Derek Brockway & Julian Carey,
Weatherman Walking (Walks around Wales)
(Y Lolfa, 2006)

Derek Brockway, the Welsh weather broadcaster, presents a dozen of his favorite walks around the country, in this 130-page, colourful book.

Walking is an all-season activity, and Brockway has three walks for each of the four seasons, including interesting, picturesque walks in South, North and Mid-Wales. This book is based on the BBC Wales TV series, produced by Julian Carey.

The weatherman is a good, experienced guide to these areas and provides lots of encouragement for those looking for an excuse to get off the couch.

Though this is primarily a book about the outdoors, his walks also take him into some of the more controversial areas in Wales. A number of Welsh communities have been displaced, so Welsh water could be used for English cities, including the Elan valley, which supplies water for Birmingham.

As well, the country is home to more than its share of British military bases; and one walk is near a firing range at St. Govan's Head. This walk also happens to pass by a chapel that could date from as early as the 6th century.

The dozen walks also pass a number of medieval castles, former industrial sites and beautiful, barren Welsh mountain scenery, even the remains of a crashed bomber. Areas covered include the St. David's Peninsula, Snowdonia, Neath, the Wye Valley and Blaenafon.

It's a book full of history, geology and descriptions of local plant life, as well as translations for the various Welsh place names. And, best of all, plenty of photos.

For travelers or locals, especially those planning to walk in Wales, this book is well worth a look.

review by
David Cox

12 January 2008

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