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8 inspirational new travel books

From UK whale watching to full-on expedition planning, this month's new crop of travel books will get you revved up for new adventures

Reading with coffee (Dreamstime)
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The British weather – by which we mean rain – makes any UK trip an adventure. Melissa Harrison tackles the national obsession in Rain (Faber & Faber, £13), a poetic celebration of wet wanders that lets you soak in its prose without outstaying its welcome.

A splash of rain has never put off Chris Townsend. The hardy backpacker collects 40 years of exploits and outdoor philosophy, taking him from the UK’s roughest, most-rewarding slogs to the most famous – and longest – treks in North America in Out There (Sandstone Press, £9). It’s a walking boot up the backside.

And if that doesn’t get you to lace up, Alastair Humphreys’ latest will. Grand Adventures (William Collins, £17) helps you plan your next big adventure, from the practical (packing, finances, transport) to the personal (leaving behind loved ones), using a mix of how tos and illustrative ‘wise words’ from the pros.

The Northern Lights is an adventure many Wanderlust-ers have dreamt of experiencing. Dr Melanie Windridge’s Aurora (William Collins, £20) follows the phenomenon around the Arctic, explaining the science and history surrounding it and its implications for the planet.

Another must-do trip is whalewatching, and Wanderlust has often said that the writer Mark Carwardine is the man to see them with. Well, now you can tuck him in your pocket with the refreshed and updated Mark Carwardine’s Guide to Whale Watching in Britain and Europe (Bloomsbury, £17). Practical and extensive, it’s a must-have bible for marine mammal-spotters.

Any journey through Greece will touch on the mythology that underpinned its Classical era. For those looking to bone up on the relationship between their destination and the deities, David Stuttard’s Greek Mythology (Thames & Hudson, £15) helps provide some extra travel perspective.

Discovery Walking Guides have been providing a very literal overview for some of Europe’s best walks since 1988, in the shape of their rather practical tour and trail maps. Their latest – to Ibiza and Formentera (£9 each) – are no exception, helping reveal the genuine joys beyond the Balearic’s off-putting club clichés.

Parts of Africa have become off-limits to travellers in the 35 years since Peter Peeters and Claire Van Velsen spent a year exploring the continent. Their old-fashioned travelogue A Journey Through Time in Africa (The Book Guild Publishing, £18.50) has a charmingly retro feel to it, harking back to a time when the world seemed much bigger, and maybe a little more adventurous too – regardless of the weather.

Win these books! Enter the competition to win the Wanderlust book review bundle...

Main image: Reading with coffee (Dreamstime)

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