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Walking the Great North Line: Up England Another Way

Robert Twigger

8 Reviews

Rated 0

British & Irish history, History: earliest times to present day, Ancient religions & mythologies, Travel writing

A journey on foot due north from Stonehenge to Lindisfarne to discover the mysteries of our ancient past

Robert Twigger, poet and travel author, was in search of a new way up England when he stumbled across the Great North Line. From Christchurch on the South Coast to Old Sarum to Stonehenge, to Avebury, to Notgrove barrow, to Meon Hill in the midlands, to Thor's Cave, to Arbor Low stone circle, to Mam Tor, to Ilkley in Yorkshire and its three stone circles and the Swastika Stone, to several forts and camps in Northumberland to Lindisfarne (plus about thirty more sites en route). A single dead straight line following 1 degree 50 West up Britain. No other north-south straight line goes through so many ancient sites of such significance.

Was it just a suggestive coincidence or were they built intentionally? Twigger walks the line, which takes him through Birmingham, Halifax and Consett as well as Salisbury Plain, the Peak district, and the Yorkshire moors. With a planning schedule that focused more on reading about shamanism and beat poetry than hardening his feet up, he sets off ever hopeful. He wild-camps along the way, living like a homeless bum, with a heart that starts stifled but ends up soaring with the beauty of life. He sleeps in a prehistoric cave, falls into a river, crosses a 'suicide viaduct' and gets told off by a farmer's wife for trespassing; but in this simple life he finds woven gold. He walks with others and he walks alone, ever alert to the incongruities of the edgelands he is journeying through.

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Praise for Walking the Great North Line: Up England Another Way

  • Twigger has found a narrative voice all too rare in contemporary travel writing: clear-eyed, unaffected, deadpan, slyly witty and unobtrusively erudite - MAIL ON SUNDAY

  • Robert Twigger is not so much a travel writer as a thrill-seeking philosopher - ESQUIRE

  • Twigger has found a narrative voice all too rare in contemporary travel writing: clear-eyed, unaffected, deadpan, slyly witty and unobtrusively erudite - MAIL ON SUNDAY

  • Robert Twigger is not so much a travel writer as a thrill-seeking philosopher - ESQUIRE

  • Robert Twigger is not so much a travel writer as a thrill-seeking philosopher - ESQUIRE

  • A bona fide media daredevil with brains and balls beyond the norm - DAILY TELEGRAPH

  • Twigger reminds us that the adventurous spirit of the British explorer is alive and well, and Voyageur is a fine addition to the genre - GUARDIAN

  • Twigger has found a narrative voice all too rare in contemporary travel writing: clear-eyed, unaffected, deadpan, slyly witty and unobtrusively erudite - MAIL ON SUNDAY

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Robert Twigger

Robert Twigger is a British author, poet and adventurer. After attending Oxford University he trained with the Tokyo Riot Police, which became the subject of his bestselling book Angry White Pyjamas. He has been awarded the Newdigate Prize for poetry, the Somerset Maugham Award for Literature and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

He led the expedition that was the first to cross the Great Sand Sea of the Egyptian Sahara solely on foot, and another that was the first to cross Western Canada in a birchbark canoe since 1793. He is the author of eight books, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as several collections of poetry. Big Snake was filmed for Channel 4.

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