Born in Oxford in 1948, Jonathan was brought up in rural Yorkshire and later in mid-Wales. He inherited a love of the countryside from his father, a land agent, and spent several years lecturing in agricultural education after training as a farm manager. He went on to establish his own small business renovating period houses, indulging his passion for old structures in very much a hands-on capacity.
Jonathan has researched and written the Nicholson Waterways Guides for over 20 years - and more recently The Times Waterways of Britain - having developed a fascination for Britain's inland waterways while teaching. He currently lives on a 60ft narrowboat, moored on the Forth & Clyde Canal, near Glasgow.