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London's Lost Rivers: A Walker's Guide [Paperback]

Tom Bolton , S. F. Said
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
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Book Description

8 Sep 2011
When we think of London s river, the vast thoroughfare of the Thames immediately springs to mind. But this ancient city was built around other rivers too and traces of these still remain, for those who know where to look.

London s Lost Rivers takes the reader on a series of walks along the routes of eight lost rivers, combining directions for walkers with richly detailed anecdotes outlining the history of each river s route, origins and decline.

Tom Bolton reveals a secret network that spreads across the city, from picturesque Hampstead in the North to the hidden suburbs of South London, and runs beneath some of London s most iconic and historic sites.

These London pasts are brought to vivid life, populated by characters both famous and infamous, including politicians, forgers, actors, architects, athletes, monarchs and murderers.

Evocative, witty and engaging, London s Lost Rivers invites both visitors to the city and lifelong Londoners to explore another side of London and its rich history, whether on foot or in the imagination.

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London's Lost Rivers: A Walker's Guide + London's Lost Rivers + Do Not Alight Here: Walking London's Lost Underground and Railway Stations
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Strange Attractor Press (8 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907222030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907222030
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 10.8 x 16.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Tom Bolton is a researcher, walker and photographer who lives and works in London. He writes regularly about the city and reviews theatre and music.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The capital from the bottom up 19 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a great new addition to ways of exploring London on foot - an intriguing, sometimes whimsical view of the city from the bottom up - tracing the lines of its forgotten rivers. Its handy, pocket-size means it's easy to take along on your walk, and the route instructions are sensibly spaced and easy to follow. There's an absolute wealth of recent and ancient historical and geographic information along the length of each route, which Tom Bolton has lovingly researched and presents in a fresh, conversational way. A real companion on your walk. And the whole is complemented by eerie, atmospheric photos by SF Said that let you know you're far from the obvious tourist haunts here. Get it and start exploring!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wealth of Knowledge 22 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
A fantastic book that is as insightful as it is fun to read. Brings us to make fascinating discoveries about our own city, why things were built where they were, how they were, following what natural waterway... and to reflect on our urban environment in constant evolution.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you know your Peck from your Effra? 20 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
Having lived in London for the last 15 years - apparently with my eyes closed - I can honestly say that I found the subject of this book to be a complete revelation.

Far from being a simple history of the underground rivers that feed the Thames, the author has enthusiastically plotted walks which chart their original routes in minute detail and provides fascinating insights into the areas they pass through.

Accompanied by hand drawn maps and a generous smattering of moodily lit photos, each short bulleted description of their course is accompanied by an enlightening paragraph or two which brings to life London's forgotten history.
I was surprised to discover that I have lived so close to many of the rivers covered in the book, but have been completely oblivious to their existence (even for example where the tributaries emerge from the ground to fill ornamental lakes). Want to know how an area or a road got its name? or perhaps the origins of that distinctive building you pass on the way in to work? It's a fair bet that this book has it covered. An absolutely fascinating and engaging read. Really do recommend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 19 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book, which manages to successfully combine an introductory level coverage of the topic, with lots and lots of detail in maps and the text that you can keep coming back for. It's use as a walking guide is helped by its convenient size, and the walks are highly detailed and imaginative. I will look forward to trying them all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars coming up for air 29 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback
What a refreshing little book this is. From the introductory paean listing the names of the lost rivers to the hand drawn maps that accompany each walk, I defy you not to be captivated. Well written, with sufficient detail to take you along meandering routes (of course) and enough historical facts to carry you on from one stopping place to another, it is an excellent guide to exploring parts of London that you might never have visited or, if you are an armchair traveller, thought about. Recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London's Lost Rivers 17 April 2012
Format:Paperback
Another amazing book. I wish someone would do a DVD of this and other books on old London, as I am now too old to get around as quickly as I would like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have just finished the final walk in the book (The Peck) and wanted to add my recommendation to those of others below. This is not a book for tourists who want to explore the traditional London sights and it is so much better for it. It takes you to areas of the city that, frankly, you'd be unlikely to visit otherwise.

It's really well researched, clearly laid out and very entertainingly told with a great use of examples and anecdotes from all eras which really bring the narrative to life. I would heartily recommend it and look forward to a follow-up from the author. And, no, I'm not related to him nor do I know him.

Minor quibbles? The first edition had a couple of typos on the route instructions which I'm sure have been picked up in later editions. And the colour photos were, for me, unnecessarily arty. But those aside this is a wonderful book and a must have for those of us who enjoy exploring London but are not served by most of the walking books available.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful insights into the lost past and local history of London's...
Being a keen London walker and interested in all London history this is a wonderfully detailed book taking you down the routes of what were smelly, foul and dirty lost rivers of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Miss Nicola L Hope
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and accurate guide
I have only followed the Westbourne so far,and what this guide does is lead you through unfamiliar parts of London,that you would not normally see,and the connected... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. M. Cragg
4.0 out of 5 stars Walking London's lost rivers - great
This is a valuable book for walking around London with a "non-tourist" but with a clear focus. Read more
Published 9 months ago by CN
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book for anyone interested in rivers
A great book for anyone interested in the history of people and their use of the rivers
which shape their lives. Read more
Published 10 months ago by P. M. Connolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost and Found
I have read several books on the lost rivers of London but this is the first one I read that allows you to follow the courses of these rivers in comprehensive yet straightforward... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mr P R Bourne
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost London rivers
This book involves following above ground some of London's Lost rivers which in due course I shall walk. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Dave Nichols
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting little book
This proved very popular with my son who was already on the track of the Westbourne River before he left the sofa!
Published 19 months ago by Jo
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