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Travel and tourism

A Three Peaks Up and Under

A Guide to Yorkshire’s Limestone Wonderland

By Stephen C. Oldfield

The Yorkshire Dales are dominated by majestic mountain Ingleborough and its neighbours Penyghent and Whernside. Familiar to charity fund-raisers as the ‘Three Peaks’ of marathon walks, their inner secrets remain largely unknown.

In A Three Peaks Up and Under Stephen C. Oldfield explores every corner of this enigmatic landscape in riveting detail. No stone is left unturned – revealing the awe-inspiring shafts of great potholes, the legendary caves and waterfalls, as well as archaeological treasures that inspired explorers of years gone by.

After outlining the origins of these karst masterpieces, life-long walker and caver Oldfield examines Britain’s finest limestone area with fresh eyes. He uncovers hundreds of highlights from the Boggart of Hurtle Pot to the bone crunching giant of Yordas Cave, from the vastness of Gaping Gill to the rib-bending confines of the Cheese Press.

Laced with humour and personal touches that are bound to have even serious cave explorers chuckling into their beers, its chapters take the reader up onto the peaks and plateaus, and then down into the easiest ‘wild’ caves of the area – resulting in a new level of intimacy with this great landscape. A Three Peaks Up and Under will sow the seeds for many years of adventure in this magical area.

Price: £14.99

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The Accidental Diplomat – Adventures in the Foreign Office

By Paul Knott

“Achieves the rare combination of being instructive and funny…” – Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson MP

Part political intrigue, part comedic travelogue, The Accidental Diplomat is an incident-packed memoir that bridges the chasm between John le Carré and Johnny English.

Its author, Paul Knott, is an ordinary Northern lad who began his working life in a hut on Hull’s King George Dock before an improbable career switch to Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service. Tied up in a series of significant world events during two decades spent globetrotting on official duties, his story offers an illuminating insight into the most discreet of the UK’s great offices of state, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It blends the political with the personal to paint a vivid picture of the exciting and often absurd life of a Crown emissary.

Knott’s first posting to post-revolutionary Romania is a punishment for insubordination, but he finds the rampant eccentricity of a country striving to emerge from the Ceauşescu dictatorship inspiring and uproarious. A superficially more attractive but ultimately soulless sojourn in Dubai is enlivened when he is abducted at gunpoint by hospitality terrorists, before a happier time in the police-state of Uzbekistan, where he takes a hands-on approach to pursuing human rights and, with greater success, a gorgeous Kenyan lawyer.

His year in Kiev offers a close-up view of events underlying the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, several James Bond moments and an encounter with a wounded gangster. He is then unexpectedly beguiled by the offbeat charms of Belgium and the EU before his remarkable ride ends in Russia. The great land of contradictions proves both appealing and appalling, not least when a former Russian spy is murdered in London by radiation poisoning.

“An unexpectedly engrossing read” – James Brown, Sabotage Times

‘The hilarious and engrossing tale of how one ordinary bloke from Hull stumbled onto the world political stage by accident…’ Russ Litten, Author of Scream if You Want to Go Faster and Swear Down

Price: £13.99

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Slouching Towards Blubberhouses – A (Right Grand) Tour de Yorkshireness

As seen and heard on the BBC and Sky News…

By Tony Hannan

Yorkshire … God’s Own County … The Broad Acres … the Texas of England … a home to some of the UK’s most captivating landscapes, coastlines, food, literature, history, music, tea, film, sport and beer, when Britain’s largest county and its residents get you in their grip, you are unlikely to escape soon.

Phenomenally successful venue for Le Grand Départ and only recently voted the Leading Tourist Destination in Europe – beating off the likes of Paris, Rome, London (ha!) and Vienna – the eyes of the world are on the land of the White Rose like never before.

Slouching Towards Blubberhouses is a timely, in-depth and very often comical look at a county that is by turns friendly, uncompromising, boastful, blunt and maddeningly self-aware. It digs beneath the eeh bah gum clichés of whippets, clogs, flat caps and moth-eaten wallets to explore what really makes Tykes tick. And it wonders whether coming from Yorkshire still means owt in the socially diverse 21st century.

So what are you waiting for? Enough with the chelpin’ and get on your bike. We’re off on a right grand Tour de Yorkshireness.

Price: £13.99

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The Barefoot Shepherdess and Women of the Dales

By Yvette Huddleston and Walter Swan

Reprint under consideration

The Barefoot Shepherdess and Women of the Dales celebrates the variety and versatility of a dozen or more determined women who have made a distinctive life for themselves “far from the madding crowd”. The Yorkshire Dales attracts tourists aplenty to appreciate the beauties of the local landscape but most visitors return to their towns and cities, renewed by the peace and quiet of the countryside, though unable to leave their modern, urban lifestyle for too long.

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Women like Alison O’Neill, who owns her own flock of sheep and designs her own brand of tweed clothing, demonstrate that you can live a life of independence and fulfilment even in Britain’s remotest regions. There are inevitable hardships to be endured but innumerable compensations when the Dales are your doorstep. Each chapter features inspirational women who have made the choice to live and work collaboratively with the people and places of the Yorkshire landscape, What they have in common – farmers, artists, vets, publicans, entrepreneurs, artisans, academics, vets, curators and vicars – is a passion for life where Yorkshire countryside and community coincide.

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A Day in a Dale

By Yvette Huddleston and Walter Swan
AS SEEN IN THE YORKSHIRE POST

Based on a collection of features that first appeared in the Yorkshire Post and featuring several of the characters who appear in the ITV1 prime time television series, The Dales, A Day in a Dale captures the experience of a series of memorable days out which can be shared by all either through reading, as an armchair traveller, or re-creating the journeys in person.

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In meeting local people and seeking out Yorkshire’s most attractive places, the writers present an engagingly personal and inspiring portrait of what Yorkshire can offer to visitors once they know precisely where to look. From secret waterfalls, to remote farmhouses and fords, to picture-postcard villages, to ancient castles, to moorland peaks and tarns, to countryside churches and chapels or ruined abbeys, to picturesque pubs, Yvette and Walter discover all that’s best in rural Yorkshire and its delightful dales. Their day-long journeys include trips to Coverdale, Bishopdale, Raydale, Deepdale, Kingsdale, Birkdale, Cotterdale, Arkengarthdale and Grisedale – and many more besides. Also provided are details of where to eat and drink, where to stay overnight, or where to go walking or cycling if you want to abandon the car for a while. Beautifully illustrated, A Day in a Dale is the perfect bedside companion to have you dale-dreaming, or for taking out in the car as you visit for yourself the enchanting locations described. Paperback, full colour throughout, 256 pages.

Price: £18.99

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