Following on from 2019’s Walking Cardiff comes writer Peter Finch and photographer John Briggs’ followup/breakout book Walking The Valleys, in which we are once again entertained and educated as we traverse routes and roads, byways and bridle paths, from Aber to Ystrad. But which Aber and Ystrad? (You’ll have to read the book to find out).
Once again, Finch is the I and Briggs the eye; both are the feet, as they walk, wind, and wend their way, snapping and yapping (we imagine) merrily. The writing is intelligent, lively, and lyrical, offering up fact with literary flair; the accompanying images are iconic and inspiring, but with a slightly skewed, individual and unique angle, as to be expected of this expert photographer, and one who has worked with Finch on previous tomes.
Altogether this equates to a superb gift, even if you don’t wish to venture out in person. Walking The Valleys is an immersive guide that will take you there anyway, and you can lose many hours within its wide-scape pages, enjoying facts and fascinating insights. How the south Wales valleys have changed since their coal mining past is extremely interesting, and the fact that these places are a short train trip or even cycle away makes them very tempting to take a visit to. An excellent addition to Finch’s series of psychogeographic guides, and highly recommended.
Walking The Valleys, Peter Finch & John Briggs (Seren)
Price: £14.99. info: here
words MAB JONES
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