Countryside Wanderings

It's amazing how things develop. After all, this blog started out as a news section for the rest of the website. With encouragement from readers, it has become a place for relating my countryside wanderings and musings about the world of outdoor activity. Walking, cycling and photography all are part of what I do out of doors and, hopefully, they will continue to inspire me to keep adding entries on here. Of course, there needs to be something of interest to you, dear reader, too and I hope that's the case. Thanks for coming.

Selected Guidebook Publishers

In some ways, it is a surprise that it took until I went pondering overseas hiking escapades before I got to creating this collection of guidebook publishers. Many on the list cover the U.K. and other parts of Europe while a few are North American too. In some ways, it is a surprise that U.K.-based publishers do not cover that part of the world so much but a lack of demand for such things may explain that.


Admittedly, I have developed something of a soft spot for the output of this Cumbrian publisher. A look at on of my bookshelves will prove that. Until last year, its British and Irish guides would have been the extent of the collection but my interest in European walking has grown throughout 2015 and there is some coverage of other continents too.


Earlier stages in my inquiry into North American hiking brought this operation to my notice and some of their titles have found their way into my possession. Other subjects like climbing, cycling and nature watching all feature and the range of destinations is  wide ranging.


This American travel publisher earned a mention here because of their erstwhile Moon Outdoors series. The seemingly reduced range of hiking books does little to undermined their presence in the listing but even their more mainstream titles also make plenty of space for discussions of hiking opportunities. The range of destinations is an international one with Canada and the U.S.A. getting extensive attention.

Mountaineers Books

There is a cornucopia of North American hiking and backpacking guides here and that is not all for some other countries see inclusion too as do other genres of outdoor publishing. Guides for climbing, biking and other outdoor activities are among these along with titles covering biography, adventure, nature, photography and travel so there is a lot here to survey. That range made it hard to summarise here but also make it worth surveying.

Northern Eye

While I keep seeing books from this Cheshire publisher featuring parts of the Wales Coastal Path, it is their books on the area surrounding the Sandstone Trail that has one of its termini at Frodsham where they have their base that have found their way into my collection. A lot of their output nowadays comes in the form of slim pocket-sized volumes that look well and have gained them plaudits too. The places covered in their catalogue include walking hotspots in the north of England as well as much of Wales. It is more than enough to merit a mention here.

Pocket Mountains

What got this Scottish publisher going and brought them to my notice was a series of slim volumes covering regions of Scottish hill country. As the name suggests, these were pocket-sized and most of their books still follow the same format. Some though are thicker and The Munros would be one of these. The coverage has gone beyond both Scotland and hill walking to include England and Wales as well as easier walks and cycling. The latter includes mountain biking too so there is a good range in all and it is as worth surveying as it ever was.


Much of what this German produces is in its native language but there are titles in English, French, Spanish and Italian too. What brought them to my notice was not a visit to the Innsbruck branch of Tyrolia but a search for Norwegian walking books since they offer one of the best of what is available. There is another in English about Iceland and more places get that kind of coverage than those. These books may show eccentricities because of their translation from the native German but they remain useful nonetheless. Should I ever develop a stronger grasp of written German, the wider catalogue may have its uses too.

Rocky Mountain Books

Canadian Rockies titles offered by this publisher include some on hiking, cycling and climbing, which guarantees its inclusion here. Like other publishers on this list, that is not all because you will find outdoors culture, history and biography in the selection too.


The event that brought about the foundation also is the reason that it gets listed here. That event was the publication of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide and the renowned book remains in print today, having been updated over the years. Other hiking titles are published too, including some eBooks, while other subjects pertinent to explorations of the Canadian Rockies also feature in their catalogue.

The Collins Press

In addition to its other subjects, this Irish publisher has a series of walking books that feature areas around the island of Ireland. What also is noticeable is that there is a section describing errata such as access issues relating to these. The latter is a necessity given the informal and volatile nature of countryside access in Ireland. Still, the range of possibilities is enticing and the range of titles features alluring areas like Kerry, West Cork, Connemara, Wicklow and Donegal. Of course, others aside from these get a look in so this selection is a first port of call if you are planning a walking trip in Ireland.


It was their Day Walks series that draw my attention to this publisher and there is more to them than this coverage of England and Wales. Mountain biking and road cycling get featured too together with some titles that I would associate with outdoors literature.

Wilderness Press

This is another publisher of American walking guides and they cover cycling and kayaking in some of their books too. The latter gets included in their Rail-Trail titles, which cover disused railway lines converted for recreational use much like what has happened to some in Britain. Day hiking and backpacking see plenty of coverage and for a variety of locations around the U.S.A., many of which being in state or national parks.