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A personal library

As one strides through the countryside, the mind will dwell on just about anything- music, relationships, films, composing poetry and letters, tonight’s meal, clouds building to the left, what can be left out of the pack next time, that twinge in the left thigh…

On foot, a change of terrain makes itself known immediately, rock and soil types are also noticed, especially if wet. Even the most ignorant amongst us will also notice a change in flora. What can help add interest to a hike is to have some knowledge of what we are passing through. The weather, the flora, the fauna, mans imprint upon the land, the why. To this end, Three Points of the Compass believes that a well stocked book shelf at home and time taken out to read and gen up on various subjects is almost as important for a decent walk as the walk itself, almost.

Alongside this are the various volumes that have been published that can aid greatly in either planning, or simply provide the inspiration or encouragement to carry out or consider an adventure.

I am not referring necessarily just to a guide to a particular trail, though I gain much of interest from the sterling research work that many hikers and authors have put into a whole bunch of these that sit on my shelves. You can also find a short history of guide books for rambling in my home county of Kent, England, here. In addition to this, I have done a number of posts that give a brief glance at some other volumes that I value:

John Hillaby- hiker and author extraordinaireInspiration-

Keble Martin

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Ffyona Campbell

Laurie Lee

Alfred Wainwright

Ernest Shackleton

John Hillaby

Nicholas Crane

Julian Sayarer

Ted Simon

A decent read-The Big Walk by A. Walker

A. Walker- The Big Walk

John Paddy Browne- Map Cover Art, A pictorial history of Ordnance Survey cover illustrations.

Ornithology-Poyser Bird Monograph- The Raven

Lars Jonsson Field Guide

Helm Identification Guides



The Bird Collectors

T & A D Poyser

Birds of the Western Palearctic

The Flowering of Britain. Richard Mabey and Tony EvansBotany- 

Roger Phillips Photographic Guides

Wild Flower Keys

Specialist Groups


Those ‘special’ flowers

The Natural History of British Flora

Gerard’s Herbal

Number One in the New Naturalist series- Butterflies by E.B. Ford

Natural History-

Naturalists’ Handbooks

Mammal Monographs


Dragonflies and Damselflies


Butterflies and Moths

The Handbook of British Mammals

Local Geology guides- Northeast Norfolk and CornwallGeology-

Lakeland Rocks


British Regional Geology- The Wealden District

The Geology of Britain

Minerals, Rocks and Fossils

A Walker’s Guide to the Geology of British Mountains

Chalk Hill Figures

Rice's guides to Architecture and ChurchesHistory-

The English Barn and Oasthouse

Traditional Buildings of the English Countryside

Castles and Hillforts

The British Landscape


‘Shire’ publications

The Oxford History of England


Childrens books-

Rupert Bear– 2020 saw the 100th birthday of this little chap. One of his adventures was Rupert goes Hiking, story panels are reproduced here

Eagle Annual– a blast from the past- one for kids now grown up!

Rupert Goes Hiking
Rupert Goes Hiking
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