This is the story of a thousand mile-long trip around England by canal. At times the journey took the author out into the beautiful countryside, and elsewhere the canal crept round the edge of old industrial towns.
It is a journey that proved full of surprises, delights and rich variety, as the book clearly demonstrates. The book illustrates the great contrasts between travelling on the wide tidal waters of the River Trent and being overtaken by sea-going cargo ships, to meadnering along the sinuous curves of the Oxford Canal. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal brought magnificent moorland scenery and the drama of the great five-lock staircase at Bingley. London was seen from two very different perspectives. Travelling past the elegant houses of Little Venice and Regents Park and then turning back along the Thames to float past the Houses of Parliament. The author finds as much pleasure in the hidden corners of Birmingham as in the rural beauties of Shropshire.
The book has become regarded as a classic of canal travel, and is reissued with previously unpublished colour photographs taken by Phillip Lloyd, who shared the trip with the author.
Extract from book as featured byWaterways World, 1st March 2019
A rewarding account of the canal network in the twilight phase after commercial use had largely ended, but before the full sweep of restoration had begun.Railway & Canal Historical Society
Well worth a read, and inspiration for a trip despite the unchanging regular restrictions caused by water shortages of today and back in the 1970s.Towpath Talk, January 2019 - reviewed by Colin Wareing
As featured in 'reading corner'BRITAIN, January 2018
For readers looking to update their copy of Back Door Britain, or hoping to understand pleasure-boating when it was still a fairly obscure pursuit, you won't be disappointed with this very nearly presented hardback.Waterways World, December 2018 – reviewed by James Francis Fox
The volume is well-written; the author a raconteur of some ability and the result is a delightful ‘wander’ along largely-neglected paths.Keith Rimmer, NZ Crown Mines
A lovely travel book.Four Shires magazine, November 2018
It remains a good read about canal travel at the time and may well inspire current day travellers to explore Britain's waterways, which is no bad thing.Best of British, October 2018 – reviewed by David Brown
Click here to listen to author interviewBBC Radio Gloucestershire, 26th September 2018 - with presenter Dominic Cotter
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Click here to listen to author interviewBBC Radio Nottingham, 17th September 2018 - with presenter Alan Clifford
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