1. Norfolk Broads Canoe and Kayak Guide by Steve Maloney
The Norfolk Broads is a unique wetland environment, with marvellous wildlife and scenery that is ideal for exploring by canoe or kayak. This guide provides all the information you need to plan your journey through this picturesque landscape. Seven rivers and fourteen Broads are described in detail, with information on launching points, local attractions, wildlife and history. Distances between launching points are also provided, along with details of riverside campsites and pubs, enabling you to plan single and multi-day trips. To help you prepare for your journey there is also advice on tides, safety, access and environmental issues.
2. Nature of Snowdonia by Mike Raine
The revised and expanded 2nd Edition of the first complete field guide for the mountains of Snowdonia through the seasons, its plants, animals and rocks. Everything you’re likely to see in the hills at that time of year is here in one volume.
Follow the seasons of Snowdonia; winter is the perfect time for studying rocks and lichen; in spring the bog flowers flourish and beautiful orchids bloom; summer brings fruits and flowers, and the treas are in full leaf; in autumn an amazing display of funghi appear, the hill farms are busy again in preparation for winter and as the nights draw in it is time again to sit beside the fire and tell tales of local myth and legend.
A little knowledge of thyme, tormentil and thrift will enhance your day in the hills. Fossil trilobytes and roche moutonnée (rock sheep), bogbean beer and caterpillar fungus, are just some of the fascinating things you will discover.
3. Paddle the Thames by Mark Rainsley
The River Thames is simply a fantastic place to paddle your canoe, kayak or paddleboard, whether touring, training, racing, expeditioning or just ‘bimbling’. From its early reaches in the Cotswold Hills, through the Home Counties into London and far out beyond into the estuary, the river’s surroundings are remarkably varied and diverse, yet always attractive and engaging. If your mental image of the Thames depicts an urban sewer, be prepared to be amazed; the water is clean, the banks are invariably green and naturalists describe the river’s ecosystems as a ‘wildlife superhighway’. This natural beauty is equalled by the human story which the Thames narrates; from locks, gardens and parks to mansions, abbeys, castles and palaces, the paddler is continuously immersed in what MP John Burns famously called: “liquid history”. The riverine Arcadia of willow-draped banks, back channels and islands celebrated in Three Men in a Boat and The Wind in the Willows was not a myth, and it still exists.
4. Sea Kayak Navigation by Franco Ferrero
A concise manual of navigation aimed specifically at sea kayakers. In this respect the 2nd edition hasn’t changed at all. The devil is, of course, in the detail.
As a result of feedback from readers my views on ‘what sea kayakers need to know and are likely to use’ has changed. I have added and expanded on topics where I have considered this desirable, but have taken great care to keep it as short and simple as possible. There is no need for a glossary as all the terms are explained in the book. To that end there is a comprehensive index.
There are exercises suggested at the end of the chapters. Make use of them – they will ensure that what you have read is understood and remembered. The ultimate test of whether or not the lessons have been absorbed is the first time you plan and execute a trip relying on your own navigation. Take precautions; plan simple trips and aim for big targets to start with.
Ask someone more experienced to check your calculations the first few times. Try and get someone else on the trip to plan it independently and compare your results. If they are reasonably close, carry on. If they disagree, start again! Always take into account the weather forecast, and base your planning on the abilities of the weakest members of your group. Build up slowly.
Enjoy the book and enjoy your paddling.
5. Sea Kayak by Gordon Brown
This book is a modern guide to sea kayaking by one of the leading exponents of the sport who is also a highly respected coach in this field. Gordon Brown is a BCU Level 5 sea coach based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He shares his knowledge with you in his own succinct humorous style and very visual approach. In this book Gordon covers topics of kayaking history, physiology, boat and paddle dynamics, seamanship and navigation, safety and rescue, weather forecasting, caves, rockhopping and tidal races, expeditions and overnighting, as well as a wealth of tips and resources for the sea paddler. This is a visually stunning book printed on 170gsm silk paper filled with top quality photographs. Over seventy photographs and illustrations help to make this an essential modern manual for the sea kayaker.
6. Climbing Games
If you are new to climbing, you will find games which introduce some essential skills (such as ‘crimping’ a hold – Chapter 10). If you are an old hand, you will find some great games to help add variety to your weekly club sessions (have you tried ‘The Octopus’? – Chapter 6). Playing some of these games can become addictive as your friends and rivals find new ways to play. The overview of skills used in each game will help you turn play into progress.
Each chapter deals with a fundamental climbing technique. Some chapters focus on a particular aspect of a climbing session, e.g. the use of foot or handholds, traversing or roped climbing. You can pick and choose activities from each chapter to suit your session and goals. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction, followed by a list of all the activities within that section along with their learning goals. The games are listed in a random order. Many of the games develop more than one aspect of climbing. To help you make the most of them, icons appear beside each title to give you information about the possible ways they can be used at a glance.
7. South West Trail Running by Mark Rainsley
This book is about running for fun in beautiful places. Each route has been selected for its inspirational landscapes and runnable terrain. The range of routes is deliberately diverse – these runs follow rivers and coastlines, go up hills and along ridges, weave through leafy woodlands, cross barren moors and heathland. The selected routes include many of South West England’s most enjoyable trails, but this is not a definitive collection! Hopefully these routes will encourage and inspire further personal exploration of South West England’s trails.
In the same series (though in a larger improved format) as the successful Scottish Trail Running by Susie Allison.
8. Gower Rock Stuart Llewellyn & Matt Woodfield
Gower Rock aims to showcase the depth and quality of rock climbing on this wild, beautiful yet somewhat unknown peninsula. The area contains a wide variety of climbing on an enticing array of venues. On some routes you can step straight off golden sands onto classic lines; in other cases you can wend your way across peaceful cliff-top paths before dropping into some pretty demanding terrain just a stone’s throw from ice-cream-scoffing tourists and pastoral picnic spots.
The magnificent areas of Fall Bay and Three Cliffs have enough classic routes to keep you busy on many visits to the peninsula. The sport crags of Southgate compliment and add variety to the well-established hard routes of Oxwich and Pwlldu. The selection of venues and climbs included in this guide will provide plenty of adventure for all climbers, among some of the best scenery in the UK.
In 1956 the Gower peninsula was designated as the UK’s first Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty (AONB). Any visitor to the area will see why: it is packed full of stunning beaches and welcoming villages and provides a breath-taking backdrop to numerous outdoor activities including surfing and paragliding. There are miles of fantastic coastal paths to walk along (a perfect way to explore the many treats of the peninsula) and copious amounts of climbing.
9. River Wye Canoe and Kayak Guide by Mark Rainsley
The Wye is one of Britain¹s finest canoe and kayak touring rivers, and offers something for every kind of paddler. This guide provides the information and advice you need to plan your own Wye journey, whether it¹s single or multi-day, whitewater or sedate cruising.
The author, Mark Rainsley, has divided the river into 15 sections, which are described in detail with distances, grades, access points and campsites. These sections can be paddled as single day trips, or combined into multi-day adventures, and there are suggested itineraries for both whitewater and touring expeditions that range from 3 to 5 days. To help you plan your journey there is advice on equipment, safety and access, as well as information on wildlife, culture and landscape.
A thoroughly modern book on the traditional open canoe.
This book covers all aspects of the open canoe, from design to wilderness travel. What really sets it apart is its focus on canoeing techniques.
New in the 2nd edition:
New section on ‘vision pattern’, a method for creating a mental map of a rapid.
Expanded and re-written chapter on canoeing with children.
More techniques for improvised sailing.
More on advanced lining and tracking.
New solo rescue technique.
Inspirational canoe expedition examples.
Ray Goodwin is the UK’s best known and (many would go so far as to say) foremost canoe coach. By introducing some of the latest canoeing performance skills, based on what he has discovered through decades of coaching and guiding, he sets out to inspire a new generation of paddlers. Through clear language and the use of photographs acquired over many years of paddling around the world, he shares some real insights of the reality of canoeing; sometimes gritty, but always enthralling.