The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot

Version: Unabridged
Author: Robert MacFarlane
Narrator: Robin Sachs
Genres: Travel, Europe
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: October 2012
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 9 hours
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From the acclaimed author of The Wild Places comes an engrossing exploration of walking and thinking.
In this exquisitely written book, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge, England, home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads, and sea paths that crisscross both the British landscape and its waters and territories beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of pilgrimage and ritual.
Told in Macfarlane’s distinctive voice, The Old Ways folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology, and literature. His walks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird islands of the Scottish northwest, from Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he crosses paths with walkers of many kinds—wanderers, pilgrims, guides, and artists. Above all this is a book about walking as a journey inward and the subtle ways we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move. Macfarlane discovers that paths offer not just a means of traversing space but of feeling, knowing, and thinking.

Reviews (1)

Written by Dale Sanders on May 14th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I do not recommend this book. I never got a sense of the imagry of the author during his hikes. Also, the author could have done a better job explaining geographically where he was during the hikes. I believe most of them took place in the UK. Finally, I was expecting the "Old Ways" to have more mystique surrounding them than they did. The trails he hiked weren't really famous for anything, just used for a long time.

Author Details

Author Details

MacFarlane, Robert

Robert Macfarlane is the author of the prizewinning Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places, both of which were New York Times Notable Books. He has contributed to Harper's, Granta, the Observer, Times Literary Supplement, and London Review of Books. He is a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.