When the UK found itself under strict lockdown constraints in 2020, author Peter Finch, inspired by Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital, took the opportunity to exploit the border restrictions in place to the maximum and walk the boundary of Cardiff in its 54 square-mile entirety. The result is Edging The City, a captivating insight into places and stories around Cardiff’s edge.
Finch’s writing is as jovial as it is fascinating. He begins his journey down Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, taking in Ely, St Fagans, Castell Coch and lots of other places in between, before heading down towards St Mellons, back through Tremorfa and finishing up back at Cardiff Bay. He has an interesting anecdote, historical fact or comment for every part of the city; the Cardiff border scarcely appears on maps, so tracing its whys and whereabouts proves to be very insightful.
Walkers can even trace Finch’s steps, if they are so inclined, as the areas are all broken up into smaller walks, with beautifully detailed maps to help. (Additionally, he’s included the musical playlists that inspired him along the way, giving the whole thing a very interactive feel.) In a similar way to some of Bill Bryson’s work, Peter Finch’s love for his home city is evident in every sentence; Edging The City is engaging in every sense of the word.
Edging The City, Peter Finch (Seren)
Price: £9.99. Info: here
words CHRIS ANDREWS
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