4 out of 5 stars

I had never heard of this Roman Road before coming across this book, but it runs from the south of Wales and crosses the Breckons to Y Gaer before reaching Llandudno in the north and then crossing to Anglesey, the place where the Romans crushed the druids.

He wants to walk this ancient route, and it is something that he has been wanting to do for a decade or so. It is a walk undertaken in stages, partly because of the pandemic and the time he had available during the lockdowns and various other restrictions that were in force then.

It is a triple view of Wales, he is very much in the present when walking up hills and along the 2000-year-old road, parts of which are still visible. But inevitably he explores the past of the landscapes and the people that inhabited the villages that he walks through. The third aspect of the book is the future of the country as the spectre of climate change looms ever nearer.

I thought this mix of travel, nature and environmental writing was really good. Bullough gets the balance between each element right.

It is a walk up through the country, but also back in time and with the interviews with leading environmentalists, a look to the bleak future that faces us all. Even though those passages could be grim reading at times, the rest of it is quite soothing. I liked that he wasn’t blending the different stages of the walk into one narrative. To me it didn’t feel disjointed, rather it came across as him having the tenacity to keep going regards. Each chapter has one of the amazing paintings by the artist Jackie Morris and they are as beautiful as any of her work that I have seen elsewhere.

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