Hugh Thomson sets off to walk through England by ancient pathways from Dorset to Norfolk.
His journey is punctuated by encounters with poachers, farmers, artists, hippies and travellers, and is enlivened by reflections on the writings of Thomas Malory, John Cowper Powys, Kenneth Grahame and Shakespeare. Thomson writes about ancient barrows, forts and earthworks; at Stonehenge he cunningly dons a tie and carries a clipboard so he can examine the standing stones at close quarters without being challenged. The book is a delightful ramble through 240 miles of countryside and a meditation on the deep history and the legends of England. I was a bit surprised, though, that Thomson has swallowed the old myth that a swan can break your arm with one blow of its wing.