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REVIEW: Walks from Welsh Heritage Railways.


The Welsh population has relied heavily on public transport for many years as a means to move around. Many years ago this included the steam train which would ferry both people and products (wool/fabrics, slate, coal) from area to area. Many of these railways have become disused over the years with the onset of road travel but there has been an uprising of 'heritage' schemes over the past few decades.

Because of the remote and picturesque nature of some of these railways they often make ideal starting points for walks along valleys and through wooded areas and that is what this book endeavours to offer the reader... a guide to show you where you can walk around Wales with links to heritage railways.

I was keen to get started on this book because of my interest in both steam railways and walking but was disappointed at the first hurdle. The book focusses almost exclusively on north Wales and barely even looks at mid or south Wales. Undeterred I carried on skimming through the pages and, thankfully, was very pleased with what I saw. Although the information is somewhat regionalised because of its lack of south Wales content I have to admit that the areas which are covered are covered very well indeed!

The walks themselves are given at least two or three pages each for local information, history, geography, lists of facilities and map references. The directions are clear and concise and even include instructions on which paths to ignore (often a bone of contention when walking with groups who have different feelings about what the writer actually means). There is a hand drawn map for each set of directions which offers enough information to be handy without bombarding the reader with as much information as an Ordnance Survey map would offer. The maps normally point out things that the walker will see in a manner which makes them more obvious than a professionally produced map.

To complete this pocket-sized book there are a number of black and white photographs at the centre to give the reader a taste of what they can expect to find when walking. The author has also very thoughtfully included the phone numbers of the different railways mentioned so that the reader can enquire about opening times of the stations and facilities before travelling.

CONCLUSION: Although the information is unfortunately rather specific to north Wales the detail and quality of the walks goes some way to overcoming that flaw. This is handy and inexpensive guide which anyone thinking of walking in (north) Wales would be advised to purchase.

Title: Walks from Welsh Heritage Railways Author: Dorothy Hamilton Published by: Gwasg Carreg ISBN: 0-86381-771-8 Price: GBP4.50 Reviewer: Jamie Ayres
COPYRIGHT 2002 Normans Media Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Ayres, Jamie
Publication:M2 Best Books
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 10, 2002
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