Book Review: England and Wales Island Bagging

A guide to adventures on the islands of England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, by Lisa Drewe (check her out here).

Currently available for pre-order –

I have been sent a copy of this book pre-publication by the publisher and my review is uninfluenced and my own opinions. I have given 4.5/5

I already have the Scotland version of this book, so my review is partly in comparison. First up, the book is pleasing to hold, with an appealing colour scheme and a great cover and makes a great gift. All the photos are high quality and the book has useful maps, starting with one to help visualise island locations alongside the contents of the book and then a larger map for each section and then each island itself. For me, the maps really help when reading the book.

As someone who lives on the Scottish coast, I know many of the Scottish islands, however I was so surprised to learn just how many other islands there were surrounding mainland Britain. Things I really like, the book not only contains nearly 300 islands, but 80 of them are tidal and also includes river islands! Not sure I would aim to bag all the islands around England, Wales and Scotland, but the thought to bag all the tidal ones is really exciting, or perhaps all the islands in the Thames – the books leads to a lot of ideas for mini adventures. I also like the addition the ‘Top 10’ listings which is new, the Top 10 for swimming and pubs have caught my eye!

A downside to this book would only be obvious if you also owned the Scotland version. Is that the tick list in the back is missing! As an island bagging book, which will appeal to many of us who love a good tick list, it was sad to not be able dive in straight away and work out how many islands I had already visited and to satisfyingly tick them off! Maybe the publisher could add a downloadable list to their website so you can print it off at home and slot into the back of the book? I would also like a numbered list of the islands in each section listed at the start of that section too.

In summary, a lovely and informative book to learn about all these islands as well as a book for inspiration and guidance to visit these places. This booked is packed full of local information and activities to do as well as attractions, food, wildlife and history on the islands. For adventure inspiration, check out the islands only accessible by kayak or swimming!

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