Mike Parker, bestselling author of Map Addict, offers a very full, intelligent and witty exploration into a glorious and passionate British subject – footpaths and the history of land ownership.
Mike discovers how these paths have become part of our cultural landscape and why, at the tender age of 44, he suddenly finds himself at a crossroads.
Provocative, funny and personal, this book celebrates Britain’s unique and extraordinary network of footpaths. It examines their chequered and surprisingly turbulent history, from the Enclosures Acts of the eighteenth century to the 1932 Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire; and from the hard-won post-war establishment of great National Trails like the Pennine Way to the dramatic latter-day battles by the likes of Nicholas van Hoogstraten and Madonna to keep ramblers off their land.
The story ranges far and wide, to all corners of the country and beyond, and is filled with the many characters that Mike engages with along the way – the poets and artists, farmers and ramblers, landowners and Rights of Way officers and campaigners, historians, archivists and anyone else who crosses his path (or even tries to block it).