When is an island not an island? Peter Caton takes us to all four corners of England, Scotland and Wales to find out.
Sharing our nation’s fascination with islands, but mindful of an unfortunate teenage experience involving a small boat, rough sea and bucket, Peter set out to be the first person to visit all 43 tidal islands which can be walked to from the UK mainland.
We read of the many challenges he faced – of precipitous cliffs, vicious dogs, disappearing footpaths, lost bus drivers, fast tides, quicksand and enormous quantities of mud, but also of wonderfully scenic journeys by road, rail and on foot. He contrasts the friendly welcome from most islanders and owners, with the reluctance of others to permit visits and tells how he was thrown off one secret island.
An entertaining narrative illustrated with colour photographs, No Boat Required contains a wealth of information as the author unearths many little known facts and stories. It tells of the solitude of the many remote islands and the difficulties of balancing the needs of people and wildlife. We learn of the islands’ varied histories – stories of pirates, smugglers, murder and ghosts, of battles with Vikings, an island claimed by punks and another with its own king. He writes of the beauty of the islands and our coast, and reflects on how these may be affected by climate change.
In No Boat Required Peter Caton takes us to explore islands, some familiar but most which few know exist and even fewer have visited. He finds that our tidal islands are special places, many with fascinating and amusing stories and each one of them different. It adds up to a unique journey around Britain.