Review of ‘Brill Walks in The Peak’ (Book Three), by Freda Bowman and Bob Brill

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 21st May 2007, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

Book Three
by Freda Bowman and Bob Brill
Published by Northend of Sheffield
ISBN 0-901100-74-9 (2007)

The first Brill Walks in The Peak came onto the scene like a breath of fresh air. Volume two was a breeze, thanks again to the visualisation of co-authors Freda Bowman and Bob Brill, and this third selection of spectacular circular walks completes a walking trilogy with a difference. The format proved so popular that Book One was an early sell-out.

This time the routes take in the beauties of Castleton and Edale, the Upper Derwent Reservoirs, Litton and the Dales, Chatsworth and Baslow. Twelve walks in all, from four to just over six miles long, each described with an overview of the terrain, points of interest and the most stunning viewpoints, often at just the right spot to get your breath back. This is not to say that any of these walks would be too strenuous for a complete novice who normally explores the Peak from an armchair.

The itineraries include suggestions for car parking, refreshment stops if needed and a pat on the back for some 'wonderful public toilets'. The pages are generously illustrated with almost 40 full colour photographs mostly taken by Bob. Vintage images accompany one of Freda's introductory narratives, whereby she puts flesh on the old bones of a Deathbed Tale and other Peakland stories with real-life origins. Says Freda, 'People often mention that these have significantly increased the enjoyment of their experiences, by giving them a greater interest in the areas they are walking.'

The authors have created a winning format, one that does not assume any previous walking experience nor even possession of any other map than those in the book - illustrated with quirky humorous sketches from a devil's backside to a couple of smug monks, every public WC in the vicinity, spiky explosive devices representing disused mines and other visual puns. Immense care has been taken to make instructions 'clear and totally confusion free', with each route finally 'road tested' by novice and experienced walkers.

Brill Walks in The Peak, Book Three is spiral bound with tough, flexible covers.

Review by Julie Bunting

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