Non-Fictional Character

Lie of the Land

The Lie of the Land an "Outdoors Book of the Year"

The National Trust and Hay Festival have announced their top “Outdoors Books of the Year” and I can reveal that The Lie of the Land, my under-the-field guide to the British landscape, is one of the winners.

The endorsement, the result of a month-long poll to find the best recent writing about nature and the outdoors is shared with The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley, The Garden in the Clouds by Antony Woodward, Weeds by Richard Mabey and a number of other lovely books written from unique perspectives on the countryside. Hundreds of votes were cast and the winners were revealed at the Hay Festival - Britain’s most famous literary festival.

Thank you to everyone who voted for The Lie of the Land, which you will now be able to obtain from your local Trust gift shop. The paperback is out as well.

Round-up of reviews for The Lie of the Land

The Lie of the Land has garnered some nice reviews since publication - here are a few of them.

This good-humoured, eminently readable little book is intended to enthuse readers about Britain's unusually rich and varied geology. It does that job remarkably well, evoking the special magic of unique landscapes that urban sprawl and mass tourism haven't yet spoiled. It certainly made me want to jump into the car and go see for myself some of the places it so vividly describes... You'll be impressed at how much of Britain's geology and scenery you can enjoy just by pulling over at the right spot.
Dales Life

“Anyone who has ever picked up a pebble at the seaside or a rock on a moorland path will find invaluable Ian Vince's geological guide... you will understand the area round your British holiday cottage far more deeply than before.” Giles Foden (Author of The Last King of Scotland), Condé Nast Traveller

“Takes the reader on an explosive journey across millennia. Continents glide thousands of miles like contestants in Strictly Come Dancing, Scotland swelters on the Equator and Snowdonia boasts a volcanic ring of fire with mountains taller than Everest.” Daily Express

“Brings an easy touch to a subject most would leave to a hirsute geographer” The Field

“The English Channel is a relatively recent addition to the landscape, caused by two enormous floods which took place 450,000 and 200,000 years ago respectively, as huge, glacier-fed lakes burst their banks. Had it not been for these two inundations, Vince muses, the history of Britain - and even the world - could have turned out very differently” The Scotsman

“Far from a dry, scholarly tome, The Lie of the Land is brim full of facts dressed up in a lively narrative more akin to a fictional adventure. Ian is a passionate soul and natural wordsmith.” Western Morning News

The Lie of the Land: out very soon

After more than a year of hurtling up and down the land on trains, seeking out the country’s fascinating deep pre-history, The Lie of the Land: an under-the-field guide to the British landscape is finally published on Friday 4 June.


The book is a landscape memoir of an unfamiliar - even exotic - Britain. From the ancient rocks of the North West Highlands of Scotland to St Michael’s Mount on the Cornish coast, the journey gives us a rare glimpse of red desert sands, shattering continental collisions and tides of volcanic lava.

While modern skies are apparently full of ash from unpronounceable Icelandic volcanoes, read about their historical counterparts of Ardnamurchan, Arthur’s Seat and the incandescent clouds of thousand degree lava and ash that swept down the volcanic slopes of the “Fiery Ring of Wales”. The scenery of Britain is a product of Hadean inferno and Biblical deluge; it has been folded, twisted, turned, shattered and buckled, then swept away, gouged and scraped by mile-high walls of ice. A lot of work has gone into its peaceful prospect. The Lie of the Land is a spotter’s guide to this Britain; the Britain beneath our feet.

You can order The Lie of the Land from Amazon. The book’s dedicated website is at the British Landscape Club, from where, if you’re quick, you can obtain a limited edition “Founding Member” badge completely free.

Announcing the British Landscape Club

Lie of the Land
As part of a personal dedication to our fabulous landscape, I’m launching a new club in the New Year, following a year of research for my next book, Lie of the Land. During my research, I became increasingly amazed at both the 3 billion year history of Britain and the extraordinary range of contrasting scenery on offer. Read More...