Another review that should have been completed a while ago, but hey ho!
Paul Besley aka “the Peak District guru” as well as being an outdoors writer, is a Mountain Rescue Team Member and dog handler. He also does some voluntary work as a Ranger in the Peak District National Park. This is the first guidebook he has had published, and it has to be said, he’s made a good start!
I really like Cicerone guides, and think they have got the format down to a fine art. I particularly like the fact that the books are pocket size, which is always important in a guidebook I feel, as there is every chance you will actually be taking it with you rather than leaving it at home. However, the downside is that readers of a certain age may require a little help viewing the text!
Typical of Cicerone publications, the book is nicely designed and laid out, with numerous photographs accompanying the text. Sections of OS 1:50 maps are also included, with the day’s route clearly marked.
The book contains thirty five circular walks, with five longer routes thrown in for good measure. Conveniently, the book is divided into four areas: East, Central, North and West Dark Peak. The short routes offer a really good introduction to a beautiful part of the UK, with the medium routes giving you a more strenuous day out. If you really want to escape the crowds and experience some remote moorland, the long walks are for you.
Each route is broken down into legs, all of which are clearly and simply described in great detail and are, to my eyes, easy to follow. Points of interest are noted, and each chapter contains an abundance of information on the area you are passing through.
Great credit must be given to Paul Besley for the amount of research that has gone into this book. The introduction contains more than enough detail for visitors to the region, providing a potted history, notes on geology, wildlife, local services, route planning, access and the CROW Act, and travelling around the area. The appendix contains useful links, information on transport, tourist information centres and a particularly interesting list of aircraft crash locations complete with grid references. All of the information appears to be accurate and up to date, however as things can and do change, it may be worth checking before travelling.
Overall, this is a great little book and a worthwhile addition to anyone’s bookshelf.