Vertebrate Publishing, based on the edge of the Peak District, pride themselves on producing books which enable people to enjoy the outdoors whatever their age; what’s more, they only publish books that they’d want to read or use themselves.
Glancing at their website, it’s clear to see that they have a back catalogue containing some impressive, richly-illustrated books, with subjects ranging from mountain biking to climbing.
We decided to review four of their titles.
Scottish Island Bagging
The introduction to this book sums up my feelings completely: “There’s an indefinable magic about islands.” For me, this is particularly true for the uninhabited remote islands untouched by human interference.
The authors have had the envious job of bagging over 154 of Scotland’s gems – some well-known, others not so. With breathtaking photos throughout (taken by the authors) this book is a delight to read.
Split into ten distinct regions, it offers readers an insight into each island by providing information on access along with a handy key highlighting information on history, activities to enjoy, refreshments, nature and walking opportunities.
Until I manage to follow in the authors’ footsteps this book will at least bring me a little closer to the magical feelings these islands evoke.
The Beaches of Wales
This book was obviously a labour of love for the author, taking seven years to compile. You can understand why because this beautiful tome documents approximately 500 beaches and coves around the Welsh coastline.
With every entry photographed, the book immediately shows the reader what to expect with a key to facilities and useful facts; with a brief description of the beach itself as well, you have a simple yet extremely informative book.
This is certainly ideal for those who want to avoid the usual hotspots and discover a hidden gem.
Swimming Wild in the Lake District
This book is the perfect guide for both new and experienced wild swimmers.
The author, whose love of the Lake District is clearly evident, sets out to show the reader the best ways to enjoy both the swimming and the nature surrounding the water.
With tips on planning before a swim, what to look out for in the water and how to act after a swim, along with the all-important equipment list, this volume is essential for anyone planning on taking the sport seriously in this part of the UK.
Although swimming is permitted in any of the lakes mentioned, the book focuses on the more interesting areas to take the plunge, featuring several suggested access points for each of the main lakes.
A useful map at the start of each section pinpoints these spots precisely and highlights suggested parking. Meanwhile, the Technical Information section provides advice on other transportation options and nearby refreshments for that important post-swim drink!
Day Walks in the Lake District
Aimed at the more serious fell walker, this title spotlights circular walks lasting between four and eight hours with a fair amount of ascent.
The handy pocket-sized book is split into geographical regions with a brief introduction to each. Every walk is well laid out with a fact box covering distance, duration, grid references, terrain and even places to find refreshments en route.
For each trek, a parking area (essential in the Lakes) is suggested plus, of course, a detailed description of the walk itself. What I particularly like is the inclusion of a separate section purely covering directions; this enables the walker to make a quick check on instructions without having to trawl through loads of descriptive text to do so.
Well illustrated, several photos are used for each walk, providing a decent insight into what lies ahead. The inclusion of OS map extracts rather than pencil drawings are an added bonus.