Book Reviews - Sallie Eden Book Reviews 2021

Book Review – August 2021 – Sallie Eden

Scotland From The Rails (a window gazer’s guide) by Benedict Le Vay

Published by Bradt Guides, February 2021

Are you thinking of holidaying in Britain?Don’t know where to go or, more importantly, how to get there? Are you the sort of person who enjoys the journey as much as the holiday? If so, this unusual and eccentric book is for you. If, however, you want lists of locomotive classes by numbers and details of past timetables, the author advises you to look elsewhere.
He claims that Scotland is “a land of railway superlatives”, having the most scenic line in Britain (although I’d argue that the line from Paddington to Penzance takes some beating), the most romantic journey in Britain, the longest bridge and the most famous bridge. And that’s only a few of the superlatives he offers, although he admits to being a bit biased.
He doesn’t just write about Scotland though, but also about journeys starting from London, side trips you can enjoy en route, even the points at which you should look through the train window.
This book is best described as a particularly interesting guide book, written by someone with a lifetime interest in railways and hinting at the talent needed to become a stand up comic.
Packed full of interesting facts about trains, stations, scenery and history, this may just be the book to get people out of their cars and on to the rails. Look out for the author’s star ratings and get ready to book a ticket on a five star (“simply staggering life-changing cosmic experience”) journey. Don’t forget to take a jumper.

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