Adventures in Bookland: North York Moors & Yorkshire Wolds by Mike Bagshaw
I spent over ten years writing and editing guide books for Time Out, so I know a good guide book when I see one – and this is a really good guide book.
First, it fulfills the primary role of a guide book: it guides. When we visited the North York Moors in February, the book showed us where to go and what to see and, being published only last year, the details were all correct. But the mark of a really good guide book is when it goes beyond the basic guide book function and this one does. Reading it before we left, it made us even more eager to visit, by unveiling all sorts of places that we would never have known to visit, from the stepping stones across the River Esk in Egton Bridge to loneliest pub in England, the Lion Inn atop Blakey Ridge, to which we repaired for some much needed hot food as the wind blew spindrift over the snow fields atop the moors. And looking at the book after we have returned has helped us appreciate even more what we saw, as well as firing a determination to return again.
Mike Bagshaw fills the book with the sort of detail that comes from many years intimate knowledge of a place and its people – I was particularly struck by the story of his late neighbour, a true Yorkshireman, who through all his three score years and ten never once set foot beyond the county’s boundaries.
Having seen the demise of Time Out’s guide books – which were pretty well the best city guides out there – it’s good to see a publisher, Bradt, that is still prepared to invest in producing a high-quality, well written guidebook. Well done Bradt and well done Mike Bagshaw!