Monday, 20 April 2015


We had a day away this weekend. We packed a picnic and went adventuring. On the way home we stopped off at Springhill, but only briefly as it was closing. We managed a quick rummage around in the second-hand book shop there (in a teeny gate-lodge) and found treasure. The Shell Book of Roads may not be the most enticing sounding book but it is, in fact, an absolute delight. It's a slim volume published in 1964 and it details 12 roads, ridgeways, steps, ways, lanes or passes throughout the UK. There's a short, lively descriptive piece by Geoffrey Grigson and each is illustrated with David Gentleman's atmospheric paintings. There's also a line drawing by Peter Branfield to show which section of road is being discussed. 
Fosse Way
Sewstern Lane 
The Bath Road
The Antrim Coast Road
This one is my favourite. It happens to be a road we know well. Here's how Mr Grigson finishes his piece on the Antrim Coast Road

"Joining glen to glen, running round headlands and under cliffs which are black, white, and red, between the various blues of the sea and the slopes of viridian turf, crossing fast streams which rush down from the glens and the mountains, this is a wonderful scenic road at all times of the year, but especially in the flowery times of spring and early summer - the time of bluebells and primroses, very tall purple orchises, and roadside cushions of sea pink and egg-yellow tufts of birdsfoot-trefoil"

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