Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: Another Journey through Britain by Mark Probert

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week I’m featuring the latest book I’ve just started reading, Another Journey Through Britain by Mark Probert, which was free on Amazon UK, although it’s currently on offer for 99p.

In this book Mark Probert follows the route taken by John Hillaby in his 1960s book Journey through Britain, telling the story of his 1,100 mile walk from Land’s End in south-west England to the north-east coast of Scotland at John o’Groats. It had captured Probert’s imagination and when he entered semi-retirement in 2018 he decided to repeat Hillaby’s book, looking out for the things he wrote about in his original book and comparing how today’s Britain differed from that of fifty years earlier. He didn’t walk, though but he did it on a motor bike, a Royal Enfield Classic 500.

The Book Begins:

The visitor car park at Land’s End was almost empty and ghostly silent. It was just after 10 am on a chilly May morning.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Pages 55-56:

Beside the National Parks there are thirty four Areas of Outstanding National Parks (AONB) in England and Wales, less than half of which were in existence in 1966. Being British, we have to make things complicated. In Scotland they have two National Parks, forty five National Nature Reserves, three UNESCO GeoParks and two UNESCO Biospheres. The original purpose of the Parks was to conserve and preserve, but also to open the areas up for people to enjoy. Nowadays, the National Parks cover approximately 10 percent of England, 20 percent of Wales and 7 percent of Scotland.

14 thoughts on “Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: Another Journey through Britain by Mark Probert

  1. What a great way to experience a place, Margaret. That trail must tell so much about the country, the people, the culture, etc., as well as the land and wildlife. I’ll be really interested in what you think of it when you’ve finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like an interesting read although I don’t really approve of National Parks. I grew up near Loch Lomond before it became a National Park and the local council made sure that they didn’t hand out planning permission for so called development, stopping the place from being ruined and preserving the natural scenery. Now the National Park is run like a business, the very opposite of what should be happening. They even intend to put a Flamingoland there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is awful, a Flamingo land at Loch Lomond! What has happened to the National Parks? I would have thought that would be totally against the idea of a National Park, destroying the landscape etc.

    Land’s End is dreadful too. I first went there many years ago before it became a theme park and couldn’t believe my eyes when we went there years later. Tourism is big business now!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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