Books

 

The Gustav Holst Way is the first guide to a glorious, 35-mile rambling route that's been laid out across the Cotswolds to celebrate the life and work of the Cheltenham-born composer of The Planets, who started his greatest work in 1914. The trail explores some of south-west England's most scenic countryside and visits numerous, luminous landmarks of Holst's early life in Gloucestershire. The book is liberally illustrated with photographs and maps to ensure that walkers don't lose their way, as I did on the first couple of occasions that I walked the route. But even if you do get lost, you will surely never do so in a nicer place.


 

A Good Walk Spoiled, published in 2012, features the Colne Valley Regional Park on the north-west fringe of London, which would be permanently scarred if the government proceeds with its plan to build a high-speed railway line (HS2) through this much-loved slice of green belt that straddles Buckinghamshire and the outer edges of London. The book contains a handy walker's map marking out the route of the first mass protest walk staged by Denham Against HS2 in March 2012. Nearly 400 people took part in that event, which is held every springtime, and will go on being a focus of resistance to the high-speed train until we win the argument - or they do.