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Buses Along The South West Coast Path from Minehead to Poole Harbour via Land's End (Hardback)

A History of the Past and a Guide to the Modern Day

Transport Photographic Books Colour Books England Buses

By Andrew Bartlett
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 110 colour illustrations & a route map
ISBN: 9781526755421
Published: 9th November 2020

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When one thinks of public transport in the south west over the years, two names tend to dominate; Western National and Devon General. But as this book with a difference shows, there was much more to it. Whilst it features buses past and present from a variety of operators large and small, it does so by following the route of one of the most well-known walks in England.

The South West Coast Path stretches for 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset, through Devon and Cornwall along the north coast to Land’s End, and back along the south coast to Poole harbour in Dorset. It boasts some spectacular scenery and regularly appears in lists of the world’s best walks.

So this is not just a book about public transport, it is also a travellers’ guide to things to see and do along the length of the Coast Path. Readers can imagine themselves at the front of their own imaginary tour bus, stopping at key points along the way. The photographs of buses date from the 1920s through to the 2010s, and feature over twenty-five different operators. There are brief notes on the way in which the Coast Path connects these places and the availability of modern-day bus services between them, and should any further encouragement be needed to plan a visit to the area, scenic views of some of the most beautiful locations are also included.

It is hoped that this unique volume will appeal not just to bus enthusiasts but to anyone interested in visiting this glorious part of the country.

Annette Shaw reviews some of the latest books with a Devon connection

Devon Life, July/August 2021

This is a unique book which manages to combine a traditional travel guide with an album of recent and older images of buses which served the communities along the footpath, starting in West Somerset, through Devon and Cornwall and ending in Dorset

Well recommended as a beautifully presented guide to the best sights of the Coastal Path and the public transport which serves it.

West Somerset Railway Association

While this book is essentially a touring guide around the south west coast it also satisfies the interests of the dedicated follower of buses. What better way to forget the car, keep fit and help the environment, but not all in one day. Dip into its lavishly illustrated pages and choose your section to explore.

Whott's News - the newsletter of the West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust

Andrew Bartlett has taken a creative approach to this presentation of photographs of buses in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

Buses, March 2021

At first glance this looks like a book purely relating to buses but not entirely, it actually encompasses a travel guide for one of the most well-known walks in England i.e. the 630 mile long South West coast path and details things to do and see along the route. With colour photographs of public transport from the 1920s up until the 2010s. It details to some extent the availability of modern day bus services between some of the most beautiful locations in this part of the country. This is rather a unique book intended to appeal to bus enthusiasts and visitors to this part of the country.

Review by Andy Thomson

About Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett has previously written about the history of public transport in his home city of Leicester, the Western National company and buses along the route of the South West Coast Path. He now focuses on London, where he worked for several years, to chart the politicised and protracted saga of London Buses’ privatisation, a process which took the sixteen years between 1979 and 1994, to complete. For many years a consultant working in the Inland Revenue/HMRC, he has since retirement also set crosswords for the Financial Times and the New Statesman and developed a keen interest in genealogy. Married to Debbie, he now lives in south Devon.

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