5 of the best new nature travel books

This article was produced by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

1. Wild Isles
HarperCollins, £25.

This rich photographic guide accompanies the new BBC documentary series of the same name, which sees Sir David Attenborough celebrate the wonders of British wildlife across a range of habitats. Written by natural history journalist Patrick Barkham and producer Alastair Fothergill, each chapter of the book focuses on a particular kind of wild space, from our wide variety of grasslands to our ocean shores, woodlands and scant remaining forests, taking a deep dive into the insect, bird and mammal life they support. 

2. North York Moors & Yorkshire Wolds
Bradt Guides, £15.99.

A ‘slow travel’ guide to one of Britain’s most beloved landscapes, this newly updated book remains the only stand-alone guide to the region. Written by Yorkshire resident, outdoors enthusiast and travel writer Mike Bagshaw, it takes in sandy beaches, woodlands, chalk grasslands and heather-clad moors. It has information on walking and cycle paths, as well as wildlife-watching areas for otters, adders and seabirds. Whale- and dolphin-watching tours are also covered. 

3. Flight Paths
Swift Press, £16.99.

Swallows, redwings, nightingales: spring brings new bird life to UK shores, but until recently little was known about seasonal avian journeys. Bird enthusiast and science writer Rebecca Heisman uncovers the mysteries of bird migration, profiling the eccentric group of ornithologists, engineers and scientists who dedicated their life to birds’ flight paths, behaviours, destinations and the challenges they face. It brings much needed insight into how best to protect and conserve the birds that visit our islands — and destinations far beyond. Swift Press, £16.99.

4. British Woodland
Ebury Publishing, £22.

Discover the secret world of our trees with this book by bushcraft and survival expert Ray Mears, who takes us on a journey from the planting of the very first seedling in Britain millennia ago to the present day. The book looks to our ancestors to show how man’s hand is critical in shaping woodland. It’s structured around how we can ‘use’ our woods, providing a root to twig exploration of some of Britain’s most remarkable trees. Learn how to use pine and oak to navigate, make rope from willow and discover that hawthorn and beech have edible leaves.

5. Springwatch: Great British Walks
BBC Books, £18.99.

Explore the UK’s richest regions for wildlife with 100 walks chosen for their unique flora and fauna. Written by Wales-based travel journalist Luke Waterson, with a foreword by Chris Packham, this new guide is published in tandem with the current Springwatch BBC TV series and features walks that best reveal the diversity of British nature. With easy-to-follow maps and route notes, line drawings and plenty of inspiring detail on why the natural landscapes featured are so special, this is a walker’s best companion.

Published in the June 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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