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England, Scotland & Wales

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXGBR184. Buy these 5 items as a set for $89 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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The British Isles, A History of Four Nations

The British Isles, A History of Four Nations

by Hugh Kearney

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 324 PAGES

The Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans and modern immigrants all make an appearance in this Canto Classics edition of Kearney's elegant and revisionist history of not just the English but also of the Scots, Welsh and Irish. (GBR88, $24.95)

Seamanship, A Voyage Along the Wild Coasts of the British Isles

Seamanship, A Voyage Along the Wild Coasts of the British Isles

by Adam Nicolson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

Nicolson offers an engrossing account of a coastal voyage from Cornwall, along the western coast of Ireland, out to the Faroes and to Orkney in this brief hymn to the sea. (GBR561, $13.95)

The Mother Tongue, English and How it Got That Way

The Mother Tongue, English and How it Got That Way

by Bill Bryson

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 270 PAGES

An indispensable guide to the language that divides us, this book is an informative linguistic history that showcases Bryson's wry wit. (GBR15, $14.99)

Eyewitness Guide Great Britain

Eyewitness Guide Great Britain

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

With 1,400 photos, maps and excellent introductory chapters, this guide offers both a general overview of Great Britain and a region-by-region look at its attractions. (GBR01, $30.00)

Great Britain and Ireland Map

Great Britain and Ireland Map

by Kunth Verlag

  • 2009
  • MAP

A nicely detailed map showing both Great Britain and Ireland at a scale of 1:800,000. (GBR31, $11.95)

 
Fodor's Exploring Scotland

Fodor's Exploring Scotland


by Gilbert Summers

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

With its many photographs, detailed descriptions and practical information, this compact guide covers Scotland in style. (SCT09, $22.00)

Fodor's London's 25 Best

Fodor's London's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This slim guide to London (with handy full-color maps) has everything you need to know for a short visit to the city, including recommended sightseeing, restaurants, hotels and shops. (GBR08, $13.99)

A Short History of England, The Glorious Story of a Rowdy Nation

A Short History of England, The Glorious Story of a Rowdy Nation


by Simon Jenkins

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 384 PAGES

Jenkins relates the exhilarating tale from the Dark Ages -- when the Angles arrived from Germany, lending their name to England -- to the modern day in this concise, very readable and illustrated history. (GRB40, $35.00)

Celtic Prayers from Iona

Celtic Prayers from Iona


by J. Philip Newell

  • RELIGION
  • 1997
  • HARD COVER
  • 96 PAGES

While wardens on the island, Philip Newell and his wife were inspired by Gaelic prayer and the poems of the 19th-century Scotsman Alexander Carmichael. To spread their appreciation for the art form, they developed this handsome book of prayers. (SCT21, $14.95)

London Perceived

London Perceived


by Evelyn Hofer | V. S. Pritchett

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 214 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

A classic, lyrical celebration of the palaces, parks, people and everyday experience of London. Pritchett's eloquent riffs on the character of the city are accompanied by evocative black-and-white photographs by the superb Evelyn Hofer. (GBR310, $19.95)

Lonely Planet Not for Parents Britain

Lonely Planet Not for Parents Britain


by Lonely Planet Publications

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES
  • FAMILY

This irreverent and colorful guide, part of the Lonely Planet series, offers a tongue-in-cheek look at Britain, skewed mainly at kids but with enough humor to appeal to parents (in spite of the title), the book pokes fun at mad aristocrats, ridiculous byelaws and the national obsessions with tea, soccer, pets and curries. (GRB88, $14.99)

Scotland, A Concise History

Scotland, A Concise History


by Fitzroy MacLean | Magnus Linklater

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES

This richly illustrated survey brings Scottish history up to the present through its romantic figures and bloody battles. With 250 well-integrated illustrations, this revised fourth edition includes a newly added chapter on Scotland's place in the 21st century. (SCT15, $19.95)

Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland

Stone Voices, The Search for Scotland


by Neal Ascherson

  • HISTORY
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Ascherson writes with verve and insight on the centuries-old impulse toward nationhood in Scotland in this absorbing portrait, interweaving history with archaeology, myth and his own interviews and travels. (SCT66, $27.00)

The English Lakes, A History

The English Lakes, A History


by Ian Thompson

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 352 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

Featuring full-color illustrations and photographs, Thompson's elegant history details how perceptions of England's Lake District have evolved over the centuries through the work of great artists, from romantic poets and landscape painters to children's book authors.. (GBR945, $45.00)

The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England

The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England


by Antonia Fraser

  • HISTORY
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Lady Fraser gathers eight British historians for this engaging, illustrated history of the monarchy from 1066 to the House of Windsor, brimming with personality, incident and scandal. (GBR160, $39.95)

The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History

The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History


by Colin McEvedy

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 112 PAGES

McEvedy deftly sketches the culture, history and society of medieval Europe in this slim historical atlas. (EUR240, $16.00)

The Penguin Illustrated History of Britain and Ireland, From Earliest Times to the Present Day

The Penguin Illustrated History of Britain and Ireland, From Earliest Times to the Present Day


by Barry Cunliffe

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A wonderfully rich and comprehensive guide to the history of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland -- from the arrival of the first humans half a million years ago right up to the present. (GBR624, $35.00)

The Story of England

The Story of England


by Christopher Hibbert

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
  • >

Beautifully illustrated with color pictures, chronological charts, royal genealogies and maps, this popular history of English politics, economics and culture from the Neolithic Age to the 1990s is an excellent travel companion. (GBR02, $19.95)

Stonehenge

Stonehenge


by Rosemary Hill

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Hill captures the enduring mystery and allure of Stonehenge in this witty meditation on the myth and meaning of the most famous prehistoric site in all Europe. (GBR795, $14.95)

A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides

A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides


by Samuel Johnson | James Boswell

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1984
  • PAPER
  • 429 PAGES

Written when Johnson was 63 and Boswell 32 in 1773 (when they had been friends for ten years), these travel journals were the result of a three-month trip to Scotland. Johnson observed Scotland, and Boswell observed Johnson. (SCT07, $18.00)

A Pint of Plain

A Pint of Plain


by Bill Barich

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

Drawing on the wit and wisdom of O'Brien, Joyce, Behan and Synge, the author explores Irish culture (and popularity around the world) from the vantage of the local pub. (IRE266, $15.00)

A Writer's House in Wales

A Writer's House in Wales


by Jan Morris

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2002
  • HARD COVER
  • 192 PAGES

In this extended essay, Morris uses her much-loved 18th-century house as a point of departure for a meditation on Welsh identity. (GBR325, $20.00)

Coasting, A Private Voyage

Coasting, A Private Voyage


by Jonathan Raban

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 302 PAGES

Raban's eloquent, anecdotal account of a solo circumnavigation of the British Isles in a 30-foot ketch, his first experience in a boat. It's an engaging account of the experience of the sea and the people and places he encounters. (GBR591, $13.00)

In Search of England

In Search of England


by H.V. Morton | James Morris

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 274 PAGES

The much-beloved, enduring account of Morton's ramblings through the English countryside in the early days of the motorcar. Morton charmingly mixes a deep appreciation of the art, culture and history of the place with his own keen observations. (GBR368, $16.00)

Kingdom by the Sea

Kingdom by the Sea


by Paul Theroux

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 361 PAGES

This time, the prolific writer recounts a coastal journey around the British Isles in 1982, displaying his occasional ill temper alongside his celebrated ability to combine social history with a good old-fashioned traveler's tale. (GBR09, $15.95)

Nature's Engraver, A Life of Thomas Bewick

Nature's Engraver, A Life of Thomas Bewick


by Jennifer S. Uglow

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 458 PAGES

Born to a farming family in Northumberland in 1753, Bewick eventually published his own History of British Birds, the first field guide intended for a general audience. Uglow's engrossing illustrated biography includes an array of the great engraver's vignettes depicting rural life and the natural world. (NAT249, $18.00)

The Wild Places

The Wild Places


by Robert Macfarlane

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 340 PAGES

MacFarlane climbs, walks and swims by day and spends his nights sleeping on cliff-tops and in ancient meadows and wildwoods in this marvelous exploration of the nature of the British Isles. (GBR893, $16.00)

Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel

Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel


by Jerome Jerome | Jeremy Lewis

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 361 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Written in 1889, "Three Men in a Boat" (to say nothing of the dog!) is a laugh-out-loud account of a man-powered voyage along the River Thames, full of detail on life and lore. A Longitude favorite. (GBR28, $12.00)

Celtic Prayers and Incantations

Celtic Prayers and Incantations


by Alexander Carmichael

  • LITERATURE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 142 PAGES

An authoritative edition of poems and blessings as collected by folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832 - 1912) over 40 years, when Gaelic was still widely spoken in the Skye, Uist, Oban and other islands of the Hebrides. (CLT4, $7.95)

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales


by W.B. Yeats

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 380 PAGES

Edited by the Nobel Prize-winning poet who spearheaded the Celtic Renaissance in the early 20th century, these enchanting stories introduce a cast of changelings, ghosts, mermaids, demons, saints, priests and fairies. (IRE04, $16.00)

Orkneyinga Saga, The History of the Earls of Orkney

Orkneyinga Saga, The History of the Earls of Orkney


by Hermann Palssom | Paul Edwards

  • LITERATURE
  • 1981
  • PAPER
  • 253 PAGES

A fusion of myth and legend, circa A.D. 1200, by an unnamed Icelandic author. The medieval chronicle has its center of action among the Orkney Islands, describing their conquest by Norwegian kings during the Viking expansion of the ninth century. (VIK07, $16.00)

The Portable Romantic Poets

The Portable Romantic Poets


by Norman Holmes Pearson | W.H. Auden

  • LITERATURE
  • 1972
  • PAPER
  • 540 PAGES

This is the anthology to take along on a trip to England's Lake District, Italy's Cinque Terre or any other classic haunt of the romantic poets. This selection includes works by all the masters (and even an occasional mistress). (GBR346, $20.00)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie


by Muriel Spark

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 150 PAGES

A terribly witty novel from the pen of Dame Muriel. Miss Jean Brodie is an unorthodox teacher at an Edinburgh girls' boarding school who wins the hearts and minds of her students, only to discover that girls from the provinces are ill-prepared for progressive thought. (SCT42, $13.99)

Wildlife of the North Atlantic, A Cruising Guide

Wildlife of the North Atlantic, A Cruising Guide


by Tony Soper | Dan Powell

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES

This compact, illustrated guide covers the many petrels, ducks, gulls, terns and other seabirds, as well as the rich abundance of life existing under the waves, that populate the vast Atlantic region from the British Isles to Newfoundland. (ATL26, $25.99)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.