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.

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.