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Headwaters: Walking to British River Sources


Publication Type
Phil Clayton
Date Published
246 x 202
Printed Pages
Purchase Info


Distribution: Bookpoint Ltd, 130 Milton Park, ABINGDON, Oxon, OX14 4SB
01235 400 400


Publisher's Information 2012

Headwaters visits the sources of more than fifty rivers in Great Britain, from the longest and best known to some of the shortest and most eccentric. Phil Clayton describes a series of walks ranging from long treks over Scottish mountains and through wilderness glens to afternoon strolls in pastoral English parkland, moorland marches to forest forays, with the occasional bit of urban exploration thrown in. There is more variety of landscape and scenery around our river sources than might at first be expected and they all have a tale to tell. Three years in the making, this comprehensively illustrated book also draws on a rich range of literary sources to explore the geography, geology, etymology, history and folklore of these fundamental features of the British landscape, from Trent to Severn, Tay to Piddle.

[Phil Clayton's] fascinating journeys often take him to hidden nooks in spectatular countryside, where an uncompromising puddle can be the spring for a great river. But it's the more innocuous and mundane exapmles that I found most intriguing.
(WALK magazine )
'Headwaters is a book to read from cover to cover, and along the way there is great variety, spiced with a wealth of ideas for long days in the hills.'
(TGO magazine )
'From epic mountain days to pleasant strolls in UK parkland, it seems that visiting the sources of the country's rivers really can take you anywhere... With adventures suggested up and down Britain this will help inspire your next foot-powered trip.'
(Wanderlust )
'Each river source has a tale to tell and Phil Clayton reveals their beauty and their secrets.'
(NFU Countryside )
'Profound meditations on the role of nature in shaping the human psyche certainly have their place, but every now and again it's nice to encounter a straightforward, fact-rich book. Clayton's new book, Headwaters,gudies us to the origins of dozens of British rivers, throws in a goodly amount of historical detail and attempts to convince us that 'wandering around looking for sources is a perfect Bank holiday activity'. I, for one, am sold.'
(Geographical )

About the Author
A former geography and history teacher, PHIL CLAYTON has walked up all of the hills and mountains over 2000 feet in England and Wales at least three times. Wondering why his feet got wet doing this was the spark of inspiration for Headwaters. A regular contributor to local history magazines, Phil Clayton is also the author of On High Yorkshire Hills (Dalesman).