Of all my books “Wayfarer’s Dole” has probably had the longest period of writing. I began it over six years ago and originally the text included most of what subsequently appeared in my other book “The Compleat Trespasser”.
It was then put to one side while I concentrated on the Trespasser and the novels. So the last period of writing was more or less a revision and updating.
“Wayfarer’s Dole” covers a great deal of territory from early rambles.
I didn’t just want the book to be an account of rambles, despite what it says on the sub-title. I wanted to write a book that celebrated not only our greatest landscapes – and these are now under threat as never before thanks to our callous and profiteering politicians – but how the footpaths and trackways we walk upon actually evolved.
I wanted to write a book that was about why we walk as much as where we go.
If my other book “The Compleat Trespasser” was a celebration of all the places you are not supposed to walk, then Wayfarer’s Dole is a love letter to all of the wild moorlands, mountains, downlands and country paths where you can.
It’s about the whole ethos of country walking. And from my own very personal viewpoint. So there’s something about how an individual becomes a walker, a bit of controversy, and a look at why and how ramblers relate to wild places.
A lot of places too…
From Dartmoor to the South Downs, Glastonbury to the Pennines, Dorset footpaths to the Lakeland Fells, the Black Country to the Scottish Highlands.
Oh, and a few snippets on the vagabond life as well – chapters on maps, roadside fires, the need to protect our ancient trackways – and why we’re all better off mentally and spiritually if we explore the British countryside on foot.
So please do partake of the Wayfarer’s Dole…
It’s now out in paperback and on Kindle and Nook eReaders and Kobo eBooks. Just click on the links below.
And if you’re looking for a Christmas present for someone who loves the British countryside and walking, well…
And what is Wayfarer’s Dole?
Here’s the explanation from the official publisher’s blurb for the book…
“In a series of solitary journeys on foot the writer and novelist John Bainbridge explores the ethos of rambling and hiking in rural England and Scotland.
On his journey he seeks out the remaining wild places and ancient trackways, meeting vagabonds and outdoors folk along the way, and follows in the footsteps of writers, poets and early travellers.
This is a book for everyone who loves the British countryside and walking its long-established footpaths and bridleways.
And for the armchair traveller…
Wayfarer’s Dole takes its title from an ancient tradition – In medieval times pilgrims travelling the road through Winchester to Canterbury would halt at the St Cross Hospital, a place of rest and refuge for those on holy journeys, and demand the Wayfarer’s Dole – small portions of ale and bread to ease the hunger and thirst incurred on their travels.”
Here’s the link for the paperback…
And here’s the link for the Kindle version…