Our favourite games and puzzles this Christmas

It’s time for some festive fun.

Christmas is a great excuse to get family and friends together and play a board game or a puzzle. So clear the table and settle down to one of our favourites: Read More Our favourite games and puzzles this Christmas

This Christmas – Give the gift of Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) membership

With Christmas less than a month away, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) membership is the ideal gift for anyone who is inspired by our planet and wants to learn more about its people, places and environments. Read More This Christmas – Give the gift of Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) membership

10 place names that ended up in the dictionary

New etymological guide Around the World in 80 Words by Paul Anthony Jones takes the reader on a circumnavigation of the English language, tracing the meanings and histories of eighty words derived from world place names. To whet your globetrotting appetite, here are ten of the book’s most fascinating entries …

Read More 10 place names that ended up in the dictionary

6 things you probably didn’t know about the extreme north of Greenland

In December of 2013, Alex Hibbert led an international quartet of polar travellers to the extreme north of Arctic Greenland. After a huge storm destroyed their intended route to the North Pole in the darkness of winter, instead of retreating, they decided to explore the beautiful but unforgiving region of Avanerriaq, the home of the Polar Eskimos. What followed was six months of harsh education, gripping adventure and… twenty unruly sled dogs. We asked the author of Polar Eskimo to tell us about Northern Greenland: Read More 6 things you probably didn’t know about the extreme north of Greenland

Where is Drury Lane? Getting lost in London by Jon Woolcott

I’m not a practical man: simple DIY tasks fox me, I don’t enjoy ladders, electricity makes me jumpy. I’ll call for technical help when my printer runs low on toner. I have a handyman on speed-dial, a capable wife, and a nearby younger brother for whom these tasks hold no terrors. But for all this I find that one science, or sort of science, Geography, is my friend. It’s not all Geography – specifically it’s a sense of place. My sense of direction, if not exactly unerring, is well attuned to the compass points. I know where I am, and mostly, where I’m going. I love Ordnance Survey maps, whatever their scale, not only for their solid reliable practicality, but for the way they situate me so completely in any landscape, and for their often remarked-upon beauty. I can spread a map on the floor and pore over it for hours, bum aloft, tracing footpaths and rivers, marvelling over contour lines marking hills and steep sided valleys, wondering over derivations of village names, imagining the lost settlements marked in that ghostly gothic script. In short, I know my way around, and I am glad of it.

Read More Where is Drury Lane? Getting lost in London by Jon Woolcott

Five Gulls by Tim Dee

Tim Dee Five Gulls

Tim Dee’s new book Landfill,  confronts our waste-making species through the extraordinary and fascinating life of gulls, and the people who watch them.

Ahead of his event at our Bristol store on the 15th November, Tim Dee tells us about five different types of gull:

 

Read More Five Gulls by Tim Dee

New DK Eyewitness Travel Guides launched

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of DK Eyewitness Travel Guides and the most in-depth redesign since the series launched in 1993; based on extensive global consumer research, these beautifully practical new books have been designed with the consumer in mind. Read More New DK Eyewitness Travel Guides launched

Seashaken Houses – a journey around Britain’s most remote lighthouses

Ushered upwards by labourers clinging to scaffolds or dangling in harnesses, they are feats of engineering, imagination and bravery, built at great financial and human cost. Waves frequently confiscated tools, dismantled masonry and swept workmen away. Although shaped to resist the sea, these unique buildings share something of its mystery and power, and bear witness to the history of our maritime past.

Offshore lighthouses are not like ordinary lighthouses. Over a period spanning four centuries, with Britain’s booming sea trade dogged by shipwrecks and drownings, we undertook to build in the sea itself. Beyond the apparent finality of Britain and Ireland’s coastlines these 170-foot high towers still stand today, raised perilously on underwater reefs and rising mirage-like out of the water. Although no longer inhabited, their chambers still bear signs of the people who once lived in them. But apart from discreet mapping, or the occasional glimpse from a distant ferry, the existence of these isolated sentinels remains unknown to most.

Ahead of his event at Stanfords on Tuesday 16th October, the author of Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet, Tom Nancollas takes us to some of the most emblematic surviving offshore lighthouses.  Read More Seashaken Houses – a journey around Britain’s most remote lighthouses