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A pleasant little book lacking detail
on 6 October 2007
The author, Leigh Hatts comes with impeccable credentials having been involved with the Thames walk feasibility study and written plenty of other walking books. But if you are expecting any great insight into the Thames path you will be disappointed.
Although the book has 217 pages they are tiny - approx 12 X 17 cm so why the publisher decided to put a 3.5cm margin on most of the pages is beyond me. The book equates to just 36 pages of A4 which means that there is little room for any detailed information. What you get is a short description of the route and pen pictures of the towns and villages en route plus tourist attractions.
For the most part, the 2 - 4 cm wide selections taken from the 1 -50000 Ordnance Survey Explorer series are adequate, but only if you stick closely to the route. They let me down on several occasions!.
I mainly followed the route from London Bridge to Goring and was left with the uncharitable impression that the author hadn't actually walked the path but maybe had written the book from the Internet. I don't have any problem with what is said - it is what is left out that bothers me! For example, at Goring the book says "cross the bridge to leave Oxfordshire ......." The book neglects to say that just 100 yards to the right of the bridge there is a hotel called `The Miller of Mansfield' that welcomes dogs. There is also a good shopping area including a chemist and several other pubs, and another pub on the other side of the river.
Overall, this is not a bad little book, but if you are a long distance walker you might like to consider 'The Thames Path (National Trail Guides) by David Sharp' and/or 'The Thames Path National Trail Companion: A Guide for Walkers to Accommodation, Facilities and Services by Jos Joslin.'
The author of this review is an experienced walker having successfully walked many long distance trails including Coast to Coast (Southport to Hull) and the West Highland Way.