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21 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a darned good read
Steffan Meyric Hughes sure can write a good travel documentary - mind, he should being a world class traditional boat journalist. I've read his stuff in the glossy magazine 'Classic Boat' where he's been working for several years. But, behind that, there is obviously a much more in-depth mind than the normal run-of-the-mill journalist. Now, anyone would have thought that...
Published on 27 Sep 2012 by red herring

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three stars overall, five for readability, one for research and accuracy.
I wanted to like this book, and mostly I did. Having travelled this route myself many times I was keen to see it with new eyes, and that purpose it certainly did achieve. But knowing the route as I do the book was let down by a stream of clangers. The canal into Brentford is the GU Mainline, every bridge has a plaque that says so. So it definitely is not the Bulls Bridge...
Published 13 months ago by W. Martin


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Circle Line - Around London in a small boat, 13 Dec 2012
This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
A great read...thoroughly recommended for anyone interested in boats, canals and Victorian enginuity. I took this book with me on a canal holiday and couldn't put it down. Circle Line tells the story of a forgotten waterway around one of the world's biggest capital cities - London, many parts of which have not changed since Dickensian days. It brought back fond memories of my own adventure with Bill Beavis back in the early 70s when we competed in the first Round London inflatable marathon. There were times then when we become totally lost - and engrossed in Victorian values, and had to poke our heads above the parapets to find out where we were in London. It is clear from Steffan Meyric Hughes' engaging narrative that things have not changed.
This is a book to keep on the bookshelf

Barry PickthallCircle Line: Around London in a Small Boat
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed it, 31 Oct 2012
This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
A delightful little book about sailing and rowing around London. Which to be completely honest I didn't thing that you could do!

He journey takes him on the rivers and canals of North London, and then back on Thames to his original starting point. The book is part travel, and part London history, with a mix of reminiscence of previous sailing adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, 9 Oct 2012
This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
This book was very much worth buying. It is an accessible read from the start. The main thread is the boat trip. The frequent asides to Thames maritime tales (both the author's personal stories and more widely known events) make the book engaging. It was particularly interesting to come to understand something of the author's view of the river as one of perhaps relatively few people who know it well. There is humour and some incisive wisdom in the book. I looked forward to reading this book each evening over a week and would recommend it to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, 14 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
I bought this book for my husband. Here is his review:

For many the attraction of a boat lies in getting away from it all. Steffan Meyric-Hughes would seem to turn this dream on its head by taking a small boat to London and yet this is a slow, watery London of unmanned locks, dark tunnels and turning tides. It's also a London brimful of secret histories which the author spills along the way, meanwhile grappling with oar, sail and tent.
This is a thoughtfully written, honest and engaging book - I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insights into the water and London, 2 Sep 2012
This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
This was a truly gripping tale of one man's solo journey around London. I loved the descriptions throughout and the little details of London life and a life growing up on water. It would be good for anyone who wants to read a travel book about London that has an unusual twist (as its written from the water's edge not the land). Also funny at times and made me think about the world we live in today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding journey on water-makes you proud to be a Londoner, 28 July 2012
This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
Beautifully written, insightful and full if natty little facts and anecdotes about the less ordinary lives lived on and around the capital's waterways. It's nostalgic in the right way, capturing the heady first romance of a life afloat that is to become a lifelong passion and love affair for Londoner, Stefan Meyric-Hughes. The relationship is an inspiring one and makes you want to get out there and experience it for yourself and in reading this you kind of are. I was going to read it on holiday but did so when I returned instead and was kind of pleased I waited as was the perfect antidote to returning back to the daily grind. A magical bit of escapist adventure discovering places that as a land dweller one passes over all the time, never having the slightest glimpse of what's really going on below. An ode to youth and maturity, to London, all who love her and her waterways.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three stars overall, five for readability, one for research and accuracy., 29 Oct 2013
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W. Martin (Richmond upon Thames) - See all my reviews
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I wanted to like this book, and mostly I did. Having travelled this route myself many times I was keen to see it with new eyes, and that purpose it certainly did achieve. But knowing the route as I do the book was let down by a stream of clangers. The canal into Brentford is the GU Mainline, every bridge has a plaque that says so. So it definitely is not the Bulls Bridge Branch, there is no such thing. The railway line below The Three Bridges is an obscure branch line, not the Paddington Mainline. And the Hanwell Flight developed a footbridge that is not there in reality. Perhaps these points may not seem important but clangers undermine credibility. The book also suffered continuity issues. Perhaps it was written from memory some time after the trip but for a linear journey the recollections seemed sometimes to double back and appear out of sequence. Closing out, when the industry at Lots Ait closed in the '70s the workers did not leave by the bridge. The bridge is in fact London's newest Thames crossing having been built in 2012.

I don't intend to be pedantic, but a travelogue requires a degree of accuracy to be credible. So three stars overall, five for readability, one for research and accuracy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Circle Line, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
This highly entertaining book is a completely new slant on travel in and around London.
It is a revelation for those of us who live or have lived there and reveals many hitherto
unknown facts.
Highly rec ommen ded.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's egg, 2 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat (Paperback)
Having cruised the London Ring twice, (minus Bow Creek and the Barrier), I thought I would enjoy this. For me it reaches its peak in Chapter 8 with the delightfully written meeting with Frank at the residential moorings above Hanbury Locks, a passage which I found quite moving. Also, the cat in Chapter 7 brought good pictures in my head.
The problem with books like this is that the authors tend to divert from their main topic to introduce various irrelevant reminiscences from their past lives in other parts of the world. This is no exception and I found myself jumping chunks to get back to the journey which I had paid the money for.
I don't regret buying the book and found much of interest, but, oh dear, a book about this fascinating cruise which never once mentions the wonderful Little Venice and the Maida Vale tunnel beyond, (neither of which can be avoided on the cruise), but instead regales us with South Africa, Thailand, and other exotic places, shows a disregard for fully reporting the chosen topic. Little Venice is a true highlight of this journey. So, as I say, curate's egg, good in parts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read., 28 May 2013
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Poppytastic (London, England) - See all my reviews
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It was a quick and fairly unchallenging read. Some interesting facts and anecdotes. Good value at the reduced price I paid.
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Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat
Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat by Steffan Meyric Hughes (Paperback - 1 July 2012)
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