Review of ‘Brill Walks in The Peak’, by Freda Bowman & Bob Brill

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 20th December 2004, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by Freda Bowman & Bob Brill
Designed and printed by Northend of Sheffield
ISBN 0-901100-5-2 (2004)

If you enjoy gentle strolls or good bracing walks in the Peak, through a variety of landscapes with stunning views, stops for rest and refreshment, and the added interest of archaeological or historical features thrown in for good measure, this book is for you.

What makes Brill Walks in The Peak different is the well written and imaginative introduction to each of the four areas covered by a total of 12 circular walks: Eyam, Grindleford, Ashford in the Water and Hathersage. The Grindleford walks, for example, are preceded by a fictional 'Letter from the Quarryman' written in 1903 and beginning 'Dear Ma, Don't drop dead at the shock! This is me, your long lost son ... Up in Derbyshire, near some place called Grindleford, not that it's worth spitting for ...'

This and other colourful accounts, all based on historical research, set the scene for the walks, which come with diagramatic maps, colour photographs, essential information including the terrain and watering holes, and detailed instructions of the route incorporating up to 58 checkpoints. The authors have taken immense care to make all the information clear and 'confusion free'. Avid walkers and cyclists themselves, their attention to detail includes a spiral binding so that the open or folded book always lies flat, high quality paper and a laminate cover. And, naturally, it is a convenient size for a map case, large-ish pocket - or a Christmas stocking!

We have already tried and tested one of the walks and, just to put it to the test, left our OS map behind. We didn' t even miss it. If this book doesn't make your feet itch, nothing will.

Review by Julie Bunting

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