The Thames Wilderness
Published by Adlard Coles Nautical
This is a great book, although it did not immediately give me what I thought it would. Living in central London, I opened the covers hoping to find unknown wilderness right in SW1. In fact the book does not cover very central London Thames (east of Putney and west of Limehouse), because wilderness there is hard to find as Rob MacFarlane would probably agree. In that respect it disappointed, perhaps it was unreasonable to expect it to actually create new lands.
However in every other respect it is great. The authors know the Thames intimately and more important passionately. They have illustrated with a series of stylish photographs, which draw you to want to explore. To aid your explorations there are facts and information, suggested travel routes, directions and suggested walking maps. We trialled the book one May evening, catching the river bus down to Putney to make it a true Thames experience, then walking the first part of the suggested circular walk around the Barn Elm, London Wetlands and Dukes Meadow walk. It was a fine evening, the tide was low and perfect for stepping into the wilderness and away from busy central London. It's true to say, we would not have chosen that route without the book as a guide, or more importantly as an inspiration, showing us how these areas can be linked.
A very slight criticism, the size. It is large pocket size or backpack size, presumably because the layout and photos would be lost if smaller. So it’s not one to stuff in your back pocket, more one for the bookshelf to dip into, although that leads you to leaf through pages and to seek out new wildernesses- so in fact, perhaps, it does create new lands.”