The Peaks and the Pennines is a very and comprehensive guide to some of the best walking in the UK. Packed with routes through some remote yet beautiful areas it covers many small climbs. The whole book is interlaced with a great deal of history and geology giving it educational value on top of being a walking guide.
Even though this book was first published in the mid 60’s nearly all the information is still relevant as the areas the book describes have suffered very little change since that first edition. The reprints over the years have attempted to update anything time sensitive and you could use this book to walk many of the routes mapped out almost as the author did in making the original release.
There is a lot of information packed into this book and unless you make a dedicated effort to read from cover to cover any repeat visit will reveal something new.
One Mans Passion
I like walking and hiking guides both for general reading and as a source of information for a new walk or climb and as you can imagine I have read more than a few but this book isn’t only about someone documenting a given area of land to produce a product. The detail and passion that Poucher has squeezed between the covers shows a man who had a genuine interest in these areas at a time when we as a nation were only just starting to venture out into the wilderness en mass.
I’m always interested in old photos and the way the book has kept the 250 original 1960 photos is a big plus for me and have purposely gone out of my way when walking to compare a photo in the book to how the village or landscape looks today always trying to find the exact spot where that photo was taken over 50 years ago.
The photos of the climbers using old basic climbing equipment are very interesting as are the groups of people out walking in suits and dresses and is a stark reminder of how far we have come with outdoor clothing and technology.
One suggestion I would make if using this book to follow a route is to take a modern map to use in conjunction with the maps in the book as they can be a little confusing especially if you don’t know the area at all.
All in all a very well put together walking resource and if you are interested in the history of The Peaks and Pennines or climbing history in general well worth having in your book collection.
Author : W A Poucher
Publisher : Constable
Year : 1966 (This copy 5th edition 1988)
Pages : 455
Available from Amazon