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Stocking fillers: 20 books for people who'd rather be outdoors

Monday, 23 November 2015

Know someone who would prefer to spend Christmas afternoon out on the hills than in front of the TV? We’ve selected twenty books that will make ideal festive gifts for the outdoor-inclined. And for details of how to get a special Christmas discount, scroll down to the bottom ...


The Great Mountain Crags of Scotland cover image
1. The Great Mountain Crags of Scotland

Perfect for … Climbers with an appetite for inspiring lines in wild locations and with an interest in Scotland’s rich mountain heritage.

What’s inside? A celebration of climbing in Scotland’s wild places. Featuring contributions from many of Scottish mountaineering’s great writers and climbers, and beautifully illustrated with breathtaking large-format photography, it delves deep into the heart of some of the oldest mountains on Earth.
Mont Blanc: The Finest Routes

2. Mont Blanc – The Finest Routes

Perfect for … Climbers of varying abilities looking to plan challenging rock and mixed-route itineraries in the Mont Blanc Massif.

What’s inside? A collection of the 100 must-do climbing routes in the Mont Blanc Massif. Author and mountain guide Philippe Batoux provides a comprehensive account of each route, outlining its history and atmosphere and giving all the technical information needed to climb it. These written descriptions are complemented by photo diagrams, detailed topos and evocative large-format photography.
Classic Rock

3. Classic Rock

Perfect for … An essential book for all rock climbers, regardless of climbing grade.

What’s inside? Ken Wilson’s Classic Rock is one of the most popular and iconic works of climbing literature ever written. Containing many of the UK’s best-loved lower-grade routes, it offers a repository of adventure and spectacle that can provide a lifetime’s enjoyment. This latest edition has been transformed with over 300 new colour photos. These sit alongside archive images to create an inspirational dialogue between today’s climbers and those of history.
In Some Lost Place
4. In Some Lost Place

Perfect for … Anyone looking to be inspired by the spirit of mountaineering adventure and the human drive for survival. Not to mention those seeking reassurance that pushing sixty need not mean an end to their own mountaineering epics!

What’s inside? Sandy Allan’s account of an extraordinary feat of endurance and commitment at the very limits of survival. Shortlisted for the 2015 Boardman Tasker Prize, the book reveals the story behind the first ascent of one of the last challenges in the Himalaya: the giant Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat.  


Walking the Literary Landscape
5. Walking the Literary Landscape

Perfect for … People who rarely leave the house without a good book and/or pair of walking shoes.

What’s inside? An inspiring and practical guide combining literature and a love of the English countryside in a collection of 20 circular routes in the north of England, all between 3 and 9 miles (5 and 15 kilometres) in length. The walks explore the physical settings that inspired some of our greatest writers, including Arthur Ransome, Bram Stoker and the Brontë sisters.
Lake District Climbs and Scrambles

6. Lake District Climbs and Scrambles

Perfect for … Climbers, hill walkers and scramblers wanting a full-value day out in the most spectacular and unspoiled Lakeland settings.

What’s inside? A perfect pocket-sized guide containing the best scrambles and easy climbs in the Lake District with great walking loops to give twenty superb ‘mountaineering’ days out on the Cumbrian fells. Each route runs from valley floor to mountain top, with the ascent – and often descent – made via a classic scramble or climb.The routes feature Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps, photo topos and easy-to-follow directions, along with route profiles and local information.


Good Run Guide
7. Good Run Guide

Perfect for … Runners of all abilities who could use a guidebook to stash in the glovebox for those weekends away.

What’s inside? Your guide to some of the most scenic runs in England and Wales. Louise Piears and Andy Bickerstaff, two of the founders of the Good Run Guide, the UK’s leading independent running website, have hand-picked forty of their favourite runs. Ranging in length from 3.4 to 10.7 miles (5.4 to 17.2 kilometres), there are routes for runners of all ability and fitness levels, on a range of surfaces.
Peak District Trail Running
8. Peak District Trail Running

Perfect for … Anyone looking to explore the Peak District via varied and scenic running routes selected by local experts.

What’s inside? A comprehensive guide to off-road running in the Peak District National Park. With 22 runs, from 5km to 28km in length, this book is suitable for runners of all abilities. Each route features clear and easy-to-use Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps, easy-to-follow directions, details of distance and timings, refreshment stops and local knowledge.


Great Britain Mountain Biking
9. Great Britain Mountain Biking

Perfect for … Mountain bikers wanting a go-to guide covering the best routes that Britain has to offer.

What’s inside? A comprehensive area-by-area guide to the best of British mountain biking. Everything you need to know about the best places to ride mountain bikes in England, Scotland and Wales - the ideal companion for planning weekends away. Each area section includes at least one featured route – 56 routes in total – complete with introduction, information box, route directions and Ordnance Survey map, together with suggestions for further rides (around 200 rides in total!) and superb photography throughout.
Alps Mountain Biking
10. Alps Mountain Biking

Perfect for … Mountain bikers of varying abilities who want to plan an unforgettable Alps riding holiday.

What’s inside? A guide to the western Alps: epic rocky descents, high-altitude blasts and hidden Alpine singletrack, all set against a backdrop of snowy peaks, pine forests and clear blue skies. This is some of the greatest singletrack, enduro and downhill riding the mountains have to offer. Written by Samoëns-based guide Steve Mallett, it has everything you need to get out of the concrete resorts and plan a great riding trip. 



11. The Year

Perfect for … Road biking and cycling fans, and anyone interested in endurance sports and cycling heritage.

What’s inside? In 1939 British cyclist Tommy Godwin cycled 75,065 miles in a single year – an average of over 200 miles each day. It’s a mark that still stands after almost eighty years. In The Year, Dave Barter resurrects the legend of the year record – a challenge nearly as old as bicycles themselves – and the cyclists who pushed themselves to establish and break it.


Great British Bike Rides
12. Great British Bike Rides

Perfect for … Cyclists looking to tackle Britain’s most challenging, adventurous and satisfying routes.

What’s inside? A celebration of British road cycling. Author Dave Barter brings together 40 of the best road rides in England, Scotland and Wales, searching out the country’s most celebrated routes, toughest climbs and most scenic roads. Each ride is accompanied by detailed route information, bespoke mapping and a statistical breakdown including every detail the committed cyclist requires. The book is complemented with a set of downloadable GPX files to further aid navigation.


Villager Jim's Peak District
13. Villager Jim’s Peak District

Perfect for … People with a passion for British wildlife and the Peak District countryside, and an interest in outdoor photography.

What’s inside? A collection of over 180 photographs from Villager Jim ‘the Banksy of the photography world’. Sneaking about at dawn and dusk, Jim has captured images of his local Peak District that reveal the wilder side of Europe’s busiest national park.
Wild Vision, John Beatty
14. Wild Vision

Perfect for … Nature lovers, photography connoisseurs, and those drawn to remote and wild places.

What’s inside? The first retrospective of John Beatty’s work. John, whose images frequently appear in British and international media, has travelled extensively, encountering the natural rhythms and raw beauty of the world in its most remote and spectacular settings. To accompany his breathtaking photographs he has written a text that gives insights into the adventurous experiences that are at the heart of his photography.
Lake District Mountain Landscape
15. Lake District Mountain Landscape

Perfect for … Everyone who enjoys escaping to the Lakes.

What’s inside? A spectacular photographic perspective on the Lake District from award-winning mountain photographer and filmmaker Alastair Lee. More than five years in the making, Alastair Lee renews and redefines the magic of this much-loved landscape.
16. Dolpo

Perfect for … Readers keen to discover unfamiliar cultures, wild environments and traditional mountain communities.

What’s inside? One of the most remote mountain regions in the world, Dolpo is among the least-developed rural regions of Nepal. A culturally Tibetan region, it has been closed to foreigners for decades. Gerda Pauler explores the individuals, communities and culture that makes Dolpo one of the most fascinating regions of the Himalaya in what is a must-read for anyone with an interest in Central Asia and Nepal.


Tilman, Mischief among the Penguins
17. The Tilman Series

Perfect for … Your eccentric uncle who wears corduroy knickerbockers, smokes a pipe, and has a robust disdain for safety regulations and political correctness.

What’s inside? Bill Tilman was among the greatest adventurers of his time, a pioneering mountaineer and sailor who held exploration above all else. His writing represents some of the finest tales of adventure and discovery from the last century. Of the sixteen books to be published under the new Tilman series, four are now available to buy: Snow on the EquatorMischief in PatagoniaThe Ascent of Nanda Devi and Mischief Among the Penguins.
Lure of the Mountains, Bentley Beetham
18. Lure of the Mountains

Perfect for
 ... See above

What's inside? The first published biography of accomplished photographer, ornithologist, teacher and 1924 Everest expedition member Bentley Beetham (1886–1963). Many of Beetham’s images, including those made on the 1924 expedition, are reproduced in this book and his images of Tibet provide ‘an important historical record of Tibetan culture and a way of life that in modern times has rapidly begun to disappear’. Beetham was a highly skilled rock climber and a pioneer of new routes in the Borrowdale Valley, where he established such notable climbs as Little Chamonix on Shepherd’s Crag, and Corvus on Raven Crag. 


Here Be Dragons
19. Here Be Dragons

Perfect for … Your fantasy-adventure obsessed niece/daughter.

What’s inside? A gripping adventure story for readers of around 9-14 years old with a penchant for mountains, myth, and a dash of romance. This is the first book in our new Snowdonia Chronicles series from award-winning young adult author Sarah Mussi.
The Everest Files
20. The Everest Files

Perfect for … Readers of around 9-14 years, with a taste for adventure.

What's inside? Another one for younger readers, Matt Dickinson’s book is a thrilling journey to the dark side of Everest. It was awarded 4/5 stars by The Telegraph and praised by Brian Blessed as 'a terrific book [that] brings the mountain to life for young readers in a fresh and wonderful way'.




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