
by Suzanna Cruickshank
Illustrated with stunning photography, and featuring overview maps, the book has all the practical information you need to plan your wild swimming adventure, including access to the lakes by car or public transport where possible, thorough information about the best wild swimming locations on all the featured lakes and details of the best pubs and cafes for a much-needed post-swim drink or meal. The book is full of useful tips for both new and experienced wild swimmers; it contains sections on getting started in wild swimming, how to look after your own safety and impartial advice on all the essential kit you’ll need, as well as what you don’t need.
THE GRAN TOUR
by BEN AITKEN
One millennial, six coach trips, one big generation gap.
When Ben Aitken learnt that his gran had enjoyed a four-night holiday including four three-course dinners, four cooked breakfasts, four games of bingo, a pair of excursions, sixteen pints of lager and luxury return coach travel, all for a hundred pounds, he thought, that’s the life, and signed himself up. Six times over.
Good value aside, what Ben was really after was the company of his elders – those with more chapters under their belt, with the wisdom granted by experience, the candour gifted by time, and the hard-earned ability to live each day like it’s nearly their last.
A series of coach holidays ensued – from Scarborough to St Ives, Killarney to Lake Como – during which Ben attempts to shake off his thirty-something blues by getting old as soon as possible.
‘Both moving and hilarious’ Spectator, Books of the Year
‘A tale of gloriously eccentric British pensioners. Aitken rivals Alan Bennett in the ear he has for an eavesdropped remark … boy, can he write.’ Daily Mail, Book of the Week
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE ACCLAIMED A CHIP SHOP IN POZNAŃ
Never Leave the Dog Behind
by Helen Mort
Award-winning writer Helen Mort sets out to understand the singular relationship between dogs, mountains and the people who love them. Along the way, she meets search and rescue dogs, interviews climbers and spends time on the hills with hounds. The book is also a personal memoir, telling the author’s own story of falling in love with a whippet called Bell during a transformative year in the Lake District.
Never Leave the Dog Behind is a compelling account of mountain adventures and misadventures, and captures the unbridled joy of heading to the hills with a four-legged friend.
The History of England's Cathedrals
by Nicholas Orme
England's sixty or so Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals are among its most iconic buildings and attract thousands of worshippers and visitors every year. Yet though much has been written about their architecture, there is no complete guide to their history and activities. This book provides the first rounded account of the whole of their 1700 years from Roman times to the present day. It explains the layout of their buildings, the people who ran them, their worship and music, their links with learning and education, and their outreach to society. It relates their history to the history of England and shows how they adapted to change and weathered disasters to survive as great repositories of our national history.
THE 50 GREATEST CHURCHES AND CATHEDRALS OF GREAT BRITAIN
by SUE DOBSON
Britain is well-known for its churches and cathedrals; buildings of great architecture and religious grandeur that form many of our recognisable skylines. But these grand structures are also full of facts, histories and stories that you may not have been aware of.
Did you know that there are only three cathedrals in Britain without a ringing bell? Or that St Davids Cathedral, nestled away in a Welsh valley, has a very unique choir, where the top line is sung only by female choristers, aged eight to eighteen? How about that the Great Pyramids in Egypt were the world’s tallest structures for over 3,870 years, until the construction of Lincoln Cathedral in 1311?
Award-wining travel writer and editor Sue Dobson takes us on a journey around the United Kingdom, showing us her highlights while providing fascinating details and stories along the way.
Sue Dobson is an award-winning travel writer and magazine editor with a passion for discovering the world, its art, music, religions and cultures. Her love of cities is balanced by the joy of landscapes as diverse as deserts and mountains. She is the author of The 50 Greatest Churches and Cathedrals of the World
PINT TO PINT
by THE TELEGRAPH
For the dedicated pub-goer and the armchair drinker, here is an enticing selection of ‘proper’ pubs to gladden the heart and slake the thirst.
All of these pubs get the basics right: they focus on the beer (though the food and wine may also be excellent) and on conversation rather than piped music. They may have a roaring fire in winter and a pleasant beer garden in summer. You can probably bring your dog. Above all, they have a notable character that raises them above the bland corporate pubs that blight the land. It can be hard to say exactly why – but you just know a good pub the moment you enter.
Trusted Telegraph reviewers have made their selection for you, based on highly personal but well-informed criteria, resulting in a nationwide pub crawl like no other. This is the perfect book for anyone who considers a good pub to be a British birthright.
Great British Bike Rides
by Dave Barter
Great British Bike Rides brings together forty of the best road rides in England, Scotland and Wales, searching out the country’s most celebrated routes, toughest climbs and most scenic roads. Each ride is accompanied by detailed route information, bespoke mapping and a statistical breakdown including every detail the committed cyclist requires. The book is complemented with a set of downloadable GPX files to further aid navigation.
Scottish Island Bagging
by Helen Webster, Paul Webster
Scottish Island Bagging by Helen and Paul Webster, founders of Walkhighlands, is a guide to the magical islands of Scotland. Focusing on the ninety-nine islands that have regular trips or means of access for visitors, plus fifty-five other islands which have no regular transport but are still of significant size or interest, the authors have described the best ways to experience each one.
The Headscarf Revolutionaries
by Brian W. Lavery
In the harsh seas of 1968, three trawlers from Hull sank in just three weeks. 58 men died. That broke the heart of many in the city. One fishwife put down her filleting knife, picked up some sheets of paper, and stormed into action. Lilian Bilocca started with a petition, took her battle to the docks at dawn, and then led a raid on Parliament. Lilian and her team of women changed the Shipping Laws. In just a few days of action, the lives of thousands of seamen were made much safer. She became a TV star and an international celebrity. It is hard to live down fame like that in the back streets of Hull. It was harder still for the one man who battled the storms as the trawlers sank to be the lone survivor. The Headscarf Revolutionaries thrills with the dangers of the high seas; inspires with the passion of women who changed their world; and reveals the vivid life inside one of the most vital communities of recent history.
'A powerful book that gives full voice to the grief and determination of the women who fought trawler owners and forced them to put men's lives before profit.' - Socialist Review
Traffic Free Cycle Trails
by Nick Cotton
Traffic-Free Cycle Trails includes a great variety of routes on former railway paths, canal towpaths and forest trails in England, Scotland and Wales – and every ride is away from traffic. For that safe and peaceful bike ride, increasingly the target of families and leisure cyclists alike, Nick Cotton’s guidebook has proven invaluable.